Advice on putting on gear

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Meghan Powers

Registered
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
Shelby, OH
# of dives
0 - 24
I made a thread earlier about dive logs and I appreciate everyone’s input!

I very recently received my ow certification. I have not done a dive since then (only two months since I was certified). I plan on doing a few dives pretty soon at one of my local quarries so I can gain a little more experience in diving before I attempt to dive in a different setting (I did my ow dives in a quarry).

During the entire course, I struggled both with putting on my own gear and helping my partner put their gear on. I am very small, 5’2, and I weigh 120 lbs. From what we were taught, it’s better for the smallest person to help the bigger person first so the smaller person doesn’t have their gear on while trying to help the bigger person. We didn’t really stick to this. We just went back and forth. It was very difficult for me to hold up my partners tank while they latched their bcd. My partner was at least a foot taller than me. We were both about the same weight.

I guess my question is: since I am very small, does anyone have any suggestions for putting on gear and helping your buddy put their gear on? By the time we were done getting everything on I was sweating profusely. I was supposed to wear a hood during my ow dives because it was early June and I live in Ohio but the hood was tight in the upper face area and loose in the chin area so I didn’t wear it. The chin piece kept going over my mouth and my upper head just felt constricted. It was what they rented to me. I just chose not to use it.

I greatly appreciate any tips and suggestions that anyone might have for any piece of gear, especially with putting on the bcd and helping my buddy with theirs. It was such a struggle for me to get my gear on and help my buddy and I don’t want this to discourage me from diving!
 

stiebs

Contributor
Messages
740
Reaction score
195
Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
500 - 999
The easiest way to put on gear is if there is something you can rest it on. Like a picnic table, bench, or boot of your car (works best with a pickup or wagon). But even with the open boot of a sedan or hatch, you can balance the tank on the edge, then all you need to do is hold it still without having to take the full weight of the tank.

If you're using a BC with integrated weights, keep the weight pockets out until you have your BC on and clipped. Here again it's helpful to have the weight pockets on a bench or in the boot so you don't need to bend or crouch to pick them up off the ground.

As for the hood, I agree they can be uncomfortable. Rentals are often stretched around the edges. My first suggestion is that you get your own. It's a pretty cheap purchase as far as scuba equipment goes, and with your own, you can trim around the face opening to suit your own comfort level.
 

Marie13

Great Lakes Mermaid
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
10,089
Reaction score
8,855
Location
Great Lakes
# of dives
200 - 499
Have your tank standing upright on a picnic table or gear bench (whichever quarry has) before you get into your BC. Your buddy should do the same. A short AL63 tank would probably be much better for you than the longer AL80.

Where were you certified -Gilboa or White Star? I’m very familiar with both.
 

stiebs

Contributor
Messages
740
Reaction score
195
Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
500 - 999
It was very difficult for me to hold up my partners tank while they latched their bcd. My partner was at least a foot taller than me. We were both about the same weight.

Are you referring to latching the waist band or the shoulder straps? If you're starting out with the shoulder buckles unfastened, then fastening them while your buddy is holding the tank up to your back, I'd suggest you instead start with the shoulder buckles fastened, and just lengthen the straps enough to get your arms in. Then tug the loose ends to tighten them while your buddy lifts the tank. It can also help to bend forward a little bit to take some of the weight of the tank on your back.
 

Searcaigh

Chromodoris gordonii
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
6,993
Reaction score
6,097
Location
Dubai, UAE
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I agree with what's been suggested above.

However don't leave a tank with gear attached standing upright alone. If it falls over the first stage of the regulator could get damaged.
 

shurite7

Contributor
Messages
1,217
Reaction score
653
Location
In transit
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Congrats on your new certification!,

The above suggestions are great.

Bring a tarp and put the gear on while sitting down. You can also put the gear on while in the water.
 

Edward3c

Contributor
Scuba instructor
Messages
2,176
Reaction score
1,405
Location
Alexandria
Hi @Meghan Powers,

Congratulations, when you get into the sea you’ll see all the marine life, and the reason you learned to dive. Welcome to the underwater world.

We teach buddy pairs to lift their own tank etc and hand it the the buddy, prep the straps, than get into it. That means if you’re wearing your tank you don’t bend down to lift a second one.

However, if there is a bench or any other shelf/ledge (as mentioned above) use it.
 

Wibble

Contributor
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
1,585
Location
UK
# of dives
500 - 999
Lift the kit on to the boot of a car; a table, a chair, on the bench of a boat. Do not try to pick it up and throw it on your back unless you enjoy back pain. (edit) Use a work step to get it up to sitting height.

If you have to put the kit on from the ground, it's easiest to get in it on the ground, roll over on to all fours and stand up (easier on a single, impossible on a twinset).

Arrange the kit - hoses, straps, etc. Face the kit. Turn the gas on. BREATHE from it. Check the gas.

Put your computer and compass on your wrists. Put stuff in your pockets (spare SMB, reel, spare mask, etc.)

Put on your fins. Untie the kit from the boat (normally tied on).

Turn around and put your arms through the straps and do up the waist band and crotch strap (if fitted). Connect drysuit, check it inflates. Undo drysuit dump. Connect suit heater cable. Pull round the regulator; BREATHE from it. Ensure the backup/octopus is WORKING and stowed correctly. Check the gas. Check your BCD/wing by inflating it a little.

Ensure hood, mask, gloves are on. Ensure SMB + reel is attached.


When ready to jump, stand up and BREATHE from the regulator. Check the remaining gas. Put more gas in the BCD/wing.

(Note there's three places where you BREATHE from the reg and you twice put in gas into your BCD/wing -- if you don't, you can die. Everything else can be dealt with in the water.)


Go diving. Enjoy the dive.
 

Bigbella

Contributor
Messages
1,292
Reaction score
1,429
Location
San Francisco
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
In the last few years, I’ve noticed far more people using small, foldable work tables, to set up gear at various dive sites — especially, older folks and / or those of slighter builds . . .
 

Rukkian

Contributor
Messages
113
Reaction score
69
Location
West Des Moines, Iowa
# of dives
50 - 99
It was mentioned above, but I will say it again. Getting your kit on in the water is much easier imo if the situation warrants it (not off a boat, nice entry). Did my rescue a few weeks ago and after taking it off like 20 times, it was so nice putting it on in some water.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom