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Snorkel/Dive Basic Equipment

Discussion in '☋ Diving and Marine Life ☋' started by Rottweiler, Jul 20, 2010.

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  1. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler DI Junior Member

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    I will be purchasing my basic Snorkel gear before comming to PI and was seeking some basic advice on gear.
    Any comments from experience, belief, and first hand knowledge is greatly appreciated.

    Mask, Snorkel, Fins

    I will start with a few basic questions.

    What are some quality Brands, For example In my searches i'm finding these such brands Cressi, Us Divers, Tusa, Aeris... and others
    Any preference anything i should stay away from.

    Mask Style - 1 lens, 2 lens, Panoramic.
    Are these all preference, or is one considered better than the other.
    Any must haves when it comes to picking a mask?

    Snorkel
    Contoured, Flexible, Dry, Purge, Semi Dry.
    I understand contoured, Flexible, not sure i know what purge and Dry mean.
    any must haves in the area?

    Fins
    Open Heel, Split, Full Boot
    Again any must haves or stay way from this type..
    Can i use same fins for Scuba and Snorkeling?

    Also i will be taking my training before i come on vacation - I notice that Gear Markup is a way that the shops make extra money, i'd prefer purchasing my gear before i go into the training class and pay their marked up prices for the equipment that they sell. The only issue is I might not be able to try the gear out for size... If i order on the internet
     
  2. Rhoody

    Rhoody DI Forum Luminary

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    you want to buy a brand where you can get easily spare parts in the Philippines.

    Cressi, Mares, Scubapro are the most common here.

    Mask:

    if you wear Glasses, 2 lens might be your way to go as you can get optical lenses for most branded masks. if contacts or still good eyes, it does not really matter.

    I prefer black silicon. clear silikon can have some weird reflection in bright sunlight and shallow water and it looks ugly brown pretty fast around the nose (specially if you are a smoker)

    Don't buy a mask with a super fancy mask strap, always causes problems when it breaks as you might have troubles with spare-parts.

    You might want to invest in a neoprene mask-strap-cover. It simply makes the mask float if it slips of your head accidentally. Also nice if you give the mask to somebody with long hair as easier to put on and off.

    Fins:

    Open heal w/ boots is the way to go. can be used for both. additional advantage: Fins just fit better, boots can be used for walking on hot sand. some entries are rocky or have sharp objects hidden in the sand, so you have protection compared to barefoot.

    Straps for fins, same as mask-straps, just nothing fancy.

    Snorkel:

    Purge Snorkel have an extra valve and make it easier to clear the water out.
    Dry and semidry have funny looking covers on top which increase the breathing effort a bit but keep the tube dry... well at least that's what they try to make believe.

    Mine cost 5$ and is just a simple tube like in old times. I can make a knot in it and put it in my pocket, just goes out when really needed.

    Advice:

    Buy only where you can test the gear (extremely important for mask) If the shop does not let you swim around with different models for an hour , go somewhere else.

    Masks are in the PI usually cheaper than in the US, example Cressi Matrix just over 50US$, so you might also go to a diveshop in the PI and try different stuff before you buy it.

    Courses:

    There are options where you can make the theory back home and the water work here. Many of my students do that. Some also finish theory and pool work back home and do the open water dives here, where there is something to see.

    hope it helps a bit

    cheers

    Rhoody
     
  3. Knowdafish

    Knowdafish DI Forum Luminary

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    Scuba.com Diving Portal - Scuba Gear, Scuba Diving Equipment & Snorkeling Equipment

    Listen to people, read the online reviews, figure out what you want, then get it online. Buy enough and shipping is usually free (in the U.S.).

    I have larger than normal sized feet (13E) and buying online was my only choice after going to too many dive shops, sporting goods stores etc. in So CA only to find out they didn't carry my size.
     
  4. OP
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    Rottweiler

    Rottweiler DI Junior Member

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    @Rhoody - thank you very much for taking the time to give such great feedback and your personal experience and suggestions. Even though i don't know you personally there are enough people that vouch for you here on these forums that I feel that i'm not talking to a random Joe on the street.

    @knowdafish - I agree i would rather purchase online, because i can save alot over the local dive shops in Phoenix.. yes.. we don't have an ocean but there are a few dive shops. LOL ... The concern obviously is making sure the mask fits correctly. If i buy online i will make sure I understand their return policies.
     
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    Rottweiler

    Rottweiler DI Junior Member

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    Been a while since my last post but getting closer to my Trip to Visayans.

    Certification is almost completed. I completed my classroom and confined Dives. Next Weekend we go for our open water dives.

    I'm starting to narrow down the travel plans.

    Roughly the Vacation will start in Bacolod and Pontevedra to visit wifes family.
    Next we will leave for Sipalay for a few days - probably 3.

    Then i plan to travel to Dauin most likely to Mikes Dive Resort were will will stay at least 3-4 days.

    After that we will make a decision based on how much time we have left.
    We can either go to Bohol or some other near destination or remain in Dauin or Return to Sipalay or even maybe back to Manila and explore from there.

    One thing i'm trying to understand is how Dives work.

    I'm a complete newb to diving - so i'm not sure - do you go out for one dive or does the boat go out for a multi dive trip.

    And being that i'm diving alone,(wife does not dive). Will I have luck in finding divers to dive with, that will not feel burdened by the newb diver.

    Thanks for any further advice on my begginer dive trip and also any advise on my travel plans is greatly appreciated.

    who know maybe i can meet up for a beer with some board members while in Dauin.

    thanks Kevin
     
  6. PatO

    PatO DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Marines

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    Rottweiler, you may want to consider a wet suit. Rhoody will know if Mike's has some for rent.
     
  7. SurfinUSA

    SurfinUSA DI Senior Member

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    I wear glasses for reading. 15yrs ago when I was buying my first scuba equipment, my shop told me of a local optometrist who'd do something to my mask so I could have clear close-up vision underwater..

    When I got it back, it looked like he'd taken the lenses out of some cheap reading glasses and super glued them to the lower inside of my mask lens with a bead of glue all the way around the edge of the lens.

    It worked fine, but I figured I could have done that myself for a lot less money..

    I know a guy in Dgte that has everything for scuba diving for rent. He even offered to let me use his toy truck if I'd out gas in it.:eek:

    He used to be involved with a dive shop at Sta Monica
     
  8. Diver

    Diver DI Forum Adept

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    Hello Pat O

    In my simpel opinion is that you need no wetsuite for snorkeling in the Philippines.
    First the water is not cold at the surface and second you cannot make a dive to see the fisch and corrals underwater, because you are like a cork, and if you like to dive you need a weightbelt of about 2 kg

    Greetings J.diver
     
  9. SurfinUSA

    SurfinUSA DI Senior Member

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    A dive skin is always nice to keep the sun off your skin, and offer a little protection other minor hazards. Which reminds me I have to order a couple before I come back!

    You're right of course about the cork effect. I went snorkeling with my 3mm wetsuit on in fresh water once, and could not get very far below the surface no matter how hard I kicked my fins!
     
  10. Rhoody

    Rhoody DI Forum Luminary

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    If it is the same guy I think, hands off, unserviced and out of date stuff...
    I actually know 2 guys involved with Sta Monica and hands off for both...

    Anyway Rotti, don't get nervous. If you do a good course you will know the basics and there ain't be any problem in a professional dive-center.

    If you feel a bit unsure, you gonna talk to your dive-shop manager very open and again a Pro will sort you out.

    If you did not do any diving between your course and Sipalay you might consider to spend US$ 50 for a scuba review. That is normally a one-on-one dive where you go at the beginning through some important skills.

    I saw many times inexperienced or "rusty" divers struggling 3 dives to get the skills back, therefore spending around 90$ on 3 for them not that enjoyable dives instead of 50$ wisely spend on a 1-on-1 dive to refresh all.

    I recommend at least a 3mm-wetsuit (65$ here, great quality) or dive-skin (like S-USA said) for protection from micro-organisms in the water, sun and Jellyfish (not our member, he does not sting at present) at the surface. They are cheap and don't take space in your luggage. Get your own, you never know who had the rental suit before and there are only 2 kinds of divers... the ones who p*ss in their suit and the ones which are lying...

    Diving in Negros:

    Principally are all coastal dives from a resort 1-tank trips, occasionally 2-tank (2 dives) many resorts offer shore-diving.

    Island trips are generally full day trips (08:00ish to 16:00ish) with 3 dives.

    some resorts make check-dives with new divers first and/or keep their first dives with new customers very simple.
    80% of the dive-sites here are beginner friendly so don't worry , you will be doing fine :smile:

    just shoot any question you like

    cheers
    Rhoody
     
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