Because of security and hygienic reasons you might want to buy your own equipment. Well, scuba diving is not really a cheap sport but the good message is – once you bought your equipment the “running cost” are overseeable. You will have a lot of fun for a long time because of the usually high quality of the tools.
These are the parts which you might want to buy from the very beginning of your course. You will always need them and the hygienic thing applies especially for that parts which are: mask, fins, snorkel:
- mask: Extremely important because everything you can experience underwater you will do it by using your mask. A bad mask will spoil a whole dive. The important things are: it should fit, it should be comfortable and prefarably the inner air volume shoulkd be as small as possible. We like stylish black ones with a very soft silicon.
- snorkel: not a real priority but if you dive in open waters / the sea you might want to use one
- fins: we are using fins of medium hardness.
- suite – we recommend the allround suite for beginners: a 7 mm semi dry neoprene with neoprene boots, ice west and neoprene gloves. The Advantage of this combination is that you can use it in almost every Location and temperatures above 14 ºC. From warm seas with 27 ºC to local lakes where you will find a temperature of sometimes below 10 ºC this combination can be used. If you’re doing more than 50 divers per year in fresh and cold water you might want to think about buying a dry suite. This kind of suites will keep you warm also in waters below 4 ºC. Therefore it is a real value in terms of comfort and security but you need a special training to use it.
- regulators – as experience cold water divers we are diving with two completely separated regulators. This means that attached to the bottle which as two valves we are using two 1st stages and two second stages. This redundancy is for security reasons so that you can switch them once one of them will make trouble. If you only dive in tropical warm waters the use of just one 1st stage and two 2nd stages might be enough. In the past I thought that there are no real differences in the performance but in the price of a Regulator. After I tested some models I know now that there is! It is also recommended to use (also during your first training exercises) so called “long hose configurations”
- BCD (buoyancy control device) – we are using different BCDs – a standard one which is called ProQD i3 from Aqualung and a technical diving jacket, a wing jacket – X-Tek Comfort from Scubapro. Both types of jackets have pros and cons. While the first one is quite comfortable and light, the value of the second one is that it is very good configurable and can be used in a configuration where you are using two bottles or even more.
- dive computer – there are various models available at different price levels. We are using quite simple models which fulfill the basic requirements. Just a so called “air integrated model” would be nice so that you can control the pressure of your botts with your computer and not only by looking at your finimeter.
- dry suite – there are also different types of dry suites. As we are often diving at temperatures below 4 ºC we are using a membrane dry suite with a very special insulating undersuite. So we can stay for hours without getting cold.
- Other useful things: compass, diving knife, buoy, alpha-flag, underwater flashlight, backup torch, reef hook
- bottles – beginning with ~60 dives per year in waters where can drive to (not flying) I would say it would make sense to think about own bottles. Keep in mind that you have to brinmg this bottles to a technical check every second year. We are using a 12l, a 15 l, both with 200 bar and a Y valve and a 300 bar, 2 x 8l device. I think that in future you will see more and more 300bar bottles.
- torches – extremely important especially if you are diving in fresh water (and for video production). As you are loosing more and more daylight the deeper you are and because of the often worse visibility in fresh water a good torch including a backup for it is essential. Because we are filming we need a lot of light and so we are using special video torches (2 x 175 Watt LEDs; 9000 Lumen). In full operation mode the rechargeable battery provides almost 300 minutes of light.
It is a super full frame HD camera which means that it provides an excellent low light picture.
Because of the special physical (and optical) characteristics of water everything appears 1/3 bigger and 1/4 nearer than it is in reality. To compensate that and filming whole scenes a lens with a low focal length is recommended. In the past we had to use a fisheye lens but with this cam we have a 10-18 mm lenbs and a dome port which provides a better picture quality.
Workstation / IT Equipment
You are always doing good when you try to get a good cutting software and installing this on high performance PC (better a multi core graphical workstation).
You have a lot of options: beginning with a multimedia PC for ~1000 € and an entry level cutting software for ~ 100 € up to a high end graphic workstation for ~ 10.000 € and an professional post production software suite also for 3-6 K€ – all depending on your objectives.
Because of our main business we are somehow well equipped when looking to post production computer. We self build our workstation with two 3,3 GHz, 8 Core processors (CPUs) – Dual XEON workstation with 64 GB RAM (memory), everything is water cooled, RAID System with 8 TB space for the media Library, OS is on SSDs. We are absolutely aware that in times of smartphone and tablets this is a little against common trends but the build was really fun and the Performance is impressive. We are calling this box our Personal Data Center (PDC).