Thankz for the start.
Will be doing New England in Jan/Feb.It would let me find out if diving is for me.
DAVID --- PLEASE
Do not judge scuba diving based on what you will find in New England in the winter. Brrrrr! Why would you even want to do New England in the winter? Where do you live and where do you plan to do most of your diving? Cold water gear is different but not for masks and snorkels. Fins have to do with whether or not you plan to wear booties inside them.
If you don't already get a dive magazine, pick up a couple of copies from your dive shop. My dive shop gave away “Dive Training Magazine.” For the first few years I devoured every issue. You might also go on line to Rodale’s http://www.scubadiving.com/
or Skin Diver’s http://www.skin-diver.com/index2.asp
Each of them does extensive reviews of equipment.
I have about 8 fins in my garage, I think 2 of them even have a mate. (Little sense of humor there – you’re going to need it). Everyone has split fins now. When I bought mine when they first came out the old macho guys laughed at me – see who’s laughing now! I love them. Fit is important.
You must try a mask on to make sure it fits. Just like kissing frogs, sometimes you have to try a lot before you find the prince – uhm, I mean the mask -- for you. Most masks come with companion snorkels so you don’t look too much like a dork. You are going to look like a dork anyway, especially when you take it off and walk around with the outline embedded into your face. (All new divers wear their masks too tight) Now, when I say come with, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like, “A salad comes with that, what kind of dressing would you like?” It’s more like, “Would you like salad with that?” Get my drift?
If you are worried about "who used the regulator" before you, just buy and take your own mouthpieces. In fact, getting one that fits your mouth is very important.
I never took up skiing because I objected to the expensive equipment. HA – You ain’t seen nothing yet!
But, like any other love in your life – it’s worth the price.