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Marie13

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I forgot - be prepared to spend some money on hoses. Your regs might be set up one way in class, but after some dives at home, you might want a change. If you use something like 12” inflator hoses, keep spares on hand. SM seems to often use sizes you won’t find at the standard dive shop.
 

Rukkian

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The Xdeep will work with any tanks, it's diver knowledge that makes the difference.

Make sure your instructor regularly does real tech dives in sidemount. This doesn't guarantee a skillset, but helps.

What I have seen a lot of is the instructor gets the student perfect in the water, but does not explain to the student how any of it works. Then the student goes and changes one little thing and it's a complete sh!t show. They have no idea how to adjust their kit for the changes.


Edit: Typo

Good to know, thanks. Will make sure I understand the whys, not just the hows.
 

Cdncoldwater

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Because the question was not everybody please keep going on and on and on and on about doing tech. I get it. That was not the point. Asked and answered. If all people will discuss is that, there is no point. I already reached out to the instructor and went through it, and will probably not be doing anything with tech sm. That was determined on page one. Going on and on about it was not the point.

Like I said, if I could delete the whole thread, I would, if there is a way, please enlighten me I wanted basic tips I should know before starting sm.
Understand gas management practices specific to SM and practice regulator switches (you could do this with your BM Octo). Hose routing can be agency/instructor depend but most have a long hose (5-7 feet) on the right side, understand how to stow that hose properly. Trim is important, neutral buoyancy (fin tips minimum) for tank pivot drills. valve shut down/feathering. Accessing pockets with tanks on your side etc.
 

Rukkian

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Understand gas management practices specific to SM and practice regulator switches (you could do this with your BM Octo). Hose routing can be agency/instructor depend but most have a long hose (5-7 feet) on the right side, understand how to stow that hose properly. Trim is important, neutral buoyancy (fin tips minimum) for tank pivot drills. valve shut down/feathering. Accessing pockets with tanks on your side etc.
Great info. When I ordered my drysuit, I had the pockets put on my front thighs, going that would allow access if/when I went to sm.

I went with 7' for the primary and 36" for the secondary, and then 9" for the two inflators, knowing fair well I will probably make some changes at some point, but good to know.

Thanks for the info.
 

halocline

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36" is really long for the left tank in sidemount, most people I know use around 24". I wouldn't think of the two regs as primary and secondary, you're switching back and forth so think of them as either right/left or long hose/short hose. I like slightly longer SPG hoses; I use 9" instead of the more common 6". I find it easier to read them. 9" for the inflator hoses is fairly common, 6" is also common at least with the razor.

I put a 90 angle swivel on the short hose and leave the long hose straight. It's very comfortable, and this way it's almost instantaneous to identify which reg you are breathing from, you just reach up and feel if there's a swivel. This makes it very quick and idiot-proof for air sharing and/or valve drills.

If you learn SM from a good instructor, for example someone who dives SM in caves expertly and is also a cave instructor, you should become very proficient at all the standard skills; reg swap/clip, S drills, reclipping AL tanks (you'll need 2 sets of D rings on your hip belt or sliding D rings, which I hate) deploying and stowing the long hose, dropping the right tank, etc. (There are many more) There's a lot to learn just for efficient gear up if you're paying attention to all the details. My SM class, which was for full cave diving, took a solid 4 days and that was after I had more than 50 full cave dives (plus many intro level dives and training dives) in BM doubles.

You can certainly use SM doubles in OW, but the task loading to be really good at it is much more in the technical diving realm of skill level. The whole point of SM is to have flexibility in problem solving and restriction penetration. You can 'do more' (I guess) with a SM rig in the water, and this means that there's more tasks to learn how to do, all with excellent trim, buoyancy, and propulsion control. So I'm not sure you can truly separate 'rec' sidemount from 'tech' sidemount, other than, of course, the other demands of the dive, like overhead or deco demands. I guess my point is that even in nice shallow warm clear OW, good thorough SM training involves a level of skill mastery and task loading more typically associated with technical diving. So you shoudl learn a lot more than just how to rig a SM set up.
 

Rukkian

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36" is really long for the left tank in sidemount, most people I know use around 24". I wouldn't think of the two regs as primary and secondary, you're switching back and forth so think of them as either right/left or long hose/short hose. I like slightly longer SPG hoses; I use 9" instead of the more common 6". I find it easier to read them. 9" for the inflator hoses is fairly common, 6" is also common at least with the razor.

I put a 90 angle swivel on the short hose and leave the long hose straight. It's very comfortable, and this way it's almost instantaneous to identify which reg you are breathing from, you just reach up and feel if there's a swivel. This makes it very quick and idiot-proof for air sharing and/or valve drills.

If you learn SM from a good instructor, for example someone who dives SM in caves expertly and is also a cave instructor, you should become very proficient at all the standard skills; reg swap/clip, S drills, reclipping AL tanks (you'll need 2 sets of D rings on your hip belt or sliding D rings, which I hate) deploying and stowing the long hose, dropping the right tank, etc. (There are many more) There's a lot to learn just for efficient gear up if you're paying attention to all the details. My SM class, which was for full cave diving, took a solid 4 days and that was after I had more than 50 full cave dives (plus many intro level dives and training dives) in BM doubles.

You can certainly use SM doubles in OW, but the task loading to be really good at it is much more in the technical diving realm of skill level. The whole point of SM is to have flexibility in problem solving and restriction penetration. You can 'do more' (I guess) with a SM rig in the water, and this means that there's more tasks to learn how to do, all with excellent trim, buoyancy, and propulsion control. So I'm not sure you can truly separate 'rec' sidemount from 'tech' sidemount, other than, of course, the other demands of the dive, like overhead or deco demands. I guess my point is that even in nice shallow warm clear OW, good thorough SM training involves a level of skill mastery and task loading more typically associated with technical diving. So you shoudl learn a lot more than just how to rig a SM set up.

Great info, thanks. You all have me wondering what I am getting into. I realize I will probably be swapping out some hoses at some point, and am okay with that. I went 36" when I ordered because I am a big guy and usually dive with a dry suit and either 250 or 400 gram undrgarments. It might end up needing swapped, and that is okay.

I did get 9" spg hoses, will see how that goes. Will probably switch to transmitters at some point, but plan to learn with spg to start.

That is a good thought about the straight hose on one. The setup came with 110° in each. I will pay attention and possibly switch it.
 
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