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#85
Gear question
Siouxsie - 3/15/2012 4:38 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 13

Hi I am taking a course and learning to dive, anyway the instructor says I should buy fins, mask and snorkel right away and bring it on my upcoming trip.

I want to wait, because my upcoming first trip is half way around the world and involves more than just diving, so I don’t really want to pack/carry more than I will need. I know I can rent that stuff. What do you think?


Basically I think the guy is pushy and I don’t want to buy stuff I don’t need yet either. I’d like to take my time and try it out first by renting.
#47327
Subscribed
Greg - 3/15/2012 4:46 PM
This is exactly the reason why I let students use my gear during training. Dive centers that offer training and sell gear will usually require that you buy mask, fins, snorkel, weights and weight belt before you start your training. They are trying to earn some money. They should allow you to rent this equipment, they may not like it, but ask anyways. If they don’t let you rent it, then ask if you can rent from somewhere else and still take their class. You will eventually want to own your own mask, fins and snorkel. So buying now is not that bad of an idea. Just don’t get forced into making a quick decision or paying too high of price. If they want to keep you around as a customer for the long term, they will work with you. If not, then read this article I wrote on Churn and Burn dive centers.


You’ll find that most of the dive centers on DiveBuddy understand customer needs. They seem to be up-to-date on the modern scuba diver and know how to run a good business. So if you end up looking for a new dive shop, check out the ones listed on DiveBuddy first or ask around for recommendations.



Good luck!



Greg
#1126
Dutch - 3/15/2012 5:20 PM
I always advise new divers to at least own their own mask. A mask has to fit well and you have to be comfortable with it. If it does not fit, most divers are total wrecks, contrary to what they will tell you. You can’t guarantee that a dive resort will have a mask that does fit you. For the rest, renting is a viable option.
#2833
PastorG - 3/15/2012 5:28 PM
I’m with Dutch, if you can find a mask that fits well and you like, I would consider it for a purchase, but the other gear you should be able to borrow for the course and rent on your trip while you’re learning what works best for you. Wouldn’t be bad if they would let you try different masks while in your course so you get some exposure to several and then buy the one that works best for your trip.
#85
Subscribed
Siouxsie - 3/15/2012 5:45 PM
I guess I am most concerned about packing fins, since they take up so much space. I can see the mask fit being critical, ’cuz I ski and snowboard and when I have ill fitting goggles it sux.


Just he recommend I come in before the training to buy gear... which I thought was odd... seems like I would want to try at least the fins in water first before buying.
#3045
Indiana - 3/15/2012 6:06 PM
I would recommend you get yor mask at least and a snorkel. Dive shops will let you try the gear out in a pool first to make sure you like it. If they will not do that dont buy from them. If you can bring your own fins I would but if space is a problem just go with a mask and snorkel. My shop gives you a good dealif you buy all three together. Also check out the shop you will renting stuff from because some places rent junk. So be careful,it can ruin a dive if your gear is junk.DIVE SAFE AND HAVE FUN
#58
MarkGL - 3/16/2012 2:30 AM
From Dutch: I always advise new divers to at least own their own mask. A mask has to fit well and you have to be comfortable with it. If it does not fit, most divers are total wrecks, contrary to what they will tell you. You can’t guarantee that a dive resort will have a mask that does fit you. For the rest, renting is a viable option....
I’d have to agree with that too.

You can use almost any fins or snorkel, but if your mask doesn’t fit well it will either leak, or be really uncomfortable and make your first diving experience one you would want to forget - possibly even turning you off diving.
I don’t know what your dive centres are like where you are, but I have found here in NZ that I once had to travel 3 different shops to find a mask that fitted properly.
#7297
dalehall - 3/16/2012 7:59 AM
Our LDS makes it mandatory that you have mask, fins, snorkle, and weights before you can take the confined class. Whether you rent it, borrow it from another person or purchase it, is up to you, but you need to have them in your possession prior to attending class. But, that being said, I have to agree with everyone else, find a mask that fits and get it.. The snorkle is cheap, so I would suggest just going ahead and getting it also. You can borrow/rent fins if you know someone with them.
#7141
Subscribed
Rich-D-Fish - 3/16/2012 9:53 AM
I couldn’t agree more about the mask. I’m also a big believer in conditioning the lens with toothpaste first and then spit for an unlimited supply of free antifog. (works better than liquid antifog chemicals imho)


But I would actually recommend going for the best fins and comfortable booties you can afford at the beginning. Let’s face it, they are items you will need all the time whether scuba diving or just snorkeling. My wife and I still take only two bags with us on vacation; one for clothes and one for gear. We just pack a little lighter on the clothes side and are happier for it. Last year we went on a tropical vacation and decided to dive with all rental gear. The fins were stiff and full foot snorkel style which gave me blisters and cramps. The mask was ok but fogged like crazy. The wetsuits were shorties which gave almost everyone fire coral burns. And the bdc was a vest style that I hate. I now ALWAYS travel with ALL my gear. I prefer a full wetsuit. My comfy booties fit perfectly with my split fins. My mask fits and never fogs. My back inflate bcd is just more streamlined and comfortable. When we go snorkeling I don’t have to go rent a set or stand in line. When diving you want to be comfortable so you can enjoy the ride :-)



The last issue is which to choose.... As the other posters stated go with best fit on the mask. When shopping I started with the cheapest and moved my way up until I found the perfect fit. Mine cost $25 and my wife’s $85. Oh well. A snorkel is a snorkel. Go cheap. As for fins....the debate rages on. Some like split fins, and others force fins (solid). I get leg cramps will force fins, and therefore love split fins. I started with Apollo Bio Fins and loved them. I’ve since found that I love even more the Scubapro Seawing Nova fins. But there are many good fins out there. Best advice I can add is to get spring straps with any fin. The Nova’s have a Bungee Cord that works great. With spring or bungee you never need to adjust, they won’t break on your on vacation, and they are easy on & off when doing shore dives. My fins are five years old and I use them just about every weekend of the year.



Hope this helps.
#9216
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/16/2012 11:33 AM
Buy the mask before you go, fit is important and try it with a reg or snorkel in your mouth, I can’t tell you how many mask I have in the garage that my kids or I bought that fit in the shop but leaked in use. You want something with a really soft skirt too which will cost you more but after an hour dive the cheap mask will be cutting into your upper lip.

Are you going to Beneath the Sea http://www.beneaththesea.org/openrosters/view_homepage.asp?orgkey=862 next weekend? Lot’s of equipment on display where you can try it before you buy it!

Borrow or rent the fins and snorkel until you know what you want. If you are diving local then you will need open heel fins with 7mil boots, for tropical trips you can go to a 3mil slipper. Closed heel fins are great for the tropics but some sites can be hard on the bare feet coming back to shore.

Same with the snorkel, what kind of diving are you planning. A lot of NE divers because of fishing line on the wrecks carry a folding snorkel in a pocket just in case but they are wet and hard to clear which would not be good in class. If your plans for the future call for snorkeling with whales, whalesharks, mantas etc buy a dry snorkel.
#1126
Dutch - 3/16/2012 6:13 PM
I will get back into this fray with a few extra points for you to consider and to thoroughly confuse the whole issue. I am like that, you see...

I like the soft skirt masks but they don’t like me. For some reason, I can wear almost any mask and there is no real leak. Give me a soft skirt and it leaks in no time. It is not supposed to be like that but with me it is.

I bought a pair of fins that were pretty expensive, in 1974. I still dive with them today with the only change being the spring straps holding them on my feet. Buy good stuff and take care of it and you won’t have to buy it again.

You don’t know it now so this may not help that much but...if you dive from shore, you need booties with a hard sole and therefore you need the fins that will work with them. If you will only be diving from boats AND in warm water, full foot fins are great.

Get the most simple snorkel you can if you have to have a snorkel for class. A tube with no fancy stuff on top and no fancy valve on the bottom. Just a mouthpiece and about a 1 inch tube. Learn to clear it properly from someone who knows what they are talking about (if they know what they are talking about and you show an interest in doing it properly, they WILL be happy to show you this skill!!!) and you will fall in love with snorkeling during your surface intervals.
#2098
John_giu - 3/22/2012 5:21 PM
As with most of the posts my vote is for a mask (that fits). AND a snorkel, do you really want to chew on something that 100 other people used? EEEWWWWWWWWWWW......... Even though most dive operators provide full-foot fins a dive bootie would be a good investment. They can be reasonable in price, and even if not used in a open heel fins they will keep you from sliding all over the dive boat. The are good for walking a rocky beach for snorkeling too. Fins can be pricey and it may take a while for you to settle on what you want.

If you have a reason to get into "The City" check out Leisure Pro with a wide range of products and prices you can find a price point between cost and performance and there is plenty to choose from. I have never been to the Brick and Mortar but I have purchased online.

Here is my favorite shop and local to me http://www.northeastscubasupply.com/store/. They also run a great six-pack charter out of Brielle N.J. if you find yourself ever crazy enough to dive local. They are about a 15 minute ride off the Pa. Turnpike Norristown exit.



GOOD LUCK

Wish I was going with you.
#2098
John_giu - 3/22/2012 5:32 PM
From Siouxsie: I guess I am most concerned about packing fins, since they take up so much space. I can see the mask fit being critical, ’cuz I ski and snowboard and when I have ill fitting goggles it sux. Just he recommend I come in before the training to buy gear... which I thought was odd... seems like I would want to try at least the fins in water first before buying....
Just one pointer on the mask. You likely know this from skiing and snow boarding but the mask doesn’t need to be super tight, just comfortable. A little seepage of water is easily purged, so if it fits well it will be a lot more comfortable for the 40 or so minutes you are diving.
#345
Henrysmile - 7/31/2012 2:22 PM
ok go to e-bay buy dry snorkel just for 19.95 free shiping

the mask go to diferent dive shop and try

if you want torial at leisurepro this is the best for explain to you difrent mask

don’t buy anything if you no sure

but the mask you have to try in person

fins try the split ajustable fin that you fiel lets kick for swiming

if you need more trick please contac me

henrysmile

also wellcome to dive work i hope you take care seas at protec the animal