Which course for Solo certification?

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happy-diver

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A bit of an 'old school' solution.

and you may as well take discarding yesterday for what you think is today with you
 

Wibble

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and you may as well take discarding yesterday for what you think is today with you
I guess the old pony vs other alternatives is a bit of an old school discussion.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Have always had conceptual issues with Pony bottles. My concern is that people don't regularly breathe from them underwater in order to build the 'muscle memory' for when the chips are down and Mr Panic comes running at you.

Regardless of your kit you MUST practice and be proficient. I’ve said that on multiple solo diving/pony threads. Whether it’s properly using your back mounted or side mounted doubles or deploying your pony as an AAS, it must be second nature! It also helps that you’re using your pony reg on occasion to make sure it’s working properly if you go that route.

I used to dive doubles almost exclusively. I’ve gone to a single and a pony as I’ve gotten older. Both are adequate for recreational solo diving as long as you practice regularly and are comfortable using your configuration.
 

bradymsu

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Prior to moving to doubles for most recreational diving I dove with a single tank and a pony. I had the pony mounted as a deco bottle. Reg was easy to store and replace. I’m not so convinced ponies mounted to a primary tank are a good idea although they could work with a reg on a bungee around the neck. In a decade or so, the doubles won’t work for me anymore due to aging and it’ll either be back to the pony or sidemount.
 

BLACKCRUSADER

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Regardless of your kit you MUST practice and be proficient. I’ve said that on multiple solo diving/pony threads.
One thing I do on dives is use my secondary for a whole dive every 15 dives or so. I've seen people do the quick air purge on the surface thinking all is OK only to have it fail when given to another diver.

I always advise my dive buddy I am using it. I also tell people with rented gear the secondary is cleaner than the primary as rarely used as well.
 

MichaelMc

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Agreed that twinsets are big and cumbersome and singles are much smaller
An AL40 twinset is near identical to an AL80 plus a pound or so of fixed weights to account for the extra brass. That is without adding a pony to the AL80 configuration. I doubt any will notice the efficiency loss of using a brass manifold, valve and first stage as ballast instead of lead.

Renting tiny doubles would be hard, but that is where sidemount comes in. With 80+80, 80+19 or 40+40, I can dive with my kit and redundancy, while diving a very nice setup at home.
 

Marie13

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An AL40 twinset is near identical to an AL80 (with no pony) plus a pound or so of fixed weights to account for the extra brass. I doubt any will notice the efficiency loss of using a brass manifold, valve and first stage as ballast instead of lead.

Renting tiny doubles would be hard, but that is where sidemount comes in. With 80+80, 80+19 or 40+40, I can dive with my kit and redundancy, while diving a very nice setup at home.

I’ll vote for LP50s. Cost more, but if you’re diving dry, steels are better.
 

MichaelMc

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I’ll vote for LP50s. Cost more, but if you’re diving dry, steels are better.
I agree. I prefer my sidemount LP50s to my AL40s. For backmount doubles, the 50s are not as exact a comparison to a single, they would be more capable though, and better on the coldwater ballast front.

If you are diving a modest single steel and a pony, likely you should be diving LP50s instead. If it is your own kit and tanks. And looking at the inwater and carry issues. Not any issues of storing tiny doubles in single tank slots on boats, car trunks, etc.
 

Marie13

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I agree. I prefer my sidemount LP50s to my AL40s. For backmount doubles, the 50s are not as exact a comparison to a single, they would be more capable though, and better on the coldwater ballast front.

If you are diving a modest single steel and a pony, likely you should be diving LP50s instead. If it is your own kit and tanks.

I did my solo class SM with LP50s. I recently have sold off all my single tank gear. Anything I would have done single tank with an AL40 pony will now be done SM with the 50s.
 

MichaelMc

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For less futzing about with gear, I think tiny backmount doubles is the deal for redundancy with modest gas. I got Erick's gorgeous freedom plate and have it mostly configured. Yet I see little chance I will use it much as it would mean carrying a pony to have redundancy. My backmount 40s (or some 50s) are a much easier unit to manage on land and in the water, if I was diving backmount.

I dive sidemount with a bit more futzing, but it gives me extra benefits.
 
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