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JahJahwarrior
09-07-2009, 13:07
Curious to know how other diver's view of what is deep and what is scary have changed over time, as you got more dives in.

Personally, I breezed through my OW class and was perfectly comfortable going to almost 140 feet in a dark, craphole of a dive with something like 25 or 30 dives under my belt, most of which were to depths of deeper than 60 feet.

However, I recently observed my girlfriend go through her OW class, with a completely different experience. She struggled greatly with task loading, though she managed all of the skills except mask removal without an issue. She eventually got over the mask removal fears, to the extent that she passed the class.

However, I want to be very careful to not push her past her personal limits when I take her diving. She was certified in a place with pretty bad vis for a spring, so I think the clearer water will help put her at ease. I would like to help her become more comfortable with her mask. She also thought that the 20 foot depths they reached in class were "very deep." Problem is, most springs go deeper, to 60 feet or beyond.

That is why I want to know how quickly people became acclimated to the underwater environment, stopped being scared of it, and began to be comfortable going deeper than 20 feet. Hopefully, that will help me to make her diving experiences comfortable, rather than nerve wracking.

Flatliner
09-07-2009, 14:00
THE BEST thing you can do is take it WAY slower with her than you think you need to. She is most likely doing it for you which is OK. Learn to enjoy short easy dives and let her drive the development.

Splitlip
09-07-2009, 14:15
Hey JahJah.

Interesting post.

I was certified in my teens in the 70's. Nothing and I mean noithing underwater caused me anxt. Although I saw it in friends when I turned them on. Through most of my 30's my diving was limited to vintage equipment dives <25 ft. in the Keys where I would only don my gear to un-rock a Grouper or clean out a honey hole. Solo.

In my 40's when I jumped back in full bore, I would sometimes get anxious and stressed deep and low vis if a 3rd issue or task was added. (Computer crapping out, blown off the reef, lost buddy, buddy issues etc. ) It probably took 25 dives of tuning myself up before I was aware that the ghost was gone. I solo now about 25% of the time.

I say make sure her weight is right (I am sure you are already there, LOL) and just keep working with her. The 25 dives I am talking about can't be spread out like a tourist diver.

Good luck. She has a capable mentor.

in_cavediver
09-07-2009, 14:26
Diving screwed up my whole sense of deep. Prior to diving - 20ft was deep. Now, I don't bat an eye at 120'.

When I want a reality check - I look at the taller building around town and think about looking down from the top. Then I realize that I have been deeper than that.

As for comfort - I doubt depth has much to do with it. If someone is thinking 10-20ft is really deep, that tells me they are not comfortable in diving, thier skills or thier equipment. Working on those aspects should cure the 'deep' issues.

comet24
09-07-2009, 14:51
Never really thought of any dives as deep in a scary since. I understand the depth and deep when it comes to gas planing but that's about it. Never really been scared in the water but then I spend my younger years growing up in the water swimming competitively and working as a lifeguard during college. Now sometimes in a tight spot in a dark wreck with bad vis. something will brush a leg and my mind will try to play tricks on me. That's not a depth thing because it can happen at 70' as well as 170'.

JahJahwarrior
09-07-2009, 14:59
Good feedback, thanks guys!

Working with classes on my way to becoming an instructor has really opened my eyes to things. I just figured everyone would dive as easily as I did...and I've found that to be completely wrong. I've seen some people who amaze me with their comfort underwater, and other people who are virtual trainwrecks with scuba gear on. My girlfriend is somewhere in the middle... She seems to enjoy diving, she might be lying but I don't think she is doing this for me. She wants to work with wildlife and I think the highlight of her year would be watching turtles underwater, or something like a whale shark. She seems to look forwards to that sort of stuff.

I think you are right, as she becomes comfortable with the gear, she'll feel more comfortable no matter what the depth. In class, I had her using a "tech" rig--BP/W, 7' hose, bungeed backup, etc. The instructor insisted on teaching her like she was using a BC though: making her share air through the bungeed backup, for example. He also made me remove the crotch strap, rather than teach her to remove and replace the equipment with the crotch strap added in. For the first day of diving with the crotch strap, I watched and even at the surface I could tell her rig was much more secure than the other divers, no tanks hitting the head here! Second day, when the instructor made me remove the strap, she complained that the rig seemed more difficult, and watching on the surface, it was all over the place compared to a BP/W witha crotch strap. As I am working towards my instructor rating, I would have been in the water with her, but the class was held at a site which limits the class size, and we hit the limit, so I was stuck on the shore.

One huge difference between the class and when we dive: I'll obey the thumb. In classes, I've noticed instructors try to keep students from going ot the surface. I see the point of this:it's a hassle having a student or two give the thumb in the middle of a lesson. But, I think it stresses students to know that they will be scolded for going to the surface if they feel uncomfortable. Personally, my overhead training has me dedicated to turning a dive whenever there is a thumb. So, if she feels uncomfortable, she knows she can turn the dive and I won't give her any grief about it.

I felt really bad about how uncomfortable she seemed in some of the class. Once she managed the drills and was just swimming around for the last dive, she seemed to be having a blast though, huge smile on her face. I'm confident she'll come around. I don't expect her to follow in my footsteps, I just want her to feel comfortable in normal, OW diving situations, so her dreams of seeing turtles and whalesharks can come true, and she will be able to enjoy the moment to the fullest.

Her weighting is not perfect, but we'll work on that. I've found in OW classes, I prefer myself to be overweighted. If I'm neutral, staying on my knees to do drills with students is hard. I think she could lose a few pounds on the belt, but that is one of those things I can't fix until I'm in the water with her. I gave it a lot of thought and tried to get her close enough to properly weighted that she would sink without difficulty, but not be significantly overweighted.

Splitlip
09-07-2009, 15:02
Nah. I think the deep thing is the right side of my brain telling me I am in another realm. I know I can swim from ~60ft, so I am still on terra. >60 I don't know. I can swim a couple laps with a full breath, but I "know" when my reg fails, my lungs will be empty.


Diving screwed up my whole sense of deep. Prior to diving - 20ft was deep. Now, I don't bat an eye at 120'.

When I want a reality check - I look at the taller building around town and think about looking down from the top. Then I realize that I have been deeper than that.

As for comfort - I doubt depth has much to do with it. If someone is thinking 10-20ft is really deep, that tells me they are not comfortable in diving, thier skills or thier equipment. Working on those aspects should cure the 'deep' issues.

Jack Hammer
09-07-2009, 15:28
IME depth isnt always depth and scary is relevant. What I mean by that is not the literal sense of depth but how deep it actually feels in relation to the environment. My open water class was held in less than 10' of vis and the water temps were in the mid 60's (actually pretty warm for around here). Two people panicked and one refused to break the surface. I sucked it up and went down and completed the class. I've had better and Ive had worse dives since.

Saturday I made a dive to 120' feet with 45' vis and 59* water temps with penetration that actually felt shallower and less scary than dives I've made to 20' with 6' of vis and 46* water temps and no penetration. I dove that same wreck to 120' in May in 37* water with 70' vis and it felt a lot deeper scary than it did a few days ago. Clearer warmer water doesn't compare equally to colder murkier water. Like I said, deep and scary are fairly relevant to a lot of things (and I didn't even bring up experience - which can make it more scary or less scary depending on whether you are even aware of dangers).

Tassie Diver
09-10-2009, 07:51
It's all relative. Cold and dark will always be "scarier" than warm and bright.

But I think deep is getting deeper. It might be just my perception, but with rec getting more tech, depth limits related to training levels seem to be viewed more as challenges than recommended maxima?

jugglematt
09-10-2009, 15:24
i have noted a number of new divers with very good boyancy ,underwater skills and good air consumption .

for me when it changes is when some of these divers are put into an unusual or stressfull situation , the air consumption can drop and it all goes pear shaped , what ive learned is even if divers look very competent when things go ok they may loose it when things go pear shaped .

IMO its best to stretch the boundaries a bit at a time with new divers , to allow them to stretch their comfort level and not freak them out. and there is no compensation for hours unedrwater , getting experence diving and lots of it , will help make new divers more stable.

im fairly un flap able underwater but there have been situations where i was upset or scared underwater, most of the time im able to slow down and think through the problems but when i couldn't do that it was great to have a good buddy there with me to help me out.


thinking through your problems is the goal , when people stop thinking and just react that's scarey
Matt

mitsuguy
09-10-2009, 16:03
One huge difference between the class and when we dive: I'll obey the thumb. In classes, I've noticed instructors try to keep students from going ot the surface. I see the point of this:it's a hassle having a student or two give the thumb in the middle of a lesson. But, I think it stresses students to know that they will be scolded for going to the surface if they feel uncomfortable. Personally, my overhead training has me dedicated to turning a dive whenever there is a thumb. So, if she feels uncomfortable, she knows she can turn the dive and I won't give her any grief about it.

I felt really bad about how uncomfortable she seemed in some of the class. Once she managed the drills and was just swimming around for the last dive, she seemed to be having a blast though, huge smile on her face. I'm confident she'll come around. I don't expect her to follow in my footsteps, I just want her to feel comfortable in normal, OW diving situations, so her dreams of seeing turtles and whalesharks can come true, and she will be able to enjoy the moment to the fullest.

Her weighting is not perfect, but we'll work on that. I've found in OW classes, I prefer myself to be overweighted. If I'm neutral, staying on my knees to do drills with students is hard. I think she could lose a few pounds on the belt, but that is one of those things I can't fix until I'm in the water with her. I gave it a lot of thought and tried to get her close enough to properly weighted that she would sink without difficulty, but not be significantly overweighted.

My friend, you have a long ways to go to become an instructor... Definitely spend some more time (much more) with experienced instructors... Firstly, I would recommend going with a completely recreational rig, something that mimics exactly what the instructor has - sure, a tech style rig may have its benefits, but, at the same time, a completely rec rig has some simplicities built into it that tend to make things easier, especially for a new student - adjustable shoulder straps, lack of crotch strap, etc... (quick note about the crotch strap - I do not use one with my BP/W and my rig does not ride up) Get her a standard jacket style BCD and standard length hoses, at least to start - you might see this make her a lot more comfortable...

Also, during training, typically, the only reason people want to thumb a dive is because they are uncomfortable, or are getting anxious. I highly recommend keeping them underwater - the surface is a last resort. A huge part of my job is doing discover scuba's. With this, I get a large number of people that are very nervous - even with video, briefing, skill demonstration and underwater practice, the whole thing is only about 2.5 hours... I'll give you one example just off top of my head - customer had never been diving, but was on vacation with a friend who was a diver. They wanted to go out, so, we did a DSD for the non-certified diver, and the certified diver tagged along... I could tell the DSD'er was nervous, but he did all the skills with ease and seemed ok. Alright, we go out on the dive, nice sloping area, down to about 25 feet. He had some ear issues - forgot to clear or what not, and this added stress. I see him panicking inside a little, he signals somethings wrong, but doesn't state what. I grab his BCD and by this time he is trying to swim to the surface, and looking straight up (a dead giveaway). I vented the air in my BCD, had him look straight at me, asked him if his ears were OK, to which he responded no, we ascended a few feet, he cleared them, and by this time, he had calmed down. He looked at me, signaled he was OK, and we continued the dive - from that point on, he looked like a pro in the water...

We end the dive when they run low on air, come up close to shore, and he is sooo amazed at everything he saw. After getting back to the shop, he handed me a huge tip and said thank you. I said, "why? you did great..." He said that he was panicking, and me holding him down and calming him was the best thing that ever could have happened to him. He came back three more times to do more shore tours (under the return DSD program). He is hooked now.

What I ask myself, is, if I had allowed him to go to the surface, would he have ever gone back down??? I have seen it before - panic, then refusal to ever even think about trying it again. As divers, we should be able to fix just about any problem underwater, short of a gauge failure or loss of air.

mrmccoy
09-10-2009, 17:44
I'm a new diver and during my class I had a few moments of panic. I stopped and took a deep breath then told myself to chill out......then I was fine and had a blast! I knew what was happening and knew I was fine. Every dive after that has been great!

Splitlip
09-10-2009, 18:20
..:smilie40:..

fisheater
09-10-2009, 20:12
I'm a new diver and during my class I had a few moments of panic. I stopped and took a deep breath then told myself to chill out......then I was fine and had a blast! I knew what was happening and knew I was fine. Every dive after that has been great!

That's great. In fact, you'll be a better diver than those who've never had any underwater issues.

The next time (and there will be, if you advance in diving) you feel that anxiety building, you'll have the confidence that you KNOW how to handle it. Congrats.

navyhmc
09-10-2009, 21:01
..:smilie40:..
I hope you brought enough popcorn for all of us Tim. :smiley36:

To the OP, everyone's comfort level is different. As for deep, a lot of folks don't know how deep, deep is. We have a local high rise (well, high for doo-dah, KS.) that is 10 stories. Go to the 10 story and look down. That is a significant distance, and it's 100'. Perspective is a big part of it. At 120' in darker waters, my world is only a maybe 20' sphere. What's beyond it is only a concern when I get there. For some, put them at 120' in clear waters where that 90' long dive boat looks like a bath toy and it can really get to them. All in perspective.

I agree with expanding folks comfort zone, but do so comfortably. Don't rush them.

And don't forget, "Familiarity Breeds Contempt" that is if you are at 120', don't get soo comfortable that you don't keep your safety measures with you and your safety procedures in the forefront. i.e. just because you've made 100 dives to 120' and never needed your alternate gas, doesn't mean you won't need it on THIS dive.

Lulubelle
09-10-2009, 21:30
Perhaps some additional pool time for skills practice will give her more confidence before going out to the OW again.

I can remember during my OW getting a bit spooked by the mask clearing in the pool. I can't open my eyes under water and was a bit underweighted. So as I closed my eyes and removed my mask, I starting floating sideways. Didn't dig that, it was somehow scary. The instructor beat that skill to death. Of course, on my first OW dive, my crappy rental mask flooded about 10 times, but I was fine with it as I had practiced it to death.

My first dive out of OW was to 128 feet, that is what we do here. I was completely prepared and comfortable. So deep and scary didn't correlate for me.

I guess my point is to find out what it is that she is really uncomfortable with and practice that. If it IS depth, then let her tell you when she wants to push it a little bit more. I think it is great that she is trying it, even if she is doing it for you. I suspect she will love it for herself once she gains confidence.

JahJahwarrior
09-11-2009, 09:33
My friend, you have a long ways to go to become an instructor... Definitely spend some more time (much more) with experienced instructors... Firstly, I would recommend going with a completely recreational rig, something that mimics exactly what the instructor has - sure, a tech style rig may have its benefits, but, at the same time, a completely rec rig has some simplicities built into it that tend to make things easier, especially for a new student - adjustable shoulder straps, lack of crotch strap, etc... (quick note about the crotch strap - I do not use one with my BP/W and my rig does not ride up) Get her a standard jacket style BCD and standard length hoses, at least to start - you might see this make her a lot more comfortable...


Thanks for the insult, Mitsu, much appreciated.

Poorly fitting recreational rigs are going to be more difficult than a properly setup BP/W. I had her rig set up very nicely, and I feel that it should have made her more comfortable. It is my opinion that a backplate and wing is the most comfortable way to dive. Almost everyone I have talked to who currently dives a backplate and wing said they really wished they could have started with one from day 1, including myself. And, the rig can ride up at the surface with the wing fully inflated, without a crotch strap, unless the student is somehow floaty without the rig on. I will not get her a jacket style BC, which I consider to be difficult to dive in, and she has standard length hoses. Well, the HP hose isn't DIR, but all other lengths are within an inch of DIR standards.

As it goes to the thumbing, I understand what you are saying, and I would actually apply more discretion if I was teaching a class. When someone gave me the thumb, I would grab them, look them in the eyes, try to help them deal with problems. Then, I would ask if they were ok, and if they wanted to stay down. If they still want to go to the surface, I would most likely let them. I feel that ignoring one of the most important rules in diving during a class isn't the best role model, though I do agree that many times divers will realize they are happier underwater. Mostly, I was frustrated because even when she was extremely calm and wanted to pop to the surface because she was having issues with some stuff and she felt like asking a few questions could have solved her issues quickly, instructors ignored the thumb. I feel like there needs to be some leeway, not a hard and fast "we ignore the thumb in class" rule.

mitsuguy
09-11-2009, 10:08
Thanks for the insult, Mitsu, much appreciated.

Poorly fitting recreational rigs are going to be more difficult than a properly setup BP/W. I had her rig set up very nicely, and I feel that it should have made her more comfortable. It is my opinion that a backplate and wing is the most comfortable way to dive. Almost everyone I have talked to who currently dives a backplate and wing said they really wished they could have started with one from day 1, including myself. And, the rig can ride up at the surface with the wing fully inflated, without a crotch strap, unless the student is somehow floaty without the rig on. I will not get her a jacket style BC, which I consider to be difficult to dive in, and she has standard length hoses. Well, the HP hose isn't DIR, but all other lengths are within an inch of DIR standards.

As it goes to the thumbing, I understand what you are saying, and I would actually apply more discretion if I was teaching a class. When someone gave me the thumb, I would grab them, look them in the eyes, try to help them deal with problems. Then, I would ask if they were ok, and if they wanted to stay down. If they still want to go to the surface, I would most likely let them. I feel that ignoring one of the most important rules in diving during a class isn't the best role model, though I do agree that many times divers will realize they are happier underwater. Mostly, I was frustrated because even when she was extremely calm and wanted to pop to the surface because she was having issues with some stuff and she felt like asking a few questions could have solved her issues quickly, instructors ignored the thumb. I feel like there needs to be some leeway, not a hard and fast "we ignore the thumb in class" rule.

It was not meant as an insult... Get more experience, nothing wrong with that - there is not one single person on the board that can't benefit from more experience.

It is your opinion, that a bp/w is the most comfortable way to dive. I am here to tell you that opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. I have a BP/W and also a standard BCD... I also, every once in a while, use our rental BC's... To be honest, I actually think there is less though required in our rental BC's and they instantly make everyone comfortable... Not that a BP/W is not comfortable, I love mine, however, I truly believe there is a little more comfort zone needed before moving to a bp/w setup... When I say standard length hoses, I mean, standard as in what comes with the regulator standard. Not standard as in, a very small select group of people who think their way is correct (I'm not saying it isn't, but, to each their own)

One thing, if you listen to nothing else I ever say, that you should probably take heed. Don't try and teach a significant other anything. Don't be involved in the learning process. Don't try to impose your way either. These are all sure fire ways for making someone angry or mad and rejecting their training. I see it all the time. I've actually had to make certified divers sit out of training sessions with their significant others, because they felt pressured, annoyed, etc. and sometimes, people just reject learning from someone they are that familiar with. In certain circumstances, even trying to teach family is a bad idea.

So, we all say, thumb a dive for any reason at any time. What if your buddy had some water in their mask and wanted to thumb the dive? Sure, we say, any reason, any time. But don't you think that is a problem that is definitely manageable underwater? What if their reg came out of their mouth - thumb the dive then, or fix the problem? You have to build a certain resistance to surfacing with new students, else they tend to want to come to the surface any time they have any sort of issue or question.

One last thing - let her make decisions for herself, else this will not end well for you and your relationship, or her and diving...

CompuDude
09-11-2009, 12:57
Poorly fitting recreational rigs are going to be more difficult than a properly setup BP/W. I had her rig set up very nicely, and I feel that it should have made her more comfortable. It is my opinion that a backplate and wing is the most comfortable way to dive. Almost everyone I have talked to who currently dives a backplate and wing said they really wished they could have started with one from day 1, including myself. And, the rig can ride up at the surface with the wing fully inflated, without a crotch strap, unless the student is somehow floaty without the rig on. I will not get her a jacket style BC, which I consider to be difficult to dive in, and she has standard length hoses. Well, the HP hose isn't DIR, but all other lengths are within an inch of DIR standards.

I agree with you re bp/w being the most comfortable, as long as it is fit properly. That said, appearances aside, they're not the most simple. There is a simplicity to a jacket BC, in spite of the extra buckles and junk all over it.

My wife just got certified in a bp/w. She had some problems with it, and the constant stream of put-downs from the PADI instructor didn't help. After certification (which was a close thing, IMO), I had her take a buoyancy workshop from another instructor... one who is one signature away from becoming a GUE fundies instructor. She is now absolutely thrilled with her bp/w, and completely understands and agrees with my reasons for putting her in one in the first place. The fact that a bp/w makes certain PADI OW class gear skills a little tricky has little bearing on real world diving.

As for hoses, it's up to you, of course, but I'll make a recommendation: I set my wife up with a "short long hose" rig. George Irvine actually used to dive nearly the same rig in OW, reasoning that single-file hose lengths aren't really required for OW diving. (They have since moved to a standardized 7' hose recommendation, but I figured, correctly, that the shorter hose would be easier for her to deal with while learning.) The rig is identical to a pure DIR singles rig, but instead of a 7' hose, you use a 40" hose for the primary. (Secondary, HP, LP, etc are all otherwise standard DIR fare) The primary hose routes under the right arm and directly up to the mouth, and does not cross the chest. I use a 90 degree elbow (not a swivel) to ease routing. Works beautifully.

(Again, the PADI instructor complained bitterly about it, but was perfectly happy with the students using nearly-impossible-to-breathe-through $70 Aqualung Octos, and also happy with donating the primary for the guy with an Air2, so WTF?)

wheelman
09-11-2009, 13:12
Poorly fitting recreational rigs are going to be more difficult than a properly setup BP/W. I had her rig set up very nicely, and I feel that it should have made her more comfortable. It is my opinion that a backplate and wing is the most comfortable way to dive. Almost everyone I have talked to who currently dives a backplate and wing said they really wished they could have started with one from day 1, including myself. And, the rig can ride up at the surface with the wing fully inflated, without a crotch strap, unless the student is somehow floaty without the rig on. I will not get her a jacket style BC, which I consider to be difficult to dive in, and she has standard length hoses. Well, the HP hose isn't DIR, but all other lengths are within an inch of DIR standards.

I agree with you re bp/w being the most comfortable, as long as it is fit properly. That said, appearances aside, they're not the most simple. There is a simplicity to a jacket BC, in spite of the extra buckles and junk all over it.

My wife just got certified in a bp/w. She had some problems with it, and the constant stream of put-downs from the PADI instructor didn't help. After certification (which was a close thing, IMO), I had her take a buoyancy workshop from another instructor... one who is one signature away from becoming a GUE fundies instructor. She is now absolutely thrilled with her bp/w, and completely understands and agrees with my reasons for putting her in one in the first place. The fact that a bp/w makes certain PADI OW class gear skills a little tricky has little bearing on real world diving.

As for hoses, it's up to you, of course, but I'll make a recommendation: I set my wife up with a "short long hose" rig. George Irvine actually used to dive nearly the same rig in OW, reasoning that single-file hose lengths aren't really required for OW diving. (They have since moved to a standardized 7' hose recommendation, but I figured, correctly, that the shorter hose would be easier for her to deal with while learning.) The rig is identical to a pure DIR singles rig, but instead of a 7' hose, you use a 40" hose for the primary. (Secondary, HP, LP, etc are all otherwise standard DIR fare) The primary hose routes under the right arm and directly up to the mouth, and does not cross the chest. I use a 90 degree elbow (not a swivel) to ease routing. Works beautifully.

(Again, the PADI instructor complained bitterly about it, but was perfectly happy with the students using nearly-impossible-to-breathe-through $70 Aqualung Octos, and also happy with donating the primary for the guy with an Air2, so WTF?)

The 'short' long hose is a nice config and what I use as well. (including elbow) only diff is I use 48" hose for a little extra play for the dry suit.

mitsuguy
09-11-2009, 13:19
Poorly fitting recreational rigs are going to be more difficult than a properly setup BP/W. I had her rig set up very nicely, and I feel that it should have made her more comfortable. It is my opinion that a backplate and wing is the most comfortable way to dive. Almost everyone I have talked to who currently dives a backplate and wing said they really wished they could have started with one from day 1, including myself. And, the rig can ride up at the surface with the wing fully inflated, without a crotch strap, unless the student is somehow floaty without the rig on. I will not get her a jacket style BC, which I consider to be difficult to dive in, and she has standard length hoses. Well, the HP hose isn't DIR, but all other lengths are within an inch of DIR standards.

I agree with you re bp/w being the most comfortable, as long as it is fit properly. That said, appearances aside, they're not the most simple. There is a simplicity to a jacket BC, in spite of the extra buckles and junk all over it.

My wife just got certified in a bp/w. She had some problems with it, and the constant stream of put-downs from the PADI instructor didn't help. After certification (which was a close thing, IMO), I had her take a buoyancy workshop from another instructor... one who is one signature away from becoming a GUE fundies instructor. She is now absolutely thrilled with her bp/w, and completely understands and agrees with my reasons for putting her in one in the first place. The fact that a bp/w makes certain PADI OW class gear skills a little tricky has little bearing on real world diving.

As for hoses, it's up to you, of course, but I'll make a recommendation: I set my wife up with a "short long hose" rig. George Irvine actually used to dive nearly the same rig in OW, reasoning that single-file hose lengths aren't really required for OW diving. (They have since moved to a standardized 7' hose recommendation, but I figured, correctly, that the shorter hose would be easier for her to deal with while learning.) The rig is identical to a pure DIR singles rig, but instead of a 7' hose, you use a 40" hose for the primary. (Secondary, HP, LP, etc are all otherwise standard DIR fare) The primary hose routes under the right arm and directly up to the mouth, and does not cross the chest. I use a 90 degree elbow (not a swivel) to ease routing. Works beautifully.

(Again, the PADI instructor complained bitterly about it, but was perfectly happy with the students using nearly-impossible-to-breathe-through $70 Aqualung Octos, and also happy with donating the primary for the guy with an Air2, so WTF?)

The 'short' long hose is a nice config and what I use as well. (including elbow) only diff is I use 48" hose for a little extra play for the dry suit.

and this may shock many, but I also use a 40" hose with a 90 on it, even for teaching - I do, however, still have a standard length octo though- skills, again, skills, are necessary to have the norm...

JahJahwarrior
09-11-2009, 13:34
Regulators don't come with hoses, in my experience. Some shops might add them on, but ideally, you go in and pick and choose everything yourself. Everyone's idea of "standard" is different.

I fail to see what is wrong with me trying to help her learn stuff. I suppose it could cause fights if I was emotionally invested in it, but if she is uncomfortable or doesn't want to learn something, it won't be any skin off my back. I plan to dive with her, and I plan to role model the proper, safe way to dive enjoyably.

Her BP/W was properly setup and was much less confusing than a BC. She had a tiny bit of trouble getting into it, but she had the same problem getting into a BC, and I think there aren't many people who figure out how to get into a scuba rig effortlessly their first time: just about every student I've ever watched has taken a bit of time to figure out where the straps fall and how to get into them easily. I fail to see how a properly fitting BP/W is any more complex than a BC. The only difficult part is the crotch strap, but that doesn't take very long to get used to, and if a user cannot reconnect it underwater their first try, the rig still works just fine.

An instructor who had experience with this setup could have done a much better job of teaching her. I love her instructor, he's a real nice guy and I think he handles students very well. I wouldn't trust her safety to just anybody, and I think he taught a good class. But, he's never used a BP/W or a "long hose" setup, and I think his constant stream of complaints about the system did not help her feel like she could manage it. I think instructors should be required to have experience with more diving equipment so they are better able to handle students who use gear different from them.

It is a fine line, regarding the thumbing a dive thing. Students should not be passed if they cannot deal with problems underwater, but honestly I've turned dives because of mask flooding. I couldn't get it to stop leaking, so 10 minutes in and halfway through running the primary reel, I called the dive. I think instructors need to spend more time teaching their students, this internet training is great but when I had to sit with my instructor, he was able to go over much more of those sorts of things and calm me down before the dive, so I understand I could deal with problems underwater and could make the rational decision to deal with it rather than thumb the dive. I feel that cert classes are way too rushed nowadays, but dive centers do it because it yields them more profit.

mitsuguy
09-11-2009, 13:50
Regulators don't come with hoses, in my experience. Some shops might add them on, but ideally, you go in and pick and choose everything yourself. Everyone's idea of "standard" is different.


Aside from the Salvo's and two or three Zeagles, every reg that Scubatoys sells comes with a hose from the manufacturer... Many regs even now come with Miflex hoses, from the manufacturer, and use them as a selling point...

As far as everything else, you are entitled to your opinion.

Please be warned that the number 1 reason one person of a couple drops out of scuba diving is from unnecessary pressure from the significant other. You may think "oh well, if she gets mad at me, no skin off my back" but what you are failing to acknowledge is that many women do not like being taught things by their SO, and they will put up with it, to a point... If yours is completely open to it, then so be it, but many women I have dealt with feel that they are a lesser person if they allow their SO to teach and train them, thus putting them at a lesser ranking in the relationship... It happens man, be careful with it...

one last thing, dive shops, although the benefit from the money aspect of quick courses and such, most quick courses are driven by the consumer and their lack of time... We give people the option all the time to do a slower version of our course, for 1/3 LESS money... many still pick the more expensive version because of time constraints...

CompuDude
09-11-2009, 14:05
Regulators don't come with hoses, in my experience. Some shops might add them on, but ideally, you go in and pick and choose everything yourself. Everyone's idea of "standard" is different.

Yes, they do when you buy a paired first and second stage. My ScubaPro MK25/S600 came with a hose, as did my Atomic M1, as did my Atomic Z2.

If you buy individual pieces, then no hoses (usually, but sometimes even then), but the matched pairs almost always come with a standard length hose, and you generally get a small discount compared to separates as well.

CompuDude
09-11-2009, 14:17
I fail to see what is wrong with me trying to help her learn stuff. I suppose it could cause fights if I was emotionally invested in it, but if she is uncomfortable or doesn't want to learn something, it won't be any skin off my back. I plan to dive with her, and I plan to role model the proper, safe way to dive enjoyably.

All good goals, but I can tell you from experience that IF you're in the water with her during class, do your best to stay out of it. Feel free to correct misinformation (intentional or otherwise) from the instructor (later, in private, don't undermine him during class), but don't put yourself in the teaching position while she's still getting used to scuba. Stay out of it as much as possible, and your relationship will be better for it. Relationships bring way too much baggage, even good ones. Pretty much any instructor (or DM, in my case) will tell you it's best to not get overly involved with your SO's training.


Her BP/W was properly setup and was much less confusing than a BC. She had a tiny bit of trouble getting into it, but she had the same problem getting into a BC, and I think there aren't many people who figure out how to get into a scuba rig effortlessly their first time: just about every student I've ever watched has taken a bit of time to figure out where the straps fall and how to get into them easily. I fail to see how a properly fitting BP/W is any more complex than a BC. The only difficult part is the crotch strap, but that doesn't take very long to get used to, and if a user cannot reconnect it underwater their first try, the rig still works just fine.

It's simple to us, but not so much to a new student. It's a crazy-looking mess of straps. The reality is yes, it's simpler, having just one buckle instead of lots of buckles, but in spite of this, they DO come off a little more complex than "putting on a jacket" and tightening straps that look just like backpack and seatbelt straps that people have been working with for many, many years, and are not scary at all. Standard fastex buckles found on recreational BCs just aren't new and unusual, and neither is the act of putting on a vest. It's a subtle psychological difference, but trust me, it DOES exist. You can overcome it, but the fact remains that a bp/w IS a little more intimidating looking than a jacket BC.

I say this as a strong proponent of bp/w's, and as someone who just put his own wife in a bp/w for class. It CAN be done, but realize that there ARE some drawbacks and minor things to overcome, compared to the classic setup that the rest of the class (and the instructor) will likely be using. (And that subtle peer pressure can be a problem as well.)


An instructor who had experience with this setup could have done a much better job of teaching her. I love her instructor, he's a real nice guy and I think he handles students very well. I wouldn't trust her safety to just anybody, and I think he taught a good class. But, he's never used a BP/W or a "long hose" setup, and I think his constant stream of complaints about the system did not help her feel like she could manage it. I think instructors should be required to have experience with more diving equipment so they are better able to handle students who use gear different from them.

Agreed on all counts. I just had the exact same experience with my wife's PADI instructor. It's frustrating. If you can find a GUE or UTD-trained instructor, I highly recommend a follow-up skills session with someone who really knows these rigs. It made a MASSIVE difference in my wife's comfort level.

Jack Hammer
09-12-2009, 02:16
I prefer my BP/W to my old BC by quite a large margin. I also wish I had saved the money I spent on my BC and put it toward a bp/w setup much earlier. All that said, I wouldn't have wanted to take my ow class in one, I'm glad I did the class in a BC.

My BC had a dump valve on each shoulder and one on the bottom. It was much easier for me to be able to vent gas by pulling the power inflator hose than to fumble around looking for the little pull knob or to remember to raise the hose while trying to maintain some semblance of bouyancy control. Had I been in a bp/w for my first few dives I likely would have had more than a few uncontrolled ascents.

To me a BC is like any other specialized tool, it has a place and purpose that it is well suited for. IMO it is a much better tool for learning to dive than a bp/w is and I would encourage new divers to use one for OW class.

Jack
*no offense intended for those who like BC's, dive what you like, not what I like or anyone else.