| September 7, 2015 |
Between the dive shop that certified my friends and I (Gold Coast Scuba – HIGHLY recommended!) and Divers Direct in Fort Lauderdale, I gained a ton of information about various gear specs and features. The mask/fin/snorkel combination is undoubtedly useful to any diver (or snorkeler!) and became my priority purchase. With guidance from many divers/shops and online research, I decided to purchase the following gear:
- ScubaMax Aria mask
- ScubaMax Semi-Dry snorkel
- Mares SuperChannel full-foot fins (+) EVO 1.5mm thickness socks
Trivia Moment: What does the acronym SCUBA stand for? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out later…
We took the boat out to Barracuda Reef off the coast of Dania Beach with the following goals in mind:
- Find a lobster
- Catch it
- Eat it
- And… Test out our new gear!
Unfortunately, we had NO LUCK with lobsters despite looking under EVERY rock possible. However, we did meet a squirrel fish and a bunch of angel fish! We practiced neutral buoyancy and achieved it without much effort (thus, the amount of weight on our belts were appropriate). Also, Suzie and I had an impressive run with our oxygen usage. Starting at 3000psi in an 80-cubic-foot tank, we spent about 45 minutes at the bottom (average depth of 30 feet) and we both surfaced with approximately 1250psi (Suzie actually had almost 1600!). Our friend was diving with a smaller tank (and, therefore, less air), but was impressed with our air usage as he is a more experienced diver.
- ScubaMax Aria mask: I had to clear it a few times due to water accumulating at the bottom of the mask, but overall it did not fog and allowed for decent field of view. After speaking with more experienced divers, it’s possible I made two errors with my mask on this trip. 1) I did not have the top strap over the crown of my head (noticeable as the straps kept hitting into my ears). 2) I was wearing sunscreen. This being said, I will be trying the mask again in my next scuba trip. I actually have a relatively narrow face, and perhaps may benefit from a different mask overall. We shall see after my next dive!
- ScubaMax Semi-Dry snorkel: No complaints here! Easy to purge the water out, and not too much splashed in!
- Mares SuperChannel full-foot fins (+) EVO 1.5mm thickness socks: Honestly, this felt incredible compared to previous rental equipment. I never felt the booties fit me well, so wearing adjustable (open-foot) fins did not seem like a good fit for me. Instead, I went with the full-foot fins (+) sock. Unfortunately, the EVO socks were slipping down on my right foot and I had to adjust them twice during the dive (I also have narrow feet, ugh). The fins overall allowed for a decent push through the water, and I was able to use a variety of finning techniques (link). The best techniques were certainly flutter (no surprise) and modified flutter, with a frog kick seeming quite inefficient.
After my dive, I decided to look into getting a wet suit. Since Divers Direct was having a sale for Labor Day, I decided to stop by and check out their selection. Somehow, I ended up leaving the store with a purchase of an EVO Elite Women’s 3mm Scuba Wetsuit, which fit perfectly! It comes in black/purple for females, but I figured the black was more sleek and would not look ridiculous with other colored gear (yes–you could/should think about matching your colors!).
- Open foot: adjustable straps in the back, require use of booties (scuba shoes)
- Full foot: non-adjustable straps (slip in), use with bare feet or socks for protection/warmth
SCUBA DIVING (MAGAZINE SITE)
LEISURE PRO: DIVER EMPORIUM
And now what you’ve been waiting for – the Trivia Moment answer!
I hope you had the day off on this Labor Day, or at least had a fulfilling weekend! Until next time, fellow waterlust adventurers.