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Razor 2.0 or 2.1 or SMS75

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by ScubaShaneVB, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
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    You do not have to.
    Nobody attacked it. I am just a bit more critical with it than most others.
    As I said: it is very good system! One of the best on the market at the moment.

    On the other hand the Stealth is a bit off-topic in this thread, isn't it?
    I just did not want a different system with mostly identical capabilities to distract.

    It is...
    It looks much more like a political decision than anything else, though.

    Steve Martin just seems to have wanted to keep his independence as an instructor and teach for more than one system.

    btw:
    The Razor pouch stayed with him in several videos, seems to have been irreplaceable.

    He was always offering non-gosidemount training in addition to the Razor classes, but recommended the Razor repeatedly.
    If you can find old info he wrote on his site it is easy to see how (nearly fanatically) dedicated he was to the Razor.
    His excellent videos almost replace a day of training, more Razor specific info than anyone else ever published.
    Now he is as absolute about the Stealth.

    Never met him, only emailed a few years ago, but I assume when I do met him he will be a much more complex person than shown by his internet persona and the fascinating viral marketing he surrounds himself with.

    In my opinion this is an often cited misunderstanding about the Razor BAT-wing.
    While you can roll to optimize dumping air that is not necessary in every situation you want to decrease buoyancy.

    A fully inflated wing will dump in any orientation (when completely submerged).
    It can also be helped along by pulling on one of the wing bungees (with both of the wings discussed here).
    Only if the wing is next to empty the air has to be moved towards the pull dump first.

    This is not different from having to get the lower part of the wing to the highest position while the wing bulges up above it (on the Stealth the top of the inflated wing is several centimeters higher in the water than the dump).
    Both are easy to control and with both body movement helps, but it is not strictly necessary.
    The construction of the Stealth wing has a few disadvantages when jumping into the water and after longer periods drifting on the surface, especially in bad weather.
    Something to keep in mind, not something too discourage from using the wing sensibly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  2. gearhound

    gearhound Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Actually, the Stealth is really good at the surface. All the lift is underneath you, rather than these huge wings that put all the lift at the shoulders. That was one of the deciding factors for me. It comfortably kept my head above the water at the surface with my steel tanks. No problems with my students this weekend when we had to surface swim back to shore in choppy waters due to one having ear issues. It's easy to dump at the surface too, since the corrugated hose is at the top of the wing. I can drop down while keeping an eye on my buddy or students.

    Our shop is dealer for both systems (as well as Hollis). All are nice and now have input from cave divers, as opposed to the SMS100 or SMS50. But I digress and am off topic!
     
  3. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
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    I am not an instructor and probably do not have your experience either.
    In my opinion you describe any good sidemount system (see edit in the quote).
    But yes, the Stealth is quite perfect there.

    But the Razor is its equal (and also others) in any way important, in this case for surfaces intervals and initial submerging.

    With the Razor you can start pulling the pull-dump while vertical at the surface. It will dump air but not empty the wing completely in that position.
    You immediately drop under the surface and into horizontal position, however. While orienting yourself you naturally roll a bit on your side and dump remaining air if needed.
    I do not think it is important how you do this exactly. It works for any good sidemount system one way or the other.
    With the 'bad' ones you just need two hands for that or have to switch the dump you have to use, etc.

    Even the SMS75 should not be to bad there, but I never saw one in the water.

    Stealth and Razor can easily exist side by side without anyone thinking to use an inferior system.
    No need to constantly compare those.
    On the other hand: While I can think of many flaws in the Stealth (and named some very concrete ones), I cannot find any flaw mentioned anywhere about the Razor I could not prove to be wrong (or at least acceptable) easily, sorry ;-)

    Again:
    The original question was whether to buy a Razor 2 for 669-700 now, wait for the Razor 2.1 or decide on an SMS75 for any reason.
    Stealth or others where not mentioned.
    Answer can only be (in my opinion): Buy now and upgrade while finding out the reasons for it yourself or in training - much more fun!

    ---------- Post added July 24th, 2014 at 08:56 PM ----------

    @gearhound
    I do not want to challenge you or something...:
    Try this in the Stealth.
    Thinking about it should be enough actually, since you know the Stealth yourself.

    (Get at least two experienced buddys for support, I had one, he was gone when needed!)

    Play the dumb newbie: forget about the crotch bungee for the wing and jump into an oncoming wave from a pier (find an easy location, but some height - for me it was about 2,5-3 meters when it happened)) with the wing mostly or fully inflated - you will not like it.

    Or simulate slipping while giant striding from a big safari boat in waves: Jump in headfirst inflator lose in your hand with the wing fully inflated (hitting a wave just right helps).
    If the wing does not go to your ankles I would like to know how you do it.

    I do not want to 'dis' the Stealth.
    As I repeatedly stated, I like it and expect it to be very successful for some time to come (also XDeep made successors).

    I like analyzing sidemount systems and finding the flaws and ideas (its just a hobby).

    I just do not like the idea of a 'competition' between system that are essentially all good.
    The best thing about diving (in my opinion) is that nobody has to compete for anything.

    Every concept has a few flaws.
    Some (like the Stealth) also pack a lot of innovation that are easy to criticize individually - training will have to compensate for some time to come I think, or people could get hurt. ;-)
    I did some very stupid things myself and one of those was getting my wing nearly ripped off diving a system that makes that impossible if used even half-correctly, but I was inexperienced, ill-advised and experimented where I should not have had deviated from the manual before having thought it through.

    I had backmounters with me on every dive then for a long time and never got competent feedback before finding underwater mirrors and getting a camera.

    On the Stealth the wing is not even meant to be attached... I would have choked myself constantly.

    But you can still take me up on it: Tell me about a flaw in the Razor and we discuss that instead for a while, as its more on-topic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  4. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
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    So you don't want to slate the stealth, but you are happy to use a scenario of user error to demonstrate what you consider to be a flaw in it? The user error is the problem here, not the wing.

    Or is it your opinion that when an aircraft crashes due to pilot error, the problem really lies with the aircraft for not being designed beyond that user error issue?

    I only use the aircraft example to demonstrate how crazy it sounds when you apply the same thinking to a current scenario.

    User error is exactly as it sounds and should not be blamed on the system.... In any scenario.
     
  5. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
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    Of course.

    The two things to test the Stealth wing with are quite typical scenarios that could even happen anytime to experienced divers and sidemounters (requires forgetfulness and a bit of bad luck).
    Experienced sidemount divers shrug off things like that, beginners might end up discouraged.
    I would not talk about it if I had not seen less clumsy people than me fail more spectacularly. :wink:
    Ever seen someone do a frontflip from a pier for show in a Stealth wing - I have :rofl3::rofl3:, was a selfmade harness with a Stealth Wing, but since the Wing is not attached anyway...

    Is it your opinion that diving and flying is anywhere comparable in the personal and collateral risks taken?
     
  6. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
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    I have to concede that i have not seen such a scene, but then I tend to dive with people that understand the equipment they are diving with.... those that don't, I try to avoid as i consider them too high risk for all the reasons you've shown.... this however does not make any of the issues a system failure or design flaw, it merely shows that with any system, there is no accounting for human stupidity. :D

    It is my opinion that both diving and flying can contain high levels of risk, yes. In both disciplines, the user trains and gains experience to mitigate these risks and if either chooses NOT to follow guidelines of manufacturers, be they aircraft or diving, then the outcome can ONLY be blamed on the individual and not the manufacturer or product. (this is clearly not stealth specific, but pertains to any system or product)
     
  7. Razorista

    Razorista Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
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    Ok, in my own opinion diving is (can be) much safer than talking an evening stroll with your dog. :crafty:
    I never take risks if I can avoid it and do not think myself invulnerable.

    But the second example I gave does not require stupidity.
    Just slipping while putting on fins on the boats edge.

    I (almost) never blame someone for stupidity before the third try with an idea. :wink:

    Doesn't matter.
    If you like your Stealth I would not want to discourage you.

    The Razor is next to 'idiot-proof' in my opinion, however.
    You cannot hurt yourself even when trying hard (if you keep your normal diving lessons in mind and don't make mistakes in that regard).
    You do not even have to be able to read to use the manual, you just look at the pretty pictures and immitate.
     
  8. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
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    Here we have some common ground... i'm in 100% agreement with you here.... :D
     
  9. gearhound

    gearhound Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Gentlemen, both systems are great! The Stealth works better for cold water and also for staging. The bungee loops keep the d-ring free and clear. Not so with the Razor. The d-ring is locked down by the continuous bungee. Not an issue if you don't intend to stage. Not undoable in warm water. Not impossible in cold water, just a little more difficult. Pointing out flaws would be implying that I know more that Bogaerts...And I am under no illusion that I do. He's an expert and has done dives that I couldn't even imagine doing.

    I also hold Patrick Widmann and the boys that he explores with in high regard. They're probably the most active cave explorers in Mexico right now. Their gear is designed for cave exploration.

    Both have put thought into their system. And they have to be set up just right to get the full benefits. It's much quicker and easier with the Stealth.

    However, I subscribe to the theory that it's all about the diver. If you're a crappy diver, it doesn't matter what gear you're in, you'll be a crappy diver. Invest in your dive skills and it won't matter what gear you're in, you'll still be a good diver! And when you get to that level, you'll be able to sort out the nuances of each system for yourself.
     
    Sidemount_Stu and markmantei like this.
  10. MSargeant

    MSargeant Nassau Grouper

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    The deciding factor for me between The Razor and the Stealth is that changing weights on a Razor can be an Arse whereas on a stealth it's a doddle. Same goes for making adjustments betwen drysuit + thick layers to a 5mm wetsuit. I still love the Razor and prefer the harness as a concept, I just want to make things as easy as possible :D
     

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