Sometimes it is hard to remember a time when I was not a diver. I learned to Scuba dive in 1982 when I took Scuba as a PE course in college. As a college student, I started diving like a lot of our clients do with my own personal equipment and using “rental” equipment for the rest of my total diving system. It was pretty awesome in those days since there were no dive shops in Lubbock so the University owned the rental equipment and students could use the equipment for free! Later, when I came to work in Houston, I bought my own diving equipment.
Recently, I was reminded of my original diving equipment when a client brought his in for service. It was just like my original set of equipment with the cool upgrade that I added a few years after that purchase — a dive computer! Like this one, it was a Suunto SME-ML computer. It was not the first dive computer on the market but it was the smallest and most capable for its time. I remember how cool it was to use the computer instead of the dive tables and how much more bottom time I got using it. It even gave me an extra dive in Belize when the boat broke down and we went to make a dive while the table divers and crew waited on the surface for the other boat to bring out parts!
We had a lot of fun diving in those early days of my diving hobby (it hadn’t gotten out of control yet). There were trips to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and the Dominican Republic as well as dives off the Texas coast. That original diving equipment served me well. But I also upgraded things along the way. My old rubber purge mask gave way to a string of silicone masks and my buoyancy jacket got lighter and more capable. My air delivery systems changed a few time but more than that, my old SME-ML, which I kept for a long time, eventually gave way to better units with ever increasing capabilities.
Air delivery systems are utilizing plastics to make them lighter and more durable and pneumatics are incorporated in the designs to make them easier to breath. Engineers strived to improve airflow and to refine the machining to keep the costs down at the same time. Stainless steel and titanium are now in some models and little pieces of technology are integrated to help them perform better and last longer between servicing.
But why the changes? Every time I made the change, things were still working. My BCD still kept me afloat, my air delivery system provided gas; my computer still told me my no-decompression-limit. So why would I change? Thinking about it, I know that the next generation of computers that came out after that SME-ML, were faster, more capable and had more refined algorithms based on newer diving research. Along the way, nitrox became a thing and computers adapted their programming to accommodate it. Underwater radio signals became an affordable thing and once again, computers were adapted to utilize the technology.
If you think about it, how many cars have you owned since you bought your original set of diving equipment? If you are like me, it has been more than one. Why did you get a new car? Didn’t your old one still get you from one place to another? Maybe it needed more attention and drew more attention than you wanted but ultimately you bought a new car. Have you changed your personal computer or mobile phone since you bought your diving equipment? Like me, I would say that you have probably traded things up during that period. So if you change these other things in your life, because of changing needs, serviceability issues or “it is time,” then why wouldn’t this same logic apply to your diving equipment?
Over the years, I went from a basic open water diver to a cave diver, a wreck diver and a Trimix diver all before my diving really got out of control and I married the boss and started working in the diving business full time. So as my diving changed, so to did my equipment needs. My old trusty SME-ML was not up to the task. I had to upgrade it and I upgraded all of my equipment as my diving changed. My equipment needs keep evolving as do the equipment choices. Things get better and more comfortable all the time. The key is to find the thing that will carry me through this phase of my diving sport until I need the next upgrade.
Maybe it is time you looked at your diving equipment and asked yourself…”Is it time for an upgrade?
THROUGH MAY 31, SAVE ON A NEW VYPER NOVO LITE!
Perfect for helping you take your diving to the next level, the nitrox-ready Vyper Novo dive computer includes enhanced features like wireless air integration, a digital compass, and gas switching, all primed and ready, right out of the box. And through May 31 only, you can get a deep deal on all Vyper Novo Lite computers. But why stop there? Go big and bundle with a Transmitter to save even more!
All told, you save $50 off the Vyper Novo Lite, and $100 off when you splurge on the package. This spring, go big or go home and Vyper your dive.