- Reaction score
- Port Orchard, Washington State
- # of dives
- 1000 - 2499
I will agree with everything grant said and add my two cents. As he said, the sw is an internet darling and that is one of the major reasons it's becoming popular. I bought into it a year ago and since I couldn't find anyone that had a negative about it I was intrigued. I actually hated everything about the sw other than the fact that you trim out just as well as you do in regular sm. Other than that I was shocked at the cheap quality, lack of a secondary monitor as stock, it's absolute horrific water tolerance, the poor wob compared to what I'm used to, and the fact that it's impossible to dive it for more than an hour without getting wet sorb (oh and I almost forgot that Kiss also outright lies about scrubber capacity). Prior to class, not a single person said any of this. After class when I've given my thoughts on the sw to people who own them I suddenly get people agreeing and saying it's just what you have to deal with to be in a sm ccr, which I disagree with. Honeslty, the only person that has been honest about the negatives is rjack. The sw is also a fairly cheap unit, so it's attracting alot of people that wouldn't normally want a ccr. Because of that, there is a huge number of first time ccr users that think it's the bee's knees because they have nothing to compare it to. Also, you may or may not know, but Edd Sorrenson has a cult like following. If Edd says it's the best, they're going to as well. I'm even seeing the same from the legions of people that love Protec. So there are a ton of people buying into the hype for numerous reasons. And lastly, suddenly there are a ton of sw inistructors now, many of whom got the old boy's club pat on the back where you do a few dives and you're an instructor. The sw is selling so fast, that it's a money maker for instructors and everyone wants their cut.
As for making it better, that's just not going to happen due to the culture I've seen associated with the people in the know at Kiss. While in class with Edd taking my course, he received a bunch of texts and fb messages about people having their loop connection to their tower pop off on a dive. He got really pissed off and went on a tirade about how they weren't trained properly, it was user error, and they didn't know what they were doing. Meanwhile some of these people are inistructors who actually took the course under Edd. Edd really through that entire weekend got very bent out of shape about people bringing up issues with the unit. My last dive of the class I actually had CO2 breakthrough on the unit and had to bail out as I was getting early signs of a hit. It wasn't exclusively the units fault (I take part of the blame as I was fighting a severely leaking mask which afterwards I found was due to a tiny cut in the silicone), but the POS ADV was a major factor. If you want to know more you can message me. Anyway, back on the surface Edd agreed it was a CO2 hit and said I made the right call. On the drive home he called Mike form Kiss who got super pissed about it and said there was no way it was a CO2 hit and I just "freaked out". I don't think the fact that I took the hit is what got him pissed. What pissed him off was I told Edd that I didn't like the unit and actually didn't want to take one home. I didn't feel safe enough diving it that I would take the risk of diving it and having issues. From what I could hear of the conversation, Mike was very defensive and pissed. So based on those reactions and the fact that they're selling like hotcakes, I seriously doubt that they give enough sh-ts to fix the unit.
This is exactly my perception of the SW / sidemount culture around this unit.
I got mine after owning a Meg for 3.5 years. A unit with some of the highest built quality, water traps galore, can't sold without redundant monitors, objective scrubber and WOB testing and CE (among other things). The fact that the SW can even be sold at all if a bit shocking to me in comparison actually.