Dive Office

Dive Gear Recommendations

We recommend a specific set of gear for University of Miami divers.  Below are some suggestions to help you prepare for your class or work at UM.  Before purchasing any gear, we very strongly recommend first talking to us in the dive office.

Gear Configuration

Mask
Look for one that is comfortable (this is the most important thing) and as simple in design as possible, low volume is best. Stay away from “fancy” gimmicks like purges and overly fancy lens and straps. I use the Spendive IV made by TUSA. The mask costs about $50.00 at Austin’s here in Miami.
 
Snorkel
Get one that is as simple as possible, again no purges or gadgets that keep water from getting in. The fancy ones will cost you a lot more and are crutches for snorkelers who haven't mastered proper snorkeling techniques. I use a piece of PVC and an old snorkel mouthpiece. This cost me $0.
 
Fins
Scubapro Lightning Jets — Large or XL (whatever is appropriate for your size foot) — This is a piece of equipment that the SCUBA industry got right on the first try. They were developed back in the 60’s but still perform as well as new designs. These fins allow you to do all the finning techniques we will be using in the class and you’ll be using operationally. Split fins are not appropriate for the techniques we use and we very strongly advise against them as well as any other flimsy fins.  Cost for the jet fins is about $100.00 here in Miami at Austin’s.  (One large fin and one x-large fin pictured.  The white zip-ties you see are only to visually distinguish them from other divers' fins.)
ScubaPro Jet Fins
 
BCD
For scientific diving, stability is key and the most stable style is a back inflation style BCD. I recommend the Halcyon line of BCD’s for their quality and attention to detail. Our program BCD’s are the Halcyon Eclipse 30 and Halcyon Infinity 30 systems with a stainless steel backplate. I use a Halcyon Eclipse 30.
Halcyon Eclipse 30 BCD
 
Regulator
We use a very specific regulator system that uses custom length hoses to minimize drag and entanglement, and improve control. We use a “long hose (5’-7’) for our primary second stage; a short (22” LP) hose for our back up reg that has a necklace attached and is worn around the neck; a short (24” HP) hose that has a stainless steel clip on it for attachment to the BCD harness; and a short (22-24” LP) inflator hose. We use Scubapro regulators. In our program we have Mk2 and Mk25 first stages and R295 and G250 second stages. For most diving the Mk2/R295 system with a R295 backup will be fine. We do not use a console. We have a single SPG on a HP hose and for other information we use a wrist mounted digital depth gauge or dive computer.
 
Thermal protection (wetsuit)
A 3mm full suit should be good for most of the diving you will be doing here in S. Fl. You should also consider your personal thermal tolerances and go with a suit that is best for you. The 3mm suit should work and if you get cold easily you can get a hood or hooded vest. This is what many of our divers do.  Cost for this will range from $120 – 180 for the 3mm suit. When I wear a wetsuit I use an O’Neill 3000x 3mm.
 
Watch
This doesn’t need to be too fancy. You can get a Timex, Casio, Freestyle, etc. Bottom line is you need something that can give you time underwater. I suggest you get something that is water resistant to at least 100 m. I wear a Timex Ironman series watch.
 
Weight belt and weights
Just get a regular weight belt. Don’t waist your money on fancy neoprene ones or pockets, etc.  Only get about 4-6 lbs. max. of weight, keeping in mind that our stainless steel backplates are already 6 pounds each.  Our divers usually wear no additional weight, though some will wear about 4 pounds when using a wetsuit in salt water.  I recommend you don’t spend more than $10–25 on the belt and weight.

 

For more information on this gear configuration you can check out the GLOBAL UNDERWATER EXPLORERS (GUE) website at http://www.gue.com/?q=en/Equipment/Config/index.html

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