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Recommend Redundant Air Supply Tank Size & Setup for Solo

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by SlugMug, May 23, 2021.

  1. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    460
    329
    May i ask why you consider it a “cluster”?
     
    rongoodman and Cdncoldwater like this.
  2. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,665
    11,195
    In 12 years, 1160 dives, I've only seen one diver off a boat diving sidemount in SE Florida (Boynton Beach, West Palm, Jupiter). The practice does not appear to have caught on so quickly in this area

    On the other hand, I see backmount doubles, including tiny/baby doubles, and rebreathers, fairly frequently.
     
  3. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    1,740
    3,019
    Same here. I've seen it once that I recall and that person was not popular on the boat. They were not in-sync with the rest of the divers and required significant topside assistance from the crew. This is given the type of diving here which is predominantly drift diving in currents that are typically stiff, one or two large groups of divers entering the water at the same time, and sea conditions that often times are not flat calm. As a result sidemounting is not easily managed. I think it works much better for shore diving or boat diving from a moored boat without much current.
     
    dead dog and scubadada like this.
  4. Capt. T. Goetz

    Capt. T. Goetz Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
    264
    59
    Unless you are cave/adv wreck diving i don't see any major advantages to using sidemount, at least in S FL. I can easily manage the valves on my twinset, some divers even mount the tanks up side - down to get a better reach. I have tried SM before and may have to again going into full-cave, but it some how just feels, loose, it doesn't have the same "connectivity" as bp/w.....the tanks are constantly moving and spg's are floating around, and doing any kind of kick besides frog is a nightmare <TG>
     
    dead dog likes this.
  5. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    2,215
    1,398
    "it some how just feels, loose":
    So my spine can flex instead of following a cylinder from tail bone to skull? Sweet!!
    "any kind of kick besides frog is a nightmare":
    There are other kicks?? What ones? Oh, right, I do use all those, just fine.

    The second is in jest. But the first is a key benefit to looking around underwater, good enough benefit to me.

    I think a boat diving key is jumping in fully rigged and able to descend immediately. And if you want to pass up a tank on exit, de-rigging it as you approach the surface or boat, not while floating about at the stern.

    It is more complex than back mount, so it is best to get the rigging steps down at home or on shore dives where others are not waiting.
     
    RayfromTX and Cdncoldwater like this.
  6. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,665
    11,195
    Hi @MichaelMc

    Do you have experience drift diving in SE Florida? Reboarding can be quite sporty, I'm sure that is true in California too. You don't approach the boat the boat swings to pick you up. I think there may be some good reasons that sidemount diving has not really caught on big here.
     
  7. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    2,215
    1,398
    @scubadada, Hi. I've no Fla ocean experience. My ocean boat diving is in HI, Belize, and southern and northern CA which included unanchored pickups. And sidemount only with small tanks. Reboarding, definitely use what the boat and local conditions suggest. Most of the 'annoying sidemounter' discussions seemed about being slow, not reboarding.
     
    dead dog likes this.
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,665
    11,195
    I have no real idea why sidemount has not caught on in SE FL. As I have said previously, backmount doubles, including baby/tiny doubles and rebreathers, are not uncommon.

    The one sidemount diver I dived with was fully ready and splashed with everyone else. I did not see him reboard, as I was no longer with him.
     
    dead dog and Cdncoldwater like this.
  9. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    460
    329
    There are many advantages outside of cave. Streamlining, passive redundancy, non dedicated tanks, carry parts of the load at a time while on land, and more. I dive back mounted doubles as well and see the advantage to them in some of the fast paced exits that have been mentioned, but for most dives proper practice and training make entry and exit a simple process in sidemount.
    Kicks are still easy, if set up correctly spg’s dont float around and tanks sit nice without feeling loss of stability but adding the benefit of comfort and flexibility. I don’t dislike backmounted doubles, but i do get annoyed at the “sidemount is only for advanced cave diving and otherwise is pointless” concept...
     
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  10. SlugMug

    SlugMug Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    540
    380
    Suddenly a large number of side-mount haters appear! (hah)

    I'm going to give side-mount a solid try before forming any strong opinions on it. To the best I can tell, SM being better or worse is highly subjective or based on one's individual circumstances, or the type of diving.

    I just signed up on sidemounting.com, and bought a harness and wing (without breaking the bank). So it would be kinda silly for me to dip out now. At minimum it should be a learning experience, and I'll be a little more prepared if I later wanted to get into tech-diving or cave-diving, or just quickly mount a pony bottle. I suspect SM would work well for me, but I suppose I'll find out one way or another.

    I also usually dive from the shore, or my friend's boat, so I don't have to worry about being "that guy" who blocks the ladder. I do scuba for fun, and don't blame people if they want to relax a little and take their time, unless they're absurdly slow.
     
    Bowers likes this.

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