YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Shipwrecked & Comatose, drinking fresh mango juice
Joined
·
2,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>I'm fairly new to this diving lark, and whilst I have bought all of the basic kit required to keep me alive, I am considering the next step with my kit configuration.  

I have subscribed to the philosophy that even when diving with a buddy, I should also be 'self sufficient' - I don't want my only hope of recovery to be someone who may be looking the other way when I become out of air, for example.

So, I've decided to get more air.  I would consider a twin set - and recognise that in the long term this would give me the best level of redundancy etc.  In the short term, cashflow being a consideration, I'm considering a pony cylinder as my bailout option.

Right, so here comes the question.  I dive with several people from my club who have pony bottles on their backs, attached to their BCD's.  This makes the BC heavier when kitting up (and recovering them into the RIB), and also means that the weight on the BC is lobsided.  I'm already lobsided enough, so I looked at other ways to sling the pony.  One guy in the club has his pony slung horizontally across his front - it means that kitting up takes a few seconds longer, and there is more to hand up to the RIB, but seems to me to be a more balanced way of doing it.  

Another alternative is to side sling it, but this would seem to have the same unbalancing effect as banding it to my main cylinder on my BC.

It'll be a while before I get the cash to buy this (cash flow being a controlled resource - my wife doesn't dive and doesn't understand the need for gadgets and kit .....) so I have time to consider my options.  Does anyone have any recommendations or warnings about particular methods?

Andy
 

·
Shipwrecked & Comatose, drinking fresh mango juice
Joined
·
2,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>Sitting here and thinking about it some more ........ yeah, I should be working, but thinking about diving is more rewarding ....... is there a concern that the pony slung across my tum would make it harder to remove my weightbelt?


by the time I'm finished I'll have convinced myself I need a twinset and a pair of ponies.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,293 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#0000FF'>Hi Aclivity

When I dive my singles rig I don't use a pony, don't see the point to be honest if you have decent regs and a decent buddy.


However if forced by gunpoint to use one then I would sidesling it.

If you're planning to dive below 30 mtrs then its better to save for that twinset as that is your best form of redundancy in my opinion.

http://www.dir-uk.org/equipment_guide.doc

Above is an article which changed my whole view on kit and pointed me in the direction I go now. Page 27 mentions Pony bottles

HTH

WL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,914 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#0000FF'>Eh? relying on your buddy as your air supply, not for me "oh chlorophyll-ed one"


The non-DIR approach: your pony is your redundant system, not your buddy. What does the acronym "SCUBA" stand for?
SELF-CONTAINED Underwater Breathing Apperatus, personally I aim to dive with a buddy but in a self-reliant/self-contained style, I'd far rather go to my redundant supply in a FUBAR than have to take/receive a reg from my buddy.

As for placement, I used to use a pony adjacent to the main tank, nowadays I'd be more inclined to side-sling it and keep it turned off till I needed it, as you would a deco stage
HTH
Steve
 

·
PSAI Instructor Trainer
Joined
·
199 Posts
Imported post

Andy/activity

mmm I have to say I disagree big time with lettuce.

YOU NEED REDUNDANCY! and you can never guarantee not to have a reg problem or depend totally on your buddy for your air.Especially in UK vis. I can't believe that any agency doesnt recommend carrying one.

Try just having someone drill you at random to find your buddy and get air <simulating a 1st stage failure> You will see how much stress it is, even if they are just a couple of meters away and not expecting it.

I am sure a lot of people here will tell you the exact same thing.!!

In regard to rigging it I have a pony on a quick release clamp alongside my 15l, you dont get that lobsided and you can balance by altering the position of your weights. (you can also invert it on your tank to get at the valve.) The quick release clamp allows you to detach if you want prior to getting back into a rib.

Option 2 is to side sling, I actually side sling a 2nd pony on some dives, the advantage of side slinging is that you are able to turn the valve on and off much easier and the bottle is there in front of you. Disadvantage is that its longer to rig up and can get in the way until you are used to it.

so really its up to you, you can always play around with it and find out what you prefer.

My main advice is get one soon, ask the missus how important she thinks it is that you come home after diving! I'm sure she'll think your worth it! You can also look on e-bay for a 2nd hand deal, or try go dive I think they have a deal at £150.

Ian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Imported post

A hoary old chestnut this pony/no pony. No doubt,a  party line is no pony------straight to twins.
If your dive depth/bottom time allows for a safe ascent on a pony including a safety stop following a disaster from your main cylinder, and carrying a pony is no inconvenience----it isn't----why is this not viewed as a safer option than a single cylinder.
Your good buddy will leisurely ascend with you.
The pony seems to be looked on as 'a bad thing' in some circles.
I have not, so far, been able to get my head round the view that a single is better/safer than a single and pony.
Twins are a seperate issue for deeper/longer dives.
Cheers, Malcolm.
 
 
 

·
A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
Joined
·
15,343 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000F22'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (wetlettuce @ May 29 2003,19:02)]When I dive my singles rig I don't use a pony, don't see the point to be honest if you have decent regs and a decent buddy.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh  


What if you lose viz and lose buddy?

What if your buddy also runs out of air?

What if your buddy breaths heavy and has not enough air left to get you both home?

What if your asked to buddy with a stranger coz your regular dive buddy couldent make it?

Doing low viz diving is dangerous as buddy seporation is a common occurance. Independance should be the bedrock of safe diving practice.

Have you forgoton the diver who was experaianced and surounded by other divers in 30m viz who ran out of air and died on a guided trip in the red sea?  JB from Divermag was on that dive.

A highley experianced dive guide has just been reported missing after 'becoming seporated' from his buddy in the RED SEA

Have you ever got caught in mono line? You might be at the end of your dive plan and get tangled. Then your suddenly stressed breathing heavy and slipping into deco and so is the buddy trying to free you. You were planning a 100 bar ascent and suddenly you have racked up deco and are down to 50 bar because it took say 5 mins to sort it and you are at 30m.

remember the pony is a totaly independant air supply and is not in the gas plan.

OK rant over:

Side slung 3ltr ponys are generaly easy to ballance if you clip them to the nipple D ring and the hip D ring. I dont even move weights arround to do this on my wing but I used to move a 2kg weight from my pony side to the oposit pouch on my old BCD.

A pony that you can switch EASILY on and off is essential so where ever you mount it you must be able to reach the valve. If you mount it on the single tank just put a 2kg weight on the cam band opposit the cylinder and loose 2kg from the weight belt.

If your into rib diving a slung pony is a big advantage and the other advantage is you can hand it over reg and all to another diver in trouble and they can surface in their own time without taking you along for the ride.

If you mount the pony on the left be warned that the reg will be upside down so you need all the hose to rout the reg in a big circle to get the thing the right way up. This can result in a bit of jaw ach as the reg is pulled down to one side. I use an omny swivel for my left hand deco cylinder to overcome this but a two way reg like a Jet streem is a better idea.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,293 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ May 29 2003,21:35)]What if you lose viz and lose buddy?

What if your buddy also runs out of air?

What if your buddy breaths heavy and has not enough air left to get you both home?

What if your asked to buddy with a stranger coz your regular dive buddy couldent make it?

Doing low viz diving is dangerous as buddy seporation is a common occurance. Independance should be the bedrock of safe diving practice.

Have you forgoton the diver who was experaianced and surounded by other divers in 30m viz who ran out of air and died on a guided trip in the red sea?  JB from Divermag was on that dive.

A highley experianced dive guide has just been reported missing after 'becoming seporated' from his buddy in the RED SEA

Have you ever got caught in mono line? You might be at the end of your dive plan and get tangled. Then your suddenly stressed breathing heavy and slipping into deco and so is the buddy trying to free you. You were planning a 100 bar ascent and suddenly you have racked up deco and are down to 50 bar because it took say 5 mins to sort it and you are at 30m.

remember the pony is a totaly independant air supply and is not in the gas plan.
<font color='#0000FF'>Hi

Point 1. Lose Viz and lose Buddy, why I would surface of course, no solo diving for me thankyou very much

Point 2. Proper dive planning and gas management allows my rock bottom to surface with me and my buddy should they run out of air (which would have to be kit failure!)

Point 3. Again that would be down to proper diveplanning and agreed surfacing pressure (I said 30 mtr max and that also means no overheads (including deco stops so no OBLIGATORY deco for a single)

Point 4. Then I definitely wouldn't be going off on a 30 mtr dive without checking them out first at a shallower depth and if I wasn't satisfied I wouldn't dive, I just wouldn't be happy and I like to dive happy.

Sadly Mark, it appears that buddy seperation is common but totally unnecessary. What is worse is that those seperated buddies then decide to carry on the dive rather than abort it and THAT is why they get into trouble, not because they don't have a pony!

Using your scenario Mark what if it was the pony which got me hung up in the first place or what if I had to cut the pony free to get loose or what if....... and it carries on and on and on.

I still say if you have a decent set of regs (DINS, coldwater) and a decent buddy AND an agreed dive plan within sensible limits you don't NEED a pony.

IMHO

WL
 

·
Grumbler-chief in Residence
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
Imported post

Ok,

I feel the need to post, , WL, what is one of the main things taught on any extended range diving course. Why it's redundancy, you call yourself DIR and yet you state that you ignore this fundimental of safe diving practice, aw cumon, be real. We dive twins, we spend considerable time and effort learnig how to shut down to preserve back gas in case of an emergency.

For the most part whilst I do not always agree with everything you post you have talked sense. This time you have departed from this.

Andrew
 

·
That's Dude with an E
Joined
·
12,959 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (wetlettuce @ May 29 2003,23:27)]I still say if you have a decent set of regs (DINS, coldwater) and a decent buddy AND an agreed dive plan within sensible limits you don't NEED a pony.
You're right WL.

Also you don't NEED house insurance, or any type of insurance untill you really NEED it.

Thats all a pony is a small lightweight insurance, something which l as a parent with two diving offspring have made them carry since they were able to.

Just out of interest what would hapen on your diveboat if one diver for one of any number of reasons cannot dive? does his buddy then not dive? or would the buddy join another pair as a threesome?

Now l assume your first thought would be no threes therefore buddy loses out, now just say they've travelled 10 hrs to the site, its about the 20th time you have tried to get to this site, the conditions are perfect, if the buddy loses out the peer pressure on the diver who maybe doesn't feel up to it, is great.
You are left with either
1. Diver reluctantly dives, maybe not feeling quite up to it or maybe not fully confident with there kit etc. etc.
2.Neither of the pair dive, they would have to be very close friends for this to happen.
3.Dive as a three.

In 1 & 3 above a pony would be very reasuring because in case 1 your buddy may not be up to it and in case 3 if two divers have a problem the third can only help one and the others solo.

Now if none of the above divers carry ponys normally then decide to, they will not be familiar with their kit and this could cause problems.


l've just read the article on the Gue course, which l found very interesting, except for the one line where Cris Boardman had to attest to not being overweight and a non smoker, and that should his position change Gue would withdraw the certification.

Up untill reading this l was very open minded towards DIR however this shows that these guys live in some fantasy world and do not get out to do real dives.

Do they honestly beleive that what a person weighs has any bearing on what they are like as a diver?

l'm overweight, l'm a building contractor and l would bet that l'm fitter than most `ideal weight` people.
 

·
Gone...and probably best forgotten
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
Imported post

hear hear howard.  well said that man!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,839 Posts
Imported post

Ehh... you're all missing the point when it comes to DIR and a pony.

The only dives a DIR-er should do on a single are dives where you can make it from wherever you are to the surface on a single breath: Shallow, no-deco dives.

If you wouldn't be happy doing a free ascent from the greatest depth you'll be at, then take a twinset, is the mantra. Would you really be unhappy diving a reef at 10m without a pony?

Personally, for any shallow dive, I like twin 7s...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,557 Posts
Imported post

Ah, but Dom, WL said 30m max and no overhead.  Now I don't know about you, but I wouldn't do 30m without a pony these days, and I wouldn't advise others to do it either. See below...

Now as WL is a subscriber to the DIR philosophy either this is DIR or he ain't!

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Point 3. Again that would be down to proper diveplanning and agreed surfacing pressure (I said 30 mtr max and that also means no overheads (including deco stops so no OBLIGATORY deco for a single)
Now in answer to the original question....
Personally I side-sling a pony.  I do 30m max dives, no deco obligation and the pony is the way ahead for me at the momnet for the diving that I do.  Mark chase has given all the reasons for side-slinging including ease of access and hand-offs.  It takes about 10-20 secs more to kit up with it and means I don't have to try and hoist it around on the BC whilst kitting up on a rolling boat or crowded rib.

Cheers

Lou
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,839 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ May 30 2003,08:51)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Ah, but Dom, WL said 30m max and no overhead.  Now I don't know about you
If WL is happy that he could make an ascent from 30m if necessary, then that's all that matters. Risk assessment is a personal thing..

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Now I don't know about you, but I wouldn't do 30m without a pony
I use a twinset for every dive I do, so it's a moot point, really
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,557 Posts
Imported post

Risk assessment is a personal thing?  Surely not in the world of George Irvine and co???  
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,293 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#0000FF'>Hi

AndyP I never said redundancy is not required, your buddy is your redundancy. Much better redundancy than a pony bottle IMHO.

Lou 30 mtrs max is max, and I use it figuratively to point out the no deco and 'recreational bimble' type of dive I was talking about. And the DIR guidance is that if you think you need a pony then you need twins. I use twins pretty much exclusively in the UK.

I dive a single in the red sea and do not take a pony. There are very few who do. Can you explain why? And why, if it is so safe then why do we not make it mandatory on the Thistlegorm etc.? Have you dived the Thistlegorm Lou ? with a pony ?

Howard (Diving Dude) How Chris Boardman interprets the GUE stuff is up to him. Ask SteveW what he thinks of Chris' point of view on the BSAC instructor programme. The fundamentals course is non certification (or was) so there is nothing to 'take away' and I think he just makes the point because in his eyes its controversial and stirs shit.

The definition of overweight and fitness is always subjective no matter in what context. I'm overweight according to all the medical references being 5'10" and 13st. And so are GI and JJ being sportsmen. The whole point is that fitness is important and non smoking is important. If you become so unfit that you cannot dive without being a danger to your buddies then that is bad. Remember also that Tech1 allows you to 40 odd metres on trimix and that requires a certain level of fitness. Smoking kills, and FUBARs your lungs.

DIR is team diving, so 2's and 3's are fine. Having the same kit config allows less abortions because of kit failure, neoprene mask straps, stainless steel fin straps and that kind of stuff makes these failures less likely, and these are probably the most common reasons for not diving, in my experience anyway. I carry spare hoses, first stages and seconds and these are all interchangable.
And sorry mate, I wouldn't dive with anyone who 'didn't feel up for it' I might be a tad disappointed but I'm a philosophical type and the water will still be there tomorrow. I'd go for a beer instead


Kindest Regards

WL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (diving dude @ May 30 2003,00:40)]You're right WL.

Also you don't NEED house insurance, or any type of insurance untill you really NEED it.

Thats all a pony is a small lightweight insurance, something which l as a parent with two diving offspring have made them carry since they were able to.

Just out of interest what would hapen on your diveboat if one diver for one of any number of reasons cannot dive? does his buddy then not dive? or would the buddy join another pair as a threesome?
Depends on how practiced they all were at diving in a three and what the dive was.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]

Now l assume your first thought would be no threes therefore buddy loses out, now just say they've travelled 10 hrs to the site, its about the 20th time you have tried to get to this site, the conditions are perfect, if the buddy loses out the peer pressure on the diver who maybe doesn't feel up to it, is great.
Why would our first thought be no threes?

Quite a lot of the stuff the WKPP do is in threes.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]

You are left with either
1. Diver reluctantly dives, maybe not feeling quite up to it or maybe not fully confident with there kit etc. etc.
2.Neither of the pair dive, they would have to be very close friends for this to happen.
3.Dive as a three.
Anyone can call the dive at Any time

Including on the surface.

There is no peer pressure. If my buddy calls the dive on the boat I sit with him on the boat.

I wouldn't say anything other than perhaps  to ask if he was ok.

The next week we'd be out diving again.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
In 1 & 3 above a pony would be very reasuring because in case 1 your buddy may not be up to it and in case 3 if two divers have a problem the third can only help one and the others solo.
In 1 it wouldn't because 1 wouldn't happen.

Diving in teams of three takes practice If the team is practiced enough they could dive together as a three with the equipment they practice with.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]

Now if none of the above divers carry ponys normally then decide to, they will not be familiar with their kit and this could cause problems.
They're have to be damm silly to do that.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
l've just read the article on the Gue course, which l found very interesting, except for the one line where Cris Boardman had to attest to not being overweight and a non smoker, and that should his position change Gue would withdraw the certification.

Up untill reading this l was very open minded towards DIR however this shows that these guys live in some fantasy world and do not get out to do real dives.
Oh I don't know. What would you call the Britannic dives?

Seemed pretty real to me.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
Do they honestly beleive that what a person weighs has any bearing on what they are like as a diver?
Yes, yes they do.

AIUI Smoking increases your risk of DCI as does being excessivly overweight.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
l'm overweight, l'm a building contractor and l would bet that l'm fitter than most `ideal weight` people.
Possibly you are. But bear in mind that fat will have an impact on decompression.

This is one of the things that really bugs me. All GUE say is that you should be fit enough to cope with the dives you are doing. They recommend a minimum of 30 minutes exercise, three times a week. My doctor recommends that to _everyone_ it's hardly an onerous request. My doctor also recommends that people give up smoking. It's increadibly bad for your health.

BTW I am an ex smoker myself and surprisingly enough not a rabid anti-smoking one.

The point that everyone consistantly seems to miss is that DIR diving is a TEAM sport

Everyone is there for the TEAM

A TEAM can be anything from a single pair to a large expedition but it's all about the same thing - the TEAM

All equipment carried by the TEAM is for the use of any member of the team.

I dive pretty much every week with my buddy in the UK. We dive in pretty crap viz just like everyone else.

We manage not to get seperated. It's not hard, just takes a bit of practice.
 

·
Grumbler-chief in Residence
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
Imported post

Errrr WL,

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I was just a tad pi**ed, I didn't mean to sound so rude.

I think the point I was trying to get to and failed so miserably is you need to look at the stage the guy who started this thread is at. A Pony for redundancy and / or to move onto the beginings of decompression is a logical "next step". Most of us have come through that route. You have to think about the cost of switching to twins versus the cost of the pony and reg.

It is all very well saying that your buddy is your redundancy, but again think about where you are with your diving and where he is. I, for the most part agree with you, but, I am also aware we dive in an enviroment, where with the best of intentions it is possible to get separated.
I am a classic example, I like diving with a buddy, but, at the begining of this year, I did a dive with Mark (Chase) and we lost each other on desent, I had trouble clearing an ear. The vis was down to 1M or less, it took a nano second. Now I don't mind solo diving so I carried on. Rather oddly 10 mins into the dive I came round a bit of the wreck and there was Mark, so we carried on, met a rather weired fish and all in all had a laugh.

My point being, it is very, very easy to loose a buddy in the waters we dive in. Surley it is better for this guy to have a pony, he can start to explore the inside of a wreck with far more safety than he currently has.

As for the Thistlegorm, I have dived it both with and without a pony, didn't bother me either way. But then again the wreck is very open, there is always a relativly quick way out.

Andrew
 

·
Just not enough dive time.
Joined
·
9,135 Posts
Imported post

Oh here we go again, can we not just answer the guys question instead of all this diving philosophy crap, about what depths, what redundancy etc. We have by now got ourselves in a position we are comfortable with and it may not be that we all do it the same but we all feel we are SAFE, isnt that what counts.

Its getting so every question gets side tracked lately.

IMHO - I dive pony rear mounted and inverted (as suggested by Dominic) and I like it that way. I dont feel un-balanced and I can shut it down if it free flows and supply gas by throttling the valve in a real bad situation.
Try out a few different configs and stay with what you feel happy with. But a pony is a GOOD idea, even if you never use it, its for an emergency and not part of your gas planning.

Rant over.

Matt
 

·
That's Dude with an E
Joined
·
12,959 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (RobK @ May 30 2003,09:50)]Oh I don't know. What would you call the Britannic dives?

Seemed pretty real to me.
As l said not in the real world.
In the real world normal people (dir or not) are not diving the Britanic week in week out through out the year.

Everybody agrees that you should be fit enough to do the dives, this is not some new dir principle it is common sense, what is not common sense is what Cris Boardman stated in his article and that is that he had to attest to not being overweight and a non smoker and that if his position should change GUE would withdraw his certification, is this true or not.
WL would be able to verify this.
Now someone being overweight or smoking does not automaticaly mean that they are not fit to dive, which is what gue are infering.

l apologise for assuming dir guys would not dive in threes.

But the point l'm trying to make is that up to the point that l read that article l`d say l stayed out of the dir/stroke discussions because l thought most of the dir stuff was caoomon sense, now l am labelled by gue as a crap diver, unless Chris Boardman reported it wrong.

Most people are like me, they are not anti dir but how much criticism can a person take before pushing back.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top