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Gear Requirements for the Solo Diver?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by CuzzA, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. CuzzA

    CuzzA Percoidea Wetwork for Hire ScubaBoard Supporter

    I do like the idea Tbone mentioned about the H valve. It's something I'll further investigate. I'll have to think about the drawbacks. One that immediately comes to mind is all my tanks would need to be converted.

    I also need to think more about a backup mask. The tether eliminates losing the mask due to strap failure or the mask falling off my head, but it doesn't eliminate lens or skirt failure. I don't know how likely that would be. Maybe not likely at all, but I am weary of many products today as they are made in Asia and quality control is questionable. I think it's fair to question anything made in Asia knowing the guy who assembled it could be in his 12 hour of the shift and has earned $5 for the days work. :/
  2. OldNSalty

    OldNSalty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Just this side of paradise.
    Nice attempt at diversion. I’ll award 25 points but deduct 50 for using a false equivalency.

    Divers, solo or not, should look to the collective wisdom that came before them and then ask “why” and “is there a better way”. Chances are, at this point in time, most of these conventions persist for well-established reasons. You don’t have to think too hard to come up with well-grounded arguments on why the solo diver should carry 2 cutting devices located in areas that are easily accessible with either hand. The inverse is not true however and I suspect that you cannot come up with good arguments on why you should place your cutting device in a location that is only reachable with one hand, except that it looks cool.
  3. CuzzA

    CuzzA Percoidea Wetwork for Hire ScubaBoard Supporter

    I think access with both hands is important for a cutting tool. In my limited experience with true entanglement it's usually not just one limb or piece of gear that's entangled, it's a combination of things like your arm, valve and fin. And the harder you pull the worse it gets. Being able to access your cutting tool from both hands could mean the difference between a relatively simple situation to solve to a more complicated stressful situation.

    I have to agree with OldNSalty.
  4. ozzydamo

    ozzydamo Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    side mount training also is useful, tdi is the way to go.....skills- Emergency management, changing over to your pony at depth, deploying smb from depth, navigation exercises, taking your rig off and on at the surface and at depth. Inflating your bcd manually at depth. using mirror and whistle at the surface to attract attention(using a gps also). Fittness tests, swims etc.
  5. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999

    Well in my opinion, after thousands of spearing dives... your rig is not something I would select. You have an extra octopus you don't need, you have an in-line valve that is a potential failure source, you have an OPV valve that you don't need, you have your mask connected to a regulator necklace which is very "unusual", you are carrying a spool you don't need and I suspect you will soon figure you need a spare mask as well - especially if you feel that seawater hurts your eyes.

    Do you have the head mounted go-pro on a lanyard as well? If so, this is also superfluous; if you make a decent chin strap, you will not lose the Go-Pro.

    You have indicated you also freedive as well. It might be beneficial for you to configure a consistent and common method to wear the knife when scuba diving and freediving. This may enhance your safety and your ability to access the knife quickly and efficiently.

    In general, stuff you need immediately, like a light, needs to be clipped off on a d-ring for instance access, not shoved in a pocket.

    Also, possibly you are unaware of this, but you can use a standard BC inflator to breathe from. It is probably more practical than thinking you are gonna grab and pinch a failed regulator hose that is whipping around underwater.

    And your idea that you are going to wear a pony bottle with certain buddies, but really good ones that you have a "relationship with" - you won't need a pony bottle? LOL Any good spearfishing buddy is going to be shooting fish NOT babysitting your azz at 100 ft.
    shoredivr and Nemrod like this.
  6. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    holy crap, i just agreed with DD, what is the world coming to....

    what he said about the regulators is true, i must have skimmed that. If you're diving with a pony on all dives, then ditch your standard octo and run the pony regulator up around your neck on a suicide strap. Two first stages, two second stages. No shutoffs, no opv's *unless diving Poseidons*, and call it a day.

    Set your rig up similar to the way GUE specifies their gear. Backup lights on the chest d-rings running down and strapped in with bungee or innertube for instant access, right side preferred for single light. Check the GUE page for pocket contents. Keep some double ender bolt snaps, shears, extra spool, and mask in the left. Can also keep an extra light or glo-tube in there if you want. Right pocket is typically wetnotes and other really random stuf fyou may carry with you.

    I still prefer reels or spools for shooting dsmbs and bags, but it is something you really do have to practice regularly to stay proficient at.

    Don't plan on breathing off of the inflator, but it is possible. That said, highly unlikely you'll ever need to do that because the second stage shouldn't fail closed, so don't practice that unless you sterilize your bc bladder regularly. Some people have almost died from the stuff that can grow in them. Bad news, don't do it.

    Spearfishing is always solo or same ocean diving. Once you settle on your gear configuration for a given environment, it should not change based on who you are diving with. I am a firm believer in DWW vs DIR, and that there are equipment configurations better for certain environments than others, BUT you should still settle on some sort of standardization for the environment and leave it like that because you'll be more comfortable and reliable that way.
  7. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    I do not completely agree that setting up one's gear per GUE standards is a particularly good idea for a solo diver since it is a configuration designed for team diving but certainly there are things that transfer. Well, I guess I see the point.

    I just do not find the need of an "octopus" for a solo diver rig. If I want redundancy I would want full redundancy provided by a pony/aux bottle, isolation manifolded twins or independent doubles back mounted, or in the fashion of the moment, side mounted.

  8. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    that's why I said similar to where the harness, pockets, suicide strap etc is fairly recognizable. I am 100% with you though that if you're carrying a second bottle as a pony, it should be your secondary air source and not have multiple second stages on a single first stage.
    Nemrod likes this.
  9. Bigd2722

    Bigd2722 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Winter Park, fl
    Only reason I keep the octopus on is I'm too lazy to change it out. I am rapidly approaching the point where I can have a dedicated solo rig, so I may have to rethink that point.
  10. agilis

    agilis Cat Lives Matter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: N.J.
    All dives should be regarded as solo dives because all dives actually are solo dives.

    Keep equipment as minimal as possible, strive for sleekness and ease of motion. A small bail out bottle is a good idea, but careful and continual monitoring of depth and gas consumption during a well planned dive should suffice. Excepting equipment failure as a cause, running out of air is an indication that one is not fully prepared for any kind of scuba diving.

    Knowing what you are doing is the one essential to all diving. The term 'solo diving' is a redundancy. The nature of the dive dictates the needed equipment, not the number of other divers. Lugging redundant equipment is silly and self-defeating. You are unlikely to get a spare mask from your buddy during the dive. in any case, you should not need one, even under the worst circumstances.

    A couple of carefully positioned and effective line cutting devices should always be part of your kit.
    Jordan Trotter likes this.

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