Getting Started in Vintage Scuba Diving

Walk into your local Scuba Store and tell them you want to try diving with one of those double hoses regulators on the wall. They will either collapse in laughter or look at you like you have a horn growing out of your forehead.

Next, you’lll hear one or more of these lines:

  • Those things are dangerous, and you will die if you use one.
  • No one makes parts for those anymore, so there are no working examples left.
  • No one dives with those anymore.

I’m here to tell you that all three of the above lines are completely false and could not be further from the truth.  Divers using vintage equipment are a small but growing segment of the dive specialty groups. The single thing that ties most of us together is a desire to dive where you can concentrate on what you are seeing rather than manipulating your equipment.

Take a second, and hear 1st hand from Jim in Wisconsin why he dives with vintage equipment:  Read Here

The best piece of advice I can give you is to close your wallet, ignore your PayPal account, and open your eyes and ears. Take plenty of time to read and research vintage equipment diving. It is very easy to jump neck deep in the swamp of E-bay and get caught up in the frenzy of bidding trying to buy your first double hose regulator only to end up paying too much, or there are no parts available for it or the worst case it was not a good regulator to begin with…

The vintage diving community has a large group of friendly and helpful divers, and we are willing to share our thoughts and opinions on equipment, training, techniques and just about anything else related to the community.

I would ask that newcomers first read the FAQ section carefully as it answers a lot of the standard questions that everyone asks. Next, take a look through the regulator ID section and look at the variety of original double hose regulators that are being used today.  I will guarantee that most any regulator you see on the site when properly serviced and maintained is every bit as safe if not safer to dive than any modern regulator on the market today!

As a group we have varied equipment styles from divers that only use early model regulators, single steel cylinders, oval masks and carry a vulcan knife in each hand to divers that combine classic double hose regulators with more modern conveniences and equipment.  It is not unusual to find a diver with a 1956 model year regulator and a 2010 air-integrated wrist computer diving with a buddy who has no pressure gauge and an underwater watch to calculate his bottom time.

On the site I try to offer equipment and supplies to keep everyone tinkering and enjoying vintage diving. Yes, we have some of the same arguments as the Ford versus Chevy crowd does, but it usually leads to good learning experiences.

We are a varied group of folks no matter how you slice it. We would like to welcome everyone to the community, and we hope that you will take the time to look around and get to know us.

Required Reading for Vintage Equipment Divers.

The books on this list will help you gain an in depth knowledge of the equipment and techniques used when the sport was new. Most of the skills and techniques are no longer taught in scuba courses today.  These books can usually be found on E-bay, Amazon or Albirs used books for a very reasonable price and it pays to shop around.  There is a section of our website forum dedicated to books and research material from the vintage era if you would like further recommendations.

  • Basic Scuba by Fred Roberts is considered by most vintage equipment divers to be the “Bible” of books to have. There are two editions and I’d suggest getting both if you can.
  • Skin and Scuba Diving, Sterling Publishing company, Athletic Series is a great all around book with lots of instructional pictures.
  • Diving For Fun by Joe Strykowski was published by Dacor Equipment Company and was used extensively as a diver training manual.
  • Diver Below by Hank and Shaney Frey is another diver instructional manual with a lot of great illustrations and training with double hose regulators.
  • The New Science of Skin and Scuba Diving by the Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics. Instructional manual with excellent photos and information.

The books below are a couple of my favorites from my childhood but do not contain as much info as the ones above.

  • The Golden Guide to Scuba Diving by Golden Press
  • Better Scuba Diving For Boys by Dave Horner
  • The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau