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Recommend Redundant Air Supply Tank Size & Setup for Solo

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

  1. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    I went side mount for back injury reasons, close to 75 dives in this config and it is my go to for how and where I dive. Would I dive back mount doubles , never, so it must be terrible for everyone else to try and I condemn it :)

    You know, because my beliefs and the way I dive are the way everyone should dive.....
    RayfromTX, Bowers and Marie13 like this.
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes

    Lots of folks with knee/ankle/back issues dive SM. When I was getting fills yesterday, another “older” diver (I’m 52 and he looked older than I am) mentioned his knees can’t handle the weight of a twinset anymore and he’s switching to SM. His seeing my SM rigged tanks prompted the conversation. I’ve got bad knees/sciatica myself. Couldn’t handle the weight of small doubles.

    Are you another of the mindset that twinsets are the only “real” way to dive and anyone who settles for SM only is somehow an inferior diver? You certainly give off those vibes. Maybe we should make you handle a twinset with a bad knee.
  3. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    good deal! I believe a vast number of divers who don’t like sidemount had a bad experience with being “trained” by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, resulting in a feel of instability and unnecessary complication. When done properly, sidemount is stable and intuitive.
    I commend you for signing up for a proper class and entering with the right mindset.
    Cdncoldwater and RayfromTX like this.
  4. SlugMug

    SlugMug Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    Sidemount seems like it could have plenty of uses. The reasons I'm attracted to it are, it appears that:
    • The configuration of the OCTO looks a LOT cleaner & I hate having hoses everywhere.
    • Easier to both attach and detach tanks.
    • Theoretically easier to get in/out of my friends boat. Possibly less likely to injure my back climbing up a small ladder in wavy conditions.
    • Supposedly more streamlined.
    • Good for quickly attaching a redundant air-supply.
    And many other people mention it being great for if you have problems with your knees, back, or other joints.

    Thank you. I'm excited to get started. This week, I'm knocking out another SCUBA class, and then next week is when I'll probably enter the water side-mount for the first time.
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    You don’t call it an octo with SM.
  6. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Same ocean as you!
    Thank you, of course you may.

    Another happy diver


    or this


    Solo is diving unhindered where on goes minimal basic gear and the diver just goes

    unless you are here


    or you are Marie13 with knees (I actually included you Marie, during my compilation before reading your posts)

    anyone that thinks this way must have intermittent electrical issues up top

    Solo is for ease of diving, because all the rest with all the gear is not diving
  7. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    you seem to believe that sidemount looks like the second picture unless you are the truly elite? Perhaps you had a poor experience trying it? Or are repeating what mentors have told you without asking the reasons they came to that conclusion?

    this is what i look like E0536657-6AFB-4FF3-8F54-2BC4C95DAF31.jpeg D106698D-CA7D-4FC5-B776-D40F742D13FC.jpeg

    and this is what my buddy looked like his very first time ever in sidemount
    84382F92-F3B4-4CC0-95F8-282577D419B3.jpeg 56BDEADD-9C93-4701-A232-4762E4619A1D.jpeg

    As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a cluster if good training is involved. He came out of the water asking why people made it sound so complicated, and saying it was very intuitive and felt great.
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  8. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel while the cruise ships are gone
    I have done 120 dives since Christmas. I brought my back mount rig and my sidemount rig. I have not used the back mount rig once but visiting friends have. I usually dive with two 80s on the sides and one slung in front. I dive with other side mounters and with one guy that is back mounting doubles and slinging a stage and with some friends in single tank back mounted and a slung stage.

    I use a scooter and often pull others as they hold onto my waist strap. There is significantly more drag when pulling even a single tank back mounted diver compared to a side mounted diver. The sidemount tanks are in the same plane as my shoulders. Look at the picture above of the sidemount diver head on. You can't see his tanks. Imagine the extra drag if you put one or two tanks on his back sticking up above his frontal area that creates the drag in sidemount.

    There are downsides to sidemount diving but the ones that are regularly raised by those that haven't used the configuration or have only tried it and rejected it are not problems that exist for a trained side mounter. My biggest issue with sidemount is that if my aluminum tanks are near empty and I have any reason to want to remove my rig underwater it will be SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult than with back mount because the floaty bottoms of the aluminum tanks are going to turn the whole configuration into a mess once the rig is not attached to you which means stowing hoses and disconnecting tanks and clipping them off and it's really just a mess.

    Fortunately the reason to do that in back mount so that you can inspect things isn't an issue in sidemount because it is simple to dismount a tank and remount it. If, however, you ever have the urgent need to perform a warhammer maneuver, I recommend just soiling your suit and working it out later. It isn't possible in sidemount with a wetsuit. It just isn't.

    When I exit the water I already have everything stowed except my short hose in my mouth. I hand up the scooter, camera and tanks as quickly as the person taking them is ready to take them when diving a boat in cozumel. I can go up the ladder with two tanks but doing so after clearing deco is not the optimal thing to do. On shore I have someone take them out when possible but I have come out and climbed stairs with three tanks and a scooter.

    My sidemount experience is limited to boats in Cozumel and the UAE and shore diving with aluminum tanks in the ocean and steel tanks in fresh water at home. I won't sell my back mount rig but I don't dive it either. I think I would take it for a single tank night dive but see no reason for it other than that and diving in the river.
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi @RayfromTX

    Your configuration is perfect for the diving that you are doing, where you are doing it, with the support available to you. Your current opportunity may be relatively unique and not readily generalizable. You could probably do something similar in Bonaire, perhaps you'll have the chance to try it sometime

    Take care :)
  10. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    Quality instruction makes the difference and not everyone likes it. It has it's down sides as well and I imagine dressing on a boat is one of them but unless you give it a legitimate try, beyond a course, you won't know if it is for you.
    Bowers likes this.

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