It isn't a brand thing, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by humblediver on May 14, 2002 at 10:23:29:

In Reply to: OMS- why is it so bad? posted by Eric S on May 13, 2002 at 21:03:30:

It isn't a blanket OMS sucks type thing. Lots of us dive with pieces of OMS gear, myself included. It's just that a lot of what they make are crutches intended to allow folks like "tecdiver" to do things they shouldnt. So the rest of their gear kind of gets the moron stigma attached to it. Guilt by association. And to be completely honest, they do have quality control issues.

A case in point would be the valve handle extension, lovingly referred to as "slobwinders" by those who can manipulate their own valves. That piece of OMS genious is specifically designed so that people who can't bother to train enough to manipulate their valves underwater can live under the illusion that they can be big bad deep technical divers. If you can't manipulate your own valves in an emergency, you shouldn't incur a deco obligation.

It really boils down to "solving the symptom, not the problem." The bungies on the wing are a dangerous solution to the symptom of being overweighted to the point of requiring a gargantuan wing. Rather than fix the weighting issue and using a smaller wing, OMS just slaps bungies on. Same goes for plastic buckles. Same goes for the chest strap. Same goes for the valve protector cages. I could go on forever.

Another issue many folks have with OMS is that they are often associated with the "big bad techdiver" syndrome. A simple, streamlined rig doesnt impress the newbies on the beach as much as the giant christmas tree rig does. They pander to the NE wrecker crowd, where deaths are many and role models are few.

If you get on a SportChalet charter with your OMS "entire catalog" rig, you'll probably be looked at as some big bad techdiving guru, which is why folks like TecDiver love to wear all their crap on fishdive charters. But take that same rig, and get on a trip with seasoned divers, and suddenly you become the boat joke. There was a guy who tried this on the Chamber Day charter aboard the Mr. C. Spent 2 hours underwater and never managed to find the wreck that was 30 yards off the stern. But that'll be another post altogether. Needless to say, no-one was impressed.
In conclusion, if youre still reading this far, not all OMS gear is crap. Some of it is quite good. Those pieces of decent gear are *by far* the minority in the OMS catalog. But by buying it and using it, you are going to be found guilty by association for all the sins of the egomaniacal "TecDiver" types. Definitely do a lot of research, and dive in all types of gear before you decide to purchase. And when it comes to advice, peruse the archives of this list a bit, and see who has rational arguments, and who claims that the PADI tables bend you right and left after repetitive dives. I think you'll soon see through a lot of the smoke and chest pounding.


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