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Russian Vintage Scuba Diving

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by trapezus, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. trapezus

    trapezus Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Black Sea ,Trabzon,Turkey

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  2. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!

    I am a light sleeper and wake up every morning very early around 5:00 or so....take my vitamins make a steaming cup of hot chocolate...in order to not wake my wife Betty or my dog Max I tip toe into my office and turn on the computer.

    With out hesitation I go to the Vintage section and see if you have posted - Hopefully you have -- If so I immediately settle in and read or view it.

    Today was on vintage Russian dive equipment . To me it was exceptionally interesting!

    Many years ago....good gosh 1960 --so many years ago I was the DSO (Dive Safety Officer ) and CDO (Chief Diving Officer) for a DDS (Deep Diving Submarine) program called the Beaver Program. At time we were in the middle of the cold war with the Russians....very little if any contact with them.

    I had a friend who some how came across the Russian diving manual. I got a hold if it had it translated at great company expense .
    I and others were surprised at the equipment --very similar to US & other European diving equipment but with ever so slight changes. The description always identified it as being designed by a Russian. unknown and forgotten in the western world .

    I thank you and certainly appreciate all the effort you have put into collecting and posting so many very informative vintage posts.

    I will close with several articles I authored for a local news paper ( I had the first dedicated dive newspaper
    column to appear in any American news paper -- and according to the editor possibly the world) Enjoy!



    DID YOU KNOW....

    Orange County....
    A few little known facts about Orange County;

    Orange County was the fountain head of recreational diving in California, the US and for the world.

    It had the most manufactures -- US Divers, Voit, Sea Tec, Inflatable systems, JBL, Mares, Spearfisherman, Mark V, Newport divers, Sea Quest, Del Mar, Sea Suits, Water Wear, Kettenhofen Wet suits, Sampson,Sea Pro, Riffe International, Alexander Spearguns, and many more lessor known and now forgotten manufactures

    Divers cove/Pic nic cove was selected as the location for the world's first Competitive Spear fishing meet in 1950 and every year to the early 1960s.

    Divers Cove was not named as a result of recreational diving activity

    Two world record fish were speared off Orange county's coast; the BSB & WSB.

    It's waters did contained a variety of shell fish; Mussels, Oysters, Pismo Clams, Scallops, & Lobsters

    It has a train and several airplanes, an ocean going barge and several WW 11 landing craft sunk off it's coast.

    It has an underwater canyon

    It had the second recreational diving ordnance in California.

    It had one of the first California game reserves at Heisler park, named after Glen Vedder, the architect and driving force behind the Laguna beach diving ordinance.

    It has a number of piers that are dive able.

    PADI's first office was in Orange County.

    In the genesis of instruction Orange County had more LA County Certified Underwater Instructors than LA County.

    It had one of the first dive shops in California; Lyle Hoskins and sons

    Three OC residents were honored as "Fathers of Spearfishing" at the 2000 millennium Free diving party: the late Mr. Ron Merker, Allan "Omar " Wood and Dr. Samuel Miller

    And a story which I published about 25 years ago in my newspaper column "Dive Bubbles" about Divers Cove and the changes that time has wrought

    Dr. Samuel Miller

    Several summers ago I visited with some relatives and old friends to reconnect with my roots down in southern California, in “smogsville,” as the smog shrouded area of Los Angeles and Orange County is known by most Californians who reside in other areas of the state.

    This visit certainly verified the message in the Thomas Wolfe book “You can't go home again” which I found so difficult to comprehend as a young college student. Yes, Thomas Wolfe was correct! Indeed - You can't go home again.

    I spent a very early Saturday morning at Diver’s Cove in Laguna Beach, the fountainhead of American sport diving. It has been a popular diving location since recreational diving began along the California coast in the early 1930s. “The cove” as local divers refer to it, was catapulted from obscurity into international diving fame when it was chosen as the location for the world’s first competitive spear fishing meet in June 1950. The Compton, California “Dolphins Spear Fishing club”, won the meet with a three man team consisting of Ken Kummerfeild, Pat O’Malley and Paul Hoss (of the Bottom Scratcher/Hoss Spear gun fame)

    The cove was immortalized for divers through out the world on the cover of the December 1951, issue of Skin Diver Magazine Volume 1, number 1 with a picture of Dr. Nelson "Matty" Mathenson of the Long Beach Nepunes ( LA Co Underwater Instructor) proudly displaying a presentable White Sea Bass he had just speared at the at "the Cove."

    Surprisingly Diver's Cove did not receive it's name from recreational diving but from the local youth's habit of diving into the shallow blow hole from the rocks below where the apartments now stand. The apartments were constructed in 1960 which physically separated the cove and Fishermen cove to the north. Prior to the construction and into the 1970s Fisherman's cove was the docking and storage cove for a number of small local recreational sport fishing boats

    Lots of other changes have occurred in and around Divers Cove with the passage of sixty -five years.

    In the 1950s the rolling hills surrounding Diver’s Cove were devoid of housing and covered with dry chaparral, which emitted the classic California golden glow always associated with the “Golden state.” Now when viewed from the cove the hills appear almost surrealistic emerald green, blanketed by modern multi- million dollar homes on well-manicured lawns interconnected labyrinth of roads.

    It is no longer possible to drive up to the edge of the cliff at Diver’s Cove and park haphazardly. Parking places are now regulated. They are neatly identified with white stripes on the concrete and crowned with a row of coin eating parking meters; silent sentinels waiting for the next quarter for fifteen minutes of violation free parking.

    Also absent is the steel cable that provided beach goers and divers to access to the beach. It was a much-appreciated gift from some unknown beach lover who spent their time; money and effort to securely bury one end of the cable in cement and dangle the rest of the cable over the cliff to create a Tarzan style hand over hand beach access. Now modern stairs complete with handrails and a drinking fountain welcomes the divers to the beach

    The beach scene I remember so well from my youth is now only a distant memory, but they are memories of gold as were the hills surrounding the cove.

    In the genesis of recreational diving the beach was populated with young athletic sun tanned male youths clad in the diving costume of the era, baggy long underwear, tucked in to equally baggy swim trunks, round diving masks on their faces, short green fins on their feet and the weapon of choice a “Jab Stick” (a pole spear powered by the trust of the arm) unceremoniously stuck in the ground.

    Like ancient tribes returning from a successful hunt they stood in small groups, wrapped in surplus WWII olive drab army or navy blue blankets, shivering and blue lipped from the cold of the water and the chill in the air. Roaring bonfires fed by WWII surplus tires added much needed warmth as it belched fourth thick heavy black smoke into the clean crisp smog free Orange County air.

    Now Divers Cove has become a popular diving destination for dive training classes. It is populated every Saturday and Sunday morning by young fuzzy faced certified diving instructors who have arrived before 7:00 to conduct the final ocean check out dive for their classes of aspiring divers. Under the ever-watchful eye of their SCUBA instructor, young and old, male and female don the costume of modern diving. Bright colored wet suits have replaced the long underwear for thermal protection; clear form fitting twin lens masks of clear silicone replaced the black round rubber masks; multi hued long lightweight split plastic fins now adorn their feet replacing the short green Churchill fins. Not a spear fishing weapon is insight, since this area has been a game reserve for over a generation.

    Yes, there have been a lot of changes in the last sixty five plus years.

    Tomas Wolfe’s message has been verified. You can't go home again, but you can relive fond memories from the distant past and dream and hope for the future of recreational diving.

    Only the sea, the eternal sea, has relentlessly remained the same

    Dr. Sam Miller,111
    Copyright 2015 Dr. Samuel Miller,111 and
    Dr. Samuel Miller, IV may not be reproduced or copied in any format for private or commercial usage with out express permission of the authors and the TPR news paper

    (except Trapezus you have our permission to reproduce and use in Turkey )

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
    Dark Wolf and adairrj like this.
  3. iamrushman

    iamrushman Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: ft. lauderdale, florida
    cool equipment and great masks....thanks for sharing.
  4. trapezus

    trapezus Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Black Sea ,Trabzon,Turkey
    Mr. Miller, I'm so glad you liked my message.I went several times since the Prestroik Russia.The last 25 years much has changed in this country. When I was been there first city is Sochi on the Black Sea and opposite of my town Trabzon 280 km.There were Russia's first divers club.
    All their equipments are vintage and old model compressor working.Water cooled , wall-mounted and it was formerly the Red Army Red Army.
    I brought some needed parts to Turkey and I had a lathe. It was no longer working compressor.
    At the beach at the tip of a long rope tied to the divers were renting AVM-1 .. At first it was pretty funny .. When I asked why he ran away with can :)
    I did not know a word of Russian. I became friends with them and then left my job, I started to spend my spare time at the club.
    They are poor but very clever people.They didnn't know what is BC.
    I never forget a British group had come for diving. I can not forget when I saw the expression on the face the equipments.
    One of them asked where is the BC .President of club said we donn't use :)
    However the next day they plane wreck dive 18m and they loved it too.
    Because Sochi is very beautiful city and I think you can see there the most beautiful women in the world.They forgot they were insufficient supplies and fun.
    Old regime very bad but They have a very high education and culture. That infamous regime had trained them well. Russians are still the world's best educationed people.Then I learned Russian , listen Russian music and read classics. Breaking deep water records.
    Years passed and they love scuba so much. Russian teachers are now the world's largest diving centers.Especially in Red Sea ,Far East many trimix master worked.
    Valery Mukhin (contact possible in FB ) interesting vintage diving. We are planning Turkish vintage diving 9 th August in Halkali 82 km from Istanbul in Marmara Sea.
    I would like to thank everyone who read and enjoyed. Mr. Miller I will forward your letter to my friends and some site in Europe.
    Dark Wolf likes this.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    Yes, many thanks indeed to Trapezus, Dr Miller and to Валерий, who provided the pictures. The fins in the third image in the series,
    look like Акванавт (Aquanaut) fins, which are actually made by a Ukrainian company, Kievgumi. These fins with closed heels and toes were the fins of choice during the Soviet era and have been admired in Russia for many years since:
    Interesting use of the adjective "vintage" when it is applied to Russian diving. I spent a year studying Russian at evening classes in the 1960s and stayed two weeks in Russia in the 1970s. One of the memories of that visit was the very common sign over Moscow retail outlets: Ремонт (Remont), which is Russian for "repair". There's a climate of "make do and mend" in Russia. Russian underwater swimming equipment manufacturers, e.g. Alfaplastik and Yaroslavl', still have a policy of "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" And so it's possible to buy brand-new old-school rubber fins and masks there, while western diving gear manufacturers or their outsourcers churn out plastic and silicone. Under such circumstances, it might be right to claim that Russian vintage divers are simply using classic equipment that they may have purchased new the previous day. I can certainly vouch for the quality of Russian snorkelling gear, having gone for a swim a day or two ago in the North Sea wearing my very comfortable Alfaplastik Del'fin fins:
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    descent and trapezus like this.
  6. 3D diver

    3D diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Altos, CA
    How much do those tanks hold?
  7. trapezus

    trapezus Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Black Sea ,Trabzon,Turkey
    I donn't know how much in Russia but in Turkey and some Europen old Bazaar sells approximately 150-200 dollars including regulator. I asked Russian ,I will write in Russia price.
  8. trapezus

    trapezus Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Black Sea ,Trabzon,Turkey
  9. trapezus

    trapezus Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Black Sea ,Trabzon,Turkey
    I'm sorry ,I want to write .dive.ru but some appeared unwanted words..
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle


    I think 3D Diver is asking how much air the scuba tanks will hold because the cylinders look smaller than usual.

    Interesting pictures of a Russian drysuit ("Гидрокостюм" [hydrocostume] or "Гидрокомбинезон" [hydrocombinaison] in Russian), especially because the image is in colour. There are monochrome pictures of Russian divers in wet and dry suits on their diving forum at ??????? ? ???????????????? :: ???????? ???? - ??????? ???????? ???? (?????? ?????? ????????...)

    Two-piece drysuits sealed with waistbands remain on sale in the Russian Federation for a variety of water sports, including diving, caving and canoeing:
    See for yourself at ???????????? - ????-?????????? | UREX

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