Why I love Suunto dive computers

When I first got into diving I never had a computer, I just followed the dive leader. After a trip to Majorca with a good diving friend she recommended that I get a dive computer. Now I knew nothing about dive computers back then, honestly I only know a little more know, and I’d love to know how the algorithms work. So at her suggestion I got a Sunnto Vyper, well my parents bought it for my birthday.

So I started diving and I racked up a minimum of 131 dives on it, it is probably more as I started letting students use it when I was teaching them. However, it would never have gotten above 200 dives. Then unfortunately while I was doing an Open Water Dive 3 at the Lost Blue Hole it started reading shallow. One of the tasks I had planned to do with my student was compare the dive computers’ readings but there was a 4m difference between them. This did not seem right, I signalled to a friend who was diving at the site with us and I compared my computer (the Suunto D9tx) with his and we were only out by less than 0.2m so I knew then that the Vyper had a problem. I checked it on Open Water Dive 4 and it was still reading shallow. This meant that it would require servicing.

Luckily I had my new D9tx to keep my company on dives. That’s right, almost a year ago I bought the Suunto D9tx as I am hoping to do more tech diving, having a computer that was good for both tech and rec diving would be useful. I am not trimix trained, but the computer was invaluable when I was doing my cave course as I could easily switch gases underwater. I really like it as it has an electronic compass built in, the option of switching up to 8 different gases, and it is air integrated. That means using a transmitter I can log my air consumption on my dive computer, which is very useful. The only problem I have is that when diving in a cave (there is no ambient light) it is a little hard to read as the screen doesn’t automatically illuminate like some other dive computers.

Then fate would strike me again: my transmitter stopped working. I thought it might have been a pairing issue with the computer, but my computer paired nicely with the transmitter of my friend. So that meant there was a problem with it. When in the USA I took the transmitter and the Vyper to my local dive shop. On inspecting the transmitter it was found to have flooded. I had never opened the transmitter before so that meant it was a factory fault. They couldn’t do anything for either the transmitter or the Vyper so I ahd to return them to Suunto.

It’s quite easy to do so, you just log the issue on their website. They send you emails with UPS labels and you can either have UPS come and collect them or you can take them to your local UPS facility. I received and email telling me that they had arrived at Suunto a couple of days later. The email stated:

Suunto Service Center has received your product. Estimated repair time is currently 8 business days.
In case the repair is not covered by warranty you will receive a cost estimation to this e-mail address.
We will send you a notification e-mail with shipment tracking number as soon as your product has been repaired and sent back.

I thought this was fair enough and waited for my invoice to arrive: as clearly my dive computer was out of warranty but the transmitter was still with it. Not knowing how much I would have to pay I braced myself for an expensive bill, but it never came

This week, less than 8 business days after having arrived at Suunto, two emails arrived stating that the transmitter and computer had been shipped. The emails further stated that the transmitter had been replaced with a new one and that my old Vyper had also been replaced, however it hadn’t been replaced by a new Vyper it has been replaced by a Vyper Air Black. This is a much more able dive computer than the Vyper, it is similar in design but that it also allows switching of up to 2 gases, it has a compass and it is air integrated.

I am so pleased with the customer service from Suunto. This is a fantastic early Christmas present and I cannot wait to try out my new Vyper Air Black. I have always recommended Suunto to my students, several have purchased Vypers and D4is because of my recommendations and I know that I will continue to recommend them for the foreseeable future. Thanks Suunto for making my Christmas that much better.

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2 responses to “Why I love Suunto dive computers

  1. Sounds like you are 1 in a million. I had 2 Cobra 2 computer fail all same symptoms improper depth reading. They would register bad readings in surface and also under water …There is an inherent design flaw with these models. I contacted them and both went out of warranty in 2012. They would not even sell me a comparable model at reasonable price. SUUNTO is JUNK! Google depth gauge problems and see if you agree. Consider yourself lucky. I also contacted several dive club members that had issues with their suunto and said they would not cover them.

    • I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with them. I can only speak for myself, and I know that Suunto has fixed others’ computers free of charge. I didn’t expect them to fix mine for free, let alone give me a replacement model. However, it does seem strange that they didn’t offer to fix the computers. Did you send them to Suunto for evaluation/repair or did you just speak with someone over the phone?

      I don’t agree that Suunto is junk. I still recommend them to all my dive students because they are easy to use (some dive computers are unnecessarily complicated), they are conservative, and I like how they look. Yes, there are things that I would change about them, but they are a good recreational computer.

      I know of many people who have had issues with other dive computers. The responses from the companies have been varied. However, Suunto has a length of time for their warranty, I believe it is 2 years, and unfortunately if it is outside of that they are under no obligation to repair or replace for free any item that doesn’t work.

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