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Thread: Sidemount Profiles: The Technical Diver's Guide

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    Sidemount Profiles: The Technical Diver's Guide

    Brian Kakuk and Jill Heinerth's new book arrived on my doorstep today. From a quick flip through the pages, looks to be a great publication. Official book report will be pending, but I'm thinking my productivity level at work is going to suffer this afternoon!



    If you're interested, you can get a copy at Jill's Dive Shop
    Michael

    For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  2. #2
    Barracuda
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    I have one on order should be here tomorrow but hard to tell with USPS tracking info.
    - Dennis ><()))">

  3. #3
    TadPole
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    Book report... Inquisitive minds want to know!!
    Splash, Splash, Cough, Cough. I have to know how to swim also???

  4. #4
    Megalodon
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    Post Definitely post a report soon...BTW, I'm seriously looking at either the Hollis or UTD set up.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  5. #5
    Guppy
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    Geez you would think I'd have done this about eight months ago. Sorry!

    The book is a great overview of Sidemount diving, told by authors with a great deal of experience doing it. I found it to be full of good general information, with nice photos (of some divers that you may even recognize). It incorporates the history of sidemount diving and how it was adapted for use by the early Florida cave divers, ultimately resulting in the evolution of commercially available kits.

    There are sections about the equipment and setup for both open water and overhead. I wouldn't call it an instruction book necessarily, although it makes a nice reference text. It doesn't delve into some of the specifics and answers that I know people often ask, but I think this is in keeping with the current pace that sidemount style kits are changing and the unique style each person seems to find when setting up their gear.

    The end of the book has profiles on several famous divers and their sidemount rigs, as well as their thoughts and philosophy about why their gear is set up the way it is. Overall the book was well written as dive books go, with nice illustrations and color photos. The print in my copy was a little bit off in places, but not annoyingly so.

    If you're interested in sidemount and want a primer, this is a good text to pick up. I wouldn't say it will substitute for some good mentoring, instruction, or just a little help from a buddy who has been there, but it will fill in a lot of gaps and questions you might have if you are unfamiliar with the set up to begin with.

    If you're an avid cave or sidemount diver already, you're probably going to pick up some interesting tidbits here and there, but nothing earth-shattering. It will be good for a read and then a nice reference later. Of course if you fit in this category you might just buy it for posterity

    Good luck with your setup Navy. Happy to help out if you need something!
    Michael

    For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  6. #6
    TadPole
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    Thx for book report.

    Hey Mike:

    Thanks for the post as well as the time you spent answering my sidemount questions. Just finished SM Cave with Lamar. Fantastic experience! The setup is everything u said it would be.

    Thanks again...

    Nef
    Splash, Splash, Cough, Cough. I have to know how to swim also???

  7. #7
    Guppy
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    No problem, Nef. Glad your class went well...Lamar is truly a top notch instructor. And I'm pleased you are enjoying the switch to sidemount.

    I just got back from the caves myself and felt a little sorry for all those other guys and their doubles
    Michael

    For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  8. #8
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by nefiii View Post
    Hey Mike:

    Thanks for the post as well as the time you spent answering my sidemount questions. Just finished SM Cave with Lamar. Fantastic experience! The setup is everything u said it would be.

    Thanks again...

    Nef

    Which BC did you train in and how about a short review of the BC?
    - Dennis ><()))">

  9. #9
    Guppy
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    He trained with Lamar...I'm gonna bet it was a Nomad
    Michael

    For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  10. #10
    TadPole
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    Sidemount Profiles: Mikes Review...

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSWine View Post
    Which BC did you train in and how about a short review of the BC?
    Oooops, I just found CWSWine's request for a brief review on the BC I trained on. Excuse the delay. Mike was correct, I have a Nomad (XT). I had used a backplate/wing before, but when I decided to go the Cave/Tech route, I needed a rig that would fill the following requirements:
    1. Stay within my budget requirements, I couldn't afford to run three rigs at this point
    2. Be as modular as possible
    3. Allow the most flexible configurations
    4. return to Item 1

    Knowing I was going to dive Backmount/Stage, train in sidemount diving and still dive singles while assisting in training Rec students I felt the Nomad XT was the best option for me. The XT seems to be the more flexible of the Nomad series. There are a few compromises I must be willing to deal with like:
    1. adjusting the gusset control system to limit the wing lift depending on the configuration I plan to dive and...
    2. weaving cam straps into the system for diving singles


    For the most part, the system does everything I need it to. I like the consistent muscle memory movements wearing the same rig all of the time, but I'm sure I'm also missing out on some nice features other systems have. I feel the XT is most effective as a sidemount rig (which would make sense since it was intended to serve this purpose). I must admit I have not used any other sidemount rigs, so my opinion is very limited and probably biased. I guess I just love my rig...

    Guys I really don't have alot to compare my rig to at this point. I plan on getting a Backplate / wing a bit farther down the road, but I'm pretty happy for now.

    I guess I'll leave it at that. I prefer to read forums rather than post. I never learned a thing while I was talking (or typing)...
    Splash, Splash, Cough, Cough. I have to know how to swim also???

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