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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would appreciate some advice please. The hired dry suits I used all had cuff dumps but now I've bought my own (membrane), and it has an automatic dump valve on the shoulder, and I find harder to dive with. (I use the suit, not my BCD, for bouyancy). I have it closed on the surface but open it fully to descend, then when I've got myself neutrally buoyant I close it a couple of clicks. I seem to have to keep fiddling with it during the dive to try and stay neutral. Nothern Diver say they'll fit a cuff dump on it if I want. Are the cuff dumps really easier to use or am I doing something wrong? (Also, can a cuff dump be on either wrist or is it always the left?)
 

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I've only ever dived with a shoulder dump and although it took me a little while to understand how to use it best I love it now and don't have to even think about it.

Perhaps try to hook up for a dive with someone else with one and get them to show you how they use it?
 

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Apprentice houseplant
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After a while, you tend to adjust buoyancy by just rolling to the right, so the cuffdump is higher up, which 'encourages' it to dump.

Alternatively, I tend to run the suit almost empty and use the BC/wing for buoyancy. Each to their own though!
 

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Practice. I recently switched from cuff to shoulder and wouldn't go back, although it does take some practice, as anything new does.

If, after 20 dives you really don't like it then consider changing, but do give any new equipment time to bed in.

(Acknowledgements to Mark Powell for the original advice:) )
 

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Yes, practice is what's needed with shoulder dumps. I dive with mine fully open and only ever close it down a bit on the surface. Also, you need to perfect the 'exagerated shrug' or a gentle roll to make sure the valve is uppermost. Cuff dumps seem easier when you first switch to a shoulder dump (and yes, they can be used on either arm) but they also have disadvantages particularly when using an SMB or a camera.
 

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YDs Most Southerly Monkey
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Practice. I recently switched from cuff to shoulder and wouldn't go back, although it does take some practice, as anything new does.

If, after 20 dives you really don't like it then consider changing, but do give any new equipment time to bed in.

(Acknowledgements to Mark Powell for the original advice:) )
Same here. I've just replaced my cuff dump with a shoulder dump, it's taking some getting used to but I'm getting there.

The cuff dump is certainly easier to use for dumping but my problem with it has been "over-dumping", resulting in some difficulty making a steady ascent and instead, doing the yo yo.

The beauty is that the new one automatically dumps air, and smoothly too, throughout the ascent, maintaining pretty well constant buoyancy, allowing use of the bcd for fine control.
 

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give me convenience
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I just put air in my suit to take the squeeze off, dive with my shoulder dump fully open and use my BCD for bouyancy. Works a treat. Its much more simple than faffing around with air in the suit for bouyancy like they teach on the PADI course.
 

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I've got both on my suit.... at the moment I use the cuff dump as I find it easier...

In time I'll probably move to the shoulder dump once I've had a little practice with it. Then get the Cuff dump closed.

HTH
 

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Nigel Hewitt
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I just put air in my suit to take the squeeze off, dive with my shoulder dump fully open and use my BCD for bouyancy. Works a treat. Its much more simple than faffing around with air in the suit for bouyancy like they teach on the PADI course.
Any course.

I'd agree. Suit for buoyancy is a good drill to have in your mental tool box to get you out of a busted BCD problem (I've had the inflator come off in my hand) but keep the suit comfortable (not a big bubble rushing from one end to the other every time you look up or down) fine trim on your lungs and course tune on the BCD.

Having buoyancy gas in the BCD means you can dump any way up if you find you have started to rise more than you want rather than having to turn yourself suit-dump-up.
 

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YDs Most Southerly Monkey
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The biggest problem I found with the cuff dump was it's dumping of air (and loss of buoyancy) even when unintended, such as reaching up to grasp the ladder when climbing back into the boat.
 

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give me convenience
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Spot on. I am not PADI bashing either - just happens to be how I learned.

Any course.

I'd agree. Suit for buoyancy is a good drill to have in your mental tool box to get you out of a busted BCD problem (I've had the inflator come off in my hand) but keep the suit comfortable (not a big bubble rushing from one end to the other every time you look up or down) fine trim on your lungs and course tune on the BCD.

Having buoyancy gas in the BCD means you can dump any way up if you find you have started to rise more than you want rather than having to turn yourself suit-dump-up.
 

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Any course.

I'd agree. Suit for buoyancy is a good drill to have in your mental tool box to get you out of a busted BCD problem (I've had the inflator come off in my hand) but keep the suit comfortable (not a big bubble rushing from one end to the other every time you look up or down) fine trim on your lungs and course tune on the BCD.

Having buoyancy gas in the BCD means you can dump any way up if you find you have started to rise more than you want rather than having to turn yourself suit-dump-up.
This is what I love about YD, you can learn so much from others. I have only had my drysuit for a month, before that I dived in a semi. Being PADI trained I didn't know that it was ok to use my (much loved) BC for boyancy and have been trying to just used my suit. Now I can relax and use which ever I prefer knowing that is is acceptable:teeth: Thanks!
 

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Nigel Hewitt
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At the risk of stating the screamingly obvious it is a bad idea to use both at the same time! :)
Well you always have gas in the suit but I leave the autodump wide open so it generally looks after itself if I stay level.

I have the added complication that on a rebreather exhaling does not make you more negative and you have to control the counterlung volume as well. People say three bouyancy cells are extra task loading but I don't find it so. On the way down you fill them all and on the way up you make sure you dump them all then fine trim on whatever comes to hand.

Somehow it isn't complex it just happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was at Capernwray yesterday and tried out getting just enough air in the suit to be comfortable, leaving the auto valve open, then using the BCD as normal. I think this is the way forward for me. Many thanks for all the advice!
 

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YDs Most Southerly Monkey
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I was at Capernwray yesterday and tried out getting just enough air in the suit to be comfortable, leaving the auto valve open, then using the BCD as normal. I think this is the way forward for me. Many thanks for all the advice!
I used mine on a "proper dive" for the first time yesterday. It was brilliant and I found that holding my safety stop was way easier than it ever was before.
 
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