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Old 12-06-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default Newbie starter gear

I have to (and want to) get certified for a field study in the summer. What are your recommendations for mask, snorkel, fins and booties that are good quality but won't break the bank?
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:33 PM   #2
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Just dabbling? ...or is there an intent on going all the way? The answers here might depend on who you ask. I would say it may be best to go to a couple local dive shops and try some on- ask the guys there who use them. Just remember, their "go-to" equipment is probably what "they" sell and receive commission off of. So, hit more than one store. I have used ScubaPro for years- I like the quality and warranty on their equipment. Masks are kinda basic- find a likeable style in your favorite color? They have some nice full face ones out there now, but I'm old fashioned- and they are kinda specialized and expensive. Turbo fins are powerful, but you use more energy and can get leg cramps if not used to them. I have the "split" fins- nice, efficient, and provide power. Some of the newer technical fins are really nice, but more expensive.
While shopping, make sure you buy quality equipment rated for diving.... I don't want you to get a sales-person who may be confused about your intent and set you up with some "cheap" snorkeling gear. Just sayin'.
Anyway- I'm sure the real serious divers here will be chiming in... like sealark and jspooney- to give some real advice. I just got stuck at the desk today and thought I'd put some of my $.02 in here...
Lots of luck- hope you enjoy the new sport!
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #3
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I'll be going all the way through the SCUBA club at UWF. They provide everything except for the above mentioned gear.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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Try not to look at the cost as much as the quality. Buy something that will last for a long time and save yourself some money. I like dive pros and occasionally MBT. The guys at the dive shop in Gulf breeze are great to deal with also. You can always find what you like then shop on line for the same item and size.
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:10 PM   #5
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It's been 20 years or so since I last dove so I'm sure the gear has gotten a lot better. I know you get what you pay for, but I have to watch what I pay for on retired pay!
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:13 PM   #6
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Then, be sure to ask the shop(s) about "used" equipment. You might run across a good deal on slightly used fins and masks.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:30 PM   #7
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Hey zodiac- jspooney was selling some stuff.
Atomic Splitfins $100
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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Mask - go to a dive shop and find one that fits right. Let the fit guide you, not the price. Saving a buck don't mean crap if your mask starts leaking at 100'.

The rest is easier. Check the fit and styles of fins at the shop and find used if you can. I ended up with a Mares closed fin so no booties required. You'll need the snorkel to get cert but I've not used one since. I would't spend a lot on a snorkel unless you'll be snorkeling a lot.

Got my cert about a year and half ago thru MBT. Finally got in a lot more diving this year and love it. Getting the cert is cheap, the aftermath is where it gets expensive. Good luck!
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