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  • Scuba gear.

    Hey everyone, my brother and I were recently certified in scuba diving, we are now doing the advanced class the next 3 tuesdays. I was wondering if anyone out there who is an experienced diver could tell me what gear they use and/or suggest, my brother wants to become a special operations combat diver and I to might be interested in that later in my army career. We have atomic masks,fins and snorkels. And we are currently trying to decide between the bare voodoo or the zeagle ranger bcd. The ranger is my current choice but my instructor says the new ranger is not as well made as it once was but he is also a rep for bare. Im posting on this forum because as military personnel I trust all of you much more than any civilian. And also because we arent just doing this for fun but to get used to what we would use in a scuba detachment. Also any suggestions on regulators,gauges, etc is much appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Scuba gear.

    The gear you'll want to purchase depends heavily on what, exactly, you'll be using it for. Are you going to dive deep? Go on vacations and travel with your own equipment? Dive in cold or warm water? Etc. All of this plays a part in what reg and gauge/computer you'll want. Your local dive shops are excellent sources of information as I guarantee you they're all divers.

    Don't focus so much on brand names as you do on features and specifications.

    Congrats on your cert, have fun, and log some dives. It's a blast!


    • #3
      Re: Scuba gear.

      Thank you MPThink, I will definately do that. I live in FL so most of the time it will be pretty warm at the ocean(80) but we also have some amazing springs too and they are really cold (72-74). The deepest spring we know of by us is 95 feet at one point. And the ocean is around 80-110 we actually cant go deeper than 70 with just our basic cert but after our advanced class we can go up to 110 feet. 95% of the time we wont have to travel at all really, hour drive at most. I really like the ranger and have seen great reviews from alot of people but our instructor said the past couple generations have been made in china and not well made, just not really sure who to believe. And yes its the coolest thing ive ever done. Thanks again


      • #4
        Re: Scuba gear.

        Scuba Equipment for recreational diving is best sought after by fit and comfort of use as opposed to brand name (of course technical diving requires more specialized gear and training). Atomic is a great manufacturer of dive equipment, but there are a lot of options and choices available to you. The old version of the Zeagle Ranger was great, but there was an issue as they were using an actual Ranger tab on the gear, and that was made to change (by an obvious group). Important to note is that the Zeagle Ranger is a rear lift BCD, while there are other types that are bottom lift, and combination - which is better for you, well that is subjective, so try different versions in a pool, or via rental and see which type is best for you.

        Recreational diving and military diving are two different animals altogether. First and foremost is the fact that a majority of mil dive ops are with rebreathers - so you may want to consider geting an advance certification on the Dreager or similar system - but note that no matter what civilian certivications that you have, they will not transfer to military training (perhaps give you a "heads up" if you are able to attend that training). No matter what, if you do any military dive training you will start at the beginning with everyone else, your civilian dive certs will not change that, nor advance you in any way - you will do the complete and full training program starting at zero.

        The recreational dive tables are also not used in military diving - so you may want to seek out and learn the Navy Decompression Tables, which will cover standard and multi-depth in-water decompression (among other things).

        Do not worry about making your personal civilian dive gear match what the military uses - it just will not give you any better performance than a civilian model - time in-water blowing bubbles is good no matter what. In getting prepped for a goal of working in a combat dive team your best bet is two things, first, get in, and maintain, a high level of physical fitness and ability to long distance surface and sub-surface swims without any gear; as well as be able to do extreme distances just using mask, fins, and snorkle. Second, pursue civilian certifications and experience in night diving, underwater navigation, search and rescue, and equipment specialist (as good top choices, there are a great number of classes and additional certs you can get that will give you a lot of good training and underwater time). You can also try swimming and treading water in clothing and shoes/boots in a controlled area (like a pool) to simulate drown-proofing like that done in the military.

        Although you can purchase the old standard fins for both combat swimming and combat diving, you really gain nothing by doing so. I started with the USD Rocket fins back in 1980 (the standard military fins - not that I knew that at the time), like putting board on your feet, but they are heavy duty and take a lot of abuse. The two combat swimmer fins really do nothing for you that a good fin wont do (except for being flimsy and compact and pricey for no reason if you try to buy new). I dive with two sets of fins, one open foot (Mares Avanti-Quatro) and a full foot set (Mares Avanti L). Mask is also personal preference, I prefer a model with a black skirt and moderate profile (I personally do not like low-profile masks) - some like the clear skirts as they let in more light.

        Maybe try to find the combat diver television program on Surviving the Cut on Discovery Channel, it might give you a little more insight. As well there is a lot to SCUBA, and it is good that you are getting trained and certified!

        Since I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, it is fair to mention that I am a PADI Divemaster (started Open Water in 1980, first cert in 81.. and kept on going from there...) No matter who you are certified with (PADI, NAUI, SSI, etc) the training all meets a standard, and is all top notch!
        Last edited by LRSU_Dog; May 21st, 2011, 04:22 PM.