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DPV proficiency - how long before you are comfortable?

Discussion in 'Diver Propulsion Vehicles' started by Basking Ridge Diver, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
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    So with my drysuit it took about 50 dives before I felt ok and capable and until 100 dives before I really understood and could predict how my suit would behave in shallow and deep waters before I needed to react.

    How long does it take for a DPV? I kick occasionally to keep an even keel - I feel like I am getting used to it but inflating my wing and drysuit on the run is still unpredictable unless I stop and make adjustments. Is it just time and practice?
     
  2. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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    "It depends". The universal answer I'm afraid.

    My first DPV was a Gavin. I was comfortable from the very first dive. Likewise when I switched to one of the first DIve-X scooters (Echo).

    I didn't use a DPV for many years after moving. When I eventually got a Piranna (P1) from Dive-X it took me 3 dives to get comfortable because the darned thing was so short and light. :)
     
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    15,183
    6,502
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    what he said. Unfortunately DPV's are one of those things that I am a strong proponent of finding a legit instructor for. There are a lot of technique things that make all the difference in the world and if you don't have someone helping you with it it is a long road
     
  4. caruso

    caruso Loggerhead Turtle

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    I did a DPV dive with Stuart Cove's some 15 years ago. First time I ever used one, the DM simply handed it to me in the water and gestured to follow him. I spent the dive zigzaging over wrecks, doing inverse and inside flips and spins, up and down and over the walls, and in and out of narrow swim throughs that I entered on the reef and exited out over the wall.

    I estimate that my learning curve was about 30 seconds.
     
    rjack321 likes this.
  5. michael-fisch

    michael-fisch Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Germany
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    It gets a little bit more interesting if you are using a rebreather and drysuit, when you suddenly get off the trigger for a few seconds after scootering all over the place the first couple of times. With luck you'll just drop like a rock untill you have inflated enough gas, with bad luck you are headed for the surface while trying to dump enough gas, since you forgot that you can use the scooter to pull you down or up untill you have the right amout of gas in your wing, drysuit and rebreather. If it was easy, even I could do it right all the time - I can't.
    Michael
    who has around 3000 dives in drysuits, started making improved Gavin clone scooters 15 years ago, and has been diving multiple RBs for the last 4 years.
     
    caruso likes this.
  6. 0321tony

    0321tony Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sterling, Alaska
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    It took me a few dives to figure it out, the hardest part for me was to remember to add air as I went deeper because like said above when you let off the trigger you sink like a rock. If you are comfortable with your dry suit then you should have an idea how your suit will react at different depths and you should already have a good idea of how much air you need to add or dump while ascending or descending to remain relatively close to neutral. So while running along keep an eye on your depth and do what feels right for that depth. DPV's are a kick in the butt and you can cover a lot of ground in a short time but you do miss a lot of the small stuff when you are cruising along.
     
    Basking Ridge Diver likes this.
  7. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    1,845
    875
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    The flip side is - it is like Hyperspace - you can see so much more... Not micro but you have an appreciation of the whole landscape on a single tank verse diving doubles to extend the range... I found more fluke today than I could count - 2 doormats that I wish I had a spear - but that was not why I was diving...

    I can say I really did not understand why divers bought scooters and then I tried one and I am hooked.
     
  8. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    My first dive was a scooter from shore to 150ft. I had a blast. I was slow because I didn't totally understand trim and the prop settings.
     
    caruso likes this.
  9. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    697
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    Probably one of the more important things that determines whether or not you are comfortable on a scooter "first time" or not is whether the tow rope is at or near the correct length.

    Either too short or too long and you will have problems with comfort, trim and control. Thusly, another vote for mentoring or a course.

    The trigger can also impact how much fun you have. My first dpv was a Gavin. Weird trigger but fine once you got used to it. My buddy who has a gavin has always hated it, especially when it sticks on. After buying the rotational trigger kit (with solid link instead of wire), all the problems went away.

    My P1 trigger is quite nice, but it is possible to catch the tow rope in it if you aren't paying attention. I went for quite the spin on my second dive with my P1 as a result. :-D

    Now I always lock off the trigger if we're going to swim a bit, or if I'm going to spend some time with the camera while stopped.
     

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