Where to start?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Tracy

Tech Instructor / Captain
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Messages
985
Reaction score
864
Location
Livonia, MI
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Swing by Livonia sometime. You can look at a bunch of units and compare. I have a Choptima here as well if you want to put your hands on one.
I have a bit of experience with what you are doing.
I dive the Great Lakes all summer and spend 2-6 weeks in Mexico cave diving every year.
I am obviously a bit biased on my favorite unit, but everybody is. That is why they chose it.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

Instructor
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
6,564
Reaction score
5,092
Location
Seattle
# of dives
500 - 999
So which sidemount CCR are you certified on now and how many hours do you have on the unit? I mean they are pretty common here in Seattle you've seen and dove with plenty of people up into the MOD2 range on sidemount CCRs I assume? Cause that's what the OP is going to be diving in MI
How do certifications/dives/etc. affect my understanding in physics? Have you taken any engineering courses where you conducted simulations and then actual tests for drag coefficients of your design?

Does this diver (Stratis Kas) looks like his drag coefficient is less than, equal, or greater than a CCR BM diver?

241699693_925739601371188_769721841990503647_n.jpg
 

broncobowsher

Contributor
Messages
2,418
Reaction score
1,919
Location
Arizona
Little late to this party, but I generally go with what they are saying. Your try dive where you were a total wreck, that is completely normal. There is a lot of learning curve to go through. The more experienced OC diver your are, the worse you will start a rebreather.

With that in mind don't plan on jumping straight into caves on any rebreather. You are going to be doing a lot of open water diving just to learn to dive (with a rebreather).

Very often you will see comments about your first one won't be your last one. You have to own one for a while and eventually get the bug for a different model. That being said, I am still on my first one (rEvo). While not a perfect unit (absolutely none of them are) it does what I am wanting it to do right now. Travels well and gets me to wrecks. I don't do caves and my understanding is it isn't a great cave unit.

My suggestion, don't worry about the caves right now. Get something that you can use locally and use it often. Learn it and rebreather diving in general first. Then look at the caves. You will get into the crowd that does caves in Mexico (which I hear is a different set of needs then the caves in Florida that is the default cave dive answer and can be wrong for what you want). Now you can decide if you want to replace your open water rebreather with something for caves, or add a cave version.

No matter what it won't be a quick process. It better not be a quick process. If someone offers to get you through everything really quick, run away really quick. After a class it takes time and dives to get good enough to get good enough for the next stage. This isn't PADI, you don't take the next class before the ink is dry on the card.
 

Wibble

Contributor
Messages
2,206
Reaction score
1,785
Location
UK
# of dives
500 - 999
Hmmm. I totally get that one unit might not be perfect for everything I want to do. Like in OC, I have three rigs depending on the dive I’m doing (Hollis comfort plate and wing for single-tank, Halcyon Contour for cold-water sidemount mostly in the Great Lakes, and Razor for warm-water sidemount in MX). I am just still balking at the the thought of needing two rebreathers, they’re quite expensive to buy and maintain.
And I get that real sidemount rebreathers like the sidewinder are not the way way to go for me, they have their place but are not versatile. And that still leaves me hanging between a versatile all-purpose CCR like the JJ, and something I think I can adapt to many scenarios like the Choptima.
in terms of instructors, cave diving friends of mine who I trust have recommended Jan Schmid for the JJ. The Choptima is perhaps too new to quite generate this kind of trusted recommendation yet. And my local store is pushing the Prism 2 hard, so I would have local support, an dem others on the same unit for Lake Huron diving. But I’ve had rather poor experiences with Hollis, so I think I’ll stay away from that for a bit.

With that many choices, most good but no clear winner, I’m increasing leaning to just do a course on either the JJ or the Choptima on a rental unit before I buy. And once I have a better feel for it, either go for it or cross over to something else.
Does that sound like a plan?

I think you're underestimating just how much work you need to do in order to get competent on a CCR. This most definitely isn't open circuit where the biggest worry is where you're getting your next fill from.

CCR really does take a lot of effort and you have to get the hours and ascents in. Your OC experience only helps with bailout and basic skills.

Jumping around from one unit to another may well take you backwards not forwards.

Ultimately, when you're a sorted, competent and experienced CCR diver, you'll be able to use esoteric machines in places where a lot of people wouldn't (e.g. the Triton on a deep wreck dive a guy was diving a couple of weeks ago). Until then get your experience on a 'standard' unit.

If you must have a timescale, say a year and 100 hours with decent depth and deco.
 
OP
kafkaland

kafkaland

Contributor
Messages
555
Reaction score
435
Location
Saline, Michigan
# of dives
200 - 499
Swing by Livonia sometime. You can look at a bunch of units and compare. I have a Choptima here as well if you want to put your hands on one.
I have a bit of experience with what you are doing.
I dive the Great Lakes all summer and spend 2-6 weeks in Mexico cave diving every year.
I am obviously a bit biased on my favorite unit, but everybody is. That is why they chose it.
Sounds good! Livonia isn’t that far for me, I’ll definitely swing by sometime
 

Zebra 1

Contributor
Messages
104
Reaction score
16
Location
Houston, Texas
# of dives
I just don't log dives
Me and my buddy were in your situation a year ago. We went with the O2ptima BMCL as our first units and we will be crossing over to the Choptima. Many of the parts are interchangeable and the cost is around $2,000. We need our chest area clear for the type of diving we do here in the states, for international travel I believe the CM is the best way to go. If you do decide to go with a Choptima I suggest you order it sooner rather than later, they are still flying off the shelves.

You may want to read
Making the leap: help choosing first rb
Long read but worth the effort, a lot of great advice.
 

signix

Registered
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Location
Québec, QC, CANADA
# of dives
1000 - 2499
My 2 cents from a real newbie but living in Quebec I can talk about great lakes and cold water.
I was diving mainly sidemount (around 80-110dives/year in the last 10 years) in cold waters (XDeep) and switched to ccr last year.
I took a rEvo course as I had a good instructor, and an opportunity to borrow one. It looked like it was not so bulky and there is some features I really like on it (RMS and double scrubber especially).
I bought one (had a very good price) this spring after borrowing one for the winter (diving in St Lawrence cold waters) and still like it.
I trained on the sidewinder this summer and I will make the switch as soon as I have the money.
Keep in mind I have very limited experience on the rEvo and only the training on the SW.

Some SW pros :
- Last week end in a wreck on the rEvo I had to turn back somewher I have dove for a few years because I was too bulky (had only a few more cms but not confident enough to go). This was really small but I am pretty confident I can go there in sidemount CCR as I do in sidemount. I was not that large but more than I am in SM and this is not the same freedom but this might be because I am used to sidemount not double.
- The trim in sidwinder is more natural for me.
- There is very minor changes to my setup (took maybe 30-40 min with my instructor to change my xdeep).
- You can rotate and have the freedom of sidemount but with the time/gaz pressure of sidemount.
- I had a new instructor which always helps to learn more.
- Still have 2 canisters.
- Looks as small as you can be in CCR. I don't see any problem to go to really small places.

Some SW cons :
- There is one counter lung in the sidewinder, 2 on the rEvo. The humidity in the sidewinder end up closer to the sorb which is something I didn't like.
- In the rEvo you can have a rotation on the scrubber (change only half the scrubber) which you can't with the sidewinder.
- For hypoxic trimix you will need more tanks and I have not enough experience to say how it is with 4 tanks or more. I am not really worried for 3-4 tanks but might not feel as free as with 2x50ft3

I have to say that, as on OC, I think I can learn a lot from my backmount unit (buoyancy and drills are not related to a specific unit). I am happy I can practice and enjoy the dives while waiting for a sidemount unit. I, personnaly, don't think it would be a problem to start with a sidemount unit if your OC base is solid.

When I did the sidemount switch 10 years ago people told me sidemount was only for Mexico not for Canada and now we see more and more here in cold waters. I had to change a few things but am pretty happy with my choice (easy to bring tanks in the snow/ice, easy to get in/out in the boat, switch to single tank...) . It looks a bit like that for sidemount CCR but I can not say yet.

I know I don't know much but if this can help....
 

rddvet

Contributor
Messages
1,841
Reaction score
1,937
Location
Florida
# of dives
50 - 99
Some SW cons :
- There is one counter lung in the sidewinder, 2 on the rEvo. The humidity in the sidewinder end up closer to the sorb which is something I didn't like.
- In the rEvo you can have a rotation on the scrubber (change only half the scrubber) which you can't with the sidewinder.
- For hypoxic trimix you will need more tanks and I have not enough experience to say how it is with 4 tanks or more. I am not really worried for 3-4 tanks but might not feel as free as with 2x50ft3...

You forgot:
-breathes like sh-t
-cheaply/poorly built
-has the worst ADV on the market (fires whenever the hell it wants)
-absolutely zero flood tolerance
-split scrubber design is not a pro it's a weakness imo
-the tower/loop attachments have been known to pop off on a dive (happened to several well known instructors/divers, including ones I personally know)
-The loop to tower attachment is a pain in the ass imo to put together. There are many better designs (LM made one)
-lack of secondary p02 monitor as stock is scary as hell.

But I can't deny it does trim out really well.
Point is, it's not an ideal unit for a beginner and sadly is being marketed that way. I fully expect more deaths of new ccr divers on the sw in the next 10 years. I've also placed a wager with friend that if somebody compiles ccr deaths from 2020 through 2030, we may find more deaths on the sw than any other unit. Of course that's just my opinion.
 

signix

Registered
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Location
Québec, QC, CANADA
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Thanks for your opinion.
Is this your observations or what you saw around you ?
Regarding the cheaply/poorly built I had the same feeling at first but I don't trust my feeling. After my training I had not the same feeling. I will only be able to confirm/deny after a few years. Looking at what some divers do it looks pretty resistant (Mike Young and Patrick Wiedmann are not very nice with it).
I didn't notice for the ADV mine was working fine. It fires when I was inspiring and rotating on the left at the same time. I acknowledge that and then had no issue.

I did not notice a big difference in WOB with rEvo but I might have been too busy with the course. I did not find any data on this. Do you have some ?

Why don't you like dual scrubber ? For wob?

How have people been able to unlock the tower/loop attachment ? You can see it here and it is pretty solid: I won't say the same about the head of the canister which is only screwed but I have not heard about any issue on this.

What do you mean by lack of secondary po2 monitor ? I had HUD + Petrel and it is pretty common config.

Another thing is that it says 6.2lbs of sorb on their website but it is more 5lbs which is a great difference : Facebook Groups

It is not for a complete beginner but don't you think it might be aceptable for a ccr beginner ?
 

rddvet

Contributor
Messages
1,841
Reaction score
1,937
Location
Florida
# of dives
50 - 99
Thanks for your opinion.
Is this your observations or what you saw around you ?
Regarding the cheaply/poorly built I had the same feeling at first but I don't trust my feeling. After my training I had not the same feeling. I will only be able to confirm/deny after a few years. Looking at what some divers do it looks pretty resistant (Mike Young and Patrick Wiedmann are not very nice with it).
I didn't notice for the ADV mine was working fine. It fires when I was inspiring and rotating on the left at the same time. I acknowledge that and then had no issue.

I did not notice a big difference in WOB with rEvo but I might have been too busy with the course. I did not find any data on this. Do you have some ?

Why don't you like dual scrubber ? For wob?

How have people been able to unlock the tower/loop attachment ? You can see it here and it is pretty solid: I won't say the same about the head of the canister which is only screwed but I have not heard about any issue on this.

What do you mean by lack of secondary po2 monitor ? I had HUD + Petrel and it is pretty common config.

Another thing is that it says 6.2lbs of sorb on their website but it is more 5lbs which is a great difference : Facebook Groups

It is not for a complete beginner but don't you think it might be aceptable for a ccr beginner ?


I took the sw course with Edd, fully expecting to love it and everything about it. I went in with excitement, especially because everybody that owns one swears it's the best unit ever. On day 1 I immediately starting seeing it's flaws and hoped I'd be able to move past them. Every day of class I liked the unit even less. At the end of the class I had to have a very uncomfortable talk with Edd about why I hated the unit and why I feel (at least for me) it's not a safe unit. I would never feel comfortable diving it in a cave with my wife (which was my plans). Luckily he was great about it and basically charged me for "renting" the unit. So my opinion is based on being trained on it.
Sadly, now that I actually took the course the same people who said it's God's CCR are now agreeing with me about it's downsides. I wish they would have been honest when I was interested in taking the class.
A lesson was learned: I'll never buy a unit then get trained on it. I will always rent or borrow and take the class first before buying. I got lucky that my first unit was perfect for my needs and I have no complaints about it. I was hoping it was going to be the same with the sw.

As to other questions I'll try to keep it brief as I've expressed my opinions in other threads:
-There is no WOB data. It's not CE certified. It's all based on individual's opinions. To me, it breathes like crap compared to my other unit. Like not a little bit of a difference, alot of difference.
-I think the dual scrubbers are inefficient, lead to bad WOB, and personally I hate the fact that it's impossible to dive it and come back with perfectly dry sorb.
-The loop attachment sucks. That's all there is to it. Edd tries to claim that it's the divers' faults, but it's happened to some pretty well accomplished, experienced sw divers. One of Patric's co-workers was one of them, so I'm sure Patric can give all the details. My understanding is between Mexico and Florida there have been over 10 incidents of the loop disconnecting on a dive. I don't have actual numbers, just what I'm told.
-ADV at least on the unit I had sucked. It fired at the worst possible time, but didn't fire when you wanted it to. I've talked to multiple sw divers who agree. It's one of the reasons it's often plugged with a blank.
-The standard configuration is one computer. It doesn't come standard with any secondary p02 monitor. When I took the class (edd knew I'd be buying a unit from him) I wasn't given the option of getting a unit with a secondary p02 monitor. Since the death on the sw in Ginnie, more and more instructors and divers are pushing to have the secondary p02 or hud become standard.
-Yes, they completely lie about scrubber capacity and don't care.
-To me it is a unit that should be considered for someone with ccr experience, not a brand new ccr diver
Lastly, the sw has become popular for two reasons: 1) it's a social media darling 2) it's a very good money maker for instructors. Patric is a prime example. He talked badly about it for years, but suddenly changed his mind. He claims to have seen the error in his ways. Many that know him very well say the reality is he saw the business opportunity it brought, especially when it easily pairs with the stealth.
-
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

Top Bottom