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View Full Version : Had my fist uncomfortable dive last night,



Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 09:08
and learned a lot about proper Reg fitment. Last night's class was closed water dive #3, and we all ended up changing up gear after the weekend b/c we had fully stored everything last week. The reg that I got last night had a fairly small mouthpiece as well as tiny bite tabs, and a long neck. I noticed pretty quickly that this was allowing the reg to "float" and twist in my mouth making it slightly harder to breathe through, and causing my upper lip to flex enough to give me mask issues most of the night (flooding).

I was able to perform the required skills without too much issue last night, but the reg added another challenge that I had to deal with along the way. It gave me lots of practice clearing my mask, and recognizing when I wasn't getting enough air.

I did let the instructor know after class, and will be getting a different one on Wednesday.

The reason I posted this is that after class I started thinking about the situation more, and got to wondering if I was stupid to keep using it. I am kind of one of those guys that likes a challenge so in my head I wanted the extra issue of dealing with sub par (or poor fitting) equipment, and having to multitask during the skills. At the time I felt that it was helping to build confidence, but now I'm not so sure.

So, what do you guys think? Good or bad? Keep in mind that I never had to surface due to issues at depth last night, and that at the time I felt I was keeping a close eye on my status (how well I was handling it).

Sorry for the long post about nothing special :smiley5:

navyhmc
07-13-2010, 09:15
You kept to the class dive which is good, but you had a gear issue that probably would have been an easy fix. The closed water class is the place to make those adjustments so you can learn and practice with minimal distractions. From the sounds of things, you had distractions. Personally, I would have made it a point to get it corrected early.

One thing to learn is that if it doesn't feel right, change it at the earliest possible time. Don't wait, trust your instincts. There could be times down the road and out at sea where something doesn't feel right on a dive and you need to learn to trust that and maybe turn the dive-none of us lke to do it, but if it's not right it needs to be fixed or turned-it might be a life saving issue on the open waters... The good news is you leaned another lesson from the class.

Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 09:30
That is the thought that has been nagging at me in the back of my mind. I'm not sure I really learned anything extra by dealing with it aside from recognizing there was an issue that needed to be corrected... and probably should have been corrected right away.

I do feel a little more comfortable with the idea of dealing with unforeseen issues now though.

FoxHound
07-13-2010, 12:56
Then its all good, dont let it nag you. gear selection is a PITA and only after using something will you know if you'll like it. Everyone has their personal preferences. Hence why we see all the bp/w arguments and so on.

And acutally the post isnt "nothing special", its a good piece on how gear selection is important and can make a huge difference on the dive. Someone else who is just starting might read it and make sure they are comfortable before getting in the water insted of waiting.

Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 13:53
Thanks guys. I was dwelling on this a little today wondering if I made a bad judgment call. I know now that I probably did, but I learned something about myself (diving is not a time to "buck up and soldier through") as well as the selection of equipment that will work best for me.

On a side note, I have been reading the forums trying to decipher all the abbreviations. BP/W was one that I kinda had a question on. BP/W = Backpack/Wings? As in the discussion between BP/W vs. vest style BCD? You guys toss around a pile of new terms and abbreviations for a new guy like myself, but I'm trying hard to keep up :)

bigman241
07-13-2010, 14:13
bp/w is backplate and wing. It is a metal plate either alum or steel with a webbing harness with a wing on the back. the big thing from what I have been told is they are nearly fully adjustable. A back inflate is a vest type bc with the wing on the back and not around the body. I use this type and like it, it has issues with wanting to face plant you in the water. this can be over came with trim weight and being weighted so your not over weighted and have alot of air in your wing. Jacket style is the normal rental type I have noticed they have the bladder around the body front and back this puts you upright in the water. though this can have issues with trim at depth. My dad has gone from the jacket to the back inflate and has not complained since dive number 2 with the new back inflate. there is also a stab jacket but I do not think they make them much any more and would not worry about it. I was told they sucked and not even think about them.

I could be wrong about this but I think I am rather close to being right not not I am sure someone will correct me.

On dive 3 of our ocean dives I got sea sick and bad. I opted to not dive on dive 4 the captin, dm and instrutor all told me I would get better when I got off the boat but the worry I would toss my lunch in my reg was to much of a concern. SO do not let someone make you think it will be ok. You dive with one thing just not right and every time you dive with an issue you become more complicet with something not being right. I have learnt that not to long ago and have moved on to make sure everything is just right. this is the nice thing about owning my own gear

Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 14:49
every time you dive with an issue you become more complicet with something not being right

True words of wisdom there! Don't settle to begin with and then you can take comfort in knowing everything is correct.

Thanks for the detailed post bigman. That explained a lot for me. I didn't realize there were multiple versions of the vest/jacket BCD. I assumed they all had the back and side inflate.

BTW, I want to make sure no one gets the wrong idea about my instructor. He has been great, and would not have had a problem swapping the gear out for me. I was just too stupid to say something.

SlvrDragon50
07-13-2010, 15:32
BP/W doesn't necessarily dictate that it's strictly a metal plate with nylon webbing.

Dive Rite Transpac uses a soft "plate" with an elaborate harness and the Transplate uses the same harness although with a plate. BP/W is just thrown around so much because it reduces the carried lead weight and generally helps reduce trim issues but I saw over on SB plenty of seasoned posters who use jacket BCs. It's all about what fits you.

Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 15:50
Right, I get that there are many materials used for the plate system. I have read about soft, steel, and plastic on this forum.

For me, I'm pretty sure I will stick with the jacket style BC for quite a while. I think having a little more gear adds a bit of comfort factor for me. Probably comes from my days on sport bikes. No jacket, no gloves, no comfort and made me uneasy when riding. Helmet was like a reg, couldn't get started without it. I was by far one of the safest stupid risk takers ever lol

Chilly
07-13-2010, 19:31
I believe that the best place to sort out a gear issue is on the surface, prior to the dive. Everything is easier at 0 kts and 1 ata.

First, what is mildly uncomfortable on the surface might become unbearable at depth, causing you and your buddy to abort the dive. Second, you'd like to give your attention to your instructor, your buddy, and the required tasks at hand vice an ill-fitting mouthpiece. Third, any unnecessary issue that is contributing to your task loading can be the potential issue that exacerbates an emergency situation that requires all of your cognitive ability to solve.

This is also a good time to advocate the "save-a-dive" kit. I think most divers' kit includes a mouthpiece (that fits :smiley2:) and a few zip ties. Start building your kit today!

Godfather1138
07-13-2010, 21:32
Good call on the save a dive kit. I have been looking at them, and you are right about this being a perfect example of when it would come in handy. My ill fitting mouthpiece might have been due to a torn bite tab rather than just tiny ones. ;)

All good points though Chilly. I did explain to my buddy what was going on with the reg, but it did not keep us from performing any of the buddy tasks including a shared air swim.

I guess the best thing about all this is that I am still on the rental gear and not regretting a bad purchase. I will be better informed when shopping a reg/mouthpiece now.

bigman241
07-13-2010, 22:20
I am preparing to buy a bike my self. Planning for mid feb to the first week of march depending what I go with and how I pay for it IE paying cash, paying my jeep and and financing the bike. A guy on here and forgot to respond said to make sure to buy a true helmet and not a brain bucket. I assume by brain bucket he means the helmets that are basically a hat to hold your brains when they get bashed against the road as the helmet has no protection and is worn to cover the laws or look good. I plan on a full face helmet probably the ones made for ATVS or crotch rockets. As I do not plan on having a windshield I remember the taste of bugs from my younger years on a 450 honda with no helmet. Something like this http://www.harley-davidson.com/mcm/mcm_product.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444877510 5&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302285951&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302285951&bmUID=1279077612454&bmLocale=en_US though not really that one though if it is rated high on safety it would work. Nice helmet and look should I go harley. Sadly to big and not crazy enough to get a crotch rocket or as my mom called them when I even said I had sat on one in florida a widow maker. Though she tought the 450 I had as a kid was one to

navyhmc
07-14-2010, 04:38
Good call on the save a dive kit. I have been looking at them, and you are right about this being a perfect example of when it would come in handy. My ill fitting mouthpiece might have been due to a torn bite tab rather than just tiny ones. ;)

All good points though Chilly. I did explain to my buddy what was going on with the reg, but it did not keep us from performing any of the buddy tasks including a shared air swim.

I guess the best thing about all this is that I am still on the rental gear and not regretting a bad purchase. I will be better informed when shopping a reg/mouthpiece now.

Sounds like your learning quickly Godfather. A few other things to put in your sav-a-dve kit: Spare valve o-rings, a mask strap, spare set of batteries for your light (when you get one) and a small first aid kit. There are a lot of threads on the sav-a-dive kit that are worth searching out.

You'll find quickly though that it's a lot easier and far more fun to dive with everything working well. As for the BP/W set up, I'm of the mind that thinks you should get used to diving with something close to what you learned with so you don't over load your tasking at the start. Be patient on a lot of stuff and it will come when you're ready for it. :smiley20:

FoxHound
07-14-2010, 08:38
just to touch on the mouthpiece....try a seacure, you mould it to the shape of your mouth/teeth, amazingly comfortable....might be something to look into when you get your first set of regs.

hehe my save a dive kit is a damn tool box now, spare first stages, second stages, hoses, etc, along with all the basic o rings, fin straps and buckles, not just a mask strap but a whole mask and some more odds and ends. nothing worse then not being able to dive because of an equipment failure that can be easily fixed

scubastud
07-14-2010, 08:46
May as well be as comfortable as you can. I was pleasantly suprised after just replacing mouthpiece and replacing my standard hose with , oh shoot, the more flexable one, forget the brand name.

Godfather1138
07-14-2010, 10:16
FoxHound, I have been reading through the threads about the seacure and it sounds like a great design. I plan to check them out in person before I buy one, but I have already decided that I will be buying a nice comfortable mouthpiece when I buy my reg.

scubastud, the hose on this setup was an issue too. It was stiff enough that I could feel a bit of a lateral tug even on the surface.

Final test and CW dive tonight!

FoxHound
07-14-2010, 12:51
i have a seacure on my doubles reg set up and on my singles for the carribean, wouldnt change it!

oh the flexible hoses are miflex hoses

SlvrDragon50
07-14-2010, 14:07
FoxHound, I have been reading through the threads about the seacure and it sounds like a great design. I plan to check them out in person before I buy one, but I have already decided that I will be buying a nice comfortable mouthpiece when I buy my reg.

scubastud, the hose on this setup was an issue too. It was stiff enough that I could feel a bit of a lateral tug even on the surface.

Final test and CW dive tonight!
Long hose setup and you won't feel any tug :)

Consider the Aqualung Comfobite as well. It's cheaper than the Seacure and should you have a buddy need to breathe from your reg, they wont have a problem with the mouthpiece.

Godfather1138
07-15-2010, 09:03
Class went great last night. I was the first one finished with my test, and took the time to double check my answers. I only missed one question b/c I read too much into it. In fact I knew what I missed as soon as my instructor showed me I missed one.

The dive was much better, and I am really making progress with my buoyancy control. Our instructor had us doing some one-on-one skills last night so he had the rest of the group working on hovering as he pulled us aside one at a time. I was in a great class and everyone in the group was killing it last night as if we actually knew what we were doing :D

There is one really bad thing about last night... it is over... now my Mondays and Wednesdays are going back to normal non-dive days. Some of us joked about getting together at the lake on Mondays b/c diving made Mondays a little less, well Monday-like.

Anyway, heading out to the lake bright and early this Saturday and Sunday to do my checkouts, and then I will be a card carrying addict.

Thanks for all the great posts guys.

FoxHound
07-15-2010, 10:39
Enjoy the check outs then dive dive dive!