The Commercial Diver Network
They are out there. Some one makes aluminium knobs to replace the plastic ones. Several of the big supply stores will buy off the shelf, and then price the parts as KMDSI original. At the Tatto/head shops they have piercing parts that can replace the knob of the booger bar.
For YEARS I've been using a gatorade cap and a better mic instead of that POS that they sell you.
I once seen a hat that had Black Crome on all the parts...custom job.
DON'T paint your hat! It will not pass. DiveLab can change the color if you so desire, and they are very good and it will not cost as much as you might think.
Once upon a time there were folks that sold after market superlight parts but that was long ago. The profit for a company is not in the sale of the new gear; how many hats does the average diver buy in the course of their career? So the renewable sales i.e. replacement parts and annual inspection costs is the money maker. By controlling the after market parts, etc and not allowing others to compete for a market share, the manufacturer can pretty much charge whatever they want and the comsumer has no choice but to pay $$$.
I totally agree with this. The only way I've seen to get around this is to buy the new original part once at the inspection then go home take it off put the old one back on and use old one. I've been using the the original bent tube since I bought my hat, but years ago it wouldn't pass inspection so I was forced to buy a new one. so every time I go get an inspection I take my perfectly good old one off put the new one on and pass my inspection.. basically putting all the wear and tear on one part and inspecting the new part. I don't see why you couldn't do that to an after market part. Of course all the rubber parts I just throw away. I'm sick of replacing perfectly good parts.
try old kmb10 and conshelf 14 parts, strip the chrome off and have some brass bits.
check out the gallery page on my website www.heavymetaldivers.com to see a bit of customization available. different plating / polishing combos, powdercoating, engraving, or just painted with artwork as you see fit is authorized and encouraged.