He who has the most gear is an idiot.

This post will probably upset a lot of people. Probably because you have already spent all that money on your awesome new gear. So please hold your judgment until the end.

I love gadgets! I love cool gizmos and tools that allow me to conquer the challenges of life. You want to make me happy? Just drop me off at Home Depot and I will dream and scheme for hours. I probably should have an adult with me when I go there…

Every sport, profession or hobby, has some new must have tool or toy breaking into the market almost every month. Sometimes they are really amazingly helpful inventions that improve whatever it is you are doing. But sometimes they are a little bit weird and a lot of useless. I mean just look at the picture to the right!

Dive gear is no exception, and is one of the most widely discussed topics of any diving field. From Sport Diving to Public Safety Diving to Commercial Diving; dive gear is talked about among divers, like street racers talk about their cars, or my family and Fantasy Football. It’s your connection to the underwater world. For some people it’s just a tool, while for others, it’s their identity.

Let me clarify something. This blog is about Public Safety Diving. I’m not saying anything about sport divers here, so please continue to hold your judgment. Alright, here we go.

I have written previously about The Importance of Uniformity. I believe very strongly that as a team, every piece of gear should be the same. And I’m also a big believer that if it does not serve a purpose to your mission, get rid of it. Some of you are thinking about the “what ifs?” What if I drop my knife? What if I lose the search line? What if my regulator free flows? What if my light dies? What if my fin strap breaks? What if my depth gauge stops working? What if my computer batteries decide to give up the ghost while I’m 30 feet down? WHAT IF?!!!

Ok. So what? Does this means it’s the end of the world? No!

 Last week I wrote about not trading in your common sense for toys and technology. The same thing applies here. Divers tend to feel that the more gadgets they add to their BC, the better a diver they will become. Even equipment manufacturers will rename something and make a diver believe they will be a better diver if they just buy that piece of equipment. Be careful that you do not become easily swayed by the shiny box and smooth talk.

For sport diving, there are some really cool accessories to enhance your gear and overall diving experience. For example, this thingy pictured right here is a personal favorite of mine. —————————–>

It’s a device that is capable of sending out a signal to rescuers, that you were an idiot and have no idea how to navigate, monitor your air, or start your dive into the current, and in some cases, all three. It asks you on the home page of the website, if your life is worth $299. I know mine is! That’s why I’m gonna buy two of them! So I can be extra stupid!

Really people?!!! We are just making it easier for divers to operate without the basic skills! Learn to use a compass and be back on the boat when the captain says so! There, I just saved your life, and your wallet $300. Take your dive buddy out for lunch and tell them I said they are welcome.

Public Safety Divers need to understand that the gear you use does not make the diver. And in the hazardous arena that is Public Safety Diving, the more equipment you have the greater chance of entanglement.

So when choosing your diving setup, here are some things I recommend you take into consideration.

  • Find a BC that is low profile. The less you stick out the better. I use Zeagle Scouts for me and my team.
  • Regulators should be streamlined, and if possible, should be environmentally sealed. Your gonna be on the bottom stirring up all kinds of sediment, so the more you have sealed the less maintenance you will need. The Atomic Line is great, as well as Aqualung Titans.
  • Knives should be attached to the BC somewhere around the waist area. You should be able to comfortably be able to take it out and replace it just by feel. It should also have a basic, yet effective, locking mechanism.
  • We use AIR 2’s as our safe second regulators. It reduces the amount of hoses coming from the first stage and slims down the whole setup.

 

These are just some things to think about. You have to keep in mind entanglement, entanglement, entanglement. The more you stick out with your gear, the better chance you will end up in a very awkward dance with something on the bottom.

 

Ok, you can judge now.

 

Search negatively my friends!