I've decided to purchase some equipment. What should I get, and in what order?
We usually break down gear purchases into 2 main categories - your snorkeling gear, and your dive specific equipment. Most people choose to purchase the following:
1. Mask - this is the most important piece of equipment you can own 2. Snorkel 3. Fins (and boots, if you are getting open heel fins) 4. Wetsuit (based upon how cold you get in our pool) 5. Mesh Bag (to hold everything as you go to the dive boat, and keep your equipment together and not strewn across the boat) 6. Dive Computer
Once you own the most critical pieces of equipment, or what we call the Big 6, we recommend the following in this order:
1. If you are a woman, a BCD. Most rental BCD are "unisex", or men's jackets. The comfort you will get from a women's specific BCD will dramatically improve your diving. 1. If you are a man, a regulator. Most men place a higher demand on the function of their regulator, and the fit of a rental BCD will be more natural. 3. Regulator/BCD.
Some people prefer to purchase all of their equipment at the same time, or as a package. We provide our deepest discounts available on packages that include a regulator, BCD and computer, plus apply that same discount to any other items purchased at the same time.
I was thinking about renting fins so I don't have to pack them.
Fins are like ski boots, they all fit differently. If you choose to rent, we recommend bringing neoprene socks with you and keeping some mole skin and duct tape in your save-a-dive kit in case your feet don't get along with the rental fins provided.
Fins nowadays are light weight and very reasonable to pack in a carry-on or checked bag. You'll most likely find yourself snorkeling, so having your own mask, snorkel and fins allows you to go anytime. And the cost of your fins will be equal to just a couple trips renting.
Do I need a dive computer? I'm always going to follow a divemaster.
Part of becoming a diver is taking personal responsibility for our life support. Although it is very common to follow a divemaster during our dives so they can point out critters along the way, it is physically impossible to maintain their exact dive profile. We may dip down to visit a turtle, or ascend a bit quicker than the divemaster. All of these factors affect our decrompression schedule. Dive computers can be rented for as little as $40 for a week. That is a very small price to pay to avoid visiting a recompression chamber on your next island visit!
I'm only going to dive in tropical waters, why do I need a wetsuit?
Just like when Texans come to Colorado and go skiing in jeans and a hoodie, you can go diving without a wetsuit in many places, you just won't be very comfortable.
We lose body heat 20 times faster in water than we do on land. Your personal tolerance for cold will determine both the type and thickness of suit. If you are the type that wears just a shell on the ski mountain, you might be comfortable in a 1.5mm suit. Many of our staff don't even own anything that thin, and enjoy the warmth of a 5mm suit on just about every vacation location. Our pool is a great gauge on your wetsuit recommendation.
And don't discount the value of layering. Just like you may put on a sweater or a scarf, vests, hoods and gloves not only look good, but do wonders when the temps drop a couple degrees.
Can I rent a wetsuit?
Depending on your dive location and operator, you may be able to rent a wetsuit. Just remember, there are two types of divers in the world - those that pee in their wetsuits, and those that lie about it!
Are your prices competitive?
Much like Apple and GoPro, many of our brands pricing is controlled by the manufacturers. We scour the internet to try to find items we carry to compare prices, and our prices are on par. Our goal, though, is to provide you with an incredible value to go along with our Student Discounts and Package Pricing. Everything we sell is hand-picked for our customers to meet your needs, budget and expectations. We don't just fit you into your new gear, we teach you how to prep, adjust, store and use your new equipment. Add in benefits like equipment setup and testing, Lifetime Free pool workouts with purchase of BCD/Regulator and scheduled pool orientation to get you comfortable with your new gear, and you'll see that our service is about more than just the bottom line.
The divemaster on a snorkel trip told me to spit in my mask. Were they kidding?
No! They weren't. Some dive and snorkeling operators don't want to provide mask defog to their customers in order to save money. You probably don't want to spit in your own eye, which is in essence what you're doing by spitting in your mask. Even worse, who else's spit are you putting in your eyes when you dip your mask in the rinse bucket? You can get a bottle of defog for about the same price as a single cup of coffee.
Can I wear contact lenses when I dive?
Yes! Just let your dive instructor know you are wearing contact lenses so they can help assist you during mask flooding skills when you close your eyes. We also have the ability to order prescription dive masks if that suits your style better.
What do I do about my hair?
Buff's, headbands, slap straps and leave-in conditioner will be your friend! Stop in and talk with us for our perfect combination to tame your mane!