So, when Zoe first told me a new job of mine was to write a blog I hadn’t got a clue where to start, having not written one of these before. As most who know me will recall, I like talking about dive gear (relentlessly at times, I admit) and this topic would suit me for my first blogging venture. Plus it kind of follows on from last week’s topic. At least it might keep those wolves (bosses) at bay for another week or two!
As I am sure you are aware there is a whole host of choices when it comes to dive equipment. What do you buy to begin with? How do you want to wear it? What are the colour choices? How do you dress it up with bits, clips and accessories?
When I, and I suspect most, start out on their PADI Open Water Course we don’t have much of a clue of why one BCD is preferred over another; how a regulator can become such a personal item and of course how to deal with the nightmare that is a leaking mask!
I always recommend to my PADI Open Water students that the first piece of equipment they should consider buying is a mask. No one actually likes mask clearing skills, let alone having to do it for an hour on a fun dive. Finding one that fits perfectly is like coming across a bar of gold….you will never want to let it go.
As for other equipment, well that is all going to depend on how much you wish to spend, where you see the perceived quality and importance. Also the ‘style’ of diving you wish to undertake, will vary your decision making massively. If you have done the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy class with me then you will know at some point I will have thrown you in a back plate and wing set up.
You may have also seen me with a long hose wrapped around my body. And of course the famous “What is that on your belt?” dive light (the same one responsible for my turtle attack!). I prefer a more technical set up – it makes me feel more comfortable and I see the benefits out weighing the disadvantages.
The truth is this: no single equipment set up is right for everyone. As with everyone who is a diver knows, diving is a very personal thing. PADI Divers who will consider going onto PADI Deep, or PADI Wreck Diver courses may want to use different gear to those who prefer to stay in the shallows snapping away with a camera.
We here at Liquid like our PADI Divemasters Trainees to accumulate their own sets of diving equipment and of course we help however we can. It shows a certain level of commitment and professionalism, to us, our customers and of course your future employers!
As for what I use, well the list is frankly too long but I can tell you I will never get tired of looking at new bolt snaps, regulators, dive reels, and of course I will dream of that re-breather for a year or two more (and maybe a new dive computer too). Perhaps you wish to be a Sidemount Diver….who knows! The possibilities are almost endless!
Before any of you rush out and buy anything new, speak to your PADI Dive Resort or your PADI Instructors and Divemasters. Do plenty of research and find out what it is you really want out of your diving. Then get the equipment specific to your needs. And remember, price doesn’t always reflect the quality!