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Do I want a Spare Air

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Kevin Donlon, May 28, 2020.

  1. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    So you know two people who had their dip tubes clogged and could not get any air? Rental tanks? From where? I do NOT want to dive with them....
  2. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boca Raton, FL
    Leave the Spare Air. Take the cannoli.
    Boston Breakwater and Colliam7 like this.
  3. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    Hello. With out a doubt....this is the best answer, in my opinion to the OP.
    Thanks for speaking up. I like you, carried my slung bottles in some "Odd." circumstances/dive sites. (If, you will.)
    I wanted to become proficient, and familiar with them before I ventured into deeper water.
  4. BRT

    BRT not a soft touch

    The bent one was a Mexican fisherman. The other one was a tourist, but we were diving with an op owned by a Mexican fisherman. My guess is there were no dip tubes. Both of them went feet up just before their air stopped. Believe me, there are well know dive ops in Mexico that have equipment I don't want to dive with. Usually I do use their tanks. In January I sat on a log and watched regulators being serviced by a dive op that services a BIG resort. Unbelievably bad! Disassemble, toss in some parts, hook them to a tank, test breath and on to the next one.
  5. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    This happened to me, too. The dip tube was there, and when thereafter I removed the valve from the cylinder (which was property of my diving club) I did find a lot of rust.
    The air supply was not cut entirely in my case, and when coming back to normal head up position for ascending even more air arrived, as the rust did fall to the bottom of the cylinder.
    After this bad experience I decided to buy my own tank, a 10+10 liters aluminium twin (Technisub Aralu).
  6. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    PADI added this skill to the OW course back around 2013. At the beginning of the course they are allowed to look at their SPG to see how much air they have. Midway through the course they are expected to switch to approximating how much they think they should have, report that to the instructor, and then look at their SPG to confirm. It's a simple skill, and I found most students caught on to it pretty quickly. Helps to train students to recognize when something's not right with their air supply.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    You know... that is a good point about the perils of using a Spare Air that I rarely see addressed in the pros and cons of these debates. Unless its secured to the diver somehow, there is a non-zero chance of dropping the thing before it gets in the diver's mouth.
  8. woodcarver

    woodcarver Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    I always like it when folks who obviously have never even handled, let alone used, a device, want to denigrate and advise against it.

    Depending on how one slings it, the SA is as simple to deploy as a bungied 2nd on a slung pony. It is also clipped off with a coiled leash that will prevent it being lost even if you dropped it. The bag that holds it has a pair of velcroed straps to retain the tank; identical to the one I use with my 13cu H2Odyssey pony. With the swiveling 2nd on the H2Odyssey reg, it is very similar to use as the SA; no hose.

    The only valid objection I've ever seen with the SA system is volume. With the 6cu tank they've come out with, the volume has been doubled. Still a small tank. But it travels better than almost any other option. It's convenient to carry. So it will be more likely to be used on every dive. So, it really boils down to the question, is some air better than no air, at any depth. (Stuff doesn't always break at the deepest point in a dive). And a system that is so simple and unobtrusive that someone will carry it consistently seems to be a good thing.

    Btw, I am trying to buy a SA 6cu tank. Already have the reg obviously. It will be perfect to set up on my GF's kit.
    Bob DBF likes this.
  9. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    You might check the neck threads... 18x1.5 is a common one for that size, which is also the size used on a lot of paintball tanks. 3000 psi aluminum. Might be a cheap way to get a larger tank on the SA.
    woodcarver likes this.
  10. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Every picture of one I have seen has not had a leash. I now see the accessory demo picture on their site for the $20 coiled 4' safety leash, usable for cameras as well. I also now see some amazon kits with the safety leash on the outside of the pouch, which would go up to the neck of the spare air.

    ETA: The kit on LeisurePro has a leash.

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