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Self Propulsion Units, DPVs and IPSs

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by PDDIVER, Apr 2, 2005.


    PDDIVER Guest

    I have Parkinson’s Disease--I take medication for it but even so, I still have limited mobility in my legs. I can walk with a walker (for short periods of time) otherwise; I am in a wheelchair because of freezing and balance issues. I recently completed a diving certification course with my children (14,11). It was during my certification training and dives, that I found out how ineffective my kick was due to my infliction.

    I have done some research and found that one option for compensating for this handicap is using a propulsion system or device while diving. Since I entered this sport to enjoy, watch and participate with my children—I would like to continue in it---for the same reasons. My children are both natural, strong swimmers who compete year-around on local swim teams. In order for me to keep up with them (making the sport enjoyable for both they and I) I am interested in looking at a propulsion device option. Currently, I compensate for my lack of leg propulsion with a lot of arm movement which increases the exertion that I must expend and, even more distressing—forcing me to quickly use up my air supply. This drastically reduces our underwater time---which is not a reason for diving.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me on using propulsion devices, as well as, which brands, features, etc have proven most successful/rewarding for people with poor lower body (legs) movement (kicking).

    Thank you. Sincerely,
  2. wacdiver

    wacdiver Nassau Grouper

    Hey it sounds like you already have 2 DPVs your two kids! If they are good swimmers have them tow you. Each one grab a BC strap and pull.
    Just kidding (but not a bad idea if you get too tierd)
    I too have a disability (MD), and well my legs work somewhat ok (for now at least) but not all that good so I would be interested in what others here have to say about the DPVs too. I have thought about one myself (may really need it later on).
    good luck and welcome to the board

    *just noticed a thread on DPVs for parapaligic in this forum may help a bit, check it out*
  3. kennethw

    kennethw IDC Staff Instructor

    For a small, light and 'cheap' DPV, you might want to look into the Sea-Doo. You can rig it like tech divers so that you don't have to hang on to it all the time....
  4. Pez de Diablo

    Pez de Diablo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Puerto Aventuras, MX
    I have on a couple of occasions taken guys with no use of thier legs diving. A couple of thoughts on dive site selection, pick a site with a current and let the current work for you (Cozumel and Playa del Carmen work great) do cenote dives (very relaxed pace).

    As far as a scooter goes, I was working with a fellow that has an exceptionaly strong upper body, he works out and plays wheel chair basketball.

    Anyway, he took my silent Submersion scooter into the water on a nice reef dive with little current. After we played around for 75 min trying different things he said it just wasn't worth it. He was on his side or being cork screwed around in the water. He doesn't wear fins (zero use of his legs) so the stability was a huge factor since his hands were busy guiding the scooter. He thought that he needed wings on his arms from his elbows to his shoulders to be able to maintain the proper attitude in the water.

    Another person I dive with quite often is 69 years old and has bad knees, she uses the Seadoo XT (I think thats the designation) scooter which is thier top line scooter. She loves it, it is a bit faster (on turbo) than what most people swim, hardly weighs anything and can easily be held onto with both hands for the whole dive. And you can buy 10 of them for the price of my SS. Really worth a look.
  5. Doc Intrepid

    Doc Intrepid Instructor, Scuba

    Funny thing about scooters. Sometimes they crap out. If you're only cavorting with the kids in 30' of warm clear water and yours dies, no sweat. The kids get you up and back. But...don't be planning on cruising that wreck at 80'-90' in restricted vis and about 2 knots of current. If your scooter quits on you, you now get to experience whats known as "an adventure". People who use scooters for very serious dives, where that scooter absolutely positively must get you back, often use more than one scooter for just this reason. Given your circumstances, if you can't swim both you and the scooter back, you need to think carefully about doing that dive. (yeah I know about the kids and buddies...I have two kids also that I loved to dive with. Sometimes they got distracted...)

    Another point is that there is more to them than people think. They add task loading (not to mention logistics/transportation issues and maintenance/upkeep issues on the surface). They need to be worked into your dive planning - they're not just a "blow and go" piece of equipment. Plan to spend some time getting real familiar with yours before you drop down on anything interesting.

    There are three you might want to take a look at; Rodney's, George's, and Andrew's. Rodney's and George's have been around awhile, George's a bit longer. They're similar in profile and performance specs. Andrew's is new this year, and is different. One potential benefit of Andrew's given your situation is that Rodney's and George's are both much heavier, between 70 and 80 lbs, out of the water. Andrews is a bit more than half that, making it easier to muscle in and out of the boat (or whatever). George is coming out with a smaller scooter to compete in Andrew's market, but its not ready for prime time yet. They all cost about the same, around $3700 delivered to your door, but some come with more than others in the way of chargers, etc.




    Hope this helps.
  6. sinkorswim

    sinkorswim Angel Fish

    How deep are you going? Like Doc said, depth makes a world of difference.
  7. mdb

    mdb ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    For depths above 200 FSW [tested to 300 FSW] the APOLLO AV-1 scooter is a good choice. Fail safe features and the new saddle accessory allow for hands free riding while towing other divers. Vehicle run time is 45-60 minutes, recharge time 3-5 hrs. speed is 2.5 mph. Easy to use and fun to dive. This U/W vehicle is in wide use worldwide. More info @ www.diveapollo.com
  8. kennethw

    kennethw IDC Staff Instructor

    From the original post, PDDiver is a diver with disabilities; hence in this forum. A Silent Submersion, Gavin and even the Apollo is way to heavy and cumberson, especially in case of flooding. I use an Apollo AV-1 to 80 msw and find it heavy on land with all the gear; imagine a disabled diver using one with limited logistical support.

    From what I've read, PDDiver wants to dive within recreational depths and NDL; i.e. with his young children. I think a Sea-Doo would be the best DVP as it is small and light; and if you needed to ditch it, it is not all that expensive compare to a SS, Gavin or even Apollo. A friend recently bought a Sea-Doo VS from the manufacturer for USD100 (of course this was an exceptional deal).

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