Recommend Redundant Air Supply Tank Size & Setup for Solo

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Cdncoldwater

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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 View attachment 662915 View attachment 662917

and this is what my buddy looked like his very first time ever in sidemount
View attachment 662918 View attachment 662919

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.

Exactly!
 

Capt. T. Goetz

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I make one negative comment about sm divers and they come hate on me lol just like freedivers. I meant that for a average 60' dive IN FL i prefer back mount, and many others must feel the same bc i have NEVER seen a SM diver in OW in S FL. I Think @SlugMug should try both and see what he's comfortable with. Another consideration is that if he were to go into An/Dp dives it would make more sense to back gas and SM the stage bottles just saying..... but cheers anyway you salty sidemounters:nyah:
 

Capt. T. Goetz

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:facepalm:

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.
Not in any way are Side-mounters inferior, and in many scenarios SM is MUCH better. I don't believe @SlugMug is limited by age/strength. I AM A SM diver, i had a xdeep stealth classic for a few years, but for OW diving in south florida in strong current it doesn't make any sense, hence why you never see SM for OW here..... and i think it is a similar story in TX
 

SlugMug

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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.
Quality is the key word. I must admit, SSI's online training is a bit like swallowing sand. I'm not saying it's objectively-bad, just that it bores me like crazy, and I'd never pay for their online courses except that it's required for any SSI-affiliated class. The instructors locally are fine so far, so I'm just talking about the online-training.

The sidemounting.com stuff I've gone through so far is excellent, easy to watch and useful!

side mount is nice
and the redundant air makes it even more appealing as a solo diver
but it just does not work for my diving
I like to explore crevices or get in between soft coral
I've seen a lot of side-mount and cave-divers claim SM is better for obstructions, because you can unclip the back, swing the tanks in front of you, and then squeeze through. It might depend on the exact type of diving though, for example, if you're not dealing with overhead obstructions, just ones side-to-side, then obviously unclipping SM tanks is less convenient than leaving the BM tanks alone.

I make one negative comment about sm divers and they come hate on me lol just like freedivers. I meant that for a average 60' dive IN FL i prefer back mount, and many others must feel the same bc i have NEVER seen a SM diver in OW in S FL. I Think @SlugMug should try both and see what he's comfortable with. Another consideration is that if he were to go into An/Dp dives it would make more sense to back gas and SM the stage bottles just saying..... but cheers anyway you salty sidemounters:nyah:
I've never seen SM divers in person either in my locale. I just think it's not super-well known or understood, or thought to be mostly a tech-diving thing. At least that was my uninformed impression, before I had any clue what SM really was. To be fair, it looks a little alien, confusing, and technical when you're not familiar with it.
Not in any way are Side-mounters inferior, and in many scenarios SM is MUCH better. I don't believe @SlugMug is limited by age/strength. I AM A SM diver, i had a xdeep stealth classic for a few years, but for OW diving in south florida in strong current it doesn't make any sense, hence why you never see SM for OW here..... and i think it is a similar story in TX
Often I'm climbing a small ladder on a 21ft boat, with 2 to 4 foot waves & 30+lbs on my back has caused me to slightly injure my back a couple times. The slight pain goes away after a day or two, but I've known plenty of people with back-problems and it's nothing to fk around with. I'm not old or frail yet, but back-injuries can be a quick way to get there. I'd rather deal with a few people thinking I look absurd and laughing at me, than my back constantly screaming at me.

Similarly, putting on my equipment in the same conditions is not fun. I have to stuff the tank in the straps, try to climb in the harness sitting down on a boat-deck, feet in the water, with no room to move, with a heavy weight flopping around behind me, etc. Then if I forgot to do something with my air-system, and discover it in my pre-dive check, I have to climb out of my harness and do everything all over again. I also hate having hoses everywhere, and like how SM shortens many hoses, and tucks hoses in the tank-bands.

Conceptually, I expect it'll be a LOT easier to prep everything before the boat, then when at the dive-site strap on a lightweight harness, inflate BC, tether and drop 1 or 2 tanks, jump in, clip on, and go.
 

Capt. T. Goetz

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Quality is the key word. I must admit, SSI's online training is a bit like swallowing sand. I'm not saying it's objectively-bad, just that it bores me like crazy, and I'd never pay for their online courses except that it's required for any SSI-affiliated class. The instructors locally are fine so far, so I'm just talking about the online-training.

The sidemounting.com stuff I've gone through so far is excellent, easy to watch and useful!


I've seen a lot of side-mount and cave-divers claim SM is better for obstructions, because you can unclip the back, swing the tanks in front of you, and then squeeze through. It might depend on the exact type of diving though, for example, if you're not dealing with overhead obstructions, just ones side-to-side, then obviously unclipping SM tanks is less convenient than leaving the BM tanks alone.


I've never seen SM divers in person either in my locale. I just think it's not super-well known or understood, or thought to be mostly a tech-diving thing. At least that was my uninformed impression, before I had any clue what SM really was. To be fair, it looks a little alien, confusing, and technical when you're not familiar with it.

Often I'm climbing a small ladder on a 21ft boat, with 2 to 4 foot waves & 30+lbs on my back has caused me to slightly injure my back a couple times. The slight pain goes away after a day or two, but I've known plenty of people with back-problems and it's nothing to fk around with. I'm not old or frail yet, but back-injuries can be a quick way to get there. I'd rather deal with a few people thinking I look absurd and laughing at me, than my back constantly screaming at me.

Similarly, putting on my equipment in the same conditions is not fun. I have to stuff the tank in the straps, try to climb in the harness sitting down on a boat-deck, feet in the water, with no room to move, with a heavy weight flopping around behind me, etc. Then if I forgot to do something with my air-system, and discover it in my pre-dive check, I have to climb out of my harness and do everything all over again. I also hate having hoses everywhere, and like how SM shortens many hoses, and tucks hoses in the tank-bands.

Conceptually, I expect it'll be a LOT easier to prep everything before the boat, then when at the dive-site strap on a lightweight harness, inflate BC, tether and drop 1 or 2 tanks, jump in, clip on, and go.
I would say you try it out, then purchase a SM bc and if you don't like it return it.. i would get an xdeep stealth cheers! <TG>:cheers:
 

tursiops

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Do the math to figure out what you need to get you to the surface from your deepest depth with a 3-5 min safety stop at 2x your normal SAC rate.
Excellent!
If you do this for a 30m dive you'll find out a 19 cuft is almost big enough. :)
Yes, you can go faster than 10m/min, yes you can stay shallower than 30m, yes, you can blow off the safety stop.
But a 30 cuft doesn't require ANY of those compromises. Your choice.
 

Capt. T. Goetz

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Excellent!
If you do this for a 30m dive you'll find out a 19 cuft is almost big enough. :)
Yes, you can go faster than 10m/min, yes you can stay shallower than 30m, yes, you can blow off the safety stop.
But a 30 cuft doesn't require ANY of those compromises. Your choice.
Couldn't he just use "thirds" or because he's solo "sixths" on his back gas and then the pony would be an extra precaution? that would work right? I think the the average diver (.7 sac , 3000 psi tank) would need about 750 psi max to come back from 60ft including safety using 2x sac
 

tursiops

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Couldn't he just use "thirds" or because he's solo "sixths" on his back gas and then the pony would be an extra precaution? that would work right?
The point is to plan the dive with thirds for back gas or whatever is appropriate for the dive and the diver, but then to have in addition another gas supply (the pony) in case the back gas becomes unavailable at the worst possible time, i.e. the deepest point of the dive (this is not overhead diving). How big does that pony need to be?
 

Capt. T. Goetz

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The point is to plan the dive with thirds for back gas or whatever is appropriate for the dive and the diver, but then to have in addition another gas supply (the pony) in case the back gas becomes unavailable at the worst possible time, i.e. the deepest point of the dive (this is not overhead diving). How big does that pony need to be?
He would need about a 20cf tank to come back from 60ft with 5min saftey....
 
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