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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. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
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    Not trying to "take sides" here, Pete ... but I think you're looking for things to be critical about. And when you look for such things, you'll always find them. Andy said nothing about what he teaches his students. And before you come back with you never claimed he did, your question above is akin to asking someone if he still beats his wife. It appears from where I'm sitting that you're looking for a reason to object to his posts.

    I think Andy has a totally valid point ... familiarity makes things easier, and comparing the familiar with the unfamiliar isn't a valid comparison. And yet I see quite a few of those types of comparisons being made in this thread, and I see you objecting to Andy for pointing it out. Makes me wonder why.

    As for the observation that you have to monitor your gauges on sidemount, well, yes ... but is that really an onerous thing? They're right there in your face ... it's not like with backmount where you have to unclip and reclip ... it takes a couple seconds to reach up, move your SPG out where you can see it, and let go of it again. To my concern, it can equally be said that checking a gauge with a well-configured SM rig is easier than checking a gauge with an equally well-configured BM rig. But again, is that really a relevant concern when comparing the benefits/drawbacks of each system? I don't think so. In either case, it's inconsequential effort ... not to mention good habits ... to monitor your air supply. I think a more relevant question is if you're in an overhead environment, why would you not ... under ANY circumstance ... want to monitor how much gas you're carrying?

    I get the gist of what kensuf is saying, but what if you develop a leak and don't pick up on it through hearing bubbles? What if, for ANY reason, you have to exert yourself more than you expected? You can find yourself suddenly with less gas than you think you should have. Granted, coming out of a cave you either do or don't have adequate gas to make it ... but knowing in advance that you're going through it faster than anticipated will help you deal with the problem, and give you time to make an appropriate contingency. Not checking your gauge periodically is complacency ... and even if you think you have a valid reason for it, it's helping you develop a complacent mindset ... and that only reduces your safety margins in the long run.

    We can sit in here and argue (or discuss, or harangue, or assume) the differences between SM and BM all day. That's what internet forums are for, after all. But at the end of the day it boils down to this ... each system offers benefits and drawbacks. Some matter more than others in specific environments, but all can be managed if the user decides that it's worth the effort. And ultimately it boils down to what's important to the user ... not some other diver who may or may not even be familiar with the equipment or the environment in which it's being used. I'd prefer to see these discussions looking at these objections with a critical eye, and being specific about what they do or don't like about the topic under question, or the assumptions being made. To my concern, Andy's one of the few people in this conversation who's doing that. I've never met the man ... but I find what he has to say right on target. And unlike many in this thread, I see him staying focused on the topic, rather than making comments about the shortcomings of the person he's responding to.

    Unfortunately, Pete ... I can't say the same about you. Seems from where I'm sitting that you have it out for Andy, and are deliberately choosing specific phrases and taking them out of context in order to criticize him. I don't know why, but it seems ... from someone observing this from afar ... that there's something going on between you two that might best be resolved off-line. It's distracting from the usefulness of the conversation.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    StefinSB, BDSC, Ayisha and 3 others like this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    But it can also make you take things for granted and that's dangerous. If you're not checking gauges, what example are you setting? We are taught to come out with tanks fairly equal (50 bar, 600 psi) and this adds another element to an otherwise straightforward process of exiting the cave. I tolerate it even because there are so many other benefits for me side mounting in a cave. Now back to one of your pet peaves, according to Andy, he doesn't do many (any?) caves. Yet, here he is, telling a caver how he's wrong about this. I'm surprised you don't have a problem with this?
     
  3. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
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    I didn't see him telling a caver he was wrong ... I saw him pointing out the inequity of comparing the familiar with the unfamiliar. That's a very different topic ... and a valid observation.

    As for the question of having to check gauges in sidemount, the alternative that I use is to switch based on time ... every 10 minutes or so at my "typical" dive profile. If the purpose is to keep your cylinder pressure roughly balanced, that's a reasonable way to do it. And one of the benefits of SM over BM is that if you develop a leak up around your first stage, it's much easier to detect in SM ... because you'll see the bubbles. Where I dive you have to wear a thick neoprene hood ... relying on sound to tell you about a leaking first stage ... as BM doubles divers do ... isn't a winning strategy under those conditions.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Colliam7 and nakatomi like this.
  4. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Needing to check gauges and performing gauge checks is different. This is hardly a new concept for Scubaboard. I can predict my gas. I check to confirm the prediction. What's beneficial, specifically to sidemount, is that I get tangible feedback from my relative cylinder buoyancies, left and right. I can feel a difference of 20 bar between the cylinders.

    2000 dives in backmount and you check your SPG without realizing you're even doing it. Muscle memory takes your hand where it needs to go, with little/no mental processing required. The same applies to sidemount. Do it day-in, day-out... and it all becomes autonomic.

    I don't really want to divert into sidemount versus backmount benefits. I just want to illustrate that familiarity has benefits. Those benefits... or the deficit of them, when using less familiar equipment, can shape perceptions.

    I believe this is why we see more highly experienced backmount divers finding fault with sidemount. In contrast, divers of lesser experience don't see those faults. That's because the lesser experienced diver enjoys less intuitive/autonomic familiarity/competency prior to trying the new approach. They don't have the ingrained expertise, so they don't feel the degradation of that expertise as acutely.

    It's quite feasible that someone can be an exemplary backmount diver, but a much less accomplished sidemount diver. The same applies with CCR. To state that fact is neither an attack nor a form a denial.

    Likewise, a specialist diver should enjoy more familiarity and competency on their given equipment than a generalist diver (who uses multiple systems to varying degrees).
    • 1000 dives experience makes you a good diver.
    • 1000 dives backmount experience makes you a good backmount diver.
    • 1000 dives sidemount experience makes you a good sidemount diver.
    • 900 dives backmount experience and 100 dives sidemount experience makes you a good backmount diver, but a novice sidemount diver.
    If a diver completes 10 backmount dives for every 1 sidemount dive, then they should not discount a bias creeping into their appraisal of the two approaches. Their relative experience favors backmount.

    The same would be true of a sidemount diver who only dove backmount infrequently. I will admit to that... but I acknowledge my bias. That's why I'd only state my perspectives and not expect others to share them. It's also why I'd completely understand Ken's perspectives - and why I asked the frequency and/or ratio that he dove backmount versus sidemount.
     
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Thanks...and for the record... I don't comment on cave specific issues. I'm not a cave diver - there are no caves where I live and dive. I do, however, feel competent to talk about overhead environment diving. I teach technical wreck (it's my primary expertise)...so I'm very familiar with overhead environment issues and use the same skill-sets. I spend most of my time running line, marking line, conducting the same drills and skills...as a profession. I also teach advanced sidemount (different to 'tec' sidemount...it's an overhead environment, multi-stage/tight restrictions passage course)... for which the prerequisites are full cave and/or technical wreck. So... I do teach cave qualified divers (at higher levels), for what its worth.

    I've also been fortunate to have trained and dived under some very prestigious cave instructors - so I'm very attuned to how caves and wrecks differ environmentally and what the specific approaches are. You still won't see me comment in the cave diving section of Scubaboard however - I'm content to lurk and learn.... just as I do in the CCR forums.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  6. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
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    From a total outsider, 375 posts, many somewhat inflammatory, I'd say there is some sensitivity here, on one side, the other, or both. Seems like SB to me
     
  7. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

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    That's a different thread... :wink:
     
  8. Coztick

    Coztick Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: calgary
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    This thread has less to do with diving as it does with human nature.
    Life is 10% experience, 90% outlook.
    When open-minded people interact with opinionated experts it's usually pride that is the barrier to a productive outcome. Some have a positive attitude some don't. Some have something to offer, others something to prove. You know who you are...

    I don't have near the time nor money invested in diving that you experts do but I am one of the eg. DD mentioned.
    New diver(35 OW), 80% comfortable bm.
    3 dives later I am more comfortable and proggessing faster in sm. YMMV.
     
    Colliam7 likes this.
  9. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

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    Switching based on time sounds all well and good, but what if, for ANY reason, you have to exert yourself more than you expected?

    :)
     
  10. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
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    ... then I'm going to pay more attention than normal to my gauges. Diving's a very routine-oriented activity ... but nothing says you have to be married to your routine. You adapt as circumstances dictate. It ain't rocket surgery ... nor, in this case, are we talking anything particularly difficult.

    FWIW - I dive in a place that's known for variable and unpredictable currents. The answer to your question occurred for me on the dive I did yesterday, when I ran into transient currents that first wanted to push me deeper, then switched and forced me to swim against them.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     

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