So the past two posts were mildly depressing. But enough of that.
I’ve always been hesitant about buying dive gear, for various reasons…
1) Cost. Diving is a privilege that not everyone gets
2) Usage and upkeep. How often do I dive? Once every few months? If I rent it, I don’t need to send it for servicing!
3) Weight. I pack light. I can travel for a month and still use the same weekender bag.
Things changed when I bought my fins. They couldn’t fit into my bag and I had to carry it by hand.
Anyway, one giant leap for me. I caved and bought all my gear. Wasn’t excited because of the above reasons, but if I was gonna go pro, it’ll be better for me to get my own gear. Oh, I forgot to buy the tank tapper, but I guess I’ll get it another time.
I got all my equipment from Marlin Divers in Commonwealth Drive, unless otherwise stated. Shop is really over priced (Carousell has much better deals, just compare my prices with theirs for the exact same product) and you will get better deals elsewhere. Plus, service is… Well let’s just say that unless you’re a middle aged man who is married and has kids, be prepared for a major talking down session where they try to make you feel shitty about yourself.
I mean, because everyone dives full time right? And how dare you not know everything?
Anyway, here’s my gear in its full glory.
1. Mares Prime BCD (XS)
Cost: SGD 690.15
I’ve yet to use it in water. On land, it fits fine, small and snug. The only thing is that the straps are so new, it cuts my neck. Guess I’ll have to break into them sooner or later. Not looking forward to it to be honest.
2. Mares Prestige 12S She Dive
Cost: SGD 631.30
3. Mares Prestige Octopus
Cost: SGD 246.10
4. Mares Mission 2 Guage
Cost SGD 304.95
Whoever knew I’d need to sell my kidney to get these? Also, noob me thought it came as a set but noooo… Gotta buy one piece at a time. -sobs- Thankfully I got a package discount from the dive shop. So while it may seem I’m a Mares fan, no. I’m just a discount fan.
Sidenote: it reminds me of the time a friend saw me lugging my crocodile-scale gold laptop case around.
Her: GOLD? this is so not you!!!
Me: What are you talking about. It cost AUD 5! And 5 BUCKS IS SO ME.
4. Underwater camera casing
Cost: USD 110
Bought from: Ebay (my first ebay purchase haha) from bondscamera
I didn’t get a Canon casing because it cost nearly as much as the camera if I’m not wrong. Casing works well. The only thing was that on my last dive, it flooded a little. Not sure why, it’s probably my fault. I’ve oiled the o ring, cleaned the buttons and tested it underwater. No issue. I’ve also put a tea bag into the casing to absorb moisture.
Cost: SGD 72
The compass drive me nuts. Because like every idiot you meet, I keep forgetting how to use it. But I’m determined to kick its ass. Before I bought the compass, I downloaded an app on my phone to practice.
6. Scubapro Aladin 2g
Cost: SGD 440
Bought from: firstname.lastname@example.org, you can ask for the list of products they have.
For the longest time, I was deciding between a Suunto Zoop, Suunto d4i and Scubapro’s (also known as Uwatec) Aladin 2G. The Zoop was the cheapest, and was a basic computer.. But I thought of wearing a dive computer that would double up as a watch too. So it was between the d4i and Aladin 2G. I think the 2G was cheaper. And I knew a friend who used it. Well I bought the latter and… IT IS HUGE. And the strap is way too long for my liking. You can’t wear it out without someone thinking you’re a prick. Plus it’s heavy as hell, compared to the d4i. Maybe I should have bought the Zoop. Since it’s gonna be big and fat, might as well get it cheap right? The d4i is a beauty though.. But no turning back! This this has served me well, and I hope it’ll continue to do so in years to come.
Sidenote: oldtimediver has many products, was gonna buy fins and booties from them, but they didn’t let me try it, despite “encouraging customers to find the right fit before purchasing”. So that’s definitely something to note. I know it’s to prevent customers from spoiling the products.. but why will I buy ill-fitting shoes? And more importantly, who will know if it’s the right fit unless they try it on?
7. Fourth Element rash guard
Cost: SGD 70
I bought the rash guard last year, and it frayed after the first wear. But nobody cares I guess. I reckon you can get cheaper ones from roxy or ripcurl. I bought this because I don’t like wearing wet suits. They’re hard to put on and remove, they’re bulky, they don’t dry well, resulting in it being smelly!
8. Arena pants
Cost: SGD 50+
Bought from: Arena
I dived for the longest time w/o bottoms, meaning I’d only have my bikini bottoms on. That didn’t bother me much, one less item to carry! Plus, the water is always about 28-30 degrees. But I decided to get some pants after I dived in Phuket and it hit 25 degrees hhahaha. Not the most pleasant experience.
9. Mares X-stream fins
Cost: SGD 300
I love my fins because it’s light, weighing just 1.2kg. That’s the only reason why I bought it. I mean, it’s crazily expensive! I can get a pair of fins at about SGD 90 or so. But fins can weigh up to 3.3kg.. And no way in hell am I gonna suffer lugging them around. Split fins were never an option either.
Works well, large foot pocket though, not good for people with small feet. They kinda look like crocs, so that’s where my dignity and self respect flows from. But it’s good because it’s easy to remove, no vacuum or suction during removal. I don’t have to adjust it all the time because of the side clasps. So that’s great too. The downside… when small stones get stuck in the clasps’ ridges, you can’t close it shut. So I’ve to rinse it well and remove all stones after every dive. I don’t even know how the stones got there. I reckon the spring fins are better because you just tug at them, no clasps whatsoever.
10: Mares short-cut booties
Cost: SGD 30
I can’t wear high cuts because I’ve stubby legs. There. I’ve said it. The boots can’t be zipped all the way up. So I’m stuck with da shorties. Doesn’t bother me at all, actually.
11: Aropec beetle mask
Cost: SGD 35
Bought from: Deep Blue Scuba
Isaac bought it when he took is OW cert. Then I hijacked it. If it fits.. it’s mine.
12: Mask Strap
Cost: SGD 20
Bought from: Waikiki
This makes mask wearing and removal a breeze. Having long hair sucks sometimes! But the staff weren’t the friendliest. They do their duties, like getting you something when you request for it, but they weren’t proactive, helpful, or happy either. Fuss free service, maybe? They were quite impatient with a lady who went in to fix her regulator.
13: Prescription lens
Cost: SGD 70
Bought from: Amazing dive
Searched high and low for the prescription lens.. Need to thank Isaac for this. Only two masks allow prescription lens to be fitted, one’s Aropec beetle and the other’s Apollo biometal. The latter’s more costly, at SGD 160, with lens costing SGD 60 per side. Aropec’s cost SGD 35 per side. Thank God for a smart brother.
I wouldn’t go to amazing dive if possible though. I gave them my details, called to ensure they had the lens in stock, went there after work one night, watched the guy fumble with my mask for a good 30 mins before he told me one side was of a different degree from what I requested. SERIOUSLY. Then why the hell were you fiddling with my mask?! it’s not rocket science, asshole.
The next day, another guy from the shop called me and I gave him hell.
1) Don’t tell me you’ve the lens when you don’t
2) Don’t tell me you tried to call me, but didn’t have my number. MY NUMBER IS IN ALLLLLL MY EMAILS SENT TO YOU, FOOL.
3) Don’t make me wait. Standing there waiting to see if your guy would break my mask.. not impressed.
Cost: No idea (Brother bought it)
Bought from: Deep Blue Scuba
I generally dislike the snorkel because it’s hard to purge the saltwater from it, and it gets in the way sometimes. But it’s essential. I’m just glad it’s blue hahaha.
15. Pocket knife
Cost: SGD 40
I’ve only tried cutting paper with it. Hahaha. Works fine.
16. Pocket mask
Cost: SGD 25
Never used it. I pray I’ll never have to.
17. Ikelite Gamma Silver torch
Cost: SGD 158
For night diving… not my favourite. Works fine, kinda pricey though. There should be better deals if you’re willing to search for them.
18. Saeko dive saussage
Cost: SGD 60
Instead of using my regulator to inflate it, this one uses my exhaled air…
19. spook and brass snaphook, 30m
Cost: SGD 40
This is attached to my saussage… better not lose it, the whole thing costs SGD 100 wtf. The cheapskate in my thought it wouldn’t cost more than SGD 30.
So… that’s all my equipment! This took a while. Now, for the bags…
20. Mares Cruise X-strap bag
Cost: SGD 165.85
Could have done away with this I guess, and use a trolley luggage for my items. But I guess when you’re diving, you’re on an island with uneven pavements, a backpack would be easier.
21. Akona mesh bag
Cost: SGD 50
For my equipment when I’m bringing it to the dive shop. It’s slightly unnerving that my booties will be placed with my pants/rashguard, but I guess divers aren’t known to be the cleanest people. Well I AIM TO CHANGE THAT.
22. Mares Regulator Bag
Cost: SGD 50
It’s fairly wide.. I was joking that I could put my snare drum inside hahaha. Was advised to carry my regulator on board as compared to checking it in. Could have done away with this too, and just stuff it on my carry-on bag.
So that’s.. that! This also marks the start where I’ve to buy check-in luggage when I fly. Sigh! How I miss just whizzing through w/o having to collect my luggage at the belt. How I miss mocking travellers who pack their whole house with them.
And here’s the set, all nicely packed
And with that… divemasters here I come!