differences in men and women while diving

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by leelee, May 27, 2012.

  1. leelee

    leelee Angel Fish

    25
    1
    0
    Hey, I have been diving professionally for years. I have had a great decade of guiding and teaching others on their dive vacations..

    a couple main differences i noticed, I wanted to share and see if anyone else is noticing that

    1. weight positions. because womens center of gravity is a bit lower than mens, weight positioning is different. I would recommend tank weights low onthe tank, but dont make your back/tank area so heavy that it guides you. IE the faber steel tanks are sometimes so heavy for a lady that it pulls her if she is not exactly trim. If you dont want your weights on your back then around your waist try moving the weights forward a bit.. not so far that the clip cant hold it. nor all of them that your back is pulled down to compensate but having them more infront of your hips helps to get a comfortable trim.

    2. Gear up. This is what i love. I am a cold and warm water guide and am here to help. which means i am going to help you. So as you gear up. I am there for you and as a female guide i insist that you use me. wether it is to help put your dry gloves on . to make sure your mask skirt is clear of hair or gear or throwing wuss water on you when you are topside. I am going to help you and female divers are much more acceptant of it.. NOW. when we learn diving we learn to use our resources. it is the smartest way to dive. IE. why would you do a blind decent if there is a decent line there. so why not combine me in your gear up routine instead of showing that you can do it yourself. I know you can do it yourself. You are certified and i am trusting you on the dive. I know you can do it. but I am here to not help but enhance your experience so let me in.. haha Ladies could teach the gentlemen alot in that regard.

    what do you notice as the main differences
     
    Divescape likes this.
  2. D_B

    D_B Biilápache, Dii Shodah? ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
    10,761
    1,791
    113
    Help me get my neck seal sorted out, make sure my drysuit zipper is seated .. and help anywhere else you see me struggling
    ... it IS most appreciated and I will thank you :)
     
    Kharon likes this.
  3. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    4,390
    945
    113
    So far, use of punctuation. ;-)
     
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,352
    13,489
    0
    I'm with you on the helping thing. It drives me crazy, on our cave diving trips, to see the guys hauling heavy tanks around by themselves, when I've offered to help them carry them. Yes, they CAN do it, but at age 58, I know the cost of overusing and abusing body parts when you are young and think you're immortal :) When we do trips that are all women, we do tend to help one another more, I think. (But I'll also admit to having waved off help myself in a mixed group, so as not to be perceived as the weak sister.)

    Another thing I see is the relationship between stature and trim. Guys who are six feet tall and wear jet fins can balance head-heavy tanks much easier, because they can get those negative feet a lot further away from their bodies. Women, I think, have to do more with static weighting. I'm basing this on the fact that I've had several instructors (all tall men) insist that I didn't need the weights I had carefully set up for myself, and they have said that I should be able to balance everything out with body posture. It doesn't work very well if you are basically a set of tanks with a head and feet sticking out of them.
     
  5. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,683
    728
    0
    I have certainly found that I need to bring my weights forward compared to my husband. Never thought of the differences of center of gravity.
    i thought it was "just me".
    Gearing up- my husband, a PADI instructor, really pushes me to be self-sufficient. I have a hard time with my zippers and also with some things that require manual dexterity or certain upper body movements, due to a neck fracture in 2001. Hubby ( who used to be married to another instructor) is slowly getting used to the idea of us helping each other for all the difficult parts of gearing up, while avoiding any possible "female codependency" that often develops in married couples.

    ---------- Post added ----------

    I can so relate!

    "Another thing I see is the relationship between stature and trim. Guys who are six feet tall and wear jet fins can balance head-heavy tanks much easier, because they can get those negative feet a lot further away from their bodies. Women, I think, have to do more with static weighting. I'm basing this on the fact that I've had several instructors (all tall men) insist that I didn't need the weights I had carefully set up for myself, and they have said that I should be able to balance everything out with body posture. It doesn't work very well if you are basically a set of tanks with a head and feet sticking out of them."
     
  6. Nylorac

    Nylorac Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Connecticut
    158
    4
    0
     
    tracydr likes this.
  7. BluewaterSail

    BluewaterSail Happy in Doubles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jerusalem, Israel
    500
    191
    0
    I dunno. I am all for helping each other. But honestly, I have had DMs trying to be helpful during equipment set-up, and they just end up making it more difficult for me. Maybe its just me and I'm not very bright, but I like to do things step by step, checking things as I go, in the ways that are most comfortable for me. To have a hand appear and all of a sudden start screwing my first stage reg into my tank (for example) throws me off. When I get alot of "help" from someone, the end result is usually that I forget something or something is twisted or not quite right.

    However, I often ask for help with zipping up, and lifting a tank unto a table from the ground, and I do appreciate the assistance.

    Linda
     
  8. ferris213

    ferris213 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    329
    105
    0
    Am I missing something? Why do you insist? If I need help I will ask. If you see me struggling and offer, I might say 'yes thanks' or, as I have done in the past, 'no thanks, I want to do this on my own, but thank you anyway'

    One of the most annoying scuba experiences I have had to date was when someone insisted on 'helping' me by literally snatching my creeping second stage out of my hand, hitting it sharply three or four times, then start trying to pull it apart in the car park we were gearing up in!

    Just because someone is doing it differently to how you would do it, doesn't mean they're doing it wrong:)
     
    Dr. Lecter, Aguablanco1 and KWS like this.
  9. Blue River

    Blue River Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    18
    0
    0
    the weight thing has turned into our biggest difference with my domestic partner
    he insists that I don't get my safety stops executed perfectly because I don't "try" hard enough.
    particularly in Cozumel, in the drift diving, when the currents run strong, I do have to struggle
    in winter I almost always use only a skin, and in summer, like now, just a rash guard shirt
    he rarely wears anything more than the rash guard
    he's 6'3" and 220 lbs
    I'm 5'3" and between 145 and 148 pounds
    diving with 14 pounds of lead (my "normal") just wasn't getting it this last couple of days so I added 2 more for our second dive yesterday
    marginally better
    he thinks I should look at ankle weights (?) or a tank weight

    this has always been a struggle for me and we've been OW certified 10 years, and AOW for 5 or 6 years
    he gets in at least 2 trips a year, I average a trip about every 6-9 months, usually 5 days of 2 tank boat dives, the occasional shore dive

    any suggestions, other than wearing my weight belt with all the weights in front?

    regards
     
  10. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    20,728
    3,298
    113
    I don't like it when someone "insists" on helping me. After 50 years on SCUBA, I know my gear and how I like it rigged. I'll gladly accept assistance when I need it from man or woman, but please... when I need it (and ask for it). I have had DM/instructor guides interfre when I've specifically asked them not to. I told one in Tahiti that I would set up my kit and not to touch it. I leave my valve open just before I don my kit and had opened it as we approached the dive site. She decided to turn "on" my valve... thus shutting it off. When I did my giant stride and descended to 15-20 ft I had little air coming out the reg and tried to make a rapid ascent (with air at surface pressure in my lungs). She grabbed my fins and tried to pull me down so I kicked her and broke free. I read her the riot act at the surface when she told me never to do "that..." and explained why she was wrong in her thinking. Needless to say, she didn't get a tip.

    I dive mostly solo, but several of my "regular" buddies are women (mostly dive professionals). I never turn down their help if needed.
     
    Z Gear, CajunDiva, Dr. Lecter and 3 others like this.
  11. bluejaykaren

    bluejaykaren Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    99
    34
    0
    One time I forgot to connect the crotch strap on my ranger and I couldn't find the other end of it. I was already geared up,sitting with the tank bungeed to the boat. I had to ask the young crew member to fish around between my legs, find it and connect it for me. It was the one time I wished he had been a she.
    Until this summer I had not used a dive op that set your gear up if you had you own gear. Recently we went to Grand Cayman and it seems to be standard procedure for the crew to set up everyones gear. The boat rides where so short there that the crew could set up all the gear while the dive was being briefed so it did save time. I found that it bothered me way more than I thought it would. I rechecked everything and for one dive my inflator hose hadn't been connected. I turned off the air and purged a regulator so I could connect it. A crew member must have seen me turn my air off because he turned it back on before I could stop him. He then had to turn it back off and purged the reg. so I could attach the hose. I would gladly accept help for zipping up or helping me up after I geared up if I needed it. If I didn't have one of my reg. diving buddies I would rather the dive master do my buddy check than an insta buddy.
     
    solo gato and otterfox like this.
  12. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,352
    13,489
    0
    Well, my first question is, what is it about your safety stops that you aren't executing "perfectly"? Can you not hold depth, or is it that you aren't in horizontal trim, or that you can't sit still?

    My second reaction is that, given the height and weight data and the lack of exposure protection, you are likely to be significantly overweighted with 14 lbs of lead. That's just about the amount that I use for warm water diving in my DRY SUIT, and I'm a floater. I think solving your problem should begin with a good, formal weight check.

    If your difficulty is keeping depth at the stop, and particularly if you are tending to float up, it's likely that one of the issues is too much air in your BC, which makes any upward deviation from your precise depth highly likely to be self-perpetuating. If you can be at the stop with little or no air in the BC, then the only thing that will make you float is a change in your breathing pattern -- and if you're anxious about holding the stop, it's probable that you change your breathing to a more anxious pattern, holding more air in your lungs, when you begin to worry.

    If your problem is trim, you solve that by moving weight around. But I think you should start by determining precisely how much weight you actually need to carry -- I suspect it's quite a bit less than you are using.
     
    tracydr likes this.
  13. angryjuliet

    angryjuliet Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: USA
    21
    0
    0
    I am agree with leelee . I have seen that there are some difference between men and women while diving .
     
  14. Tigerman

    Tigerman Orca

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    7,185
    1,792
    113
    Personally I HATE people who "insist" on helping me with my gear.
    I dive a fair bit solo and part of my "ritual" is gearing up and checking everything as I go along. If I need help, Ill ask. If I dont ask, its not gonna affect your tip in any way, shape or form..
     
    Dr. Lecter likes this.
  15. dfx

    dfx Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Binbrook, ON
    1,697
    585
    113
    That reminds me of our most recent trip to Mexico. For the second dive of the morning, we left all of our gear on the boat and the crew would just swap the tanks. Some days, they would just leave our gear where we left it (on the floor or on the bench), other days they put it on the tanks for us and set it all up. Every time, the DM asked us that if they did in fact set it all up, to please double check everything. One day, we got back on the boat, the BCDs and the regs were put on the tank already, so yes, we went ahead and double checked everything. What do you know, the tank was put way up too high, the octo wasn't in the holder, and more importantly, the tank straps weren't done properly. So we pretty much had to do it all over again. In fact the straps were done so poorly that it would have been almost guaranteed that the tank would have come loose. And guess what, during the dive that's exactly what happened to one of the other guys in our group, who didn't pay heed to the DM's warning and didn't check his gear.

    Which goes to show that it can go either way. Personally, I'll stick with the "I'll ask for help when I need it" crowd. However, the other guy would have needed help and didn't ask, or maybe just didn't care and/or blindly trusted the boat crew.
     
  16. uncfnp

    uncfnp Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    2,757
    1,318
    113
    I use to be very much in the "I can do it myself Thank You very much" camp but I have found that as I get older, I am more willing to accept help with lifting and such. But I have a routine with setting up my gear and I too if I am distracted, even with well meaning assistance, will forget something. And I have also had the crew turn off my air.
     
    Scuba.Cat and TSandM like this.
  17. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,352
    13,489
    0
    uncfnp, that's an interesting comment. I looked at Peter yesterday and said something to the effect that I've realized I have to give myself permission to be almost 60, and stop trying to do EVERYTHING for myself. It's sometimes quite difficult.
     
  18. raftingtigger

    raftingtigger Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Woodland, CA, USA
    979
    420
    63
    When you figure out how, please clue me in to the process :blush:
     
  19. uncfnp

    uncfnp Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    2,757
    1,318
    113
    TSandM, even just a few years ago I would have been "insulted" if someone, ie man, had tried to lift, carry, or otherwise do something for me. Multiple minor injuries and then a rotator cuff tear and surgery later, I have no trouble asking and accepting help. And I think after 50 some odd years, I have finally learned that it is not a sign of weakness or (probably more important to me) relinquishing control to ask for help. I now sometimes think that those "silly" girls that sought young men's help when I insisted on doing it all myself, were a lot smarter than me!
     
  20. Laurie S.

    Laurie S. Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tucson, Arizona and San Carlos, Mexico
    759
    204
    43
    I have no problem with a boat crew setting up my equipment, but I always carefully check everything and readjust where necessary.
     

Share This Page