Environmentally Sealed First Stages, are a must. They seal OUT corrosive sea water and dirt from murky water. When working on them we see the result in the interior of a 1st stage when it IS NOT environmentally Sealed. For these reasons, we only sell Environmentally Sealed regulators.
Cost, is a factor when you buy anything. If you can afford it, it doesn’t mean you should. The latest greatest Titanium Golf Club won’t automatically allow you to play better. There is an old saying “If you are good, you can play pool with a baseball bat” meaning, if you are good enough, you don’t need a fancy pool cue to beat another player. Buy what you can afford, but realize that you may change to a new reg in a few years, only put the money into depreciating equipment to the proper extent.
Hose length, is also a big factor when deciding whether to have the reg hose go OVER or UNDER your arm. When you have it over your arm / shoulder, it tends to torque on your mouth in that it twists the 2nd stage down causing jaw fatigue. If you have ever noticed another diver where their 2nd stage is not straight in their mouth, that may be due to the hose weight twisting it down. THE WAY TO CURE THIS is to have a longer hose that reaches UNDER your arm and have a 90 degree swivel on the 2nd stage so it is not pulling down on your jaw. This also cures the dive partner of sweeping the reg hose out of your mouth with the sweep of their hand. We sell Omni-Swivels that are perfect for this problem.
Way to set up hoses on the First Stage, is also a factor. You know the 1st stage has high and low pressure ports, the HP’s are for gauges and computers, the LP’s are for the BCD inflator hose, breathing reg and “Safe 2nd” or Octo. The normal way to mount the hoses is the Breathing Reg and Octo to your right and the BCD inflator hose and gauge or computer hoses to your left. Tech divers set them up differently at times, simply due to personal preference once they have a lot of experience.
Warranty, is something to keep in mind, but again you may only have your reg for a few years before changing or upgrading. Manufacturers have different length warranties. Discuss the plus and minus’ with your sales Dealership to decide what is best for you. Once you have the reg though, be sure to have it Serviced to keep it in Warranty and 100% reliable.
As always, email us or give us a call for advice.