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Do you have to defend your sidemount setup?

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by Mermaid2, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Not quite. I'm not willing to bash someone I've never met for doing things that normal retailers do. It's a pretty significant difference.

    The real problem is in mixing things up. When you say that shops selling BP&Wings at a %30 markup, when they are actually increasing the cost by half but then claiming that a %50 markup by the shop selling stab jackets is actually %100. It's creates an exaggeration of the difference with absolutely no facts to back them up. Does the shop selling at the %30 markup have the latest compressor, a booster and more? You can run a shop out of your garage with little to no overhead and sell just a few points over what you bought it for. Or you can make a huge infrastructure commitment and expect a small ROI, but you're going to have to charge a lot, lot more. It's ignorant to think that the latter is at all being greedy.
  2. Alastor

    Alastor Liveaboard

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Italy
    Ok, I got the point Doc, not simply math... :)
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
  4. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

    I am going on a limb and saying that tbone has a point that there's a bunch of people selling really expensive useless crap that doesn't work well. I recently had a cavern student show up with a BC that can best be described as a girdle, and it had a 38# cell. WTF?
  5. Caveeagle

    Caveeagle Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Springs, FL
    On a lighter note....

    I think the only time I have ever felt (at all) defensive about my gear configuration was diving off Key West in the early 90's. I had to reconfig my BP/W to dive single tank for that trip. I'm sure the DM thought he was being funny, but was openly poking fun at the "cave diver" bringing all the "fancy" gear out for a reef dive. Funny thing is that at that point, I was actually using an old Seatec Wing that I had added holes/grommets myself to work with my BP/Doubles.

    I do think the "defending your gear" dilemma is a bit exaggerated. From my experience, its much more common for Teck/cave divers to critique each others gear choices. I have no problem with somebody suggesting a better way to do something. I just don't like the "that's wrong and unacceptable" kind of opinions projected with a condescending tone.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    Traditionally, that's true.... but the internet age.... forums and Facebook groups.... certainly seems to put less experienced divers in a position to critique a lot more. That can be a good, or a bad, thing.... depending on the person/s involved.
  7. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    I have never had this experience. I have had a boat captain make sarcastic remarks about my SM rig, but there was a back-story that allowed me to understand the comment, and that it was not directed at me. Years ago, I slung a pony bottle on a shallow reef dive in FL (because it was a new gear item for me, I wanted to practice with it and tweak the rigging before diving the Spiegel Grove later in the week), and the boat captain was quite sarcastic - in front of others on the boat - about me 'needing a stage bottle on the reef'. I just ignore those kinds of comments, I avoid responding with hand gestures, and I never feel any need to defend my rig. I generally prefer the Rhett Butler approach ('Frankly, Scarlett . . .'). With SM, what I almost always get is genuine curiosity, and a chance to engage divers in discussion about something with which they are unfamiliar.

    Personally, I am happy that dive shops are able to sell gear, at a profit. I am happy that manufacturers are able to sell gear, at a profit. That allows them to invest in the development of commercial gear for smaller markets. We have seen an explosion in commercially available SM rigs over the past 5 years - just take a look at DevonDiver's list of available rigs, on his website (Sidemount Diving Articles and News)! I won't say that all of those rigs are 'good', but the fact is that when manufacturers believe there is a potential market, and choose to explore it, there is at least some likelihood that I/we will benefit from the availability of a product that wasn't there before.

    I do object to the active dissemination of mis-information ('Sidemount is only for caves'; 'Backplates are only for technical diving'; etc.), irrespective of the source (shops, manufacturers, or individual divers). But, in most cases, I think that occurs because of ignorance, or fear, or desperation, more than greed. A shop owner, who has no experience with sidemount (or doubles diving of any kind for that matter), and who doesn't stock / sell SM rigs, is possibly more likely to tell a recreational diver customer who asks about SM, 'Sidemount is only for cave diving, what you want is . . .', out of fear of losing a possible sale. Call that greed if you want. I see it as ignorance, or a desperate attempt to make a sale, and stay in business.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    BeijaFlor and shoredivr like this.
  8. MSargeant

    MSargeant Nassau Grouper

    Had a couple "out of towners" start pointing and asking the usual questions of "Why are you diving sidemount in a quarry?" and then the whole "twinsets are better, better buoyancy/trim blah blah ad nauseum". Happily answered the curiosities and just smiled and said we'd see in the water. Safety stop was interesting, sending up an SMB midwater hovering whilst the super duper instructor lady was doing the same but kicking the sh*te out of her buddy in the process.

    Would be lying if I said that I didn't have a sh*t eating grin when I got out of the water...

    At the end of the day, your rig is your rig, provided it's safe, well thought out and works, crack on!
    BCSGratefulDiver and Colliam7 like this.
  9. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    Words of wisdom!
  10. Patoux01

    Patoux01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Geneva
    - Safe for you
    - Safe for your buddies
    - Safe for the environment.

    Then I agree.
    Colliam7 likes this.

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