Im looking at some new gear to buy sometime in the future and was just reviewing what I currently have. It’s nice to look at what I have bought, how much I have spent and to know for such little money and a bit of training I have been able to enjoy the ocean like I have never ever been able to before
I think the most important piece of equipment is to be safe and officially get the SSI or AIDA certifications which I plan to do soon. Only issue right now is im still deciding where to do it as I might have to reside overseas for a while and it may actually be a requirement that I get the training outside of Australia. Currently my business might take me to Indonesia for a few months 2-3 (possibly) so if this is the case I have seen some really good places where I can go for 3-4 day certification training including accommodation in Bali that seems to come highly recommended. In the next few weeks I will know where i’ll be and if its Indonesia im gonna call the guys up in bali
As a result of not yet getting the full training and not yet having fins I kept my depth to something fun and challenging but not going past it (about 15m max) and always wait for scuba guys or other divers to start populating an area before I start diving after my first mishap with the blue bottles some weeks ago. Reason being is, im sure the professional diving instructors can tell the conditions so I just chat with them before hand and follow them into the water.
With that aside I do have some equipment that I use to keep it fun, most of it is pretty crappy except for my new Falco mask which I really like. So currently my kit includes the following:
Aqua Lung Falco mask. I got it a few days ago and going from my previous non free diving mask by TUSA, this mask makes it feel like im not even wearing a mask anymore. Its really comfortable and compresses nicely to the face. Previously the TUSA mask that I had would hurt around the face when I went deeper and after a days diving would leave marks that would last for a few hours. Just to be clear though, there is actually nothing wrong with the TUSA mask that I had previously, the visibility is great, its just not a low volume free diving mask that compresses nicely to the face.
Speedo snorkel . Yeah its a cheapo snorkel that I got when I bought those mask and snorkel kit may years ago. It gets water inside, purging requires me to blow really hard, the tube is really thin and make sit hard to get the air I want but hey, for now it does the job and lets me have fun. Out of all the equipment I have this will be the first to go and im testing out a few snorkels now. I found a few that I like and they can be bought on Amazon but for some reason those sellers overseas do not ship to Australia. The equivalent products can be found on Australia scuba sites and in the stores but are just 2-3 times more expensive in some cases (even including the shipping from overseas scuba sites) so I will hold out and wait a bit longer to see if I can find a better deal here in oz. If not I will just bite the bullet and buy it at the prices quoted here.
Intova camera. It’s the cheapest I could find on the market that had a decent depth resistance of 60M. Again I didn’t want to buy the best equipment without knowing what I was doing and this camera only cost me $160 and up to now its done a decent job. Now that I know more about the equipment I need, I somewhat regret that I just didn’t buy the GoPro for between $240 – $350. It’s ok though as I can use this as a secondary camera or something that I mount to my mask/head where the new camera I buy can be used to take long view 3rd person shots from the top or bottom.
Camera Pole. I saw a few cool videos on youtube of people taking the camera down with them but using a pole instead of just holding the camera. It created really good videos of both the surroundings and the diver and I thought it was a good and easy way to make some good videos. My pole is pretty make shift though, I use a camera bike mount and attached it to an electrical wiring conduit that you see up against the walls. The pole is probably just over a meter long and pretty sturdy. I tested a few materials and found that this particular one floats, so if the camera ever fell out of my hands I know that the camera would float to the top instead of end up on the sea bed. The mounts cost me $6 and the pole cost me $5 so all up its $11 which I am pretty happy with.
Vibrams. These were never intended for diving, I used them for jogging and walking about but I use them for diving because they work well in the water and are pretty sturdy. I mainly use them because in most of the dive sites you have to walk on lots of rocks and coral to get into the water. I know that people do lots of safe dives and end up cutting their feet and legs due to a wave washing them about just as they are about to exit so I thought to keep my feet safe and ensure that I dont get gashes on the soles of my feet wearing the vibrams would be a good idea. Also sometimes I end up doing some sea walking and you never know what is down there so covering up the feet is a good idea for this reason also. Soon however I will need to get some fins, need to do some research and see which are the best for me.
Nylon reebok pants. Yep my nylon reebok pants, im pretty sure they are fakes because I bought them for the equivalent of $5 but they work just fine. They dry up quickly are very thin and very comfortable to wear all day Though when the weather gets colder I will certainly need to replace these with a proper wet suite.
Toothpaste The cheapest and easiest way to keep the mask from fogging up. Works great, when I realised you could use toothpaste it made my diving experience 100 times better because I wasn’t fogging up anymore (probably the most important thing in my kit other then the mask and snorkel )
Over the next few months I think I will be purchasing upgrades as i definitely need them. I will start with snorkels, followed by fins and/or wet suite and probably a new camera. Its coming towards winter here in Australia and the waters might start to get colder so if it does a wet suite might end up becoming the highest priority.