Short people problems/hacks

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Wingy

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Probably 1 in 100 dives I do, tank hitting me in back of head is a reminder to check my own gear...every single dive except 1..tanks hanging down past my bum..the 1 was in reunion island using a steel dumpy.

Wetsuits - Aqualung and Scubapro and Mares all have xs or xxs sizes -or do what I didn't for the first 600 or so dives - youths size. Adrenalin wetsuits in Aus make 3mm you cannot kill for $99AUD.

Carrying tanks - meh nah..at home if I'm using my Faber steel 12L well...I just drag that bitch over the sandune from hell by the neck. I'm 52 old and grumpy...usually some nice young person takes pity on me and offers to help.
 

Marie13

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The wedding pics are quite comical.....

Mutt & Jeff, I expect. :D
 

rivers

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I'm 5'2", and am quite often the smallest person on the boat. My advice is, keep the same size cylinders as everyone else, just find one that works for you (ie HP80 as opposed to an ali 80). Reason being, your buddy loses his gas, either by not paying attention or some sort of failure (free flow, burst hose, whatever). His/her SAC rate is higher than yours, you're on a smaller cylinder. Do you have enough gas to get you both to surface? Like a majority of my dive buddies, I dive twin 12s (equivalent to HP100s). I dive a different brand, however (fabers as opposed to euros), as they are slightly shorter and work better for me. My sac rate is a lot lower than everyone I dive with, but at least they know, I've got enough gas to get them home.
 

rhwestfall

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Sorry to "hijack" this discussion, but a little fallacy seems to have crept in here in the discussion. An AL80 (3000 service pressure) does not hold the same amount of gas as an HP80 (3442 service pressure) when filled to the rated pressures even though both are referred to as "80's". Maybe splitting hairs, but you should be aware of this if you are planning your gas....

also, our reference to 3442 as "HP" isn't necessarily correct either, but seems to now be the norm.....
 

Outbound

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Hey laevimanus, I was on the dive yesterday with you at the local lake. I noticed that you went back for a second dive, which says to me that you are either very intrepid or don't get cold easily even in a double-7mm wetsuit. Still, I would strongly suggest getting your drysuit cert as soon as possible and then getting your own drysuit to dive in. It's a pretty big expense, but it doesn't have to be. I shopped around and scooped up a new Scubapro Everdry 4 for half off the usual retail price. Going with a fully custom DUI is going to cost a lot, of course, but you can always look around for a gently used suit or go with something less expensive. In the meantime, there should be plenty of off-the-rack wetsuit options that fit you just fine. Personally, though, I wouldn't bother buying your own wetsuit for local diving when you can use that money towards a drysuit. Get a 3mm wetsuit for tropical diving when you travel, and get a drysuit for local waters.

Until then, I would just continue to rent your wetsuit and cuff the ankles. If I am correct, you are using SP Jet Fins, which are fairly heavy and I think slightly negatively buoyant in fresh water. Spring straps should add a bit of weight to your feet/ankles if you aren't using them already. In my very limited experience, when it feels like you have floaty feet it probably means you are actually in good trim. Most people think they are in good trim when they are actually in a slightly head/torso-up position. If you feel like your head and torso are a bit too low compared to your feet, you are probably in better trim. It just feels odd at first.

When I did my drysuit cert I was in a trilam suit that was two sizes too big for me. Talk about managing the bubble! Even then, when I allowed a bit too much air to migrate to my legs/feet I quickly learned to correct my trim just using arm and body positioning. Give it a try. I doubt that rolling up a bit of extra 7mm neoprene on a rental suit that has probably been compressed a fair bit over its lifetime is adding all that much buoyancy to your ankles. Also, I noticed that you were still trying to get your weighting dialed in. Once you do you should be able to get into trim much more easily. You can also play around with tank positioning, especially if you start using shorter tanks.

Good luck, and see you next week!
 

aquacat8

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I had a wetsuit with zippers at the wrists and ankles that was almost impossible to get off and on, finally in a fit of frustration I cut the zippers and outer layer of neo off and now it's just the thin layer of neo that was under the zippers left, problem solved! Now I'm not afraid to shorten wetsuits. I just put a dab of aqua seal on the thread at the seam.
 

aquacat8

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Welcome fellow shortie! Yeah you will have to think outside the box! For Trim: @Outbound gave you some good advice, however if you are female you may in fact have floaty feet if you have larger thighs or a curvy butt. Men are just built differently. It took me years to figure out I had floaty feet because I was compensating with body position and swimming in open water, I only realized it when I got very still in a tiny crack with some cave divers types, and then I tried a bunch of stuff including tail weights and finally jet fins to solve the problem. If you already have jet fins that's great, but yeah a double fold of 7 mil around the ankles could make a small person's feet float.

If wearing a steel tank moving it DOWN can help, if wearing an aluminum tank, moving it UP might help.

Back inflation is far superior to the "puffy corset". You will need a short plate. I made my own plastic plate that holds lead blocks, but I am into DIY, if I were buying I would go for a short freedom plate from @Eric Sedletzky , a short Halcyon plate (but you don't need to get the rest from them if you want to save money), or a short Deep Sea Supply plate if Tobin gets back in business. On my homemade plate I made a tank offset to solve the tank hitting head and butt. @Eric Sedletzky seems to have thought of this on the Freedom Plate. Other backplates ignore the problem but some STAs (single tank adaptors) seem to offer some offset. For years I put up with it but I'm happy I solved the problem with my own design. I have a friend who is short but dives a standard length backplate but when I tried it I hated how it impeded my swimming by resting on my buttocks. If you can try other's gear before buying!

As for moving heavy tanks I'm going to be really sexist here and say what I once told a sculpture student of mine when she wanted to move a very heavy object "Honey, the tool you need for that is called a man" oops can't say that now!!! Well I would rather ask for help than suffer back pain. Slinging on a shoulder sounds crazy to me. Wheels are almost as good as a man but not really as useful, haha! Seriously it is better to tip a divemaster than a doctor.
Backpacking the tank on a BC can work better than trying to carry it awkwardly.
 

Storker

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Slinging on a shoulder sounds crazy to me.
How much does an Al80 weigh? A metric "HP100 equivalent" steel - 10L300bar, 12L232bar or 15L200bar - weighs about 15 kg/33lb plus valve plus gas, so close to 20kg/44lb all in all.

I'm well past the big five-oh, not at all athletic and 170cm/5'7, and I have no issues carrying one of those steel tanks on one shoulder. Usually horizontal on my left shoulder with my right hand around the tank valve stem and my left hand on top of the tank. I'll admit that I won't do an extended hike that way, but from the car down to the boat, or down to the beach? No issues at all.
 
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laevimanus

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As far as the tank banging against the knees, learn to frog kick...

Yes, I have been trying to practice this but when I do, I get a strange sensation like I'm going to tip forward. Not rational I'm sure, but I think I need to do one thing at a time--get my weighting right first, then work on propulsion.

I'll lay them down on there side with the valve facing me and the bottom of the tank facing away. Grab the valve to hold it in a fixed pivoting position while lifting the bottom of the tank to essentially have it upside down. Now lean it against your should and then lift you hand holding the valve to bring the tank to a horizontal position on your shoulder. This requires very little effort and much easier than just grabbing a tank and swinging it over you shoulder, which there is no way I would be able to do.

I may try this the next time I use longer tanks, if I can get over my other irrational fear of cylinders exploding like cans of soda when I drop them

Probably 1 in 100 dives I do, tank hitting me in back of head is a reminder to check my own gear...

yes, I should probably experiment with positioning the tank lower

@Outbound Oh yay, another Ann Arborite on here! Or thereabouts.

Yeah, I don't get cold at all in the double 7's. But that and the hood are terrible for mobility. I do want a drysuit, but given my outlier size status it'll probably have to be custom. I believe O'Three makes decently priced ones, but I'm not sure how I feel about sending in measurements. I'll need to find someone who knows how to measure properly.

I'm using Deep Six fins with spring straps, which are supposed to be neutrally buoyant. The floaty feet issue was last week, when I was wearing a wetsuit that was way too big. This week, I was wearing a better fitting suit, but still had to distribute extra neoprene over my legs. It wasn't good trim last week though--I actually did a back flip at one point.

And yes, the weighting drama continues. Too much weight to compensate for an inability to descend, but I didn't have descent problems this week. I won't be back at the pond until July, but hope to see you then!

@aquacat8 Thanks for the backplate recommendations! I will look into the Freedom plate, that sounds the most appealing.

"Honey, the tool you need for that is called a man"

Hahaha, honestly, if a man wants to do manual labor on my behalf -- pushing grocery carts, opening doors -- I'm okay with it. Just in my experience helpful ones don't consistently appear.
 
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