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Is Side Mount the new DIR??? Building resentment towards us as a group...

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by The Chairman, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
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    Promoting going into an overhead environment without training. Apparently a continuation of his espousal of things despite which he has neither experience nor training.

    As per MOD post in another thread.
     
    WarrenZ likes this.
  2. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Some of my comments that you've taken great exception to were specific responses to specific questions/debates. You took that and made assumptions about an overall attitude. As you say we're entitled to personal opinions... but we shouldn't force those opinions on others. I don't.

    It's a shame that distance precludes us diving together as you'd see that we shared many opinions. Whilst I have high standards for my training I am also one of the most flexible tech/sidemount instructors you would meet.

    Backmount sidemount CCR... DIR or non-DIR equipment 'X' versus equipment '\Y'. When I teach I explain my choices and I rationalize my opinions. I don't seek to create clones - I want to inspire thinking divers. Outside of the widest tech community consensus on safety issues I don't force students (or anyone) to adopt my approach. I do however explain and demonstrate why I do what I do. The student can do it 'their way' then try 'my way'... and decide for themselves. I'm happy with that.

    I wouldn't judge your diving approaches because we've never been in the water together. I do believe that different people can make different things 'work. If we did dive together for instance on a Subic Bay wreck penetration, I'd decide first-hand if you made your approach work or not. If there were clanging tanks muddled hoses entanglements, entrapment issues and silt-outs... then I'd insist on change; or not conduct dives of an unforgiving level with you.

    Contrary to what you must assume I relish diving with people who have different approaches - I learn a lot from that. Luckily in my location it is a huge melting pot of different styles and approaches...very global.. as we have divers, resident and visiting, from Europe, Australasia,,Asia and the USA...representing all the agencies and a myriad of philosophies. We all manage to dive and get along together quite harmoniously. In contrast the 'dive scene' in Florida for example seems much more insular and self-contained. We are I suggest a product of our environments.

    Making assumptions might be the single biggest factor in what shapes perceptions. In a thread debating perceptions.... perhaps we shouldn't make assumptions.
     
    BCSGratefulDiver likes this.
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    Would you look at all the denial? I pointed out a specific behavior in your writing. Instead of digesting that bit of input and learning from it, you've written volumes about how it doesn't apply to you. Are you above learning? Are you above changing? I didn't assume your words: I quoted them.

    Andy, I am certain that you're a competent if not fine instructor. Yes, we probably dive in a similar fashion, although I'm certain that we approach some things differently. When I became a NAUI instructor just after the turn of the century, one of the tenets hammered into me was to listen to all feedback and learn from it. Feedback, even critical feedback is a bonus. It's a path way to improve because it's hard to look at ourselves with complete objectivity. Or you can keep on denying.
     
  4. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

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    When diving backmount in a cave, when I hit my turn pressure, I really don't need to look at my pressure gauge again once I start heading home. I either have enough gas, or do not have enough gas, to get home. No increase in frequency of looking at the gauge will matter at this point.

    In sidemount, I still need to look and verify every few minutes to switch regs and balance the system. It's not a big deal, but I find it an extra annoyance that's unnecessary in backmount.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  5. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

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    Critical feedback (with suggestions) is designed to help make something better.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    I fully understand..... and please don't think any criticism is implied by my prior post.

    I made a 100% switch to sidemount. After a decde of backmount I only dive it occasionally nowadays. It took me a while to develop the same level of intuition with sidemount that I had enjoyed previously with backmount. That development would, undoubtedly, have been slower - or less complete - if I'd continued to mix-and-match rigs.

    Several thousand sidemount dives later... I don't need to check gauges. I can switch regs accurately based on intuition... or maybe practiced habit... and keep my gas levels very evenly matched. I can predict, with accuracy, my gas in each tank.

    Not a boast... no ego... purely an illustration that it can be done. Indeed... it was a personal factor dictated by relative experience in that rig.

    I don't doubt that my backmount competency has degraded over the years. It's not done enough to be 'second nature' any more.

    When I first transitioned to sidemount, I found it difficult. I had expectations based on my competency in backmount. I took a while to convert at an intuitive level.

    That's why I say that comparison generally suffers a bias, based on one's level of competency in their main (or prior) rig. We have this expectation to be 'as good' in sidemount as we are/were in backmount. I think that's unrealistic. It takes time and patience... and to get a true equality of competence... you have to spend equal hours in each configuration. To truly master something... you need to dedicate to it... to dive exclusively... at least for a (long) while.
     
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    Do you actually teach your students to not check their gauges? That's what could be ASSUMED by such statement. In fact, it would be a fair and intuitive deduction since as an instructor, you would want your students to follow your example. I dive in the way I want my students to dive. I only take the shortcuts I want them to take.
     
  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    In catching up with the last few days of posts in this thread, I had a thought that goes back to the very beginning of the thread, to the original topic. I would like to share that thought while emphasizing that it does not reflect any of the last dozen or so posts and does not reference any of those participating in that discussion.

    When I first became aware of DIR, it was mostly through ScubaBoard, and I got a very, very bad feeling about it without ever reading anything written by GI3 or that ilk until much later. When I later started tech training and was told by my TDI instructor that our training would be 100% DIR, I was quite dismayed because of those earlier negative vibes. I would like to describe what caused those negative vibes so that it can be avoided here.

    In my case, I was then a completely recreational diver with completely traditional gear. I had a back inflate BCD and traditional hoses and alternates. I was using Mares Power Volo fins. The repeated posts (over and over and over and over) by certain people, none of whom are around any more, focused on the superiority of the DIR approach for the kind of recreational diving I was doing then. The persuasive strategy of the posters then was not so much to make a realistic appraisal of why what they were doing was better. Their strategy was primarily to point out the inadequacies and dangers of the recreational approach, and in doing so to exaggerate those inadequacies and dangers to an absurd degree. It was very much the "You're gonna die!" cliché we have heard so often.

    One example I saw repeated several times in several threads was that ALL alternates held in the golden triangle location drag in the silt and become damaged to the point that they are NEVER available for an OOA diver to use when needed. Seriously. Having managed to get through a few hundred dives with an functioning alternate air source, I dismissed the writer and others like him as absurdist imbeciles, and I wanted nothing to do with them.

    After several years of my DIR tech training, I found an old essay on a DIR site (still there the last time I checked) written by one of the central figures in the DIR controversy. The essay directed DIR divers around the world to take advantage of interactions with recreational divers to show them the superiority of the DIR approach. It was their mission to do so. I then had discussions with the author of that article about it, and he revealed that he had very specifically been assigned the job of leading the movement to get that message of DIR superiority to the recreational diving community.

    Now, that essay did not tell people to exaggerate the inadequacies and dangers of traditional recreational gear, but that person led by example. It was his approach to everything. When he thought using approach A was superior to approach B on ANY subject, he would make it seem as if you had to be a total cretin to use approach B. For example, he once started a ScubaBoard thread in which he praised electrically heated vests beneath wet suits for cold water diving. In his posts, he said that unless dry suit divers were trained by GUE (of course), they had no ability to control buoyancy and would usually end their dives with a helpless inverted ascent to the surface, where they would often die an agonizing death due to that uncontrolled inverted ascent, their lifeless bodies hanging upside down from their overinflated feet. Yes, my wording does exaggerate his, but he made it seem like there were upside down bodies flying upward all over the place, and, yes, some of them were dying. Again--how absurd! Such a statement creates both anger and hostility in anyone who knows better.

    If people can speak rationally about the differences between backmount and sidemount and avoid ridiculous exaggerations about the superiority of one to the other, then, no, there will be no DIR-like animosity between the two. If those who perceive themselves as leaders in either camp can keep it real and lead by their example, it will go a long way to preventing that animosity.
     
    WarrenZ and BCSGratefulDiver like this.
  9. nakatomi

    nakatomi Solo Diver

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    I wonder if it's possible to link this thread into either the DIR or the Hogarthian forum?
    That would give the DIR minded people a chance to see this discussion and provide their opinion about it.
     
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

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    Location: Cave Country!
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    There isn't, but you can always invite someone using the @username feature. It gives them an alert to look at why their name was mentioned, @nakatomi. :D :D :D
     
    nakatomi likes this.

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