What is DIR? An attempt at some kind of answer, be it good or bad.

AquaFlite Custom Wetsuits, Dive Skins, and Dive Parkas

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by roakey on August 21, 2001 at 16:40:03:

We “recreational” drivers wear three point seat belts as we tool around town in our cars, where racers in their high-performance cars wear five point seat belts.

Well, DIR is the high-performance, five-point seat belt system of the diving world. It came out of the technical and cave diving environment and consists of a holistic and consistent blend of attitude and equipment. This consistency, which is harped on by many, offers two advantages. In terms of attitude, it means that other divers in your team will react and perform in a consistent manner that you can count on. Consistent equipment is also required in order to act/react consistently. For example in an OOA situation you can’t have one diver on your team donating an octo from a pocket, another offering you a spare air and a third giving you his primary reg while he switches to a BC inflator mounted backup regulator.

Are you going to die if you don’t dive DIR?


Should you dive DIR?

That’s up to you.

Will you be safer if you dive DIR?

Yes, in some cases even a partial adoption of the DIR approach as long as you understand the whys of what you’re doing, will improve your safety.

Just as we’d be safer if we all put five point harnesses in our cars, DIR offers an additional margin of safety above and beyond typical recreational equipment and methodology.

However, typical recreational diving is very forgiving, which is why diving’s “three point harnesses” aren’t killing divers left and right -- they’re more than adequate for simple recreational diving. Some of us like things to go beyond “more than adequate” however. Is DIR overkill in the recreational arena? Maybe, but back to the seat belt analogy, is a five-point harness overkill for driving around town? Maybe, but can anyone argue against the fact that you would be SAFER wearing a five-point harness driving around town?

Speaking specifically of the equipment aspect of DIR, one huge advantage of having a DIR setup for recreational diving is if you ever want to move into the technical side of things there’s no equipment to replace. For example you don’t have to trade in your Oceanic BC for something that can support doubles, just remove the STA from your back plate and bolt on some doubles. All your regs feed the same way, all your equipment, D rings and everything are in exactly the same place. Nothing to unlearn and relearn, which is a huge advantage when moving into a less forgiving environment.

So why does DIR receive so much flack? Because the vast majority of the DIR divers are in, or moving into the technical diving field. When you’re in an overhead environment, be it physical or physiological you have to be able to perform important tasks immediately and on demand -- you or your buddy might not get another chance. For that reason we must know exactly to a gnat’s @ss where our equipment is and how to use/deploy/repair/whatever it. Knowing how your buddy’s gear is configured helps you assist him/her in case of an emergency. To make that “knowing your buddy’s gear” even easier, DIR dictates that the entire team’s gear be setup EXACTLY the same.

So what’s the problem? Well, as DIR moves more and more into the recreational area, about the only folks that can talk to the methodology are from the technical area, which means anal, it’s-got-to-be-perfect-because-my-life-depends-on-it folks like me. :-) We may be passionate and talk as if our lives depend on our approach to diving, but, well, in a cave it does!

So am I a mindless DIR goose-stepper? You’re welcome to your opinion. :-) But in closing the reason I like the DIR methodology is not because I’m mindless, drooling, vacuous follower (did I get enough adjectives in there? :-)). Quite the contrary, I looked at other approaches and methodology and I found a good reason behind EVERYTHING in DIR. Admittedly some things may seem like small, picky nits, but though it may be hard to divine at times through the rhetoric that’s often spewed, you can find a REASON behind every nit.

If you made it this far, congratulations! :-)


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]