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Is limited solo diving completely insane for a new diver?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by HeliMech, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    My local diving hole, so those of us who are regulars have a vested interest in idiots not ruining it for the rest of us. Quarry has its solo diving policy posted online. If a diver is too stupid to actually do his homework on a site makes me wonder what he’s like in the water. Inland dive sites are a different animal than just jumping into the ocean. Many of the dive sites in the region don’t allow solo at all.
    Rollin Bonz likes this.
  2. Rollin Bonz

    Rollin Bonz Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia, the state, not the country ;-)
    Misread that as "Is that why you never dive alone?" at first and was confused...

    My point is only that, in my opinion, one should consider the affects of one's actions on those that care for them. Non diver loved ones may not have the same understanding of risk associated with the sport as those involved. It was not that solo diving is or is not more dangerous than diving with a buddy. That is a debate that has and will continue to rage for as long as the sport exists, partly because "diving alone" is not the same thing as "solo diving" (as well as the loose definition of a "dive buddy"). I think that having a cert card for it is the diving industry's attempt to be sure a diver understands the difference.
  3. Rollin Bonz

    Rollin Bonz Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia, the state, not the country ;-)
    Same thing happened at our local quarry this weekend. I would think any diver with enough experience to be able to safely dive solo would also be aware that requiring a "buddy" is pretty much the standard.
  4. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    The debate was over when DAN separated lost buddies from solo divers, since then they also quit using percentages as they did then to show how dangerous solo diving was. The debate will continue because OW divers are, allegedly, trained as buddy divers, and deamonizing solo diving is easier than discussing the pros and cons of the choice. Whether the buddy diving training given in OW is any good or not is another discussion.

    Having been a solo diver for 50 odd years, my ability to talk my way around buddy diving rules has been pretty good. Unfortunately, since the advent of the solo diver cert, my ability has eroded. As you say, requiring a buddy is pretty much standard, but exceptions can be made. Showing up and trying to circumvent arbatary rules is a time honored tradition.

    northernone, agilis, dead dog and 3 others like this.
  5. dead dog

    dead dog Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: SoCal via Pittsburgh, Pa.
    You only live once.

    So make sure you spend 15 hours on the internet every day, desperately seeking validation from strangers.

    Mark 2:13
  6. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    I'll offer only my own experience here, without recommendation. I did dive solo in the past (and still occasionally have) though I can't recommend it.

    The solo dives I did were research-related in very shallow water. No deeper than 20-25'. I also had a very specific purpose, and did not sight-see on the trip. It was hop in the water, get the samples (maybe 20-30 minutes work at most) and get out.

    I've occasionally gone deeper solo, and to be honest regretted it. Maybe it's my experience in diving solo shallow but never deep or just some deep-seated insecurities. Regardless, I am just not comfortable below about 30' diving alone. (And I mean truly alone, not "I'm in a large group off a bit by myself with no assigned buddy." Group dives don't bother me, even if nobody is keeping an eye on me other than counting noses on a boat.)

    In my (granted, limited) experience, the biggest hazard I'd worry about is getting hung up on something underwater, whether it's fishing line, an outcrop or narrow opening, or whatever. I'd like to think I could self-extricate in any such situation, but you never know. I've never experience catastrophic regulator failure and am not stupid enough to breathe a tank dry, so my biases don't run to that particular failure. I also have no problem doing CESA or even a buoyant ascent in such a situation, so perhaps that's another reason air supply failure doesn't worry me.
  7. divad

    divad Solo Diver


    Dang funny............................except for the "sad but true" part. Alas.
  8. almostDIR

    almostDIR Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Finland
    I did some shallow "solo dives" after the OW cert (testing new equipment in shallow water, zero visibility when a friend watched over from the dock... picking up equipment from lake bottom when dive buddy got so cold that he could not stay any longer, etc) . so there was someone on the surface but not on scuba gear and not immediately able to help if something would have gone wrong. I had a good sized pony bottle with me though so OOA would have been no issue.
    I would not recommend it at all though, quite stressful especially for the non-diving relatives and lots of task loading for a new diver even in shallow water.

    I think solo diving may be especially counterproductive for a new diver in that one needs to be extremely conservative about diving profiles and times and overall complexity and it is thus very difficult to expand one's abilities and advance as a diver. It can be dangerous as well but I don't see much reason for a new diver to ever dive solo anyway because it is just a bad learning tool at that stage. One will always find buddies as well and why not do multiple dives with a buddy at the same time when you are at it if lots of dives is important to you? maybe even doing pool dives every once in a while if possible to improve buoyancy skills?
    if there is a diving club in your area it would be easy to find buddies from there :)
    Rollin Bonz likes this.
  9. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    What I read once again:
    I did this but don't recommend it.
    People shouldn't do it.
    People can "always" find buddies.
    Is stressful for the non diving relatives.

    These above may be applicable to certain people, but I doubt is a big percentage of divers.

    Dive your way, enjoy your dive however you like to do it.
    That's it... no need to have others dive your way. One way does not fit all
  10. Rollin Bonz

    Rollin Bonz Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia, the state, not the country ;-)
    In the context of the OP's post/question...

    All just opinions, for which OP was asking.

    So you opine...

    "not a big percentage of divers" say "I did this but don't recommend it." OK, I do agree this is not most solo divers. As for myself, I prefer to dive solo if my regular (100 plus dives) buddy is not available. I will most always dive with an instabuddy if they need a buddy and ask, especially if it's a new diver. But I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I would a solo dive.

    "not a big percentage of divers" say people shouldn't do it (solo dive)?
    My opinion (and by your statement, most people in this thread) is
    if you are not
    1.)equiped and solo trained
    2.)equiped and experienced
    (which IS most divers) you shouldn't
    solo dive. I think that is common sense and was taught in my self reliant class. To advise anything else, especially to a new diver, is unwise.

    "not a big percentage of divers" can always find a buddy?
    In this context, a buddy would be just "someone to join so I am allowed to dive". That has not been my experience. In fact there are numerous buddy groups that meet up first online and then in person at dive sites. This happens every weekend at my local quarry. There is the occasional diver unable to find a buddy, but it is rare.

    "not a big percentage of divers" consider their diving "stressful for the non diving relatives."
    Am I the ONLY diver that has to text (more than one) loved ones when I am out of the water for the day?:hugs:

    Also, it's true, back in the day, divers dove solo without "solo training", often with single tanks and no octos. Was it wise to do so? If you ask them, they will likely say it was not. They were the pioneers on the cutting edge of the sport and they learned alot (everything we now know). Many things they learned the hard way, by getting hurt or worse. It's their sacrafices that have taught us that there are better ways to do things. I see no reason to allow new divers to repeat the lessons that the sport's groundbreakers learned.

    I agree 100%, as long as the divers involved in the conversation have the experience to make an informed decision on how they want to dive. Not the case with the OP or this thread. "Dive like you want to dive and let me dive like I want to dive" is a beautiful statement, and I absolutely agree with it...when made by an experienced diver to another experienced diver. Not so much when one of the divers has less than 15 dives.
    almostDIR likes this.

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