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Newbie diver looking for some advise on my first Gear purchase...

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Reefstalker, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Reefstalker

    Reefstalker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Auckland
    7
    0
    0
    Hi all...atm I'm looking at this "Full kit"
    Mares Prestige Package
    Been doing quite alot of reseach but would like some advise from you guys about this setup. Just thinking ahead...for when I eventually do my Advanced open water ect...is this setup Nitrox compatible? I've read mixed reviews so now not sure... I would hate to buy this gear now, and then have to sell and buy different gear as I advance. If you have any recommendations, pls bear in mind that I am on a budget :)
    Also was looking at this set..
    Dive Warehouse FULL SET
    Slightly cheaper and includes the a tank

    Cheers
     
  2. martinskarin

    martinskarin Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Shanghai
    65
    5
    8
    How is it likely that you will perform your diving?

    Every week or for vacation only? What is your waters, temperature etc?

    The first thing I bought was a computer, mask and a wet suite. I am very happy about that. I would recommend everyone to get a computer as one of the first things they buy, it just makes the diving more easy, safe and more fun! Wet suite I bought since the ones you borrow many times will not fit 100% and are worn and torn. Mask for fitting.

    I am a vacation diver and will not yet buy Regulator or BC since I do not dive that often, the next things I will buy is some safety equipment like a SMB, knife, light etc. Those things is not all the time supplied buy the diving resort.

    And, do your AOW as soon as you get the chance, it is fast easy and well worth it, gives some good experience and knowledge!
     
  3. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,178
    1,131
    113
    Just about any equipment is Nitrox compatible to 40% O2. The biggest things is to find equipment that is comfortable, fits you well & will serve the purpose you need it to for the diving you want to do. Don't necessarily be stuck on 1 brand. My equipment consists of Scubapro, Aqualung, Dive Rite, Oceanic, & lots of others. I use what works for me. Try on as many different brands & types of equipment as you can find & buy what works best for you & your budget.
     
    Captain Swoop likes this.
  4. Reefstalker

    Reefstalker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Auckland
    7
    0
    0
    Hi martinskarin and tstormdiver. Thanks for your replies.
    I plan to go for a dive at least once or twice a week but that might be a bit optimistic. Will have to see how it works out. Atm the water temp here is around 17°C ..winter, and gets to about 23°C in summer...thats of course the surface temp. Was looking at some of the computers and looks as if I might be able to do an upgrade on the Mares package. Atm I have a 5mm and 7mm surfing wettie..will this be ok deeper down? Do I need a certain amount of dives before doing the AOW?..also seen mixed opinions about this.

    The only prob for me right now is, if I buy all seperate gear it's going to cost alot more than a "full kit" but I fully hear what you are saying. I guess one way to overcome this is to be patient and save some more.. About being Nitrox compatible...does one have to make special adjustments to the gear when diving with Notrox?
    Cheers
     
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,396
    8,184
    113
    The kit should be fine for your needs. As others have said, what really differentiates basic recreational scuba kit is;

    1) Personal fit and comfort.
    2) Cost.

    Take a look at the article I wrote about selecting/purchasing a BCD; it'll give you a better idea on what options exist:

    Scuba Equipment : Selecting a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

    It's difficult to 'future-proof' your scuba diving gear, when you don't have a reasonable idea how (or if) your diving activities may develop in the long-term. If in doubt, 'keep it simple'... get something economical and basic.

    IMHO, the only real 'future-proofed' configuration is BP&W (many threads here about that). This is because it is a modular BCD system that can be upgraded and amended as you go along.


    The wetsuit will compress as you go deeper. You may also encounter thermocline, where the water is distinctly separated into 'levels' of different temperature (lower levels being colder).

    It's hard to predict what your personal tolerance for cold water is. I'd suggest doing the dives, and if you do get cold, then address this issue by getting a thicker wetsuit and/or adding layers to your exposure protection.

    Under-layers to your wetsuit is a good way to increase warmth, without the expense of a whole new wetsuit. I use a 4th Element 'Thermocline' vest... it works very well and adds 3mm equivalent to my torso area.

    Sharkskin is another product that can help improve wetsuit thermal performance.

    A hood is critical if you are feeling cold.

    There's two ways to look at the AOW course;

    1) An extension of the OW course, that helps you reinforce the core scuba skills, under further safe supervision.

    2) A developmental course, that extends your basic skill beyond entry-level.

    I've run AOW courses for both newly qualified and intermediately experienced divers. The course is very flexible and it is possible to set beneficial goals in either circumstance.

    Personally, I like to use the AOW course as an extension of the OW course - because I feel that most divers get a tanglible benefit from having a further 5 dives to reinforce their skills and competence. The emphasis being on the name - Advanced Open Water (i.e it is still an open-water level course).

    You should avoid the temptation to view the AOW course as an 'advanced diving' course. It isn't...and that will only lead to disappointment.

    Only the cylinder needs special consideration for use with recreational nitrox (<40% O2). The regulators, BCD etc are all ok. The cylinder will need to be nitrox clean if it will be filled using partial pressure blending (the most popular method). Using this method, dive shops put a certain amount of pure 02 in the tank, and then top it up with air to create the desired mix. This means that the tank is initially filled with pure O2... and thus fire/explosion hazards are applicable. It has to be free from potential (combustible) contaminants to avoid that risk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  6. martinskarin

    martinskarin Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Shanghai
    65
    5
    8
    If you are going to dive that much I understand that you want regulator etc. However after buying those kits there is still more you will need, wet/dry suite, computer, safety equipment, fins, etc.
    I made my AOW directly after the OW, I know several that did this. If the diving conditions is rough, like dark and cold water, you should probably get some more experience but where me and my friends made it in south east asia, there is not much difference at 30m than at 18m depth, the water is still 30 degrees (celcius) warm ;-).

    For diving with Nitrox, normally (with normal recreational equipment) you do not need to do anything except change the setup of you dive computer and it will tell you your maximum depth limit and other limits to follow (yet another reason to get one).

    How far a 7mm wettie will take you I do not want to anser, maybe someon else can? I have a 3mm and think that below 25celcius it starts to be chilly after 45mins at depth (so seems other to do).
     
  7. Reefstalker

    Reefstalker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Auckland
    7
    0
    0
    Thanks DevonDiver for your very informative reply.
    What a great article on BCD's..cheers for that! And yes as you say it is very confusing for a new diver when reading all the different info on BCD's. Most of the time I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. Also, thanks for mentioning the thermocline gear..I will defenitely get one.
    After reading what you have said about the AOW course, I will make sure I do this asap as I can now see the advantage of doing this as a new diver. thanks.
    Also some invaluable info in your 'Scuba Articles' Thread..cheers
    love your 'underwater photograph blog' photos! I am a keen photographer and can't wait to try underwater photography....any recomendations on some starter gear? Will obviously upgrade as I progress.

    Hey Martinskarin...just love the thought of 30°C water! and cheers for info.
     
  8. martinskarin

    martinskarin Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Shanghai
    65
    5
    8
    The Olympus XZ-1 seems very popular for underwater photography, not the cheapest compact but definatly a good one! I just got a underwater case for mine but did not test it yet. Also good for all kinds of pictures above water and still not too big in size. The case costed me 340USD or something like that.

    Some pictures in this post (to make those pictures you will need some additional gear on top of the camera and a cover).
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Auckland NZ
    1,265
    425
    83
    reefstalker My honest advice for you RIGHT NOW. Find some other divers. Use your good quality 7mm wetsuit and if you plan to dive nowish a thermal vest.booties,hood and winter gloves. My reasoning is mon that you have been diving in "perfect" conditions as far as gear is concerned. Here where its a lot cooler your thermal protection (in winter) is vital.Your first dive in this stiuff is gonna make you feel like you are trussed up like a chicken.
    I personally strongly recomend you see Mike at Dive HQ Westhaven. A really nice guy. You will get good advice,good quality gear that will be able to be serviced for years to come AND he has never let me down on price /service so far.
    Incidently -theres a two tank dive coming up in a few weeks at goat island divers
     
  10. Reefstalker

    Reefstalker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Auckland
    7
    0
    0

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