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Thread: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

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    Question 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Hi everybody

    I would like to make my humble first post here on the boards (hello everbody!!) and ask you guys (and girls) a few questions that have been on my mind for months now. I try to keep it short:

    1) I want to learn (a lot) more about rebreathers. I read all i found online about them, but i still dont understand so many things and details.. Can you suggest any links, videos, books or other references that contain good information on the subject? I would love to learn more about those fascinating machines and understand the technology well enough to make judgments about which units may be suited best for me.

    2) I am the average Padi sports diver with around 100 dives (35 in cold water). However i got really addicted to diving this year, once i started doing it where i live in local lakes and not only on holidays. I want to buy my own diving equipment and go 1-2 times a week (or more).
    In addition to that i am a big fan of wrecks and i want to get into technical diving to explore all the beautiful wrecks that lie deeper than i can go atm. I'm fascinated by the CCR-Concept and i want to dive my own ccr as soon as i get into deeper/overhead diving. I also intend to take my time with this. If i stay above -40m for a year or two i don't care. Getting good training and slowly building up experience is more important to me.

    Now i want to buy my dive equipment and i am facing the choice between buying DIR-style OC-Gear or directly start with a rebreather. I know you can dive rebreathers in shallow waters and many are upgradable once you need to go beyond what you got. So i was thinking.. why spend around 8k euros on oc-equipment if i intend to dive a rebreather anyway? Wouldn't it be smarter to buy a good unit and upgrade it after a couple of years once i am comfortable with it in recreational limits? Or would you recommend the get both oc and cc gear to enjoy both worlds?
    What would you do if you were in my shoes?

  2. #2
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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    In reply to your second question:

    This is just my opinion and I am sure that others will argue the point. If you are 100% convinced that you want to do technical dives on a rebreather, there is no reason to waste the money with OC technical training and equipment. Granted that some of the equipment can still be used when you would transitition over to CCR.

    I personally skipped the OC tech training (never had a set of doubles on my back and never will) and went straight to CCR. I had already been diving a SCR for a couple of years and was ready to go beyond the limits of it.

    You do need to remember that when the brown stuff hits the oscillating blades, you will have to bailout to OC. If you do not have the necessary comfort and confidence in your OC skills, that might be the end of you.
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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    I agree with Don, don't waste any time with OC tech classes.

    For reading material - Curt McNamee will be along any second to recommend you buy the book "Rebreathers Simplified" by Mel Clark. I'll save him the trouble.

    You might also want to check out Mastering Rebreathers, or Understanding Rebreathers by Jeff Bozanic. It's a bit dated, but I hear he is writing an updated version, so maybe hod out for that.

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tienuts  View Original Post

    For reading material - Curt McNamee will be along any second to recommend you buy the book "Rebreathers Simplified" by Mel Clark. I'll save him the trouble.
    Yea, I'm sure Curt's still hung over from DEMA so I'll recommend Mel's book as well. There's simple(fied) no other book that covers not only the how too's of rebreathers but also provides detalied build/breakdown/predive checklists of so many units with pictures.

    Good luck and my $0.02 is to get a dry suit early and get solid skills with it prior to going CCR. You just can't take full advantage of the CCR if you're freezing to death after 60min in the water

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsix36  View Original Post
    . If you are 100% convinced that you want to do technical dives on a rebreather, there is no reason to waste the money with OC technical training and equipment. .

    couldnt disagree with you more.

    when the sh1t hits the fan on a 'technical' ccr dive your now doing a technical oc dive - yould better be comfortable/practiced at that.

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by Drmike  View Original Post
    couldnt disagree with you more.

    when the sh1t hits the fan on a 'technical' ccr dive your now doing a technical oc dive - yould better be comfortable/practiced at that.
    I guess that you were too busy disagreeing with me to read my last paragraph??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsix36  View Original Post
    You do need to remember that when the brown stuff hits the oscillating blades, you will have to bailout to OC. If you do not have the necessary comfort and confidence in your OC skills, that might be the end of you.
    .
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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by Drmike  View Original Post
    couldnt disagree with you more.

    when the sh1t hits the fan on a 'technical' ccr dive your now doing a technical oc dive - yould better be comfortable/practiced at that.
    Mike,

    By this statement you are saying CCR trimix/cave classes are not properly preparing the student to conduct deep/cave dives, which may include bailing out?

    Tony

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Welcome to the board and the world of rebreathers.

    As you will soon find out there are a lot of people with strong opinions on here and those opinions are often in conflict with each other. So you are bound to get many different answers to your questions from varying view points.

    I can only speak from experience and that was having done at least the entry level tech classes o/c. If i had it to do over again I don't know that I would do it any different. Being as you are a new diver with 100 dives I see no disadvantage to buying o/c gear getting completely comfortable in the water, in a drysuit before adding the added task loading of ccr. I also feel that there is an advantage to doing adv nitrox/deco o/c as well as maybe a recreational trimix. There is a lot of theory in deco/adv nitrox important things to know and understand as to what is happening to your body on these dives and what to do and why if TSHTF. I think that learning this independent of ccr allows you to focus and apply you undivided attention.
    If you are bailing out on a deep dive then the shite has already hit the fan, the last thing you need at that point is to bailout to an o/c configuration you are not completely comfortable with.
    Some will counter that classes are supposed to prepare you and teach you these bailout skills. But I don't think a couple of practice bailouts performed in a class under close supervision will ever be equivalent to actual experience doing technical o/c dives.

    just my .02 YMMV

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueVoid  View Original Post
    ...why spend around 8k euros on oc-equipment if i intend to dive a rebreather anyway?...
    This is like asking - can I just get a motorcycle without ever having driven a car first?

    The answer is simple - sure, there is no reason why you couldn't get a motorcycle first. But should you? There are things about driving that you may not anticipate, like potholes, oil slicks, stupid drivers, etc., all kinds of hazards that you don't know about. You need experience. Can you get experience driving a motorcycle? - Yes, but it's not the ideal way.

    Same thing applies to diving. There are many aspects about rebreathers that can have absolutely devastating consequences. Rebreathers are not for everyone. Unfortunately, you won't know for sure if it's not for you, unless you learn how to dive first. So, my advice is, learn how to dive in a safe mode first. Then, if you need to expand your diving horizon, get an appropriate tool for the job. Rebreathers are tools. Tools that require an appropriate application. If you have such an application in mind in your immediate future - great, go for it. Otherwise, I would not recommend it as a starting point.

    Also, you mentioned something about diving shallow for a while. The thing is, rebreathers just happen to be the most dangerous in the shallows.

    Just some food for thought.

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    Re: 2 Questions about learning / starting with rebs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tienuts  View Original Post
    Mike,

    By this statement you are saying CCR trimix/cave classes are not properly preparing the student to conduct deep/cave dives, which may include bailing out?

    Tony

    Im not necessarily saying anything about mix (i didnt do oc mix). im saying it would be better to have/retain OC deco dive experience (if for no other reason than truly knowing what your rmv is and through familarity/comfort maintain a low one). imagine most do a bail calc based on an rmv that they would in reality never achieve. To me diving is diving, the gear on my back changes depending on whats optimal for the dive and the skills are transferable and beneficial. If someone who almost never dives/dived oc bails off ab rb they would in all liklihood have higher stress/rmv than someone who was equally at home on either. stress, and lack of familiarity are best avoided in what could be a high stressed/difficult situation.


    Theres heaps people around that didnt have/dont anymore do OC diving - im not saying it cant be done - im just saying i think its better to be well grounded

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