Gear Recommendations

GET STARTED
1
Request Info
2
Visit
3
Apply
GET STARTED
1
Request Info
2
Visit
3
Apply

We recommend a specific set of gear for University of Miami divers. Your training at UM will include a detailed look at equipment including a discussion about what gear is out there and what works best (and why). If you’re eager to see an overview of the equipment you’ll need, read below for 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 because we can help point you in the direction of what’s appropriate for science diving at UM more than a dive shop salesperson can.


Gear Configuration

Mask

Comfort is the most important feature for a mask. When trying them on in the dive shop, imagine having it on your face for several hours in a day. Regardless of the price, look, shape, colors, etc., if it isn’t comfortable, it’s not worth the money. Stay away from fancy gimmicks like purge valves in the nose pocket.
 

Fins

Scuba diving fins are mandatory. We will not allow you to use split fins or freediving fins for this course. We recommend Scubapro Jet fins or Deep6 Eddy fins. Strong and rigid fins will be responsive and helpful underwater and these two options have held up very well for us. If not those exact fins, try to get any other fin that is sturdy and stiff. Other than split or freediving fins, you may use whatever fin you like, but stiff rigid fins will give you an advantage and set you up for success. (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
 

Snorkel

Snorkels should be simple, reliable, and comfortable. You should not be using a snorkel while scuba diving at UM, but you’ll need it for the swim test and it’s helpful for anytime you need to do work in shallows. For this, comfort is key (especially regarding the mouthpiece). Beware of gimmicks that protect the top of the snorkel from water or extra purge valves on the bottom – these are failure points and can actually make it harder for you to breathe. A wide opening may mean you have to clear the snorkel slightly more often, but at least you’ll be able to breathe without building up so much carbon dioxide.

 

Wetsuit and Booties

A 3mm full suit should be good for most of the diving you will be doing here in South Florida. 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 3mm hooded vest; layering is what many of our divers do.
 

Weight Belt and Weights

The dive office does not supply weights or weight belts, so if you need weights, you will have to provide your own. Keep it simple and go with a standard weight belt and lead blocks. They’re cheaper and more versatile than pouches and soft weights. Do not purchase more than 6 pounds unless you’ll be diving in a full 7mm wetsuit. It’s best to buy only 1lb and 2lb blocks. The BCDs we use have 6 pounds in them already and the diving methods we use will allow you to shed a lot of the weight that you may have used as a recreational diver. The majority of our divers use no weight in fresh water and 0-6 pounds in salt water.
 

Waterproof Watch

This is different from a dive computer. Your waterproof watch doesn’t need to be too fancy, it just needs to tell time and have a stopwatch feature. It’s best to go with something that is water resistant to at least 100m.
 

Dive Computer

We provide dive computers, so do not purchase a computer before getting into the program and getting familiar with the setup we use. Almost every dive computer made in the past 10 years is going to be appropriate for all of the science diving you will do at UM. If you decide to buy a computer anyway, it is up to you on what features are important. For almost all of our dives, we use an Oceanic VEO and for technical dives we go with the Shearwater Perdix.

BCD

We provide BCDs, so do not purchase a BCD before getting into the program and getting familiar with the setup we use. For scientific diving, stability is key and the most stable style is a back inflation style BCD. Halcyon’s line of BCD’s are known for their quality and attention to detail. The UM scientific diving program supplies Halcyon Eclipse 30 and Halcyon Infinity 30 BCD systems that are equipped with a stainless steel backplate.
Halcyon Eclipse 30 BCD
 

Regulator

We provide regulators, so do not purchase a regulator before getting into the program and getting familiar with the setup we use. 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 (22-24” HP) hose that has a stainless steel clip on it for attachment to the BCD harness; and a short (22” LP) inflator hose. We do not use a console but instead have a single SPG on a HP hose and for other information we use a wrist mounted dive computer (which we also supply to divers).

 

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