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NEW TS Sidemount system

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by bluemed, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    This guy has been diving for decades and now finally after years he comes up with this. Do you really think making a BP SM system is the easiest way to make money, can't you see any further ?
    A pity I can't see your profile, I am really curious if you are a professional or experienced diver...
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    When I look at tbone's profile I see Instructor/DM and 6-10 years experience. Is that view not available to you? Right click on his picture, click on information tab. I do not believe I have any more access to it than anyone else. From several of his posts he teaches scientific diving (a version of professional diving) on the east coast, and has been side mounting for many years. His posts seem overwhelmingly helpful and well informed. I would put him in the experienced diver category mentioned earlier.

    Sandwiching two plates seems a great plan as a workaround, for open water trials/experiments, if they are lying around. Selling plates and wings to do that deliberately from the start seems odd when there are designs more tailored to sidemount.
    Coztick, RayfromTX and RainPilot like this.
  3. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    Yes, that is what I see, and to me that doesn't sound like an awful lot of experience, there is a way of doing and saying things., especially if there is people with an awful lot of experience involved, like in this case.
  4. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    well, last word...speak in a few months ;-)
    Coztick likes this.
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    The TS may be a new 'system', but none of the components of that system are new, or unique. However, like the 'Hogarthian system' the development of a system usually involves selecting and refining from existing partial solutions... to create a new, holistic and distinct approach.

    Sandwiching two backplates is a very early concept in sidemount. That's how cold-water/steel-tank divers used to convert donut wings for sidemount. It's how I first started sidemount diving. But I found, as others have mentioned, that sandwiching solid plates posed an unacceptable risk of entrapment in restrictions. So I moved to using a soft backplate (Oxycheq) and a soft OMS wing converter; the OMS 'Profile' adapter... which has been around for about a decade.

    I'm surprised that TS went for a solid backplate system... when a soft or semi-rigid backplate approach would provide the same results, whilst eliminating the obvious entrapment risk. My assumption would be that it's easier/cheaper to produce solid backplates than it is to manufacture soft/semi-rigid ones... and TS can't just sell a collection of off-the-shelf components from other manufacturers...

    From my experience, even using a soft/semi-rigid backplate approach was far from optimal. But I didn't appreciate that until I'd tried a spine-webbing, lumbar/shoulder plate approach.

    Once the Razor was released, I finally got a taste for using a shoulder/lumbar plate arrangement, with a flexible spine strap... and I found that offered FAR more spinal/torso flexibility when maneuvering through tight-angled restrictions... and a much greater sense of mobility, freedom and maneuverability in the water.

    I can get through 90-degree bends in tight ventilation shafts in a 'Mexican cave' rig... but wouldn't any hope of doing so if my spinal mobility were compromised by a solid/semi-rigid plate along my whole spine/hips.

    Put simply, you needn't be trapped or restricted in a 'rigid' trim position... as you would with backmount or many steel/cold-water (Florida style) sidemount solutions. The mobility offered by spine-webbing harnesses provides a distinct capacity and sensation that can't be appreciated until you've really had chance to challenge it..and compare it.. in very confined penetration areas...

    I acknowledge that 'systems' typically stem from a particular environment and experience-base. In the case of TS... that experience base and environment seems firmly linked with cold-water, backmount diving.... where significant restrictions and very confined spaces don't pose a major barrier on overhead environment diving.

    I think it's probably quite applicable for a limited scope of diving... including open water and/or lengthy penetrations where tight restrictions are negligible. I think it's also something that can most be appreciated by sidemount divers who haven't gained much experience diving 'English' or 'Mexican cave' style rigs like the Razor.... who have come from 'DIR' backmount (and maybe into 'Florida style' sidemount) background and wouldn't feel or notice that their outright mobility and freedom to maneuver was diminished by having losing freedom to rotate and bend their spine/hips when necessary.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  6. leadduck

    leadduck Contributor

    I think the application for the large metal backplates is the sidemount rebreather SF2 that he developed with Scubaforce. See sidemount explorer: Sidemount-Rebreather (unfortunately text only in German, but the pictures are there). I saw the new system (pre-built , not the homemade low-cost DIY thing) with large rebreather backplate offered for 890EUR, not really on the cheap side.

    AFAIK he comes from DIR backmount but developed the system when living in Mexico for cave exploration there some 12 years ago. I think he's completely aware that a rigid backplate is a bad choice for very curved confined spaces and uses a Razor for that, whereas elsewhere backplates work. The advantages he lists on the website are: very low profile (no bladder on the back), back protection (only metal but not the wing scratching on a sharp-edged ceiling), weight distributed over the whole back, very rigid stable setup (easy to don and doff even heavy gear), can attach a lot of stuff (oxygen tanks, batteries, Argon).
  7. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    Thank you Andy, argumentation with an explanation based on experience and a bit of common sense. As you know I have tried many systems as well, and also in my head this if is not specifically designed for no mount rabbit holes.
    The system has evolved quiet a bit (compared to 2 BP's), the BP is smaller, the top BP is a bit "pointed and protected and as you can see in the vanilla skye project it does work in very confined spaces and for cave diving in general ,at least for toddy.
    It offers some other great features (as explained before)...this I can tell you guys since I have tried it and compare it to almost any other system, of course I will go and try it in a "rabbit hole" as well.
    However, a Mexican style wing, a drysuit, a lot of weight, full pockets, reels, lights etc.. and a weight system on your spine will make any super tight restriction a night mare, the rigid weight system on your spine with 12 kg's in it also compromises your flexibility (forget about bending your back like with a wetsuit and a few kg's) and you can also get entangled puncture drysuits etc...
    Until now I have never been overly impressed by any SM system in cold water config...the "looking for" is the fun part.
    Nevertheless the system is exceptionally well made, super HD, quality webbing, kevlar...I bet we will see more of it.
  8. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    Guys, The BP is smaller than a normal BP., so no LARGE BP's......unfortunately I can't post a picture for reference since my luggage got lost on a flight (still waiting)
  9. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    the size of the backplates is not relevant. the spine bend is still there, and that spine channel is the issue. It also doesn't matter how narrow they are as it is the length that matters second to the spine channel, and at leas the one touching your back is full length

    @DevonDiver and @leadduck when I briefly talked with Toddy about the system, the biggest advantage originally was the ability to sandwich a pair of SS backplates around the wing for ballast purposes

    @bluemed my day job is designing performance textiles. Read I design fabrics for composites, ballistic vests, and aerospace. Kevlar in diving applications is 100% based on marketing, not engineering as Kevlar VERY rapidly degrades when exposed to water. It provides no protection against puncture, that is done by the membrane used to coat it and the bladder itself, and will provide some improved abrasion resistance for the first large abrasion until it is exposed and then it will provide significantly less abrasion resistance than a nylon equivalent.
  10. bluemed

    bluemed Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: world
    Great, you do your job in the office and I will do mine in the water ,btw it comes in cordura as well.

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