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Any advice on diving as a shorter 13 year old?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by BaileyF, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    First, I commend you on being proactive in doing online research. I'm glad you found scubaboard.

    Question about your migraines. Do you get these while snorkeling? That would be a good test as holding a reg in your mouth is fairly similar. Maybe go to a local pool with a mask and snorkel and swim around to see if you develop a headache. A FFM shouldn't be an option, as in the failure scenario, you have to be able to go to a mask and regulator as a backup. You cannot not have a backup as an option.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the migraines won't be an obstacle preventing you from diving.
  2. aviator8

    aviator8 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Also, even if you don't feel the migraines are severe, please do discuss with your family doctor. You will have to fill out a medical form to take dive training. One of the questions is about suffering from severe migranes. Its best to be safe than sorry. Discuss with your doctor that you want to dive and what concerns he may have knowing you have migraines.
  3. Brian G

    Brian G Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pittsburgh
    For jaw-clenching, you might want to look at moldable mouthpieces like this DGX Moldable Mouthpiece - Black | Dive Gear Express®. You can trim it to make it smaller as well.
    For a BCD, I would recommend looking at a Zeagle Express Tech. It's a soft backplate system. The way the shoulder straps attach means it can size down a bit smaller than a regular backplate, and with a crotch strap I think it will at least work for you. The Express Tech does not come with a way to carry lead weights, so I would the zip touch system to it. I would not recommend a weight belt. We tried a weight belt when my (very skinny) son was certified. It had to be tightened so much that it was painful because he did not have any body fat. I switched him to the zip touch system the next day and it was comfortable after that.
    For the dive training in general, and maybe you already know this, know that there might be an option to do the coursework and pool dives local to you, then finish up in warmer water like Florida. The courses I'm familiar with (PADI), divide the training into three chunks. The book stuff and pool practice are one unit, then the "open water" portion is another unit. My son did the book and pool stuff here in Pittsburgh, then finished up in Florida. He still needed a 5mm wetsuit in Florida because he was skinny.
    Have fun!
  4. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Florida
    I second the idea of smaller tanks like a 63cf or even a 50cf. Not just because they’re smaller, but because they’re also shorter.

    The shorter tanks will more closely match your shorter frame. Many shops have these tanks as rentals and your instructor should be able to find one for you.

    As for jaw fatigue, it can be managed by proper hose routing and a Milflex hose if necessary. Rental gear is not going to be ideal because it’s not customized for you.

    New divers tend to bite the mouthpiece too hard out of nervousness. Just being aware to relax and not bite down so hard can help.
  5. Perryed

    Perryed Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    With the sizes available now you should be able to find a fit. And has been said go with a 50 cu ft tank. My granddaughter dive with a 67 and does as well on that as me with an 80. Above all ENJOY!
  6. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    For inexpensive wetsuits, check out diversdirect.com and their Evo brand. And if you don't mind wearing "last year's colors", then the price is even better.
  7. АлександрД

    АлександрД Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Moscow, Russia
  8. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus BUBBLLLLLLES! My Bubbles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denton, TX
    I'll weigh in here just a bit, as I just got my 10 yr old son certified last month. Gear that fits you will be a little more of a challenge to find but certainly not impossible. I'm a dive master and regularly help with open water classes and I can tell you we have BC's that are XXXS in the pod we keep at our training site. If you're looking to buy your own gear, that's certainly admirable as learning to dive you own gear will help you hone in your skills a little better since you'll be diving the same kit each time rather than random rental gear that may or may not work well together. Learning YOUR gear and all it's little tips and tricks will make you more comfortable in the water and can ultimately help make you a better diver.

    The suggestion of a small backplate & wing setup is very solid advice. You could also look at the Zeagle Jr. Ranger Zeagle Ranger Junior BC - Back Inflate BCDs - Scubatoys.com if you prefer something a little more traditional. It's a modular system, too, so it can grow with you, although at some point you'll eventually be transitioning to an adult kit and will have to spring for a complete new bc. And yes, I'd recommend a crotch strap to anyone. I dive the adult version of the BC I mentioned and have a split saddle strap installed. They help keep the bc from riding up.

    I won't speak to the migraines as I think that's already been covered. But being primarily a full face mask (FFM) diver myself, I'll say that it will indeed alleviate any issues you're having with jaw fatigue and biting down too hard on a mouthpiece, but there are other issues to be aware of, too. First and foremost, like someone else stated above, in the event of a gear failure (and it does happen.....I suffered an o-ring failure during a dive in June) you be forced to bail out of your ffm and switch over to a regular mask & reg. Here's what that looks like. And this was me just showing how it's done in a very controlled environment. The steps are the very same in a real life situation but with a little more urgency.

    Being a very new diver, and of course your age plays a part in that, too, I can't in good conscience recommend a ffm just yet. Maybe after you log 50 dives or so in a traditional mask and regulator setup and feel completely comfortable taking both your mask off and reg out because when bailing out of a ffm, that's exactly what you're doing. You're removing both things at the same time. And you have to feel comfortable enough in your abilities to stay calm and solve issues one at a time without panicking. Not trying to tell you "No don't ever consider a ffm" because I'll be the first person to tell you they are amazing pieces of kit and probably my favorite piece of gear that I own. Mine was literally the first piece of gear I bought, along with my reg set and computer. But I certainly can't recommend it as something you start off with directly out of your open water class.

    I hope I was able to give you at least a little good advice to help. You definitely came to the right place to get your questions answered. The wealth of knowledge here at Scuba Board is incredible and you can for the most part take it as good, sound advice.
    АлександрД and lowwall like this.

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