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Old 05-02-2008, 03:37 PM
 
14 posts, read 32,023 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm looking to get certified here, and was wondering if there are any divers out there with any recommendations. I visited the Paradise Islands dive shop earlier today. The $400 dollars for 36-40 hours of classroom/pool training seems fair, especially with the 100' certification, but he also wants me to spend like $750 on mask, snorkel, fins, gloves, boots, mouth piece, and gear bag. That seems like a really high price...

What do you guys know about the local dive shops around?
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida
219 posts, read 517,438 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeh4z View Post
I'm looking to get certified here, and was wondering if there are any divers out there with any recommendations. I visited the Paradise Islands dive shop earlier today. The $400 dollars for 36-40 hours of classroom/pool training seems fair, especially with the 100' certification, but he also wants me to spend like $750 on mask, snorkel, fins, gloves, boots, mouth piece, and gear bag. That seems like a really high price...

What do you guys know about the local dive shops around?

I cant aid you on good diving in the area...YET. But I promise that once I get into the area I will dive all possible locations so I will follow this thread with a close eye.

And when you are cert. and want to dive keep my name in mind...I'm always up for it!

As far as the mask, snorkel, fin, etc. goes.....

A decent pair of fins (I recommend split fins...really decrease your workload) can run you anywhere from 100-300 bucks. Mares has a great set for around 160.

Your Mask is important...don't cheat yourself on comfort and visibility (hell, that is what it's all about!). But you can look to spend around $60 on a good mid-grade mask that will suit your needs.

Snorkels are not just hollow tubes. Make sure you get one with a anti-water reflux valve. They are sometimes called dry snorkels. Should cost you round 30-40 for a middle of the road snorkel, depending on brand.

Gloves are going to depend on alot. Here in Florida I never wear them because the water is seldom cold enough to warrant it...unless your in the keys doing some lobster fishing on in some deep water springs. If I were you I would get a set of gloves that are about the mm as your wetsuit. Again...depends on the kind of water you are diving in. Your looking at 20 bucks and up.

Boots...kinda the same as gloves...think I spent around 40 on mine.

Gear bag...hmmm....well...you could spend alot on this and get all the fancy stuff but honestly...I spent about 60 on a mesh gear bag that is covered with the white/red dive flag. Looks great and didn't break the bank.

Mouthpiece...are you talking about regulators???? Because that is a WHOLE thread in itself!!! You can go cheap or spend a few grand. I would gladly get into this discussion with you if you are in the market for a regulator. If the instructor is talking about a mouthpiece that fits over the "rented" regulator for your classes I have no idea what they may cost but it shouldn't be much more than 20 bucks....its a piece of soft rubber for goodness sake!

So lets say you went middle of the road as far as these equipment items went...I would say you should be able to get the set-up for no more than 300-400. Try diversdirect.com . They ship...I have bought a ton of gear from them and the prices are fair! If diving is something you think you are really going to get into, I highly recommend getting all your own gear. BCD, reg, tank...along with the other stuff I just bored you with talking about.

Anymore questions let me know! Hope this helps.

And before you think this guy is cheating you look at the brand and model of gear he is selling you. It could be good stuff. I have spent 500 on just a set of fins before. But compare what he is selling you with the online stores...make sure he is not just taking advantage of your "newbie" status to the sport!

Happy Diving!
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:29 PM
 
14 posts, read 32,023 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the advice. And yes, I am talking about a mouthpiece, not a regulator. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it, it's pretty negligible. I didn't see what stuff he was selling, the only price tag I saw was $100 for the mask. I'm totally new to this, so I have no idea what brands are good. I'm not sure if this is something I'm going to really get into, so I'd rather not make a huge financial commitment. But I'm really committed to giving it a serious shot to see if it is something I could devote a lot of resources too. Thanks for the pricing estimates, I'll keep those in mind. I don't want crappy gear, but I'm not trying to buy top of the line stuff either before I'm sure I'd really get my money's worth out of it.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:18 AM
 
8 posts, read 19,767 times
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Most shops will let you rent stuff for like 10-20 bucks a day. If you aren't sure you want to get into it, that's definitely the best way to go while you try it out.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Mallard Creek
78 posts, read 209,826 times
Reputation: 13
There is a place on HWY 29 North. Just past Verizon Ampitheater and before the Speedway. It is on the right side/north. I'm not sure all that they do/sell. Thought it might help.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,513 times
Reputation: 10
Hi jeh4z... I'm about where you're at... I looked into Paradise Islands too. When do you think you will be signing for a class?
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:59 PM
 
70 posts, read 242,413 times
Reputation: 36
I just relocated here and visited Lake Norman Scuba on Tuesday to look into having my 10 year old son certified. I had a good feeling when I left there and am signing him up to do his certification over the summer. They do 1 week summer camps for kids for $400 and all they need is a swimsuit. Not sure about adults, but give them a call to see what they offer.

I relocate every few years and have to find new dive shops. I think that I have been very fortunate in that I have always found top notch service from certain dealers. When I got into the sport long ago, I decided that since I was buying life support equipment, I only wanted the best. This is very subjective in some respects, but if you look towards the top of the charts, Aqualung products are almost always there. As far as I know, you still can't buy their products over the Internet, which when you think about it, really has some merit. When I relocate and I need to learn something about the area and/or need equipment/service, the first thing that I do is look for authorized dealers in the area that service Aqualung products. I will say that I do have an interest in using Aqualung and that is because if you buy their products, your yearly service that you have done to your equipment is free parts.

I'm not trying to stir the pot about manufacturers of equipment (and yes I have bought from divers direct and do recommmend them as well), just trying to relay my thoughts and experiences.

Welcome to the sport and you should realize that a PADI certification does not stand for professional association of dive instructors--it really stands for put another dollar in!
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