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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bent View Post
    I have actually have no clue how much dive experience the average cave student has. If people only have a 100 or a couple of hundered dives is easy conditions like quarries and on reefs, they'd probably be better off doing their classes in BM first... so if Rich's students are mostly newish divers, I'd agree that BM might be the better choise.


    .
    the issue is they are often coming from standard recreational rig mostly or limited experience in the BM or SM rig, with generally poor or underdeveloped buoyancy/trim/propulsion. Regardless of BM or SM you end up spending time getting their whichever system for equipment dialed in then spend a bunch of time getting their skills dialed in. Time out of a Intro Cave that is normally a "2 day class" . Yeah, that works out well. (sarcasm) with well prepared students two days for intro works...the issue is what % are well prepared? What they often are however is travelling and scheduling for only doing in two days...and expectations are hard for the instructor to sometimes shape and manage.

    Chris Richardson

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by bent View Post
    I have actually have no clue how much dive experience the average cave student has. If people only have a 100 or a couple of hundered dives is easy conditions like quarries and on reefs, they'd probably be better off doing their classes in BM first... so if Rich's students are mostly newish divers, I'd agree that BM might be the better choise.

    This is more an 'standards issue', more than a problem with sidemount configuration.

    You can't decide which configuration is more complex, it's not a matter of opinion. SM is more complex than BM, that doesn't automatically makes it less safe.
    I agree if their total experience is only a couple hundred dives, they are going to struggle enough with cave training - they don't need to attempt it in a new configuration.

    But that applies regardless of whether they are SM or BM. It'll get interesting once OW divers start showing up for cave training who have dove SM ab initio. Would an instructor force them to learn in a BM (singles or doubles) doubles configuration they've never dove before? Probably not, and if the instructor did, the student would be wise to find another instructor.

    The fact is a cave class is never the place to try a new configuration, and that includes showing up in a new dry suit or showing up in doubles for the first time - not just back mount versus side mount.

    I think most students either get that, or figure it out real quick. The problem is shortly after the class, when some of them decide they can now make the configuration switch, but end up doing it before they have the cave skills down solid.

    For example, a newly minted Intro to cave or Full cave diver deciding that with the class in the rear view mirror they can now switch to side mount is a really bad idea and is just asking for an incident or accident. The diver is that that point still integrating and solidifying what they've learned in the recent cave class and doesn't need more on their plate learning a new configuration. Even after they've put 50 or so full cave dives under their belt, they still need to work out the SM configuration in terms of trim, clean hose configuration and ability to manage gas management, gas sharing and other emergency drills in OW before they even think of bringing it into the cave environment.

    NACD Cave DPV Cert # 666: Cave DPV Anti-christ

  3. #23

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    It depends on the student...some people pick up new systems a lot quicker than others.

    Dive Safe,
    Frank

  4. #24

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    May we worth mentioning the worlds oldest cave diving organisation (founded in 1946) teaches exclusively in sidemount. Most of the member's first cave dives are sidemount/no mount dives.

    Whilst diving exclusively sidemount, unless I'm on my KISS, I do think it's massively oversold.

    But this is not the fault of kit configuration. People make the diver. Whether they're backmount or sidemount, if you have crap instruction or a person with no aptitude for this kind of sport, you're going to have problems.


  5. #25

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    There clearly has been a strong push to mainstream sidemount - and if that makes it "oversold," so be it. There's also been a big push to mainstream rebreathers and tec diving, it seems, based on what I'm seeing in my PADI propaganda they send me as an instructor. I don't teach sidemount, and I'm no tec instructor, but I do feel like starting to dive sidemount was one of the biggest "A-HA" moments in my own tec training. For me, sidemount was immensely more comfortable to deal with in a tec environment than backmount. And as I progressed on to using a rebreather, sidemounting my bailout feels nice and natural. That's a nice bonus, and something I am happy I had some experience with prior to making the jump away from blowing bubbles.

    BUT...

    I have also seen people who TEACH sidemount who have no clue how to dive it themselves. I have seen people (ahem...including myself when I started diving sidemount) who took WAAAAY too long to get their gear sorted prior to starting dives. I've also gone through the frustration of wondering if I would ever get to the point that I felt comfortable unclipping my long hose quickly if I needed it for an emergency. If I had not had a solid instructor for sidemount, I am sure that I would have had a lot more issues to contend with. But then again, if I didn't have a good instructor for tec diving, I'd have had lots of issues across the board.

    The main problem I see for sidemount, much like a rebreather, is that it gives you a tool to push yourself into a situation that you may not be ready to handle yet, because backmount wouldn't have allowed you to get there. This is just something that a diver, as an individual, needs to be aware of - and a manner of thinking that instructors are hopefully trying to embed in their students. I know this was pointed out to me by my cave instructor and my rebreather instructor...

    That said, the greatest teacher, once you have properly been shown the ropes, is experience. My slow gear up woes are gone. I developed some solid muscle memory for clipping and unclipping my long hose quickly. And I feel that I am more stable in my sidemount rig than I do in anything else in the water. Even though I don't find reg switches difficult or unpleasant, the only thing I miss from backmount is the ability to put in one reg and go - that's the ONLY advantage that I see for backmount for the diving I am doing.

    In fact, even for recreational dives in open water, I am loving side mount. Instead of the pair of Worthington HP100's I'd always been fond of for a typical charter in my area, I started bringing 2 pairs of Faber LP50's. When considering the removal of my backplate from the gear equation, I'm essentially carrying the same amount of weight on land with the LP50s, and they are super easy to manage on a boat. Tec dives with stages from a boat in sidemount? OK...if I start doing that, my opinion may change for that specific scenario.

    Do I think that sidemount is the answer for everyone, or that it is "better" than backmount? Of course not. But for the type of diving I do, I don't miss backmount one bit, and sidemount has certainly been better for ME. And I'm sure that people sharing stories like this with their fellow divers is part of what is driving sidemount popularity.


  6. #26
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    Sidemount oversold? Yes. Rebreathers oversold? Yes. Cavediving oversold? Yes.

    I have found it interesting over the years to watch changes in perception over dive equipment. Most people are being upsold on their gear from the first time their instructor opens their mouth.

    Everyone does not need large steel tanks. Particularly when you are starting. It is a perception that the second 1000 feet of a cave is better than the first 1000 feet. I know several people that started on steel 72's, and it took them years to get 95's or 104's. A 100 minute dive is not necessarily better than a 70 minute dive.

    Everyone does not need Scubapro or Atomic regulators. Most any regulator being sold today will give you good enough delivery for most recreational dives. If you tune them annually, they will breathe just fine. I have had my 1975 Conshelf regulators to 320 feet in Dipolder on trimix. They were fine.

    Not everyone needs to side mount. I started because of knee problems. I have not found it to be more or less safe then BM, it is just different, just like I have not found diving with a horsecollar BC any more or less safe than using a wing. The wing is easier, but as to safety, I can't say its really different. There are places that Sm is the only way to go, and I have been in cave that a large group has explored to the limits of BM, and been able to go further in SM.

    Not everyone needs a rebeather. I believe that it adds a level of complexity that is not necessary for most dives, particularly when you are just starting. They are tools for certain purposes. I tried them years ago and stopped. They are not any cheaper to operate, and I am too damn old to do 8 hour dives.

    Not everyone needs to be a cave diver. If you are easily excitable, you should not do this. If you cave dive long enough you are going to have some type of problem that, if you freak out easily, will not end well. You can mis-identify which post is leaking, you can turn the wrong regulator off, you can turn the isolator off, and you can have 3 light failures. You can miss a jump. You can lose the line. If you freak out, the best regulators, largest tanks, and the most expensive rebreather, and even years of experience may not make a bit of difference.

    There is some basic agreement over gear configuration in back mount that has been developed over 40 years. Today, we still can have flame wars over if you should have a long hose in SM or hand off a tank. or which way the valve handles face, or if the pressure gauge should point to the front or back, or how tight the tanks should be under your shoulders. Or how many D rings you need, where does a stage go? Do you dive Hogarthian or loop your long hose on a tank, and if so, which tank. I found that it has taken longer to futz around with things and get side mount sorted out than it did with backmount. And I am still playing with it after 15 years. Now, I am trying to get lighter, smaller, and more streamlined in side mount, smaller tanks, back to a wet suit, smaller lights.

    And, I am diving backmount again after all these years. I have all of the old stuff lying around, I am putting together a vintage set of gear to piddle with, and its been fun. Its taken me years to figure out that its not how far I can get, or how small a mole hole I can cram my ass into, or how much deco I can rack up.... its just about having fun. When you get to an age when just getting up in the morning, taking a good dump, and having a hot shower is better than sex, and last longer, then you will understand that just having fun is more important than all of this silly crap. Go and have fun.

    "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing"
    "If you can see the handwriting on the wall ... you're on the toilet."
    "You make me wish that birth control was retroactive."
    "A girl's legs are her best friends...but even the best of friends must part."

    Redd Foxx 10-11-91



    "There she was - the cave. Like a big craggy jaw, waiting to snap at anything that came along." Lloyd "Mike Nelson" Bridges 3-10-1998

  7. #27
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    I dont think it's sidemount being oversold thats the problem... I think cave diving is oversold and it's just that sidemount is the "current cool style".

    When I got into cave diving, no one asked me if I wanted to learn cave diving... I asked about diving in caves and then was directed to the CDS to "find an instructor". Now, it seems as if a lot of OW shops are "selling" technical and cave diving as the cool thing to do...

    Joe


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pyle
    "After my first 10 hours on a rebreather, I was a real expert. Another 40 hours of dive time later, I considered myself a novice. When I had completed about 100 hours of rebreather diving, I realized I was only just a beginner."

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by OFG-1 View Post
    Sidemount oversold? Yes. Rebreathers oversold? Yes. Cavediving oversold? Yes.

    I have found it interesting over the years to watch changes in perception over dive equipment. Most people are being upsold on their gear from the first time their instructor opens their mouth.

    Everyone does not need large steel tanks. Particularly when you are starting. It is a perception that the second 1000 feet of a cave is better than the first 1000 feet. I know several people that started on steel 72's, and it took them years to get 95's or 104's. A 100 minute dive is not necessarily better than a 70 minute dive.

    Everyone does not need Scubapro or Atomic regulators. Most any regulator being sold today will give you good enough delivery for most recreational dives. If you tune them annually, they will breathe just fine. I have had my 1975 Conshelf regulators to 320 feet in Dipolder on trimix. They were fine.

    Not everyone needs to side mount. I started because of knee problems. I have not found it to be more or less safe then BM, it is just different, just like I have not found diving with a horsecollar BC any more or less safe than using a wing. The wing is easier, but as to safety, I can't say its really different. There are places that Sm is the only way to go, and I have been in cave that a large group has explored to the limits of BM, and been able to go further in SM.

    Not everyone needs a rebeather. I believe that it adds a level of complexity that is not necessary for most dives, particularly when you are just starting. They are tools for certain purposes. I tried them years ago and stopped. They are not any cheaper to operate, and I am too damn old to do 8 hour dives.

    Not everyone needs to be a cave diver. If you are easily excitable, you should not do this. If you cave dive long enough you are going to have some type of problem that, if you freak out easily, will not end well. You can mis-identify which post is leaking, you can turn the wrong regulator off, you can turn the isolator off, and you can have 3 light failures. You can miss a jump. You can lose the line. If you freak out, the best regulators, largest tanks, and the most expensive rebreather, and even years of experience may not make a bit of difference.

    There is some basic agreement over gear configuration in back mount that has been developed over 40 years. Today, we still can have flame wars over if you should have a long hose in SM or hand off a tank. or which way the valve handles face, or if the pressure gauge should point to the front or back, or how tight the tanks should be under your shoulders. Or how many D rings you need, where does a stage go? Do you dive Hogarthian or loop your long hose on a tank, and if so, which tank. I found that it has taken longer to futz around with things and get side mount sorted out than it did with backmount. And I am still playing with it after 15 years. Now, I am trying to get lighter, smaller, and more streamlined in side mount, smaller tanks, back to a wet suit, smaller lights.

    And, I am diving backmount again after all these years. I have all of the old stuff lying around, I am putting together a vintage set of gear to piddle with, and its been fun. Its taken me years to figure out that its not how far I can get, or how small a mole hole I can cram my ass into, or how much deco I can rack up.... its just about having fun. When you get to an age when just getting up in the morning, taking a good dump, and having a hot shower is better than sex, and last longer, then you will understand that just having fun is more important than all of this silly crap. Go and have fun.
    Only change one thing in this....having a hot shower AND have sex.....come on, your a diver...never waste an erection in a man over 50...


  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by OFG-1 View Post

    There is some basic agreement over gear configuration in back mount that has been developed over 40 years. Today, we still can have flame wars over if you should have a long hose in SM or hand off a tank. or which way the valve handles face, or if the pressure gauge should point to the front or back, or how tight the tanks should be under your shoulders. Or how many D rings you need, where does a stage go? Do you dive Hogarthian or loop your long hose on a tank, and if so, which tank. I found that it has taken longer to futz around with things and get side mount sorted out than it did with backmount. And I am still playing with it after 15 years. Now, I am trying to get lighter, smaller, and more streamlined in side mount, smaller tanks, back to a wet suit, smaller lights.

    ... having fun is more important than all of this silly crap. Go and have fun.
    Great post!


  10. #30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OFG-1 View Post
    Sidemount oversold? Yes. Rebreathers oversold? Yes. Cavediving oversold? Yes.

    I have found it interesting over the years to watch changes in perception over dive equipment. Most people are being upsold on their gear from the first time their instructor opens their mouth.

    Everyone does not need large steel tanks. Particularly when you are starting. It is a perception that the second 1000 feet of a cave is better than the first 1000 feet. I know several people that started on steel 72's, and it took them years to get 95's or 104's. A 100 minute dive is not necessarily better than a 70 minute dive.

    Everyone does not need Scubapro or Atomic regulators. Most any regulator being sold today will give you good enough delivery for most recreational dives. If you tune them annually, they will breathe just fine. I have had my 1975 Conshelf regulators to 320 feet in Dipolder on trimix. They were fine.

    Not everyone needs to side mount. I started because of knee problems. I have not found it to be more or less safe then BM, it is just different, just like I have not found diving with a horsecollar BC any more or less safe than using a wing. The wing is easier, but as to safety, I can't say its really different. There are places that Sm is the only way to go, and I have been in cave that a large group has explored to the limits of BM, and been able to go further in SM.

    Not everyone needs a rebeather. I believe that it adds a level of complexity that is not necessary for most dives, particularly when you are just starting. They are tools for certain purposes. I tried them years ago and stopped. They are not any cheaper to operate, and I am too damn old to do 8 hour dives.

    Not everyone needs to be a cave diver. If you are easily excitable, you should not do this. If you cave dive long enough you are going to have some type of problem that, if you freak out easily, will not end well. You can mis-identify which post is leaking, you can turn the wrong regulator off, you can turn the isolator off, and you can have 3 light failures. You can miss a jump. You can lose the line. If you freak out, the best regulators, largest tanks, and the most expensive rebreather, and even years of experience may not make a bit of difference.

    There is some basic agreement over gear configuration in back mount that has been developed over 40 years. Today, we still can have flame wars over if you should have a long hose in SM or hand off a tank. or which way the valve handles face, or if the pressure gauge should point to the front or back, or how tight the tanks should be under your shoulders. Or how many D rings you need, where does a stage go? Do you dive Hogarthian or loop your long hose on a tank, and if so, which tank. I found that it has taken longer to futz around with things and get side mount sorted out than it did with backmount. And I am still playing with it after 15 years. Now, I am trying to get lighter, smaller, and more streamlined in side mount, smaller tanks, back to a wet suit, smaller lights.

    And, I am diving backmount again after all these years. I have all of the old stuff lying around, I am putting together a vintage set of gear to piddle with, and its been fun. Its taken me years to figure out that its not how far I can get, or how small a mole hole I can cram my ass into, or how much deco I can rack up.... its just about having fun. When you get to an age when just getting up in the morning, taking a good dump, and having a hot shower is better than sex, and last longer, then you will understand that just having fun is more important than all of this silly crap. Go and have fun.
    gold.

    Ken Sallot


 

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