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Getting certified

Old 12-29-2019, 09:38 AM
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Default Getting certified

Iíve talked about it for years but going through numerous boat rebuilds I havenít taken the time to actually get certified. Well my wife got us the class to get certified and with enriched air as well.

I have to say I havenít been this excited about a gift and new adventure in a long time.

We plan to lobster and spearfish but will take it slow since we are newbies.

Any advice on equipment and doís and doníts? Iím a big believer is buying quality gear the first time so any advice on equipment?

Thanks!

Nick
Old 12-29-2019, 07:04 PM
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Awesome. Who you doing the classes with?

Regarding gear, read this. Scuba Gear Basics

Not much has changed gear wise since I wrote that, with the possible exception being on the computer front. Most are going away from expensive proprietary cables and going to Bluetooth instead. Also the algorithms behind the computers have at least been tweaked to some extent.

Here is some reading material I found a while back. It’s a bit older, but again, mostly still relevant. The one exception is that RGBM is for the most part dead. RGBM2, Fused RGBM, and Tec RGBM are the replacements. A sense of algorithm As you can see, for the most part, the different algorithms more or less agree with each other, but in certain circumstances, DSAT and RGBM with extra conservatism can really go extreme on the conservatism. However, in the gulf, you’ll have to go pretty far to get to the depths where this will be an issue.

Of most importance on the gear front is being able to get it serviced. In the Tampa Bay Area, that’s not really too much of a concern as there are plenty of dive shops around for just about any brand of gear.
Old 12-30-2019, 04:21 AM
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Ping grey2112 here on THT...he is your neighbor just down the road and dives this area A LOT!

He has helped me a lot in getting ready to get back at this....we have yet to hook up diving.

Yeah, they tend to run deep a bit, but there is so much good bottom out here in 30-40' that you should not feel overwhelmed making a drop.

I am right there with you, and had opportunities all last year to get back in the water...and did not make it. I was certified back in '69 while in the Navy in Hawaii.....and have to say I was spoiled after coming home and diving the Gulf. Only the Keys seems to have as clear water as Hi...
Old 12-30-2019, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Awesome. Who you doing the classes with?

Regarding gear, read this. Scuba Gear Basics

Not much has changed gear wise since I wrote that, with the possible exception being on the computer front. Most are going away from expensive proprietary cables and going to Bluetooth instead. Also the algorithms behind the computers have at least been tweaked to some extent.

Here is some reading material I found a while back. Itís a bit older, but again, mostly still relevant. The one exception is that RGBM is for the most part dead. RGBM2, Fused RGBM, and Tec RGBM are the replacements. A sense of algorithm As you can see, for the most part, the different algorithms more or less agree with each other, but in certain circumstances, DSAT and RGBM with extra conservatism can really go extreme on the conservatism. However, in the gulf, youíll have to go pretty far to get to the depths where this will be an issue.

Of most importance on the gear front is being able to get it serviced. In the Tampa Bay Area, thatís not really too much of a concern as there are plenty of dive shops around for just about any brand of gear.
Thank you! I read through your post. Greatly appreciated!
Old 12-30-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by triumphrick View Post
Ping grey2112 here on THT...he is your neighbor just down the road and dives this area A LOT!

He has helped me a lot in getting ready to get back at this....we have yet to hook up diving.

Yeah, they tend to run deep a bit, but there is so much good bottom out here in 30-40' that you should not feel overwhelmed making a drop.

I am right there with you, and had opportunities all last year to get back in the water...and did not make it. I was certified back in '69 while in the Navy in Hawaii.....and have to say I was spoiled after coming home and diving the Gulf. Only the Keys seems to have as clear water as Hi...
Thanks for the reply. Wow, HI I’d say that would spoil anyone. I will definitely shoot him a PM. Nice to hear there is good bottom in that 30-40’ range. Can’t wait to shoot some fish. I’d think we’d start off with lion fish, grouper, snapper and hogs and get some dives under our belt. I’m actually pretty excited about a pole spear and some lion fish. They seem to be easier to target based off the videos I’ve watched.
Old 12-30-2019, 09:36 AM
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i am a big fan of zeagle dive gear! their BC's work really well for lobstering and spearing!
Old 12-30-2019, 09:46 AM
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Good deal. Since my wife got certified a couple of years ago we haven continually tried to get back at it. I got certified at UT back in the day, even got 2 hours of college credit! In 2019 we got past some time sucks and just bought a better boat for diving. Here's hoping 2020 is it.

As for gear, My most recent is Zeagle, BC (Zues) and reg. My wife had a hard time finding just the right fit for a BC, best advice is to try on a bunch of them. We stopped at the big shops in the Keys and went through all of them. She ended up with a Zeagle Zena, has a corset for a real good fit. She also went Zeagle for reg.
Old 12-30-2019, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 76 Mako 23 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Wow, HI Iíd say that would spoil anyone. I will definitely shoot him a PM. Nice to hear there is good bottom in that 30-40í range. Canít wait to shoot some fish. Iíd think weíd start off with lion fish, grouper, snapper and hogs and get some dives under our belt. Iím actually pretty excited about a pole spear and some lion fish. They seem to be easier to target based off the videos Iíve watched.

As a past instructor and still active spear fisherman, I would suggest that you leave the spearing gear on the boat until you get some dives under your belt and have your buoyancy dialed in. Plus you have to have the basic dive stuff down and second nature so you can go through the thought processes of shooting fish. Although spearing seems relatively easy, it's extra things you have to worry about......getting in the water with a gun or pole spear (or having someone on the boat hand it to you once you're in the water) plus the stringer or catch bag. Nothing worse than getting down and shooting a fish only to realize you left your stringer on the boat. People also tend to run out of air when spear fishing as they get wrapped up in looking for fish and forget to look at their gauges. If using a gun, you have to load it and shoot a fish, then you have to get it off the spear and string it up. Nothing really complicated about it, but if you are still fighting buoyancy, it makes it rough. I have seen more than one person loose a gun because they set it down while stringing up a fish (or it floated away if not negative buoyant) and then swam off only to remember a couple minutes later they didn't have their gun and then not be able to find it. It takes time and repetition. Don't set your spearfishing expectations too high....hog fish and lion fish (but not in 30-40' range) are about all you'll shoot in the beginning. Gags take time to learn and even well seasoned people often come home with no gags....there is definitely a skill set involved with them, especially the larger ones, they don't get 30"+ by being stupid. Everyone thinks mangrove snapper are easy, but probably one of the hardest fish to shoot as they are constantly darting around and more than often, you will miss or hit them in the back half of their body when you aimed for the head.

Old 12-30-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
i am a big fan of zeagle dive gear! their BC's work really well for lobstering and spearing!
Same here. Most of my current expensive gear is Zeagle. I have a Stiletto BC, and Flathead 7 regulator. My oldest daughter has a Lazer BC and DS-V (Zeagle version) regulator. My youngest daughter has a Zena BC, but no regulator just yet. Guess what brand reg sheíll most likely get.

Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
As a past instructor and still active spear fisherman, I would suggest that you leave the spearing gear on the boat until you get some dives under your belt and have your buoyancy dialed in. Plus you have to have the basic dive stuff down and second nature so you can go through the thought processes of shooting fish. Although spearing seems relatively easy, it's extra things you have to worry about......
I agree with this 100%. There is a lot to learn and remember as a new diver. You want to have everything dialed in to where it is second nature. Then, you can think about adding in other tasks, such as photography or spearfishing.
Old 12-30-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Same here. Most of my current expensive gear is Zeagle. I have a Stiletto BC, and Flathead 7 regulator. My oldest daughter has a Lazer BC and DS-V (Zeagle version) regulator. My youngest daughter has a Zena BC, but no regulator just yet. Guess what brand reg sheíll most likely get.

I agree with this 100%. There is a lot to learn and remember as a new diver. You want to have everything dialed in to where it is second nature. Then, you can think about adding in other tasks, such as photography or spearfishing.
Understood and thank you!
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 76 Mako 23 View Post
Understood and thank you!

The Scuba Club over here sells all of their rental gear at years end.
All Scuba Pro.
50% off retail.
Old 12-31-2019, 08:05 PM
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Something else to consider. When you do decide to buy your gear, find out what your local shop can repair under warranty. Not all shops service all gear. You dont want to end up driving across the state for a repair or annual service. Buy at your local shop. Theres a few places online that may seem like a good deal, until you find out there not authorized retailers and there is no warranty.
Old 01-02-2020, 12:51 PM
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Been away from it for a bit but my mares mr22 abyss was a great performer, easy to rebuild and was not in the stratosphere on pricing. For rec bc’s I preferred the most streamlined and simple design in a laminate bladder. Easy to rinse, low profile and little drag, easy to rinse and dried quickly. My technical be was a set of wings by diverite with a stainless backplate. Also a simple design with d rings added.

you can go crazy spending $$$$.
Old 01-02-2020, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Been away from it for a bit but my mares mr22 abyss was a great performer, easy to rebuild and was not in the stratosphere on pricing. For rec bcís I preferred the most streamlined and simple design in a laminate bladder. Easy to rinse, low profile and little drag, easy to rinse and dried quickly. My technical be was a set of wings by diverite with a stainless backplate. Also a simple design with d rings added.
Easy to rinse is a huge bonus. Haven't seen a BC that's easier to rinse than the Zeagles (and now Atomics). I simply unscrew the inflator, and hook the corrugated hose to the garden hose, and turn it on. I let it run and cycle all the dumps a few times. If diving in salt, I'll run some Salt Away through it at first, and follow up with BC Conditioner every few uses. You can get the Zeagle threaded corrugated hose to fit most other brands, IIRC. Plus, I dive with a Zeagle Octo-Z (Similar to AIR2), and this reg gets unscrewed and stored with the 1st stage and primary. Regs are also environmentally sealed, so also easy to clean. Don't really need to worry about salt crystals fouling up the moving parts as they are all isolated from the water.

Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
you can go crazy spending $$$$.
That you can. This is certainly not an inexpensive hobby, but some of the "top of the line" gear doesn't really justify the price. There are a few regulators out there that can run $2K. They don't really work any better than others, but are usually Titanium. Light weight and corrosion resistant is the claim. I dive steel 130s, so, the weight savings doesn't seem to be much of a benefit. The regs themselves aren't that heavy comparatively. My oldest daughter's DS-V is going on 17 years old. Gets serviced every year, still under lifetime warranty. It's brass and corrosion doesn't seem to be much of an issue, or my shop would have let me know.
Old 01-02-2020, 09:51 PM
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I buy new regs every two years or so and either ebay or give them away. The cost of rebuilds and my distrust of dive shop " technicians " mean it's mostly a wash. I buy the lower priced but high performing regs based on lab tests. The worst of most new regs will outbreathe just about anything more than a few years old. My Tabata will outbreathe just about any reg on the market and for only a couple hundred bucks at leisure pro, no surprise as Tabata makes many other manufacturers regs. Buying a higher performance reg is much more important spearfishing as you are more likely to be breathing much heavier. No BC will ever be as streamlined as a backplate and wing or as versatile. Currently have a Dive rite SS backplate and HOG bladder. I have absolutely no brand loyalty as none of them have shown any tendency to consistently make quality gear.
Even more important than gear selection is to avoid like the plague diving with coneheads, they are more dangerous than any marine life or gear.
Old 01-03-2020, 08:17 AM
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I dive an 'inexpensive' HOG/EDGE reg set up and it has been good for the last 7 years or so. Flex hose, swivels and the 2nd stage and is adjustable. I may rebuild one more time then replace, some good deals online with regulator sets.

I too think the more streamlined the better for a BCD. My bc is a little big on me and I wish it fit a little better. I like the BCD in this package witth the soft plate. Or someething like the zeagle scout.

Question on the backplate BCD divers, do you add weight to the backplate? Or wear a weight belt?


Old 01-04-2020, 06:09 AM
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With a SS BP, a steel 120 and a 3 to 5 mil wetsuit I wear 2 to 4 pounds in a pocket on my waist.The pockets are about $20 and slide onto my waistbelt, held in place by a d-ring.With an AL80 I use 4 to 6 pounds.The BP is 22 yrs old and I am on my second single tank wing,has 7000 to 8000 dives on it. I replace the harness about every 5 years.I have less than $700 in it in all that time. I used to dive BCs and the extra drag was noticeable.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:30 PM
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On a scuba regulator diving recreational depths, The 2nd stage determines the ease of breathing, so spend up for a better 2nd stage. The first stage determines the amount of air that can depart the tank through the hose, and all new name brand 1st stages can only be told apart on a test bench. Cheap is more than adequate until you get stupid deep in the water column. Simplicity and dependability go hand in hand.
Old 01-15-2020, 02:34 PM
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Thanks guys!
Old 01-15-2020, 02:36 PM
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GUE Rec 1 is by far the best open water class on the market today. My wife took it and it was night and day better than the course taught by my instructor (NAUI/PADI/SSI certs, and you picked which you wanted).

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