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So Many Questions....

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by stevite, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. stevite

    stevite Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Albany New york
    5
    1
    3
    Hello All. I am a newly minted OW diver. I plan on doing my AOW in June. I'm 59 years old and realize I'll never be a tech diver or a cave diver etc. Hopefully 15-20 dives a year in warm water with dives being less than 100 ft. I do live in the NE and an occasional summer dive in Lake George is possible. I own Fins, Booties, 3mm wetsuit, 2 masks (which I'm sure will become 15 at some point) and snorkel. I plan on purchasing a computer and a regulator during the coming year. I plan on renting a BC until I’m a little more skilled and have had an opportunity to try different models. I have only used aqualung calypso reg so that is my only point of reference. I really want my own reg for many reasons. I’m looking mid-range like an aqualung titan and for a computer something like a Mares pro puck or a Cressi whatever. Any thoughts on gear would be appreciated.

    Locations- I did my OW in Bonaire which I loved and I’ve snorkeled many places in the Caribbean. Where are good sites for new divers? I’d like to see big fish as well as coral reefs

    Skill set- as a new diver, I don’t know what I don’t know. It is a little overwhelming reading the boards here and feeling a little stupid. What are some of the most important skills a new diver should develop? What should I practice every dive? How to I become a good diver? Tips, advice and words of wisdom are all welcome.

    Thanks, I look forward to replies
     
  2. Snoweman

    Snoweman Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    3,129
    2,281
    113
    You might want to buy a used Suunto (Zoop, Novo, other) until you get a little more comfortable with diving. Then, you will probably want a less conservative computer. You will be able to resell the used Suunto for just about what you paid for it.
     
    FinnMom and stevite like this.
  3. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    4,436
    5,520
    113
    Your Aqualung Titan idea is a great one! Nice value and easy to service.

    As for skills to practice every dive, try hovering at 10 feet in calm water without moving a muscle. In warm water, play with your weighting until you can hover there with no air in your bcd. Then try it at 5 feet, using only your lungs to ascend or descend. Seems silly, but it will do wonders for your diving.
    Keep rearranging your weights there at 10 feet so you can be completely horizontal.

    Learn the "frog kick". A great way to keep from stirring up sand near the bottom when you're with other divers.

    That's a start!

    I'm heading back to Bonaire next month for the first time in six years. Looking forward to it! Hope coronavirus doesn't canx our trip...
     
  4. MiloR

    MiloR ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ohio
    50
    118
    33
    Trim and Frog kick will be the 2 best by far. Really just Trim...which will be greatly influenced by proper weighting. I really can't stress that part enough. It ALL comes from the Trim/weighting.

    Once that is right everything else is easier. If it isn't right you will always be making little adjustments/tweaks when you are trying to perfect other skills and it will hinder that progress. Think of it as making sure the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors are all adjusted for you. Makes driving way easier then just getting in a strange car and driving.

    I say these things from the perspective of just recently getting it "right" and it really changed the whole diving experience for me.
     
    rongoodman and The Chairman like this.
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    4,622
    2,934
    113
    My recommendation for everyone new is to take UTD Essentials or GUE fundies after open water. Your skills will improve dramatically. That's the best skills course I've taken by such a long shot. Diving for you will change forever.
     
    Hartattack likes this.
  6. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    2,514
    1,511
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    As a general note, you will probably find that you can save a bit of green if you are able to buy a complete package (BCD, regulator, octo, computer/gauges) all at once rather than piece-meal. Depends on our priorities. For instance, the Aqualung "Essential" package goes for $999, and includes the Titan regulator, ABS octo, Pro HD BC, and the i300 2-gauge computer console. Individually, MSRP for those 4 items is $1,392.
     
  7. loosenit2

    loosenit2 si respiratio sub aqua amet ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Texas
    752
    890
    93
    It is funny reading the initial responses to your post. You will find that much of the advise here is offered though technical diving colored lenses.

    Congratulations on finishing your OW class, and welcome to the underwater world. For now don’t get wrapped around equipment, or training or anything else, just dive and develop a love for being underwater. It is a miraculous world that will open your eyes to the vastness and beauty of our planet. Dive, enjoy, and share your experiences with people around you. Welcome to the wild undersea adventure.
     
    Streydog likes this.
  8. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    4,622
    2,934
    113
    My guess is that my recommendation is one of those. And the answer is, not at all. UTD Essentials and GUE fundies are recreational courses that develop solid diving skills. No need to get a rec or tech pass if one is going to only dive rec, but those are good goals. It is unfortunate that the industry doesn't have more meaningful classes. Had I taken fundies after OW, I would have saved myself soooooo much money. I frequently recommend these courses to people who have no intention of every diving tech, and those that take my advice have been quite happy that they did.

    That's all I'm going to say about it to avoid back and forths.
     
    Hartattack likes this.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    13,531
    3,391
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    You'll get tons of good advice so I won't repeat any. I like to add that if you are away from diving for a significant time (a possibility in Albany.....) I recommend re-reading your manual(s)/e learning and/or practice the skills you learned in the pool by mimicking them on land. Such as, reg. retrieval, doff & don of unit, etc.--the 20 or so of them.
    When diving, especially early on, it's a good idea to go practice one or two on each dive, and takes little time.
    I agree with everyone who says eventually take the Rescue Course. AOW and CPR are probably the prerequisites, and you should be familiar with the basics of diving and the equipment. Rescue used to be taught in OW course decades ago. Until then, best to buddy with someone who has Rescue cert. or skills, or at least an experienced diver---IF possible....
     
  10. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    1,009
    981
    113
    I would also recommend one of the Suunto computers. They work well for recreational diving and the resell value is quite good.

    I can't recommend regs for you because I would say Deep 6 is the way to go but you might not be able to get them serviced near you. Although you can send them back to Deep 6 and have them serviced. I find they are the best bang for the buck.

    I would keep diving and practice two things:

    1. Better buoyancy control (hovering)
    2. Frog Kick

    I say frog kick because it helps to conserve air since it has a built-in glide cycle. It also keeps you from kicking up sand which can damage the coral reefs.
     
    MichaelMc and Snoweman like this.

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