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So I just got my Drysuit wet for the first time tonight in a pool...along with my Double 130's. It was a lot different from what I'm used too and I was hoping to get some advice on some things I noticed while practicing.
1. My Inflator hose seems to slide to the left and away from arms reach, what do I do to keep it in place but still have the ability to release air? I have seen some people use a bungee cord around it or something similar but was just curious to what you guys do. I use a Hollis c60 wing If that makes a difference.
2. Should the air be balanced between the wing and drysuit or mostly air in the wing, and enough air in the drysuit to prevent a squeeze?
3. I am using a SS backplate and even with my drysuit I still seem to sink, so do you think I will end up needing to add weight? I've learned that I'm going to always have air in my wing when diving but I was just curious because I've heard when people dive in drysuits that need a lot of weight.
4. I currently have my wing and plate in the middle bolts and have some trouble reaching my valves, well not really just the valves but reaching in general, is it just going to take time to get used to mobility of the suit? or should I move wing and plate down so the tanks sit a little higher on my back so the valves are closer to my head?
Thanks for the help everyone, A lot of questions all at once but Just wanted to ask these before I forgot.
Have you been diving doubles before or are you adding both a new configuration and a new suit at the same time?
1) I use a bungee to keep the inflator hose in check, but aside from my initial descent dump almost exclusively from the butt dump. I'm generally prone, and the hose is less effective. However keeping it in one place is a good thing.
2) I tend to use enough air to keep the squeeze off or to keep warm, whatever requires more (usually the latter). The suit doesn't dump as readily as the wing, and further I'd not like my comfort to be subordinate to buoyancy needs.
This was the first I dove with both the configuration and drysuit, I'll probably end up working on technique with the doubles then do it with the drysuit but I wanted to try out both before I headed back to school, since my LDS was there to help me.
Thanks, I kind of figured that the butt dump would be more used due to the trim in water, but that's something I'll have to get used to. Thanks. And I'll try using the bungee next time, My harness has one already I just wasn't sure to use it or not.
Thanks for the advice, I'll probably Just end up learning the doubles first, then add the suit. I'll be at school for the summer and will get some pool time in with them, then Hopefully I can take them to Ginnie Springs FL and give them a try, not in the caves Just the usual area the OW students go.
I think a lot of people use a loop of bungie through the triglide that secures the left chest d-ring, as a way of securing the inflator hose. I know DSS is now supply a loop of inner tube to put on the harness ABOVE the d-ring, which gives you a little more corrugated hose to lift, without having to stretch anything. I haven't tried that setup.
As far as gas in wing and suit goes . . . If you are diving double 130s, you are starting the dive with 260 cubic feet of gas. That's TWENTY POUNDS negative from gas alone . . . but that's 20 lbs you may exhaust into the water (actually 18, if you keep a 500 psi reserve). It really isn't possible to compensate for 18 pounds of gas with your suit alone -- even if you closed the valve to retain that much air, you'd have a unmanageable bubble in the suit. You really will HAVE to use the wing for some of your compensation -- in fact, for much of it.
Weighting is another issue. Again, you have 20 pounds of gas on your back -- but when it's gone, the tanks are only a few pounds negative. You may or may not need additional weight, depending on the undergarment you are using in your suit. I see a lot of people who don't carry any weight with their doubles. They don't get into trouble, because they never breathe the tanks down to where they've lost all the weight of the gas. But the time to find out you are underweighted is not the day you got lost in the cave, or lost a deco bottle and had to do the time on backgas, and you discover you can't stay down (or you're pinned to the ceiling) because you've always counted on the weight of your gas to keep you neutral. This is something about which I feel very strongly, having had several technical instructors insist that I jettison weight I had very carefully determined I needed, because, "You can't possibly require that weight!" Well, try to do an unconscious diver retrieval when you have 500 psi in your tanks and you're now 7 lbs positive because the instructor insisted you take the 7 lb v-weight off . . . I can tell you it won't go well!
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Lots of practice, try bungee, move the plate, you might find if you move it away from your head(towards your shoulders) its easier for drills. Also, 130s are long so it may take some moving of the plate, wing and bands to get the right fit. I would be surprised if you need any weight, I used to dive twin 120 HPs, drysuit in salt water, backplate + 6lbs and that was it. Make sure you weight check on low psi and see how that goes. Checkout the UTD online class "doubles mini" it's got some great info. Please ensure you can do valve drills and have a very attentive buddy before you venture off into "real" dives. Next stop, sidemount!
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"You can't possibly require that weight!" Well, try to do an unconscious diver retrieval when you have 500 psi in your tanks and you're now 7 lbs positive because the instructor insisted you take the 7 lb v-weight off . . . I can tell you it won't go well!
That has all the makings for two unconscious diver retrievals given your scenario. Just a thought.
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Thanks for the tips guys, I'll definitely consider weighting especially with empty tanks. and next time I get in the pool I'll work on using the dump valve and keeping my trim correct...well thats after I reconfigure some things, along with getting some different size hoses.
So your go ahead plan is to learn the dubs in a wetsuit?
If so, keep in mind the weight of those things. Steel plate, bands, valves, manifold (I assume) and two steel 130s.
If you have a catastrophic wing failure, can you make it to the surface? You could ditch your gear, but with any appreciable deco requirements, that becomes less than desirable. Otherwise you could carry a lift bag or a wing with redundant bladders, though neither are particularly elegant.
I suggest learning the suit first. The skills will translate, and it can act as redundant buoyancy.
Either way, dive safe and have fun. I wish I'd gone dry before learning doubles. Got pretty cold doing long wet dices. On the plus side I ended up with a couple stage bottles when I made the transition to drysuits and steel dubs.