What is DIR??

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Posted by MHK on August 15, 2000 at 01:59:02:

I posted this to rec.scuba in response to numerous requests so I thought I'd copy this in case anyone is curious. PLease feel free to contact me if you have any questions, want to demo the system or have any issues you'd like to discuss.

This question seems to pop up often, as well as the question does DIR apply
to recreational diving. Every time this question pops up, the usual
suspects provide commentary and then the issue get's misdirected. I have
drafted a response that I plan on issuing from here in out respecting the

The anti-DIR crowd can feel free to flame away, any DIR proponent that
wishes to provide input please feel free to contact me.


There have been many discussions about Doing It Right ( DIR ) and despite
these exchanges there still exists the misunderstanding that DIR is strictly
a standardized gear configuration that applies to only technical diving.
While for certain DIR has it's evolution within the technical and cave
diving community it has evolved into a much more mainstream acceptance.

DIR is a holistic approach and a philosophy to a dive. The standardized
gear configuration tends to generate the majority of attention and debate
but there are several other prominent aspects of the DIR philosophy that
demand recognition and attention. The founding premise of the DIR
philosophy is minimalism and streamlining. If a piece of gear is not
directly needed for the dive you don't take it. The balance of the system
is such that everything is included, or omitted, for a very well thought out
reason. By altering the totality of the system by unnecessary inclusion or
by eliminating that which is specifically recommended you will disturb a
carefully crafted balance. The benefits of the DIR system are manifest, but
the resistance to this philosophy is hard to understand. We often hear that
by adhering to a strict interpretation of the DIR philosophy you are somehow
infringing on the rights, or personal preferences, of a diver. With
thousands of hours in some of the most demanding dives imaginable it's hard
to accept the notion of infringing on anyone's rights. The system speaks
for itself; the information is discussed and analyzed repeatedly on all of
the various scuba forums. Furthermore, sites such as
www.gue.com , www.dirquest.com , and www.wkpp.org provide in depth analysis
and candid rationale for every reason behind every aspect of the system.
Global Underwater Explorer's ( GUE ) is a further resource to explore
respecting this medium of diving. GUE is a training agency that is
dedicated to teaching the DIR system.

Beyond the scope of the standardized gear configuration DIR incorporates
several NON GEAR related philosophies:

1) No deep air diving;
2) The selection of a proper buddy ( NO SOLO DIVING );
3) Limit your P02's to 1.4 for the working portion of the dive;
4) Incorporating deep stops into your ascents;
5) Using the proper mix for the planned dive;
6) Keeping your EAD's or End's at 100' max;
7) A unified team concept;
8) Good physical fitness;
9) Increased pre-dive preparation;
10) Minimalism and streamlining

And then, of course, the standardized gear configuration. Transcending the
DIR -v- non DIR debate is the notion that scuba diving is a very equipment
intensive sport. For certain, debate rages with respect to which
manufacturer provides the safest or most efficient gear. But the
configuration, or more accurately, the standardization of this configuration
seems to generate the most rabid opposition. DIR believes that diver's
configured in like manner and similar equipment or better capable to handle
emergencies, whether they occur in zero or low vis situations, overhead
environments, open ocean or wherever. Confusion and delayed responses add
to an already panicked situation and may lead to increased response time and
may result in death.

In an era that finds agencies requesting less, not more, from there students
and market share moving to the forefront it's a breathe of fresh air to see
a movement that places safety ahead of market share. A quick examination of
the primary tenets of DIR will demonstrate the benefits of a streamlined
diver, the resulting decrease in drag, greater efficiency underwater. Added
bottom times often follow a diver that converts to the DIR approach.

The critics of the DIR system often point out that DIR is a collection of
ideas invented by others, but then in the same breath denounce the founder's
of DIR for exacting demands that are considered overwhelming. Jarrod
Jablonski and George Irvine, the two diver's recognized as the leaders of
the DIR movement have never taken the position that every idea within the
DIR system is exclusive to there thought process. In fact, they take just
the opposite view. They recognize that there were pioneers prior to them
that warrant recognition. JJ and George have however been very successful
at looking at the best of the best and then uniting the ideas and then
adding there own contributions. The track record of these two divers' also
speaks for itself.

Several of the more prominent components of the system involve in an
out-of-air situation that the donor donates the regulator from his mouth to
the OOA diver. Each diver within the DIR system will have a back up
regulator necklaced under there chin. By donating the primary regulator you
are guaranteeing that the OOA diver is going to receive a working regulator.
You ensure that because you just been breathing it. The last thing you want
to do is give a regulator to a panicked OOA diver that may not be working
properly, that may have collected contaminants during the dive or that may
not in any way function properly. DIR also recommends that a long hose be
attached to the primary regulator. By using a 5' hose for open ocean
diving, or a 7' hose for overhead environments you are ensuring ample room
to handle a panicked diver while providing for sufficient air.

DIR attempts to solve as many problems before they happen, as opposed to
paying lip service to potential problems and then hope a diver is practiced
or skilled enough to solve the problem. After analyzing substantial
accident reports in the scuba industry, DIR found that all too many of these
tragedies could have been resolved before the diver even entered the water.
This proactive approach is designed to prevent the problem before it happens
and views a good diver as not someone who is skilled enough to get himself
out of a bad situation, but rather as someone who doesn't get himself into
the situation in the first place.

The above was intended to provide the reader with a very basic overview of
the DIR system, please feel free to ask additional questions should you have
any concerns.

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