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Matt P
12-09-2007, 09:06
I'm curious as to why training agencies don't offer a Doubles class. I asked my LDS which class would best teach me the skills needed to safely dive doubles. The answer was that I'll "use" doubles in Advanced Nitrox, Intro to Deco, Cavern, etc. The recommendation was that I just rent some and go diving. I asked if those classes focus specifically on doubles emergency procedures, valve drills, buoyancy, trim, gear optimization, maintenance, configuration, etc. That is the class I'm looking for. I want to focus on doubles outside of the other skills I'd be learning in those other classes.

Am I the only one who thinks this would be a meaningful class? Can anyone comment on why this isn't covered as its own unique skill set? If drysuit classes are offered why not doubles? Is the conversion from singles to doubles that transparent that it isn't necessary?

BTW I have no need for another C-Card. I only mention it because that is how training agencies seem to operate. I simply want solid, comprehensive, training. And, Im not suggesting that this class is a requirement before being allowed to dive doubles.

RoadRacer1978
12-09-2007, 09:29
With the way a lot of training agencies operate it is amazing that they don't offer such a class. The best advice I can give you is to dive with people that are proficient in diving doubles and get them to teach you as much as they can. I'm sure you arleady knew this, just throwing it out there.

ianr33
12-09-2007, 09:39
Another vote to go dive with someone that is experienced with doubles.

Just diving doubles is not hard (although the trim etc can be different and need a bit of tweaking) Thoroughly understanding them is more involved,but thats not needed on a first dive or 2.

First time I wore doubles was my Advanced Nitrox course with Divetech in Cayman. Also had 2 stages along for the ride.I think the theory was that if I did not drown then I was good to continue with the course. Some previous experience would have made life easier.

BSea
12-09-2007, 09:44
I think that for most rec divers, the cost of the equipment puts them off, so a course wouldn't really be economical for the agencies. How many people dive double's that don't do any advanced training? Think about it. For diving doubles, you need 2 identical tanks that you dedicate to doubles. Then you need a set of regs that you use for doubles. Plus the cost of the manifold, valves, tank bands, and a BC setup for doubles. So the cost of the course is $100 to $150. The cost of the gear is $1000 +. Even if the shop rented the gear, it could add $100 to the course.

Now I'm sure there are some divers out there who have a set of doubles that don't have any tech certifications (me for 1). But that number has to be pretty small. I actually have 2 sets of doubles. But they are both vintage sets.

Matt P
12-09-2007, 10:14
I think that for most rec divers, the cost of the equipment puts them off, so a course wouldn't really be economical for the agencies. How many people dive double's that don't do any advanced training?I agree most people who dive dbls will move on to other advanced training. I suspect it might be nice to have that doubles experience before moving onto so that you can focus on whatever new skills are being introduced in the advanced class.

I also think it might be beneficial so that someone who is debating between doubles & pony could have more information on which to base that decision.

You mentioned that you have dbls but no advanced tech training. I have seen a number of peopl in my area that are the same. I don't know if it's a local\regional thing. But, redundant air seems to be popular here.

Thanks for the insight - I think you're right about the $$

Matt P
12-09-2007, 10:25
Another vote to go dive with someone that is experienced with doubles.Not a bad idea. I actually did this for a dive or two. But, I think it would be nice to have a formalized curriculum. I don't know all the questions to ask. So, I don't want to miss anything important.

Just diving doubles is not hard (although the trim etc can be different and need a bit of tweaking) Thoroughly understanding them is more involved,but thats not needed on a first dive or 2.

First time I wore doubles was my Advanced Nitrox course with Divetech in Cayman. Also had 2 stages along for the ride.I think the theory was that if I did not drown then I was good to continue with the course. Some previous experience would have made life easier.I was hoping to avoid going down the path of how I learned to dive a drysuit. LDS balked when I said I wanted to take the class. They rented me an ill-fitting dry suit and suggested I just go dive it. I followed that advice & would like to avoid having that kind of experience again.
Some previous experience would have made life easier.Yeah...I was wondering if that might be the case.

texdiveguy
12-09-2007, 10:51
Matt.... several training agency in the business of technical level course instruction offer a course such as Intro to Technical Diving that covers among other things the selection/rigging and basic use of doubles--so that type course might be an option to you...TDI-NAUI-SSI plus others.

Diving doubles is really not to difficult for an average skilled diver whom has the desire to spend a bit of time working through the mechanics....**of course I would recommend training with an experienced doubles diver in a controlled water setting such as a pool or shallow o/w setting that is used for basic diver training.

Progress slowly and use your head...common sense and patience go a long way in the learning curve.

Also you can purchase tech agency training manuals that cover the step by step process of rigging and drills applicable to doubles diving---**course this alone is not a replacement of a proper diving mentor but will help you along in understanding the process.

Having said all this and I don't suggest you follow my course of actions which were securing a set of doubles and for all the basics teaching myself at a local watering hole and gradually over time gaining experience, I then went on to technical diving courses were I sharpened my skills and fine tuned the art of doubles diving.

Good luck and safe diving!

clayhwalker
12-09-2007, 19:00
I think that if you dive with someone who is experienced you should be fine. I dove my twin LP95s last weekend for the first time and had an experienced diver with me and he helped a lot. Learn your valve shut off procedures first thing. I had my AI computer blow out on me on my second dive and was glad i practiced them on the first.


On another note AI computers on a hose SUCK!!!! If you are going AI go wireless and always have manual gauge back ups. After mine blew out i went home and ordered a non integrated computer and SPG.

Just my opinion.

tedwhiteva
12-09-2007, 20:15
Matt.... several training agency in the business of technical level course instruction offer a course such as Intro to Technical Diving that covers among other things the selection/rigging and basic use of doubles--so that type course might be an option to you...TDI-NAUI-SSI plus others.

Diving doubles is really not to difficult for an average skilled diver whom has the desire to spend a bit of time working through the mechanics....**of course I would recommend training with an experienced doubles diver in a controlled water setting such as a pool or shallow o/w setting that is used for basic diver training.

Progress slowly and use your head...common sense and patience go a long way in the learning curve.

Also you can purchase tech agency training manuals that cover the step by step process of rigging and drills applicable to doubles diving---**course this alone is not a replacement of a proper diving mentor but will help you along in understanding the process.

Having said all this and I don't suggest you follow my course of actions which were securing a set of doubles and for all the basics teaching myself at a local watering hole and gradually over time gaining experience, I then went on to technical diving courses were I sharpened my skills and fine tuned the art of doubles diving.

Good luck and safe diving!

Matt - I recommend you do what tex said - and not what he did:smiley2:

The NAUI Intro to Tech can cover both doubles diving and pony bottle use.

vadiver
12-09-2007, 20:46
I recommend taking GUE DIR-F course in a doubles configuration. You can go to the GUE homepage and look for an instructor in your area and call him. That way you can make a determination on which way you want to go.

The training is a bit expensive, but then again so is diving. Nothing beats a proper education, especially if your life depends on it.

cummings66
12-09-2007, 22:14
While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it. As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.

I was told it's the team concept at work, the team passes as a whole or fails as a whole. The member doesn't matter, so, take doubles there without any prior experience and you're condeming your team to certain failure. I know I want to have a shot at it, but if it's 100% certain I am going to fail and it's not my skills causing it I'm going to be a bit upset.

I know, that's not a team attitude, but the team isn't paying for my hotel room, my travel expenses, food, etc. If the team paid for all that then I'd be willing to fail for you. Those who pass the course say it shouldn't be about passing, but when I have limited funds I want to stand a chance of passing.

I believe in the team concept as it applies to diving, but I do not believe in it during training for something like this. It's idiotic to fail a person because his buddy can't hold his buoyancy, especially when his buddy is a stranger he got saddled with. My buddies and I know each other, where our stuff is and we have similar skills. But, for me they're not likely to take a DIR course. I hope you can see why I think taking DIR-F in doubles when you don't have the basics is a bad idea. I know they tell you that you should have the basics down before doing the course, I suspect that applies to doubles, drysuits, etc.

Z-naught
12-10-2007, 03:47
The training is a bit expensive

Approximately how much does the DIR-F course cost?


It's idiotic to fail a person because his buddy can't hold his buoyancy, especially when his buddy is a stranger he got saddled with.

Hmmm, quite foreboding that. Looks like I ought to find a local DIR interested buddy to take the course with me and train for a bit before doing it. Instabuddy performance shouldn't condemn another diver to fail in my opinion.

medicdiver
12-10-2007, 04:46
While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it. As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.

I was told it's the team concept at work, the team passes as a whole or fails as a whole. The member doesn't matter, so, take doubles there without any prior experience and you're condeming your team to certain failure. I know I want to have a shot at it, but if it's 100% certain I am going to fail and it's not my skills causing it I'm going to be a bit upset.

I know, that's not a team attitude, but the team isn't paying for my hotel room, my travel expenses, food, etc. If the team paid for all that then I'd be willing to fail for you. Those who pass the course say it shouldn't be about passing, but when I have limited funds I want to stand a chance of passing.

I believe in the team concept as it applies to diving, but I do not believe in it during training for something like this. It's idiotic to fail a person because his buddy can't hold his buoyancy, especially when his buddy is a stranger he got saddled with. My buddies and I know each other, where our stuff is and we have similar skills. But, for me they're not likely to take a DIR course. I hope you can see why I think taking DIR-F in doubles when you don't have the basics is a bad idea. I know they tell you that you should have the basics down before doing the course, I suspect that applies to doubles, drysuits, etc.

I haven't heard that before. I know of some people who took DIR-F together and one got the DIR-F tech pass and the other was a provisional pass. I wonder if the specific instructor decided that. But either way I'm looking at taking DIR-F so I'm gonna do some checking.

cummings66
12-10-2007, 07:29
I sent an email to an instructor and asked them because I was interested. They replied that the team passed or failed and sent a link to the GUE page. I asked for clarification and they would never come out and say directly that one person could pass and another fail, but when I asked directly that question all they would tell me is the "team" was how it worked and they either passed or failed.

Who knows, maybe the guy I emailed was the bad instructor carribiandiver talked about. I asked a couple DIR divers on SB and they too would not give me a straight answer. Ultimately the lack of forthrightness turned me off and I quit the pursuit. Maybe I'm wrong but that is the impression they gave me when I asked and they did nothing to dissuade that impression even though I tried to clarify it.

cummings66
12-10-2007, 07:32
The cost of the course depends on many things, the base cost of course and then what it costs you to fly in the instructor and pay for his lodgings while he instructs and how many people you get interested. It's not inexpensive.

Matt P
12-10-2007, 08:48
As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.

I was told it's the team concept at work, the team passes as a whole or fails as a whole. The member doesn't matter, so, take doubles there without any prior experience and you're condeming your team to certain failure. I know I want to have a shot at it, but if it's 100% certain I am going to fail and it's not my skills causing it I'm going to be a bit upset.

I know, that's not a team attitude, but the team isn't paying for my hotel room, my travel expenses, food, etc. If the team paid for all that then I'd be willing to fail for you. Those who pass the course say it shouldn't be about passing, but when I have limited funds I want to stand a chance of passing.

I believe in the team concept as it applies to diving, but I do not believe in it during training for something like this. It's idiotic to fail a person because his buddy can't hold his buoyancy, especially when his buddy is a stranger he got saddled with. My buddies and I know each other, where our stuff is and we have similar skills. But, for me they're not likely to take a DIR course. I hope you can see why I think taking DIR-F in doubles when you don't have the basics is a bad idea. I know they tell you that you should have the basics down before doing the course, I suspect that applies to doubles, drysuits, etc. While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it.I've considered taking the fundies class. I am interested in it. But, just as far as learning doubles is concerned I don't know that it's what I'm looking for. The reason is that it is so team oriented. That is at the heart of my question. I don't want to learn doubles as part of another skill set. I'd like to focus on it entirely as it's comprehensive own set of skills. Once I'm comfortable in doubles then I'd like to tackle the DIR skills, Advanced Nitrox, Cavern, or whatever else I pursue. IF I choose to pursue something else.

You make a good point - I would hate for someone to fail on my account. I hadn't heard that before.

As someone else pointed out earlier in this thread - it is surprising that the agencies haven't added this cert. If there's special training for "Drysuit Diver" and there is a "Diving the Spiegel Grove" cert then why hasn't any agency established a "doubles" ciriculum?

texdiveguy
12-10-2007, 10:31
Matt........my guess to your question about a doubles specialty cert. is simply there would not be enough course content material to justify a class......like I had said earlier your best bet is to find an experienced doubles diver and mentor with him/her for the number of dives it takes you to feel comfortable....then progress slowly on your own as you gain experience.
TDI offers a good Intro to Tech course.
But just learning to dive doubles safely does not require a special course or c-card...just good common sense and the input if available from others whom dive doubles.
I learned basically on my own after asking questions/reading/observing others...worked for me,,,I also had no issues once I entered technical level course, my skill level was fine at that stage....I simply learned little tricks and picked up good pointers in the tech classes.
I think you are wanting some type of structured doubles diver course and I don't think you will find it...if you are serious about diving doubles then just take my advise and get after it---find a mentor to work with and have fun! My .O2

Matt P
12-10-2007, 11:33
texdiveguy...yes, I was hoping for some structure. And, I agree that is probably the best approach considering the available options.

Thanks everyone

RonFrank
12-10-2007, 11:42
While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it. As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.


If you are going to bother with DIR-F, you best do it in a drysuit, and doubles. You can pass without them, but you can't continue on. Further tech training requires passing Fundies in a drysuit and doubles.

You are GUARANTEED to fail in any event unless you have spent a HECK of a lot of time training with someone who has passed DIR-F. You don't fail, BTW, you get a provisional status, and a period of time to take the course again and pass.

Most people do not pass DIR-F the first time around. I have two friends that I am proud to say did pass, first attempt. However if you had witnessed the training they did to accomplish this prior to the class, and with GUE trained divers... well, all I have to say is that it is impressive.

RonFrank
12-10-2007, 11:51
I dove doubles for the first time a month or so back. I'll do another dive or five with them in December.

I did so under the watchful eye, and owner, of said doubles. He is a PADI instructor, has GUE training, and we dive together often.

As I have adopted a DIR setup for my cold water diving this was almost a non event. I pulled my singles bladder, and STA off my BP, and we added his double bladder, and the tanks. I used his reg as his doubles are DIN, and my reg is setup for yolk. Everything was exactly where I would expect it... SPG clipped on the left belt Dring, Bungie second around my neck, primary long hose run under my can light, ect.

We spent 5 minutes going over valve setup (which I was already familiar with). In this case we were diving with two divers that he had just certified OW in previous weeks. I spent more time keeping an eye on them then he did keeping an eye on me! :smiley5:

My trim was not perfect, and it was a bit strange at first, but it was really a non-issue. These were AL80's and steel maybe a bit more difficult to adjust as they weight a lot more. The main thing I noticed is that if you are deliberate in your actions in singles, be more so in doubles. If you have your trim and buoyancy down, then doubles are just not that difficult. I does help however to be familiar with the gear configuration.

IMO, some of the best training I get is just by diving with good divers. Granted, some of the folks I dive with are instructors, and better trained than most instructors, but that's hardly a requirement.

The only class I can recommend that may give you training in doubles is the advanced Nitrox and deco. Plan on $1000 or more depending on if you already own equipment. Even renting is expensive when you get to this level as there is not a lot of demand for double rentals.

Matt P
12-10-2007, 13:48
Plan on $1000 or more depending on if you already own equipment. Even renting is expensive when you get to this level as there is not a lot of demand for double rentals.Renting is no problem, LDS has plenty ready to go at reasonable rates. It's the old, "here you go...enjoy!" without training that raised concern.

Thanks

mwhities
12-10-2007, 13:53
Do what I'm going to do, find a mentor that dives doubles. I have three different people that are going to dive with me (at different times) to help me learn them.

After I pay off my dry suit and get it altered.

Michael

MSilvia
12-10-2007, 16:09
While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it. As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.
Burden? You say that like the objective of the class is to pass it, and not to learn from it. Unless you're looking to follow the GUE training path, no one's going to care if you pass or not. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is under the crust.

The training is excellent, and if you pay attention and practice, your diving can change for the better. THAT is what you take the class for, not a card, not a gold star on your forehead, and not for an "attaboy". The only thing the card gets you is permission to take the next level of GUE training, and if you want to do that you can keep at it until you get there.

That said, having a buddy go all clown show on you will definately make getting a pass more challenging, but I strongly suspect you could still pull a pass out of it if your own skills are spot on, and you manage your buddy's problems well. It may depend on the instructor... I don't really know. Personally, I was fine with a "provisional".

CompuDude
12-10-2007, 18:51
While doing DIR-F in doubles might be a good idea, I know it's not the way I'd do it. As I understand it, if you fail your buddy fails. Do you want to GUARANTEE your buddy failing? I wouldn't want to be responsible for that burden.


If you are going to bother with DIR-F, you best do it in a drysuit, and doubles. You can pass without them, but you can't continue on. Further tech training requires passing Fundies in a drysuit and doubles.

You are GUARANTEED to fail in any event unless you have spent a HECK of a lot of time training with someone who has passed DIR-F. You don't fail, BTW, you get a provisional status, and a period of time to take the course again and pass.

Most people do not pass DIR-F the first time around. I have two friends that I am proud to say did pass, first attempt. However if you had witnessed the training they did to accomplish this prior to the class, and with GUE trained divers... well, all I have to say is that it is impressive.

This information is not really accurate... I would expand on some of those comments, as they're a little misleading as written.

You can Fail DIR-F, but it is not common. Most people get a Provisional pass the first time out. I passed with a tech pass first time through, but the other three people in my class received provisionals... and I had MANY more years of diving under my belt compared to the other three.

You do not have to train yourself into the ground to pass, either, although it's certainly true that where you are starting from as a diver is going to have a great deal of impact on how much you need to practice.

It is true that you will gain the most of the class if you have practiced the skills for a time before taking it, however. A recreational pass is all that's needed to gain the majority of benefit from the class, however... the only difference between a tech pass and a rec pass, aside from from general tightening of standards, is valve drills and the proper extra gear (can light and doubles).

All that said, I would NOT recommend GUE-F as way to "learn" how to dive doubles. An experienced buddy/mentor, or a good TDI/Naui Intro to Tech is a good way to have a supervised introduction.

There's not much to the mechanics of actually diving while wearing doubles vs. singles... your trim is a little more important, as you have a lot more weight, and learning how to handle yourself under all the extra weight (and what propulsion techniques work best, wearing what style of fin) play into it as well, but most of these can be worked out on your own (I don't mean solo). The actual skills, however, that should be learned from an instructor or experienced buddy/mentor, involve valve drills and how to handle yourself if something goes wrong with your manifold. That's where things get more complicated than single tanks. (Hose routing is fairly easy to learn from the internet, and presumably one has already done that research in buying the gear needed for doubles.)

The reason I have been given that most agencies do not offer doubles courses at the recreational level is fairly simple: It's really expensive, it's more complicated than the average recreational diver is going to want to get, and perhaps most importantly, doubles offers the recreational diver to big of an opportunity to get yourself into a lot of trouble by exceeding the NDLs.

Most recreational divers tend to be gas-limited to a certain extent, which prevents them from exceeding the NDLs too drastically, because in a single tank (especially with the common Al.80) they suck down their air before going over the limits. It takes a certain amount of experience (assuming you stick to the limits of your training) to get to the point where you are no longer limited by how much gas you have on your back. Adding double tanks means it is VERY easy to stay down too long if you are not vigilant about monitoring your air and bottom times. This is a big reason why doubles are usually only taught in combination with advanced gas planning techniques and technical training.

woody
12-11-2007, 14:40
The only class I can recommend that may give you training in doubles is the advanced Nitrox and deco.
I disagree this is NOT the place to learn doubles. This is the course to refine your diving in doubles and to LEARN the procedures for Technical / Decompression diving. You will need to be experienced and pretty well sorted out to get the most out of this level of diving education and to do it safely. This is not the place to pickup a new (for most) gear config and then end up at 165' while training 12 dives later.

This is why so many of the technical agency have put in the interim step of Intro Tech / DIR-F.


Even renting is expensive when you get to this level as there is not a lot of demand for double rentals.

Most technical shops that I know of will rent double, but they usually want to know what you are doing and won't kill yourself in their gear.

Thanks,
Woody

texdiveguy
12-11-2007, 15:33
The only class I can recommend that may give you training in doubles is the advanced Nitrox and deco.
I disagree this is NOT the place to learn doubles. This is the course to refine your diving in doubles and to LEARN the procedures for Technical / Decompression diving. You will need to be experienced and pretty well sorted out to get the most out of this level of diving education and to do it safely.

I agree.

Matt P
12-24-2007, 07:11
I disagree this is NOT the place to learn doubles. This is the course to refine your diving in doubles and to LEARN the procedures for Technical / Decompression diving. You will need to be experienced and pretty well sorted out to get the most out of this level of diving education and to do it safely. This is not the place to pickup a new (for most) gear config and then end up at 165' while training 12 dives later.

This is why so many of the technical agency have put in the interim step of Intro Tech / DIR-F.That's the initial feeling I had. It sounds like the best way to go is find a buddy combined with an intro to tech class.

Thanks everyone

beperkins
10-15-2008, 11:05
I am with the OP it would be nice to take a class in doubles before you buy a set. Remember our OW? We all got to play with a set of Scuba gear before we had to buy. It was immensely helpful to me in choosing what kind of gear I bought to be taught about the gear in OW. I wish there were something like that for doubles.

in_cavediver
10-15-2008, 11:51
I am with the OP it would be nice to take a class in doubles before you buy a set. Remember our OW? We all got to play with a set of Scuba gear before we had to buy. It was immensely helpful to me in choosing what kind of gear I bought to be taught about the gear in OW. I wish there were something like that for doubles.

The problem is demand. Very few shops are will have the demand to have the equipment required for a single rental doubles kit let alone 2 or 3 for a class. This stuff is expensive. That said, you find yourself a good mentor, they might just have some of the stuff laying around for you to try. Case in point - If you were closer to Lafayette Indiana, I have 3 sets of doubles in my garage now - plus the plates, wings and regs to go with. You could feel the hard BP vs a softpac harness or even a BC thrown into doubles duty. You'd have to endure my opinionated ramblings but hey - you could see the difference between AL80's, db85, dbl104s and learn the true meaning of a cave fill.

Jack Hammer
10-15-2008, 13:50
My understanding is basically singles tanks have roughly enough air to stay within or close to NDL limits (generally speaking, most divers use al80's). Diving doubles easily allows divers to stay long enough to have mandatory and possibly lengthy deco requirements. Since the majority of people diving generally stay in recreational depths and have gear that's setup for singles, most agencies don't offer a class on doubles. Once you get into tec classes doubles can be mandatory in most cases.

Jack

georoc01
10-15-2008, 16:54
Thanks for everyone who has replied in this thread. I have been trying to answer these questions for myself, and its nice to see its about as clear as mud.

I did recognize the challenge of renting doubles and so a purchased a small set at a reasonable. price. I was able to get the double tanks & regs for under $1k including vip and service.

Of course, the equipment I am missing is a double bladder wing, dry suit and canister light. I have taken a dry suit class and have rented one from my LDS when conditions require it.

It seems like what I am looking for is a good Intro to Tech class. Unfortunately the best one I have found was in San Diego, not much here in the Rockies.

Given that the other option is DIR-F, my question then becomes, should I be taking this class in the new gear, or in the gear I have been diving and comfortable with this winter?

It appears the more research I do, the more confused I become :)

texdiveguy
10-15-2008, 17:49
TDI Intro. Tech instruction in Co.: (?)

A. SDI/TDI Dive Center Denver Divers
lskaar@aol.com Daniel Skaar 303 399-2877

B. SDI/TDI Training Facility Deeper Blue Scuba Fort Collins bafridell@comcast.net Robert Fridell 970 481-7557

C. watson@sierracmp.com George Watson

caroln
10-15-2008, 18:56
There may not be a formal class, but that doesn't mean that instruction is not available. When I went to doubles, I talked to one of the instructors at the shop, and we spent a day at the pool at the Y one on one doing valve drills, learning about the different types of failures you can have with doubles, me trying out a couple of different sets (AL 80's and steel 100's), a couple of different types of regs, wings, etc. Talk to some of the instructors at your shop. One of them may be willing to do something similar with you. If not, intro to tech isn't a bad option.

UCFKnightDiver
10-15-2008, 20:01
Thanks for everyone who has replied in this thread. I have been trying to answer these questions for myself, and its nice to see its about as clear as mud.

I did recognize the challenge of renting doubles and so a purchased a small set at a reasonable. price. I was able to get the double tanks & regs for under $1k including vip and service.

Of course, the equipment I am missing is a double bladder wing, dry suit and canister light. I have taken a dry suit class and have rented one from my LDS when conditions require it.

It seems like what I am looking for is a good Intro to Tech class. Unfortunately the best one I have found was in San Diego, not much here in the Rockies.

Given that the other option is DIR-F, my question then becomes, should I be taking this class in the new gear, or in the gear I have been diving and comfortable with this winter?

It appears the more research I do, the more confused I become :)

why do you need a double bladder wing and a dry suit?

cummings66
10-16-2008, 06:36
I'm of the mind that you could go out with a buddy who's very squared away, preferably rescue certified that earned it, and just dive the config. It's not hard to dive doubles, learn the valve drills on land, GUE has it available in their recent updates on their page, then be aware that you will drop faster than normal in them and there is a delayed reaction time to adding air. You'll also need more air to do stuff compared to a single wing.

In the end, it's not hard and IMO if you're squared away to start with you'll do fine. If you're a mess right now, don't even consider them. You've got to have something to build on IMO before you start with them.

If there is absolutely nobody around that's familiar with doubles then I would probably find an instructor to dive with for safety sake.

PS, a double bladder wing isn't needed for doubles unless IMO you have steel cylinders and a wetsuit. If you use double AL80's I think it'd be fine with a normal doubles wing. The general accepted standard is double steels require a drysuit for redundancy, plus a lift bag. Due to the buoyancy characteristics of AL80's they're not really that heavy. Say about 4 lbs negative, perhaps 8 fully loaded. Most of us can swim that up. Steel cylinders on the other hand can exceed 20 lbs negative and that would work you to death.

georoc01
10-16-2008, 07:50
The requirements for one of the classes I have looked at in the caribbean requires the double bladder wing.

The dry suit is for Colorado diving

BoomerNJ
10-16-2008, 09:40
Great thread, very informative. Thanks to all who responded.

CompuDude
10-16-2008, 19:07
The requirements for one of the classes I have looked at in the caribbean requires the double bladder wing.

The dry suit is for Colorado diving

GUE doesn't even allow double-bladder wings. The case for their requirement is far from uncontested. Some agencies do prefer double-bladder wings if you're diving doubles in a wetsuit, though. In a drysuit, it's not necessary, and, as I said, not encouraged by all. If you're not training at that one Caribbean shop, you don't need a double bladder wing. (Note: This is not the same as a Doubles wing, of course, meaning a wing intended for doubles.)

If you decide to travel to the Los Angeles area, drop me a line sometime. Lots of people around here, myself included, can give you the basic rundown on doubles diving. Learning enough that you're not a danger to yourself is something that can be done in a day, easily. After that you can dive them back home all you want to get more comfortable in them. Then, when you're no longer feeling completely out of control in them, you'll be ready to take GUE-F and you'll be able to concentrate more on the class and less learning the bare bones basics about doubles.

cummings66
10-16-2008, 19:23
See, that's how it works in real life, dive with a friend and get the basics down. No course needed. Not unless you have no friends that is.

in_cavediver
10-17-2008, 11:07
See, that's how it works in real life, dive with a friend and get the basics down. No course needed. Not unless you have no friends that is.

That's just an excuse to go make some friends!

I can say without doubt that there are several here I'd enjoy diving with sometime even though I only know them from this board (and the other one).

beperkins
10-17-2008, 13:15
People seem to consider double bladder wings the devil and I don't get it. What drawbacks do they have that I am not aware of. At first glance, it seems like a good idea.

CompuDude
10-17-2008, 13:57
People seem to consider double bladder wings the devil and I don't get it. What drawbacks do they have that I am not aware of. At first glance, it seems like a good idea.

The reason behind a double bladder wing is to protect against wing failure. However, with well chosen buoyancy characteristics for suits and tanks, the double bladder wing is not required. It's called using a balanced equipment configuration.

It adds complexity and failure points, and doesn't protect against the more common failures. Much better to spend the time to properly balance your rig than to try to solve problems by throwing more gear at it.

Put the money toward a drysuit instead, and a double bladder wing is entirely unnecessary.

in_cavediver
10-17-2008, 17:03
People seem to consider double bladder wings the devil and I don't get it. What drawbacks do they have that I am not aware of. At first glance, it seems like a good idea.

The reason behind a double bladder wing is to protect against wing failure. However, with well chosen buoyancy characteristics for suits and tanks, the double bladder wing is not required. It's called using a balanced equipment configuration.

It adds complexity and failure points, and doesn't protect against the more common failures. Much better to spend the time to properly balance your rig than to try to solve problems by throwing more gear at it.

Put the money toward a drysuit instead, and a double bladder wing is entirely unnecessary.

I don't completely agree with Compudude as do others in the tec world. Simply put, there are dives where no amount of planning will result in a balanced rig. I am thinking caves here rather than OW. These are the cases where you have to look to redundancy to overcome this.

Case in point - for negativity - My PST 104's. I'll factor only gas weight since you'd plan for no-gas. A good cave fill adds 23lbs of negative weight (300cft - 3800psi or so). I add stages at 1-2lbs negative each (figure dump empty bottles so you don't carry lead to make them neutral). You can readily get to 25-28lbs of gas weight.

This adds to the already 7lbs negative of the 104's (when empty) and whatever the BP, regs, bands, reels, etc add. There are times my 55lb wing doesn't want to float the rig I plan to dive very well. (5 tanks). I would NEVER dive this way without redundancy in lift.

My options and order of preference:

1) Drysuit - Its exposure protection and redundant lift.
2) (2) single 55lb wings stacked. - I'd do this if I was in a wetsuit as I have 2 55lbs wings I could stack. My wife could stack 2 nomad wings as well if she needed to.
3) Double bladder wing - I own enough single bladder wings - why spend the money here. Its also always two bladders. No option for just one. Lastly, two single wings offer independent protection for the bladder. A puncture would have to penetrate both shells to puncture both bladders.

I'd also note that point 1 is similar to a dual bladder wing - even if some training organizations don't see it that way. Its a second lift device which is required for steel doubles if I recall.

texdiveguy
10-17-2008, 17:35
I also take some issues with this idea that a 'balanced gear configuration' is a fail proof system for all situations....it's just not.

We all should try and design our gear configuration to be as balanced as possible, as this does greatly improve one's ability to dive efficiently. But this does not relieve the risks associated with doubles diving in a wet configuration.

There are multiple reasons to providing a suitable redundant system when engaged in wet diving in doubles (IMO both al. and steel).

I am not a big proponent of dual doubles wings for the reasons of expense//less flexability in wing configuration//chance of compramizing both bladders in the event of an issue on land or in the water. For this I have alway used a stacked second wing when I dive both al. or steel doubles in a wet suit environment.

The more gear you add to the equation as is often the case in technical diving the less realistic the true effectiveness is of a balanced gear approach.

I strongly recommend the use of a second wing regardless of how balanced you perceive your gear set-up to be when engaged in wet suit diving and doubles.

CompuDude
10-17-2008, 18:03
So, given the choice between diving dry with a single wing, and diving wet with a double wing, would you choose to dive wet every time?

Or is your recommendation for a double bladder wing ONLY in cases of diving heavy doubles with a wetsuit?

FWIW, I have no hard fast rule against double bladder wings, although they are not my preference and I don't own any by choice. I was explaining the thinking behind why many recommend against them.

ReefHound
10-17-2008, 18:30
1. There is in fact a structured course for it offered by PSAI (http://www.psai.com/)called Twin Set Diving (http://www.psai.com/sportdivercourse.html). One shop I know that offers it is Gigglin Marlin Divers (http://www.gigglinmarlin.com/twin_set.php) in Houston. The instructor is Carl Griffing (http://www.gigglinmarlin.com/carl.php) who is an excellent technical instructor and a personal friend.

2. I believe there is more than enough content to justify a course. How to select and rig the equipment, adjusting to a long hose, relearning trim and balance and weighting, performing valve drills, and more. Certainly as much content as any PADI specialty. The idea that a good diver with a desire to learn can find an experienced mentor and learn on their own is true, IMO. But that could be said about a lot of courses and skills.

texdiveguy
10-17-2008, 18:48
1. There is in fact a structured course for it offered by PSAI (http://www.psai.com/)called Twin Set Diving (http://www.psai.com/sportdivercourse.html). One shop I know that offers it is Gigglin Marlin Divers (http://www.gigglinmarlin.com/twin_set.php) in Houston. The instructor is Carl Griffing (http://www.gigglinmarlin.com/carl.php) who is an excellent technical instructor and a personal friend.

2. I believe there is more than enough content to justify a course. How to select and rig the equipment, adjusting to a long hose, relearning trim and balance and weighting, performing valve drills, and more. Certainly as much content as any PADI specialty. The idea that a good diver with a desire to learn can find an experienced mentor and learn on their own is true, IMO. But that could be said about a lot of courses and skills.

Lets hope that the PSAI's Doubles Diving manual is much better than their Trimix manual is.

And I second a thumbs up for Carl!!

in_cavediver
10-17-2008, 21:19
I also take some issues with this idea that a 'balanced gear configuration' is a fail proof system for all situations....it's just not.

We all should try and design our gear configuration to be as balanced as possible, as this does greatly improve one's ability to dive efficiently. But this does not relieve the risks associated with doubles diving in a wet configuration.

There are multiple reasons to providing a suitable redundant system when engaged in wet diving in doubles (IMO both al. and steel).

I am not a big proponent of dual doubles wings for the reasons of expense//less flexability in wing configuration//chance of compramizing both bladders in the event of an issue on land or in the water. For this I have alway used a stacked second wing when I dive both al. or steel doubles in a wet suit environment.

The more gear you add to the equation as is often the case in technical diving the less realistic the true effectiveness is of a balanced gear approach.

I strongly recommend the use of a second wing regardless of how balanced you perceive your gear set-up to be when engaged in wet suit diving and doubles.

Very well put.

I'd add only one caveat - look at your environment. In some of the quarries I dive, I can walk out. In those cases, I don't worry about redundancy on non-tec dives. I've done dbl 104's in an old 7mm wetsuit under those conditions.

LCF
10-19-2008, 09:14
Given that the other option is DIR-F, my question then becomes, should I be taking this class in the new gear, or in the gear I have been diving and comfortable with this winter?

This really depends on your goals for the class, and your level of proficiency. If you haven't been diving with DIR divers (or others of similar standard), you're probably better off taking the class in the equipment where you are most comfortable and relaxed and capable. The standard for skills performance from GUE-F is an eye-opener for a lot of students, and it isn't helpful to add the stress of new gear to the equation. In fact, one of the only people I've ever talked to who really didn't like his Fundies class or feel it was a good one was someone who transitioned to a BP/W the day class started, and he was completely flummoxed by the new gear and essentially unable to perform the skills.

On the other hand, if you've had some mentors to get you up to speed on skills, then Fundies is a very good place to polish valve shutdowns and to work on team skills, and get well-honed feedback on your balance and proficiency underwater.

I did it in a single tank, and did a doubles/tech pass upgrade later. That was a good way for me.

georoc01
10-20-2008, 08:36
Well, I literally got lucky on the dry suit. One of my local dive shops has a used custom DUI suit with less than 20 dives on it that looks like it was made for me. Now all I need to do is pick up some DIR compliant fins :)

As far as the double bladder wing goes. The goal in doing this training is in prep to a trip to Chuuk lagoon. I am expecting to be in a wet suit for this trip. So I was thinking that I would want to have this wing anyways for the that trip. Its also why doing the training in the Caribbean seems like a logical way to go as well.

CompuDude
10-20-2008, 12:44
Well, I literally got lucky on the dry suit. One of my local dive shops has a used custom DUI suit with less than 20 dives on it that looks like it was made for me. Now all I need to do is pick up some DIR compliant fins :)

As far as the double bladder wing goes. The goal in doing this training is in prep to a trip to Chuuk lagoon. I am expecting to be in a wet suit for this trip. So I was thinking that I would want to have this wing anyways for the that trip. Its also why doing the training in the Caribbean seems like a logical way to go as well.

You're likely to be diving double Al.80s, as is common to most tropical locations. A double wing may not be needed in that situation.