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Paraplegic in training; new member

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by Sideshow Rick, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Sideshow Rick

    Sideshow Rick Guest

    Hello, new to diving and this board. Just passed second knowledge review, test and confined water dive, on my way to Basic Open Water. As we're nearing the end of summer, can anyone impart some data on the use of a drysuit for a disabled diver (paraplegic)? The use of gators to keep air out of legs, feet. One of the biggest difficulties I have is peeling on/off a wetsuit and for now am just using a skinsuit.

    Also I'm interested in a bc such as a Mares Jouney or Dacor Rig2 or Falcon, I think since I use my arms for everything that these types of bc would provide a greater range of movement and less restriction. Any comments?


  2. beachdivequeenbelam

    beachdivequeenbelam Solo Diver

    Hi Rick
    Thank you so much for joining SCUBABOARD!!!
    This is an awesome place to be and we are so excited to meet you:07: !
    I hope you have a wonderful experience on here!:D
    You have now joined an elite group!! The Scubaboard is where to the best come to discuss, argue, debate, hate, love, and support each other in the GREATEST SPORT known to mankind.

    Ask away and someone here will have an answer or suggestion for you! Nothing is too stupid to ask. Feel to free to ask anything about what you need to know!!

    HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!!!!:10:

    Bridget Elam
  3. scubadoguk

    scubadoguk Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Indiana
    Hi some years ago-15 to be correct, I was a dive master at Stoney Cove in the UK.
    A number of times I had the pleasure to dive with a guy in a similar place to yourself, he wore a drysuit and a regular BCD, I believe John wore a harness for weights as he would drop a weight belt, well they slid off I believe.
    No ankle weights or and no ties on his legs so air could flow in and out his legs our dives were in the 10- 15 foot range and
    we started the dives from a ramp so we could float off the chair and get back in at the end.
    My own thoughts on BCD selections and so on is that you need to check for a loose fit around the shoulders my own back plate has a tendency to cut in the shoulders if I walk around to much as the strap pulls down so if I was underwater the strap would or could rub my suit, now if I use my BCD it is not digging in in the same time frame just my observation.
    Good luck with it all,
  4. DanMitsu

    DanMitsu Angel Fish

    Hi feel welcomed

    The gators, are good idea. Just make sure you get the right size, or it will turn out to be bulky, and create drag. They should be firm, and snug. ( heck of a description,.lol) latley they also have these things called, fin savers. that you may want to look at also. gators, are nice. Its alot easier to get air from your knees back to your body then your feet... You will still end up , upside down for a bit till you get used to it. (It happens)...Practice, defently in a pool. For awhile, till it starts to become second nature.

  5. frenchy07

    frenchy07 Solo Diver

    Welcome and (you may get tired of hearing this) I admire you. Can't say on the bc choices you mentioned (have a zeagle brigade myself) but I understand the need to keep your shoulders free. When I started looking at bc's for myself I really liked the sherwood freedom, till I inflated it and it pushed my shoulders forward and made me uncomfortable. I don't have this problem with my brigade. I looked at the rig, outback, recon for a time before making my decision and am very happy with it.

    Welcome and enjoy, your a asset to our sport.
  6. cobaltbabe

    cobaltbabe Diva of the Deep

    I wish I could give you some advice as far as a drysuit. Can I ask how you are handling the diving in a wet suit? If you wish we can discuss this in private or in public, it's up to you. Although I may not know alot about your situation, I may be able to stear you in the direction of someone who does.

    I would also like to know if you feel more comfortable in a BC that inflates around you instead of a back inflator. I image there are some challenges you need to over come. Again, you may want to talk to someone who is more qualified.

    Now with all that said, a big welcome to the board and anything I can help with I will. Good luck and have some fun!!!
  7. Scott Riemer

    Scott Riemer Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Yorba Linda, CA
    Welcome to Scubaboard!
  8. headhunter

    headhunter Renaissance Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: So Cal (Altadena)
    Welcome to ScubaBoard! :happywave

    I see that you are already receiving some guidance. I don't dive a drysuit, but am confidant that you will get some great answers from those here on the board that do.

    Dive safe!


    P.S. Due to the high volume of new posts in the Introductions and Greets forum, it's not always possible to keep up with all the new posts here. So, please help me out and send me a PM if you post anything you want me to read or repsond to in this forum.
    :palmtree: :sunny
  9. Northeastwrecks

    Northeastwrecks Divemaster

    I use gaitors on my lower legs. They seem to work well.

    If you use them, remember that you need some gas in order to stay warm, especially if you are using a trilam. In addition, you probably don't want to make them extremely tight since that could have an effect upon the blood flow to your lower extremities.

    I assisted a gentleman who was close to a paraplegic, i.e., he had almost no use of his legs following a spinal injury. We did some research and were told that this diver should be careful to watch his NDL's because the decreased blood flow to his lower body might create DCS issues. The diver solved this issue by doubling his safety stops and diving conservatively.

    With regard to a BC, I'm not overly familiar with those BC's. However, I do know that a BP&W provides excellent upper body mobility and is quite streamlined. This is important since my experience with hand fins (I tried our student's during class so I could get an idea of how they functioned) is that they are not as efficient as foot fins.

    I'm not sure where Lebanon, PA is located. However, if you're near Dutch Springs (Allentown area), you might want to look up a dive shop in Morristown, NJ, that specializes in handicapped scuba instruction. They were parked next to us the last time I was down there and I was quite impressed with their setup and their personnel. Unfortunately, I can't remember their name. All I remember is that it began with a "D" and that they were in Morristown, NJ.

    Good Luck.
  10. Matt the Aquaman

    Matt the Aquaman Great White

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Woodbury, MN
    :sunny Hi there! My name is Matt. Welcome to Scuba Board! I came here looking for help with my diving dream. I’ve met a lot of nice divers and many helpful divers too. I think you will get the information you need from SB. I look forward to reading more of your posts about your diving adventures. If you’d like to chat, please PM me.
    I am looking forward to seeing you some more around the boards!

    -Matt- :chicken:

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