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Hi all, I've just finished my sheltered water lessons for Ocean Diver, and I'm looking to purchase equipment to proceed to the open water lessons and complete my training. I am proposing to buy the following equipment:

Drysuit: Either Scubapro Spitzenberg or ND Divemaster (both crushed Neo)
Undersuit: Been recommended Bowstone...
Reg/DV/Octo: Apeks TX40/TX40
BCD: Buddy Commando TD
Fins: Mares Quattro (Everyone seems to recommend them!)
Computer: Suunto Vyper
Console: Suunto 3 Gauge

Am I going too overboard (no pun intended) having not jumped in the Ocean yet? I'll be doing most of my Open Water diving off North Wales/Anglesey... Any thoughts or views gratefully accepted - for example, scubapro and aqualung have been recommended as budget regs, but am i not better spending the extra few (100) pounds now and getting the Apeks?

Thanks all...

Justin.
 

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Hey Justin,

Absolutely nothing wrong with the list as it stands!

If you've just finished your 1st course and are about to go into bat with your Oceran Diver, then all this kit has a lot to be said for it. I have one caveat: undersuit, you might want to look at the Weezle Extreme - toasty warm mate.

And you're right in your attitude of 'Buy Cheap, Buy Twice': get the best you can afford day one. This will have the dual effect of providing you immediately with good kit without the prospect of getting pissed-off with it as you increase your skills level in diving and end up wanting to upgrade with all the "I wish I'd bought the......" type arguments. The other benefit of buying good kit up front is that if you ever (God forbid!!) decide to jack, then you'll get better resale value for it when selling it.

Good look and welcome to YD!!

Oh, whilst we're on the subject, might I please ask you to do a brief intro on yourself in the Introductions section? Just a bit about where you live, where you dive and what type of diving you see yourself doing in the immediate and near-term future?

Cheers in advance,
 

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Don't rush in all at once until you're sure you want to persist with UK diving. I'm sure you'll love it but there are those who don't

On the kit front - I'd try and borrow a few different things and test them out before parting with the hard-earned. One man's prefered set-up is another's dog.

On your choices IMO the regs are fine - the suits are ok if you like neoprene and I don't, the BC has a good reputation but I'd get a single-tank wing - the comp is a good choice but you might as well spend a wee bit more and get the vytec - there's no point in buying a console - just get an SPG and buy a wrist mounted compass Suunto SK7 - fins - I love quattros too and undersuit I like the weezle extreme - it's toasty.

I should add that these are just my views and there are plenty of guys here that will disagree or have their own ideas.

Whatever you decide on good luck and we hope to see you on a trip with YD asap.

(Edited by Gavin Yates at 7:41 pm on Jan. 21, 2003)
 

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Hi there Justin and welcome..

My advice.. don't go the same route as so many others including me by buying a BC and then later regretting it... go straight for a BP/Harness and single tank wing.. you'll benefit in so many ways in comfort, balance, trim, and future proofing, later on you'll probably want to go deeper and for longer and you'll most probably want more air and redundancy, a BP/Harness config will allow that growth in your diving needs without a big loss during the transitional period...

I won't bang on about it but if you feel that you want to know more just ask and we'll load you with reasons for and against wings..

I'm sold as are so many others that have moved over to a wing from jacket style BC's

This is just my opinion J but I wish I'd known then what I know now, I would of saved a fortune and a lot of heartache

best regards
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Thanks for the feedback guys, i'm gonna try both neoprene and membrane suits (albeit in the shop) to see which i'm most comfortable with. I was of the understanding the Weezle's were for membrane suits? Is the Extreme designed for crushed neoprene suits?

I'm quietly confident i'll love my diving - one of the lads at our SAC says i'm the only person he knows thats spent 8 weeks in the pool and still grins like a kid when i get the gear on!! ;)

Will spend a bit of time exploring the site (which is great by the way - was recommended to me!) and will do an 'intro'

Thanks again...

Justin.
 

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The extreme is used for membranes - weezle make a compact that a mate of mine uses with his leaky neo suit and still stays warm-ish.
 

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OK i read the list twice and didnt see a pony bottle >:¬(

Regs are good
BCD: is good (But I quit MY good BCD within a year and got a wing)
Dry suit: havent tried enough to comment
Undersuit: go wesel thats what they all tell me
Console
some love them some hate them. I hate them
Horabul dangley things you can never find when you want them
Go for the SK7 cumpos it is V good
Viper V good, Vytec dogs dangleys for under £260
Fins V good BUT carrey spare buckle and strap as they can be fragile.

PS: Single Wing
??? why?

I dive single 12s on my Custom Divers wing no problem then whack twin set and stages on for the deep stuff I have no problems at all with this rig it worked day one, dive one.

Hope this helps

Mark Chase
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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I wish I knew about this site sooner! I'm getting more feedback now than all the shops i've visited previously!

Regarding the "wings" I have absolutley no experience of them - and while i'm sure i'll come across them as i get more advanced, i'll probably go with a BCD to start with as I also visit Ibiza twice a year and will be looking to use my kit there diving too...
 

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PS - Once i've completed the training and have my Ocean Diver qualification the next thing i'll be buying will be a pony - i like the idea of a backup - which was another reason i was going for the Buddy Comando as it has the cylinder bail out system...
 

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Mark

Cos a double wing is designed for doubles, and a single wing is designed for a single.. it means you don't have to go from horizontal to somewhere past vertical to have a hope of dumping air from the bloody great flaps wrapping around a lonely single cylinder.

I know you use a double wing with a single cylinder and can get away with it but I wouldn't recommend it and I'm sure I'd hate to dive a single with my 55... but lets hope this doesn't detract from Justins query post by becoming a debate eh ;)

Justin, a pony bottle is a completely redundant air supply, a separate bottle, a separate first stage and a separate second stage, it's there in case of complete failure of your main cylinder (Or running out of air but you'll never do that now will ya) ;).. A Buddy BC emergency bottle is NOT a redundant air supply, it's a way of getting air into your BC should you need to.. personally I think they are a waste of time if not dangerous cos the bloody thing could send you rocketing skywards but thats a personal dislike, others swear by them.

New divers tend to think that wings are the sole property of techie divers, not true, at least try to use one before you spend your money, as you've already seen in this post many divers migrate to wings eventually anyway, please be careful that you don't buy yourself into a costly corner that can take years to get out of.

You are more than welcome to meet me at Capenwray or somewhere safe and shallow to try on my wing anytime you like.

Best regards
Dave.
 

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Hi,

Just want to chuck a thought in, I am inclined to agree withthe wing principle, although I will probably get slated, A Diverite Transpack II with a back plate might be a good alternative in the begining, and move over to different harness / wing configurations as you gain experiance. I now have a cupboard full of unused dive gear, no need for you to repeat the errors some of us have made.

Andrew
 

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Good advice already given,
I'd add to that both the regulators you mention are good having owned a Scubapro myself. What I would bear in mind is the ease with which you can get these regularly serviced.
It seems you can get an Apeks serviced just about everywhere. There a few less scubapro dealers.

Having had 3 Northern Diver neoprene suits,i'd now go for an Otter from Divers warehouse. Weezle undersuits seem to have a good following at the moment if your going for a neoprene drysuit the compact model seems suited.
 

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Hi Justin
Having read your shopping list and others comments, might I just add a few of my own. Neoprene suit, got one love it and I am trying a Membrane which I hate at present
. The Weezle Extreme suit won't fit under a Neoprene that fits you properly although there is the compact.
TX regs great, the only real difference is the amount of air they supply so try them. I have a TX50 which breathes better for me than my TX100.
Fins, I bought Frogs at 1st as they fitted the Neoprene boot on the suit. However they don't fit that Membrane, I am now using Quattros, and to be honest they are a lot more work, make sure that the fins fit the boot on your suit

The BC great, just sold mine £225, if you buy from some where like SDS in Sheffield they're so cheap you won't loose when you 'upgrade' to a wing.
No to the console, you'll strip it down later in any case to seperate the gauges, the computer will tell you the depth, buy a dive timer instead as a backup, and you won't get a true reading on the compass in a console, go for a Sunnto SK7 or simular.
These are just my opinions based on the mistakes I have made in buying kit.

And YES YES YES and alternate air source (pony or twin) is ESSENTIAL and should be part of your budget.
 

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Thanks guys, will be printing this whole thread and taking it to diving with me tomorrow!! All the equipment mentioned above has been priced via SDS (they'll be closing early on Saturday!?) I know the BC's cylinder isn't an AAS, but it does give me a potential "bail out" system by breathing via the jacket n'est pas? I know your all probably cringing at that but it's a start while i'm doing non-deco stop dives... The pony is definitely on my list though - i intend on doing the instructor courses as soon as i'm up to sports diver... I'm made up i've found a hobby (albeit EXPENSIVE hobby!) that i'm really enjoying and can't get enough of!

Andy - with regard to console then, I have a 200m Casio G-Shock watch with back-light, i guess that will be a suitable dive timer? And that all I should go for on the console then is a cylinder pressure gauge?

Once again, thanks for all the info and opinions!

Justin.
 

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Justin one more thing mate, it seems you've convinced yourself of the buddy BC so might I suggest a couple of things, firstly DO NOT go rushing to SDS just yet, beg steal and borrow, try everything and then try it again... as much as you're gagging to own that shiny new kit straight away I will bet my left bollock that a hasty purchase now will be regretted later on..

Second suggestion, if you really believe that you can bail out by using the emergency bottle on the BC then try it.... really.. try it... get to the bottom of the pool, spit out your reg, stick the inflator in your mouth and try and reach the surface without getting there missile fashion and without a lung full of water (this does not mean holding your breath from the bottom to the top or swimming the rig up, I mean reeeally try it) if you do succeed, which to tell the truth I'd be suprised if you do, but if you do, then be honest with yourself and think about if you could do the same under stressfull conditions whilst surfacing from maybe 5-10 times the depth that you just tried... I stress this issue because it appears that your purchasing decision may be based on false hope... good luck!

Third suggestion... Do Not consider a casio watch as a bottom timer..

The advice of a single SPG (short hose clipped to BC or BP) plus wrist mounted computer or diver timer and wrist mounted compass is good advice although to get you started you may pick up a cheap triple console which will contain all three very cheaply.... just make sure it's clipped away and doesn't dangle and trail in the bottom.

Fourth suggestion. Don't even think about instructing anybody for at least a couple of years or a 100 or more dives.

Best of luck in all of your endeavors J.

Dave
 

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have a look at the backplate and wings setup.  i bought an oceanic probe last february, and sold it in october - bought a DR Trek Wing/Stainless Steel backplate/Harness webbing and stainless steel trinkets / clips for it.

Then, after diving it a couple of times, thought to myself "Why the #### didnt i do this in the first place ??"

Regs - Apeks are good (though a pain in the arse in Australia to get serviced), dont EVER buy Oceanic 1st stages (DX4 DIN shat itself to the point where even Oceanic didnt know what was wrong - 3 months old).  Fins - i went for the diverite monoprene ones cos they were about &#36130AU....each to their own.  Have a crack at split fins though, they are pretty good.

Just bought the Otter Brittanic (as some on here would know), bloody good suit (membrane), excellent price and works a treat.  Have heard a lot about neo drysuits, none of it good but i am not qualified to offer personal opinions on them (other than they are a cast-iron bitch to get out of !).

Beg borrow steal gear, try the BP + Wings setup, try everything then buy.  
 

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I've just bought the scubapro spitzbergen (go dive -Derby...£299) and it's the badgers nadgers...can't comment on the rest of your requirements but there's plenty of guys out there that can...have fun and dive safe
:bravo:
Nige
 

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As a reply and for Dave:

I use the Custom divers wing and back plate. The wing actualy bolts on to the back plate so it cant go wraping its self around the tank. The Back plate has center slots for cam bands and even side slots for indipendent twins. I had a BCD a Seeman Sub Blac Jack and it was great but when I go on holiday I dive a deep in the morning (twin independents) and shalow dive in the afternoon and night (single 12 & Pony) the wing can cope with both but the BCD is a bit underpowered in the lift department for twins.

I realy realy liked my Seeman Sub BCD but my wing is better and more flexable so now the Seeman Sub hangs in the garage unused.

Get the wing and get a travel plate if your worried about weight and overseas trips. Personaly I just take the standard SS one and dont bother with underpants.

Mark Chase
 

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£299 for a compressed neoprene dry suit!? Wow - funny thing is i was staying at my friends house in Derby on Friday night so I could get to SDS early on Saturday. Do you have there number or do they have a web-site? SDS are charging £450 for Spitzergen suit...

OK - Gonna take a deep breath... The problem is i may be too enthusiastic about starting diving...

To finish training I can use the club kit - but - the minimum i need is the dry suit. So I'll try Go Dive and SDS and maybe even Divers Warehouse for both membrane and compressed neo suits on Saturday. I'll hold off the rest of the other equipment till I can try some options.

The problem I have is that no matter how much reading I do, or how many opinions I get - they all tend to be different!! I really appreciate all your feedback though - so i'm definitely gonna hold off for another couple of weeks (hope no-one from SDS is reading this right now!!) ;)

I've taken everything else on board too! I don't expect to be instructing anytime this year! Definitely want the experience first. Redundant air supply is noted. Given the fact how highly the Commando BCD with it's additional cylinder is rated I'm surprised it isn't considered as a viable "bail out" system (marketed as such in the brochure I have)...

Anyway - can't thank you enough for the info - i'm looking forward to joining you on one of your trips in the future and annoying the #### out of you with my queries!! Once I'm up to a suitable experience level that is!!

Thanks again...

Justin.
 
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