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Sidemount diving - first impressions

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. MikeyH

    MikeyH Active Member
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  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Interesting. Even talks about the Xdeep Stealth Tec wing adjustments!
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Have moved the wing up by an inch. This will affect my trim, but looking forwards to another try.
     
  4. MikeyH

    MikeyH Active Member
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    I moved my wing up but still a bit "tail" heavy - the joys of using heavy fins - nearly dead horizontal now so will re-arrange the weights around and see if that does it :)
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Diving in Wraysbury again tomorrow (Sat 12/8). Still haven't managed to source more tins or dive my full ones, so will be renting another couple from Wraysbury again.

    Focus is still to sort out the wing and get that dump working better. Sure the weights will have to move around to compensate for the bladder moving up.

    Hoping to dive my backmount tins next week on a deep dive so will be able to split the backmount into sidemount. If not, next weekend I'll be diving to 40 metres with some rather posh gas that'll rack up my deco and cost loads.
     
  6. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Haven't you read the latest thoughts on the helium penalty then?
     
  7. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Oh, and where are you diving next weekend?
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Waiting to hear back about the Lornaston on Weds - 58m - gassed up for that. Saturday out of Swanage and the Mendi which is 40m followed by the Kyarra. Sunday it's another 40m and maybe a shuttle later.

    ...

    Today's sidemount in Wraysbury didn't go well. Still struggling to reach the dump and the rented steel cylinders wouldn't behave. Really irksome as when I used the sidemount config on "the course" it worked really well.

    The tins aren't right, I know that, primarily because I need to use modular valves to hook the bungees on. I'm really struggling to make the bottom attachments to the 'butt' D rings (Xdeep Stealth Tec). Bringing the tins forward is out of the question.

    When passed a stage cylinder it was a sodding nightmare to clip the lower bolt snap on to the D-ring. Basically the steel tin blocks access to the other D-rings.

    At the moment I feel Ike I'm back as an Open Water diver...

    Need to use my own tins. Or maybe use ali80’s.
     
  9. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    This sidemount lark sounds hard work. Why are you doing it at all?
     
  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    At the back of my head there's the benefit of being able to move single cylinders around -- lifting a twinset into my car is bad enough, carrying it into the garage is a real effort.

    TBH there's also the improvements in streamlining my stage cylinders; I'm sure some of the sidemount techniques can be used to get them under control. For example using bungees on the backplate to pull a stage cylinder into place.

    Finally there's the "need" when venturing underground. Not sure how much I'll be doing, but maybe sidemount will be the right tool for the job?

    To answer your question: just for the hell of it really. New skills underwater can't hurt. Although it's a damn sight more difficult than I first thought!
     
  11. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    I tried it a couple of years back and even did the 'course' to understand the 'pitch'. I came to the conclusion it requires a significant investment of effort to get all the bits in the right places and, for me, it solved no problems I needed to solve. It didn't even seem a sensible idea for Chesil Cove!

    Sure, if you are doing something insane like going through restrictions underground, or in wrecks, it might make sense. I concluded, for most folk, it is just another attempt to sell stuff to people who have bought everything they need (except a rebreather).

    On reflection getting into rebreather diving was much simpler and the rewards much much greater and just keep giving (41 minutes bottom time on LH Carl today and it probably cost me under a tenner).

    Unless you really plan to dedicate your future to inaccessible and dark holes in the ground then maybe ask yourself if there are better ways to spend you time and money!
     
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  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    As ever you're dead right. Truth be told, it's largely trying to put off the desire to get a rebreather...

    But I'm curious as to what these sidemounters are up to and, aside from the wing, it's not that expensive. Although having thought a few milliseconds about the amount of accessories one needs for sidemounting... Then the training. Hmm.


    BTW I've signed up for Steve Martin's Sidemounting.com. Really impressed with those videos; this really is the future of training. OK, it'll never replace some one-to-one time, but for the general background and 'academics', it's brilliant.
     
  13. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    SM is a big commitment to a style of diving that might suit some folk but which seems a silly fad to me.

    My experience of diving deeper wrecks (50m+) puts twinset divers as a novelty (we had one today) and I have only ever seen one SM diver on a deeper dive as the rest are CCR divers. If deeper diving is what you need to do then CCR is in you future.

    As an aside, to illustrate the freedom CCR gives you, today @nickb went scalloping at 50m because the scallops were big and he'd need a meal when he got home. I suspect few OC divers, with their expensive gas, would make the same decision . I have a crab chilling in the fridge too :)
     
  14. nickb

    nickb Active Member

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    They were littering the seabed, I felt a civic duty to tidy-up.
     
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  15. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    that's very shellfish
     
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  16. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Active Member
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    @Wibble why don't you just go all the way and get a sidemount rebreather?
     
  17. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Don't be silly:wacky:

    (you'd need two at least!)
     
  18. JasonP

    JasonP New Member

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    It does seem like a fad for most people to me too. Trouble is that some people are buying it. I know people who have been sold on the idea of going sidemount as they progress from a single when what they really need is a twinset. There's a reason why people use them boat diving in the 30-45m region.

    That said, I am thinking about SM. I think twin 300 bar 7s would be a good bet for shore diving and RIB diving, and of course a couple of ally 80s would be ideal for Mexico.
     
  19. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    I SM 300 bar 7s for most of my diving now with the club and twin 15s plus stages for big boy stuff. The 7s balance nicely, are compact, light (ish) and give me as much gas as I am ever going to need up to 30m.
     
  20. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    For me, it's interesting to look into the surprisingly complex world of sidemount as there's a lot of good traits to take from it. For example trimming one's stage cylinders properly and using the harness in different ways.

    How are twin 7 x 232 steels? These are less dense in the water and a bit lighter to carry. How's the trim and use?
     

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