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regs, bcd then drysuit?

Discussion in 'Diving Into New Gear' started by ghostbuster, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. ghostbuster

    ghostbuster Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Vancouver
    I'm a new-ish diver, about 20 dives with a mix of warm and cold water, but until flying to the tropics becomes an option again I'll be diving the beautiful cold (~10°C) waters off British Columbia. Just rec - not planning to do anything technical for the foreseeable future.

    My plan is to build my kit out slowly, buying quality pieces and renting in the mean time. So far I've only got a mask and a computer (Zoop) and now considering my next piece of gear.

    Conventional wisdom online seems to be to buy fins early on, along with the mask, but I'm not sure that makes sense if I don't know what boots/drysuit I'll be wearing. My LDS carries Apeks XTX50/DST (or DS4) and from what I've read, nobody seems to have complaints about it. I also like the idea of not sharing a rental regulator in the time of covid.

    I am mostly looking for a sanity check that it makes sense to buy regs before a BCD, and save the drysuit for last, since it seems to be the most expensive single piece by far. I think I prefer BP/W to jacket-style, and I'm not really sure what drysuit I prefer (I've tried aqualung fusion, bare, and mobby).

    Are there other regs to consider at the apeks price point? Is there any reason I should look at BCDs or even save for a drysuit before my own regs? thanks in advance for any input
  2. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA

    Regs first in covid time is a good argument. Many like the XTX50 and DST, I almost got that after lots of research. (I wound up with SP Mk25 S600 which was fine.) In the states Apeks can be expensive, I'm not sure about Canada. The turret version is more adaptable for any future tech or sidemount, if you go those ways. Deep6 is an alternative, I like mine. (Pre covid I'd also suggest the 'streamlined open water' reg setup, but covid complicates that.)

    XTX50 DST is considered a solid reg set, as are all the Atomics as they just vary in the metal used. I've liked my SP Mk25 S600 and G250, all considered solid. For saltwater, sealed regs are nice, hence my move to the Deep6 Signature, which is also considered very solid.

    Pre covid I'd argue BC, actually BP/W, is a smart start as it is what all your other gear hangs on so switching between rentals all the time makes getting in a consistent groove hard. Plus BP/W is so adjustable and adaptable you are unlikely to have novice diver buyer's remorse. Plus the BP/W version may more easily set you up well in the water in terms of horizontal trim. (Scubaboard is heavily tilted toward BP/W, but we try to not jump on recommending it in a first post, but you did mention leaning that way.)

    No ideas on fins and dry suits. On which of all to buy first, you have to rent the rest and that adds up, but it is best to be sure of what you are buying, so there are no really best and cheapest approaches.
    ghostbuster and Brett Hatch like this.
  3. Brett Hatch

    Brett Hatch ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Monterey
    When you rent your gear, which piece do you hate the most? Start with that, then get comfortable with it, then move to the next-most-hated thing.

    Covid notwithstanding, I would personally go for the boots and fins first, then the BP/W, then the drysuit, then the regs, then start thinking about tanks. The reason being that boots/fins are so cheap that you might as well start there. And renting different BC's and exposure gear every time will mess with your buoyancy/trim; keeping it consistent will facilitate your growth as a diver.

    With covid, moving the regs up a notch or two does make some sense, although I'd expect your local dive shop to be doing a really super-duper extra good job of keeping their rental regs clean anyway. That one's a bit of a judgement call.
    drk5036 likes this.
  4. David Novo

    David Novo REEF Volunteer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Porto, Portugal, Europe
    I can't argue against any of your choices (assuming you can rent a drysuit).

    I would definitely buy a regulator next due to COVID.
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    Everything except the drysuit can be had the day you want to buy it, maybe a couple day delay as it is shipped in.
    The drysuit can have a long lead time. Especially if there is a custom order. It could be 2 months or more before you see it. Unless you are a perfect match for a generic size and option list, and even then there is often limited stock on the shelf. Don't take a drysuit that is "close enough" because it does matter. I could swap any good reg with another and not really notice during a dive. Even most wing/harness can be swapped around and won't notice (unless it is really bad). but a bad fitting drysuit will just suck.
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  6. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    Take your time with gear purchases; buy the best you can afford; and reach out to SB to get feedback/advice/validation on your "plan".

    It is not an inexpensive hobby and you don't want to find yourself having to replace bargain purchases for major items. The "close enough" purchase will grate you every time you go diving.
  7. fmerkel

    fmerkel Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Salish Sea (Seattle)
    This is the NW. Drop out rate is something like 90%. Been diving around here 25+ years with a VERY active club, I know what it's like.
    The big hurdles are expense and comfort. The drysuit is expensive, people aren't sure whether they'll keep up with the sport, so they focus on 'life support', the reg, and then buy a reg + computer that is damn near rivals a drysuit in cost. I consider that a mistake. I won't discourage a reg set, but do some serious reading here and consider buying a decent used reg.
    Something like this would likely be excellent: For Sale - Mk20/g250
    Same setup my wife has been using for 15 years. The MK20 and highly touted MK25 are almost the same reg.

    If you are cold all the time, you are going to quit diving.....period. Seen this hoards of time.
    Get the drysuit. You can also get those used and in great shape, BUT you DO have to know what to look for.
  8. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    I agree with in the order that works best for you.

    Have you tried all three styles of BCD to see which you prefer?

    I would get regs, the xtx50 is a great reg that you can use if you do decide to go tec and if you can get it serviced there and you like it get one.

    With drysuit they need to fit so measure or get measured to see if a stock size or used is even an option. Depending on brand etc it can take a while for them to come in especially if you go custom. (I ordered one this past Saturday it looks like it will arrive mid January)

    Take the time to try out the different BC types so you know what your most comfortable in.
  9. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I’d expect there to be a lot of used drysuits available in the PNW. If you’re a standard size, consider yourself lucky. If you’re wary about buying a used drysuit over the net, check with local dive shops to see if they have any available or anyone who is selling.

    Fusions are plentiful used and damn hard to break. Usually pretty cheap. Might be something to look for. They’re stock sizes, but they way they’re constructed allows them to fit a lot of body types.

    Totally agree with getting drysuit now. I’m in the Great Lakes region. If you want to keep diving, you dive dry. You’re a lot more comfortable.
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    I’m with @fmerkel . Comfort is key. If you enjoy diving, get a properly fitted one first and a good undergarment.

    buy a K-01 hood at the same time. Warmest on the market.

    I’m a complete wimp when it comes to temperature btw.
    Marie13 likes this.

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