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At 09:37 PM 22/04/99 EDT, Jerry Lapierre wrote:
>Need advice on purchasing a regulator...new to diving and very confused about
>what I think is the most important piece of equipment...dive shop providing
>my school and certification carries Sherwood, but I'm told by others that
>Scubapro is the best....any input from you folks with experience would be
>appreciated...thanks - jerry
 
The nice thing about regulators is that the majority of folk who own one (or
more!), have unshakeable opinions as to which is the 'best'!  :-)
 
In part, this is because diver's - and those who dive! - tend to be rather
conservative in their views about equipment.
 
In many instances the simple answer answer is to suggest that you buy the
model that you think you CAN'T afford - providing that it meets certain
criteria!  :-)
 
Probably the two most important considerations - IMO - are:-
1) That for the sort of diving you intend to do - and the depths that you
intend to do it at - you won't 'outbreathe' the regulator!  ie.  It will
deliver sufficient air for your needs regardless of how hard you're exerting
yourself.
 
2) That it won't cause jaw fatigue.
 
Given the choice between a Sherwood and a Scubapro, I'd tend to go for - and
purely for historic reasons - the Scubapro.  But that's no reflection on
Sherwood, just my particular prejudices!
 
I'd always put Poseidon regulators at the top of my particular wish-list -
until I discovered the Sea Hornet 'Command-Air' (which is a misnomer, 'cause
they're also intended for mixed gas use!).
 
I believe they're available in the States but under a different name.  They
feature both a venturi assist and turbo-boost control knobs, breathe like
silk, are constructed of very robust materials and, best of all, were made
to be 'sailor-proof' - the highest accolade that any piece of functional
equipment can be given!  :-)
 
I'm led to believe that in recent independent testing in Europe they were
ranked as one of the top 5 regulators in the world!  (BTW!  I don't have any
shares in the company and neither do I receive any sort of kick back for
endorsing them!  Honest!  But some lucky person at the CozNEDFest is going
to win one!)  :-)
 
Possibly the best answer, however, is to have a look at the regulators that
the more experienced divers and Instructors in your local dive store are
using.  And if possible try a selection in real life diving conditions
(rather than a training pool), to see which appeals to you the most.
 
Another major consideration is the sort of back up service that the retailer
offers.  You might buy the best regulator in the world and pay top dollar
for it, but unless you can have it serviced regularly by an approved and
competent technician it will probably be a worthless piece of junk within
the year!  :-)
 
Another good reason to buy from a local store whose reputation you trust!
 
Strike