Posted by JRM on July 23, 2001 at 11:53:49:
In Reply to: Couple of questions to DIR converts out there. posted by Maciek on July 23, 2001 at 10:37:27:
Sorry, brain is kinda tapioca right now from work related events (been going solid since 5:am). I just came back to think about doing my Fundamentals part 2, and man, what a thread list. Not really sure I wanna get in there, looks pretty hairy.
Anyway, as a recent "convert" as you'd call it, or "in transition" as I'd call it, to DIR, I'll take a shot at answering your question, and then make several controversial comments of my own.
First off, the "front dump valve" just seems like a really, really, *really* bad idea. I'd hate to be in the habit of yanking on a hose that attached with a tie wrap. I have this great mental picture of a diver down 80', a horrible shocked look on his face and the entire inflator assembly, hose and all, dangling from his left hand. But that's my personal take. The inflator thing that gives me fits is the lack of a little plastic ball on the lower dump. I got really used to just finding the ball and tugging. Now, in gloves, I have to search around for a bit to find the string. Eventually I'll get used to it, but nothing worthwhile is easy (that's going to be a common theme). But I've never had one (except on rentals), so I've never had or seen one fail.
During our demo we (mistakenly) ended up running line through kelp central during a lost diver drill. It was amazing to slip right through. The streamlining really does help with entanglement issues. I prefer to kick on my back while at the surface, so the snorkel issue is kind of a moot point. I even know several freedivers who don't use snorkels.
As far as dumping air on ascent, that's easy. Since you're in a horizontal position anyway, you can just lift the inflator assembly up above the level of the bladder (arching the back a bit helps sometimes) and vent. Or, raise your hips a bit and dump from the rear valve. I should mention that my horizontal ascents still suck, so take that advice with a grain of salt.
Hopefully that's answered a few of your questions, now to my take on your title, and comments about converts.
As most of you know I was recently on the receiving end of some very nasty personal slander (completely undeserved). It was bad enough that I decided to leave a bit for the betterment of the board. I find it odd that the timing of these events coincide with my very public decision to stop fence sitting and migrate toward DIR. From what I was able to gather, a very vocal DIR opponent had supplied my benefactor with "proof" that I was to blame.
What I find really shocking about the whole "converts" issue is that so many people get upset about my own personal decision to dive the way I want. Why should it matter to you that I dive DIR (or try to at least)? I'm not some sheep bleating away, I've asked the hard questions and gotten the hard answers. And I've got a *long* way to go. The fundamentals class was just that, basic fundamentals. It's the opening of a door, a basic skillset to improve on, and a chance to see what the goal is (diving like John).
But we return to the basic underlying venom directed at anyone who even appears supportive of DIR, heck, even towards anyone who doesn't publicly decry them.
Let's take the wet steel issue for an example. DIR says balance your rig. Generally, that means don't dive steel in a wetsuit. So, as a DIR diver I balance my rig. Why do you care that we don't dive wet steel? If you feel comfortable diving that way, DO IT! Don't whine and cry and tell me I'm an idiot. Just go dive. I don't get it. We don't dive wet steel. Why is it so important to you that we do? The reasoning behind the choice is obviously valid enough for us, but if it isn't valid for you, that's fine. At least, hopefully, you thought a little bit about it.
I don't have the experience base to make judgements on other people's diving. Realistically, very few of us do. So I won't. Obviously, you feel comfortable with what you're doing. That's great. You've (hopefully) examined the facts, pondered, and made your decision. I applaud you for it. I've done so, and made mine. I hope to receive the same respect.
-- If you have a problem with a diver who dives DIR, take it up with him. Don't let it develop into a jihad (sorry Kelphead, but I think the definition is adaquate. Did I mention my dad is from Morocco? OK, OK, French NorthAfrica) against a movement whos primary concern is diver safety.
-- I'm off the soapbox now. I appologize if this is somewhat disjointed. I've pecking at it in pieces for the last hour and change. Hopefully it flows a bit.
-- Wow, what a way to come back ;-b
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