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Slung Pony, Second on a necklace?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by txgoose, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. aviator8

    aviator8 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Yes I keep mine on the tank, that's why I say if you really want to. personal setup (not solo diving) is like @scubadada
  2. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I have never run out of gas. Nobody I have dived with has ever run out of gas. I dive with a primary donate system. I often dive with my pony, when I am by myself.
    markmud and Zef like this.
  3. 2airishuman

    2airishuman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    1) Most solo divers believe you still need a secondary on your back gas.
    2) Former SB participant DumpsterDiver does this and then uses an Air2 as a secondary for back gas, however, he uses a back mounted pony rather than a slung one.
    3) If you're going to be a solo diver you have to cultivate enough presence of mind to make intentional decisions about what reg to use. It is not difficult, time consuming, or particularly risky to open the valve on a slung cylinder and pull the reg out of the bungees. Technical divers have been doing it for decades.
    Rollin Bonz, markmud, wstorms and 2 others like this.
  4. wstorms

    wstorms ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    In addition to the post above, I would reconsider the muscle memory angle altogether.

    You need muscle memory reflexes in case something goes wrong suddenly.
    With a common setup with 2 second stages, one of them on a necklace, a realistic scenario with something happening suddenly would be your main 2nd stage freeflowing, and therefor switching to your necklace. You re-establish a breathing supply, still using you main gas. From there you sort it out. So what if your main gas supply leaks till empty, this is why you have the stage / pony (I hate the term pony, just get a stage /rant) in the first place. Plenty of time to think about how to proceed and act accordingly.
    Switching to a stage is a different skill, different movements altogether, so no need to rely on "switch to necklace" muscle memory reflexes.
    Suddenly losing all your back gas at once is not a very realistic scenario. If you go low on gas, even ignoring all preventative procedures, you will feel it coming and have time to deploy your slung stage.
    If you would suddenly loose all your gas due to something mechanical happening to the valve(s) or 1st stage(es), you most likely crushed your head on something first. Anything short of that, you will still have a breathing supply for a while, so again, you can deploy your stage without having to rely on muscle memory reflexes to switch to your necklace.

    So if you are using different skills anyway, you can really store the stage / pony 2nd stage on the stage itself and sling it. Like said, tech divers have been doing it for decades. Plenty of stuff out there on how to set up and streamline.

    Final thought; a setup like this (two second stages coming from main gas, with an additional reg for your stage / pony) transfers really well to other scenarios:
    - holiday dive: dive as you are now. Add your stage if you want
    - get into tec: dive as you are now, maybe with a longhose doubles etc but still same idea. Add your stage if you want
    - get into sidemount: after you get the basics sorted out, add you stage if you want
    - dive solo: dive as you are now, add more extensive planning preparation and understanding and add your stage.
    txgoose, Dark Wolf and markmud like this.
  5. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    I dive with a 3L pony bottle slung under my left arm. The 2nd stage hose attached to it is secured with a section of inner tube from a small vehicle. The hose is approximately 40-inches long.

    The primary scenario for which I would deploy the pony bottle is to use myself in an emergency that requires air in addition to that provided by the tank on my back. When deploying the 2nd stage, the hose is pulled free of the inner tube keeper and then put behind my neck, the 2nd stage is then put in my mouth. My primary 2nd stage is then clipped off to my right shoulder D-ring, and my primary backup (octo) remains on its necklace under my chin.

    There is not a scenario where I would deploy the pony bottle to another person with it remaining attached to me. If there was an issue that another diver needed to breath of my pony bottle, I would unclip it from my harness and clip it to theirs (harness/BC), and they would then have complete control over the unit, until handing it completely back to me.....this scenario is very unlikely though as in OOA emergency I would primary donate, switch to my backup on a necklace, take control of the OOA diver, do what I can to ensure they are calm and then begin swimming to our exit point while moving higher in the water column or begin ascending directly (depending on factors such as which is closer the exit point or the surface, boat traffic in the area above us, current, how much air is left in my tank when we start sharing the air source, etc.)

    txgoose and markmud like this.
  6. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    Good morning. Do you, or any of the other members posting have any photos of your pony setup?
  7. loosenit2

    loosenit2 si respiratio sub aqua amet ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Texas
    @scubadada I think we will need a poll for this. I dive solo and believe it is unnecessary, and likely problematic, to have a secondary on you back gas when diving solo as having 3 second stages just introduces unnecessary complication; but I may be in the minority here.
    Lostdiver71 and txgoose like this.
  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi txgoose,

    Simplex Sigillum Veri: Simplicity is the Seal of Truth.

    My Solo instructor was also my Tech 40 instructor. We practiced clipping a slung pony on in the water, which is easier for me than slinging a pony on the boat. You will gain muscle memory and subconscious reaction to a second stage bungeed to the slung pony. You will gain muscle memory and subconscious reaction for opening your pony valve and retrieving your second stage.

    Even if you plan on diving with your pony valve open, practice with it off. Sheet does happen.

    With a bungeed pony second stage, you can use the pony on some dives, and not on other dives without changing your rig. Clip the pony on, or don't clip it on. Done deal. It is a complete unit as is.

    Practice pony bottle ascents. Practice them again. If you do need your pony for real, you will take your time and perform the task well. Slow is fast. No fear, no panic, and no problems.

    An SBer who always grilled me about panic while doing a real emergency pony bottle ascent (he assumed I would freak-out) needed his pony for real one day. He said he had no fear, no panic, and it was an automatic switch. Everything about his pony bottle ascent felt normal. Easy peasy. He is an extremely well trained and experienced diver.

    If you are prone to freak-outs, and need your pony reg necklaced for easier access, you may want to rethink solo diving and the overall conditions you dive.

    Your instructor will probably have the best advice regarding this issue.

    Some have opined that you may be overthinking this issue. They may be correct.

    My solo instructor was very enlightening. Hopefully, yours will be enlightening as well. Most of what he taught was mental. Think ahead, plan ahead.

  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    My pony is in Florida, I am currently in Pennsylvania. If you want, I can send you a photo on or after July 13 :)
    txgoose likes this.
  10. HKGuns

    HKGuns Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Merica
    Here is one for you.

    wnissen, markmud, txgoose and 2 others like this.

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