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Deep Sea Supply status, May 2019 edition

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by 2airishuman, May 8, 2019.

  1. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    I don't agree with your assessments.

    Just because he made quality products does not mean he did not have poor design choices.

    I don't believe that people are unhappy and vocal with the sewn shut design of his torus wing because Tobin would not fix or replace their wing for free...I think people are unhappy and vocal about it because it was a poor design on an otherwise quality and expensive piece of gear that caused otherwise preventable or mitigatable heartache if/when a problem developed by simply modifying the design.

    I don't think many would pull out aquaseal or other repair goop to repair a bladder to save a dive...but perhaps to save a weekend, or a week + long trip, definitely. While those numbers might be low so are the number of divers in the world who dive with DSS equipment comparatively speaking regarding other gear brands used throughout the diving industry.

    I don't think that anyone is chiming in specifically to state Tobin's products are crappy. I think there are some die-hard fans that have promoted and continue to promote his gear and designs and there are some folks with DSS gear that are offering an alternate perspective to give balance to those that come across as idolizing Tobin and the products he made.

    I believe that poor designs as well as good designs would transcend the personality of the manufacturer/business owner. I don't agree that if Tobin was not abrasive that more people would defend his products...Tobin's products didn't fail because of his personality, perhaps his business did...but certainly not his products. One might argue that some of the problems with his products are because he did not take into consideration what his potential customer base wanted in a design. Designing products based on what "you" want works until you have competition that address the needs/wants of the market. The only way around that is to convince the market that they do not need what they desire, or convince them that they truly want you are offering...that is where personality really comes into play.

    The only mantra that I have come across in the many posts I have read concerning Tobin and DSS were the repeated accolades of his fans here pimping his gear along with the caveat to not say anything that might piss him off, and god help you if you do.

    And I am not sure if I would agree with the sentiment that Tobin's abrasiveness was his undoing...He had a tendency to air his "dirty laundry" publicly....calling out customers and such.

    In a market with such tight margins, when one purchases bespoke equipment from a small business that specializes in design at a relative premium, one is not just purchasing material, they are buying into a relationship. I believe that the folks that purchased from DSS did so with the idea that they were not just buying backplate and wings but that they were making an investment in a man and his company such that both would thrive and the company would exist for mutual benefit (future purchases, warranty issues, repairs, etc). It is evident that Tobin did not see the same from his end of that bridge and chose to burn it. Had I purchased DSS gear I would be hella frustrated now that the owner has abruptly closed shop....and in the vacuum created what you have are folks discussing why they are frustrated and/or why they did not buy his gear in the first place.

    Its great that Tobin and DSS has a fan base...but its also good to read the other perspectives as well.

    -Z
     
    ams511 likes this.
  2. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
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    You didn't own the gear. I don't see a lot of people that own the gear complaining about it. Quite the contrary. Why do you care enough about gear you don't own to comment in such a long and thoughtful way? Does it really have nothing to do with his personality?

    BurhanMuntasser never misses an opportunity to say his gear is crap. Do you think that has nothing to do with his dislike of Tobin?

    Stuartv used to share his experience of not wanting to pay for his wing to be repaired and getting it back in parts. He no longer does this in every DSS thread but there was a time when he did. He didn't like the way Tobin communicated with him on the phone and online.

    I never spoke to Tobin that two things didn't happen. I always felt talked down to and told at the outset that he didn't have time to talk. After that beginning to every conversation he always gave me as much time as I needed, often 45 minutes, to talk through every detail and to make sure I understood what he felt I needed to know about his products, including the need to rip seams and resew torus wings if they pinch flatted.

    He had a fan base for a reason. My biggest complaint was that he only had one color of webbing and his wings had orange embroidered labels. In use, they are great.

    This whole Torus risk of a pinch flat is much ado about very little. If and when I damage one of my DSS wings, I will try something else.
     
    StefinSB likes this.
  3. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
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    Hi Zef,

    No, I am not sure that the HOG wing fittings are still bonded. Mine was. It should be relatively easy to check the fittings. However, I would only advise to do so if one has: the Bladder Flange Tool and seals.
    Bladder Flange Tool
    Dive Rite Bladder Flange Gasket
    Double BC Gasket - Wing Retainer

    Remove the elbow or dump valve.
    Remove the outside bladder nut.
    The inner bladder nut will either be bonded to the bladder or there should be a double seal.

    Use the tool when removing or installing the bladder nuts so the inner fitting does not rotate.
     
  4. divad

    divad Solo Diver

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    What would you recommend?
     
  5. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    5,267
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    No, I don't miss an opportunity to say that his personality is crap and that he is a terrible person. His crappy gear comment comes a distant second.
     
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  6. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    7,139
    1,954
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    Ray, like Zef, I am forced to disagree with you. The single-tank wing market has settled on a wing with donut bladder with zippered access. For some reason, DSS would not supply such a wing and Tobin would make excuses for the designs he used. You don't need to access the bladder. You don't need a donut wing, it is an equipment solution to a skills problem. You are doing something wrong if the inflator elbow interferes with your first stage. The list goes on.

    You say he made a quality product. What do you base your assessment on? Personally, I own (or owned) wings from Halcyon, UTD, Apeks, Hollis, Oxycheq, Hog, DRIS and of course DSS. Of all the wings listed I would rank DSS the lowest in quality. Besides the garish orange lettering, the shell is thin, the bladder is thin (latter wings used thicker bladders) The bottom of the wing is cheap mesh and the stitching is not very good. I am getting loose threads. The inflator is cheap the corregated hose is plastic instead of the better rubber ones. The plate was made out of 304 instead of 316 steel. The plate was not finished well. The cam bands provided are plastic not metal. In my experience, the wings don't even hold air well.

    I sent a wing to DSS for repair, to make a long story short. The wing came back not holding air (flat in a few hours) and it was my fault even through I emailed Tobin on the day I received the wing. I was told I could sent it back at my expense and would be charged a diagnostic fee so they could diagnose the problem they caused. Plus there may be additional parts. I decided not to send it back. Would you? I feel stupid, I should have just patched the wing as the hole was right by the zipper.

    Then we have him selling wings shortly before closing down to "move". Now supposedly, he is closed permanently for "retirement". This speaks to his integrity.
     
  7. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    7,139
    1,954
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    Maybe this should be moved to the DIY forum. After removing the fittings do you need to automatically replace the BC gaskets?
     
  8. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    4,443
    1,656
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    No, in fact they are pretty durable. But for $2 I would replace the double gasket just as a little insurance against having to take apart the flange assembly. The outer seal is more easily accessed, but again for $2 I prefer to replace it.
     
  9. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    5,267
    1,587
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    You bring up a very interesting point here I didn't realize before, him selling his crappy products up to the point he closed down and not letting his customers know. He would have known that he is closing down long before his actually closing down, yet he continued to sell his products up to the last point. Very sleazy and adds another negative trait to his already extremely negative personality and ethics.
     
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  10. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    7,139
    1,954
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    If he was moving he should have made arrangements for people to have their wings repaired. He could have someone sell bladders for the LCD series and maybe set up an exchange program for the Torus line if he could not find someone to fix the wings. The charges would have been more than $50 but I think people would have understood.
     
    BurhanMuntasser and RayfromTX like this.

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