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DIR: God's gift to diving or Hell spawn?

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by scuba11b, Jan 26, 2002.

  1. scuba11b

    scuba11b Guest

    I've been checking out the board for a few weeks and finally registered. I am wondering what exactly is DIR? I've seen it referred to in many posts but I'm not sure what it is.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. HoosierDiver

    HoosierDiver Angel Fish

    You've opened up a rather large can of worms. DIR stands for "Doing It Right" and it incorporates everything from the way you plan your dive, to the way you train for your dive, to the way you make your dive. If you are looking for more specifics, there are plenty of resources available to you, including other threads on this board. Many people who follow this board are DIR divers, I am not one of them. You might also check out some of the following sites for more information.


    Good luck!
  3. VTWarrenG

    VTWarrenG Barracuda


    DIR stands for "Doing It Right." It's a holistic approach to diving that critically evaluates the diver, the buddy system, gear usage, and many other components of the dive experience. It's something of a 'fundamentalist' movement, and began with the extreme cave diving done in teams like the Woodville Karst Plain Project. It's rapidly gaining popularity, and for good reason -- it works, and it works well.

    It's really rather too complicated to sum up in a paragraph. Lost Yooper posted an excellent set of links the other night, and I'll post them here again:

    www.gue.com -- Read equipment section.

    www.wkpp.org -- Read equipment section and pics.

    http://www.sfdj.com/dive/dir1.htm -- Download both DIR 1 and DIR 3. This is good stuff.

    http://wrolf.net/index.html -- Scroll down and read all the hogarthian and DIR stuff.

    http://www.sfdj.com/dive/dir1.htm -- DIR shop.

    http://www.fifthd.com/divestore/classes/video/ -- Compilation of videos showing some DIR procedures and drills in action.

    http://gue.com/equipment/backplate6.html -- Backplate Illustration

    http://www.gasdiving.co.uk/pages/misc/kit/harness_2.htm -- Webbing a harness.

    http://www.cisatlantic.com/trimix/gmism/gmiindex.htm -- DIR FAQ

    http://www.tekdyk.dk/doux/UK/setup.htm -- WKPP Doux de Coly

    http://www.dis-uk.org/index1.html -- DIR UK

    http://www.cisatlantic.com/trimix/other/dirshops.htm -- List of DIR shops.

    http://www.halcyon.net/ -- Halcyon

    http://www.extreme-exposure.com/ -- EE

    http://www.cisatlantic.com/trimix/text/HOGARTH3.TXT -- Hogarthian article by Billy Williams

    In addition, Jarrod Jablonski (of WKPP and GUE fame) has published a new book, available on gue.com, called "Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving."

    The thread in which Lost Yooper posted those links is here: http://www.scubaboard.com/t5579/s.html

    - Warren
  4. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

    First of all scuba11b welcome to the board!!!

    There is more than one answer to your question...

    In the strictest sense DIR (the acronym has already been spelled out) is the philosophy, regimen by which the WKPP conducts all of its diving activities. It is what they says it is. And as far as they are concerned, doing the kind of dives they do, anything other than DIR is doing it wrong. If there were another/better way they would be doing that. They have the track record to prove they are right.

    In another sense DIR is a popular movement that has been spawned by the spread of WKPP's accomplishments as well as DIR protocols via the internet. Most of the neo-DIR divers are not affiliated with the WKPP nor have they been trained by GUE... the only recognized DIR training agency. Self styled DIR divers adopt some, most or all of the DIR equipment configuration from what the learned on the internet. Some also try to implement DIR proceedures gleaned from the same source.

    DIR is THE proven method for the accomplishments of WKPP. It is also proving its value in OW tech. diving and has even now begun to show up in recreational settings.

    GUE is offering a Fundamentals class that introduces the concepts of DIR to the recreation diver... in fact when the course was first offered is was called DIR rec.

    As time goes on we will see more and more of WKPP's DIR filtering out of the caves and deep wrecks and into the recreation arena.
  5. VTWarrenG

    VTWarrenG Barracuda


    Just had to add one tidbit -- DIR, like any other 'movement,' comes with a dose of fervor, ego, and elitism. Many people have the following misconceptions about DIR:

    1) It's only useful for record-breaking cave dives.
    2) It's an old-timey low-tech system brandished by a bunch of rude, condescending people who think you suck if you don't breathe trimix at 400 feet.

    In fact, DIR is useful for virtually any type of diving, because it promotes the critical thought and consideration of attitude, fitness, gear, and technique above all else. This critical thought finds useful application in any environment.

    It just happens that the low-tech solutions are often the most reliable. The elitism that all too often seems to run alongside DIR is really just a result of the defensive posture assumed by those extreme divers whose ability to dive in their chosen locales (caves, for example) is threatened daily by those who don't understand and don't care to understand what they really do. The politics of technical and cave diving is complex and dicey at best. Keep in mind that DIR itself has nothing to do with politics, fervor, or elitism -- it's simply a set of principles and philosophies that together define an extraordinarily well-designed diving system. Even if you're not an extreme diver, and even if you think cave diving is ludicrous and should be illegal, you can still benefit from such an extraordinarily well-designed diving system. It's unfortunate that many people are turned against DIR simply because they don't like the demeanor of its most vocal supporters. Don't let politics interfere with your training regimen, your gear selection, or your good sense.

    - Warren
    azchipka likes this.
  6. bradymsu

    bradymsu Instructor, Scuba

    There seems to be a big difference between DIR as delivered through a GUE course and DIR delivered via the internet. My comments address the interent style.

    1. DIR isn't a substitute for formal training with an instructor.

    2. Using the DIR configuration isn't a reason to not know why you are configuring each piece of gear the the way you are.

    3. DIR won't make you a great diver. Only you can do that.

    4. DIR isn't an excuse to have a big ego. Calling a non-DIR diver a "stroke" is just going to make you enemies and give DIR a bad reputation.

    5. Not using DIR doesn't make another diver poorly trained or poorly informed. While DIR produces some excellent divers due to a very well though out training regime, the majority of the best tech divers in the world remain non-DIR.

    6. DIR isn't an excuse to quit thinking for yourself or to continue to evolve in your dive style and personal gear configuration.

    7. DIR won't make you a safe diver, it only offers the potential for you to become one. You can configure your gear 100% DIR, only dive with another DIR buddy and still be an accident waiting to happen.

    8. DIR is not a reason to dive less conservatively. It won't make you a tech diver. That comes with training and experience.

    9. DIR is an unfortunate name for the Hogarthian style that people persist in using. DIR won't make you "right" and it won't make another diver "wrong".

    10. DIR isn't a religion. If you follow that path, beware of becoming evangelical about it. You can expect the same reaction given to a religious group that shows up on your doorstep uninvitied and tells you you're going to hell unless you conform to their way of thinking.
  7. BadFish

    BadFish Nassau Grouper

    I have an article written by Michael Kane, about DIR and Recreational Diving. Its a good read and explans some of the basics for you.

    Check it out under Articles

    At www.scubadivernet.com
  8. Greg G.

    Greg G. Barracuda

  9. VTWarrenG

    VTWarrenG Barracuda

    Greg G....

    Come on, now, man. Separate the people from the technique. I have not taken any DIR classes, if you don't include my cavern class (in which I dived rented open-water gear). I now dive DIR. I'm very happy to have been exposed to so many good ideas, and I gravitated to DIR slowly.

    While I agree entirely that the overzealous DIR fanatics do nothing but harm, it doesn't mean DIR itself isn't worth considering.

    I don't claim your kit is a marketing ploy by SeaQuest or Sherwood, do I? Please don't claim my kit is a marketing ploy by Halcyon. In fact, the only Halcyon gear I own is a $12 harness pocket. There are as many companies making gear appropriate for DIR as there are companies making gear not appropriate for DIR. There's no evidence that it's a marketing ploy. :rolleyes:

    Truer words have never been said. If you're planning on doing normal open-water rec dives, there are many, many gear choices which will all perform very well for you and keep you very safe. If you're going to be doing technical or overhead diving, though, your choices become limited... and DIR is just what results from critical thought about those limitations. Personally, I don't see any particular reason to prefer DIR over any other system for open water diving -- use what you like, so long as it's safe.

    As I've said before, DIR is really nothing more than a methodical, well-organized diving system -- one which has proven its valor through many thousands of successful, challenging dives. Even if you don't want a backplate, and even if you don't want to dive in caves, you can probably still benefit from a little critical thought about your gear and your techniques. Even if you don't like those ******* WKPP guys, and even if you don't plan on being a "techie," you should still be able to appreciate the precision and functionality of the DIR configuration and techniques. Shouldn't you? Comments welcome.

    - Warren
  10. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    Why does the way this misinformation keep popping up on board after board, again and again remind me of the game "Whack-a-mole?"

    Let's see, how much has this Halcyon “ploy” influenced how much of their gear I actually own (that I actually use, not the stuff bound for eBay someday):

    Fathom hood
    SeaTec hood
    2 TUSA masks
    ISC “Slap strap”
    3 SCUBA Pro regs
    2 Apeks regs
    Sherwood reg
    DUI drysuit
    2 DUI undergarments
    Henderson wetsuit
    Henderson gloves
    AUL canister light
    Pressed Steel cylinders
    Luxfer Cylinders
    SCUBA Pro fins
    FredT AL backplate
    FredT SS backplate
    FredT Heavy SS backplate
    Oceanic computer
    Oceanic compass
    Casio Hyper Aqualand

    And, oh yes,

    Haclyon backplate
    3 Halcyon wings

    Halcyon makes up MAYBE 5-10% of the price of equipment I own. If DIR is a marketing ploy, it failed out of the gate. But I’m sure we’ll be hearing the same thing from someone else in the future, always has happened in the past and there’s nothing to make me believe the anti-DIR folks will actually take this post to heart, no matter how many times we point out the statement is completely and utterly wrong.

    It’s just like Whack-a-mole. Point out why some uninformed claim about DIR is wrong and someone else pops up the next day saying the exact same thing.
    If this were true George Irvine would not have worked with NAUI to improve their technical program. Irvine and the WKPP is more than willing to talk to any agency about DIR that’s willing to listen. The lack of response in the “early days” from the training agencies resulted in the creation of GUE, just like the lack of response from manufacturers in the early days resulted in the creation of Halcyon and EE.

    DIR existed before any training agency was out their teaching it. To claim that it’s simply a “my agency is better than yours” mindset shows complete ignorance of the history of DIR.

    Whack-a-mole. This claim will be back, too.

    Now to go re-find the DIR=technical claim and whack-a-mole that, too if LY hasn’t done so already.


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