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I am beginning to venture farther off-piste into the side country and I am looking to purchase my first tranceiver. After reading many reviews on almost every tranciever I am left with this thought. I have been in the diving industry most of my life and the trend with new students is for them to always buy the latest and greatest dive computers with all the cool features, yet they quickly forget important skills from their training. With that in mind as I read reviews on avy beacons I have realized how important it is to practice your beacon skils. When I first started looking at beacons I was instantly drawn to the Pulse and S1 for $400-$500, but recently I have found the Freeride for as little as $130. And my question is this, for the 2-3 days a year I go into the side country, why should I fork out $400-$500 when I could buy two Freerides for less money and use the second to practice skills at home. With 1 Pulse or S1 I might get to practice a couple times a year with friends.

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