Category Archives: Scuba Equipment

Stealth 2.0 sidemount diving goes Rec and Tec

Stealth 2.0 Sidemount Units

If you remember, I have already written an article about sidemount units in the past. This one should make a mark in the sidemount diving world, in the sense that it unveils the latest technology serving the new generation of sidemount divers. So get to your computers or tablets and book your unit right away through your local Xdeep dealer. They will sold out as soon as the launch is made. Be the first to dive the Xdeep Stealth Rec and/or Tec units.

Rec Tec Cave sidemount wing

Rec, Tec and Cave, finally a brand that understands the need of demanding divers

 

Note: For now only the Tec unit is being shipped out. The Rec version will ship later. Contact me for more info.

It’s been announced at the last Dive show in Germany that XDeep has a new addition to their sidemount units. In fact, it is two new units – the rec and the tec version. Both fully integrated to your Stealth 2.0 harness. The core structure of the Stealth 2.0 sidemount system is the harness. Now, XDeep offers two additional wings that will mount onto your harness. No need to buy a full set again… Well, you can if your original harness looks a bit too old! 🙂 When bouthg all together, the unit will be assembled already. You just have to set the bungees to your prefered length.
All this with some great added gizmos patented by the great team of engineers at our favourite tec gear facility.

Finally, a piece of sidemount gear made by tec sidemount divers, for tec divers…and recreational divers.

So without any overdue, lets check out those units and start with the Stealth Rec setup.

Open water recreational sidemount bonanza

xdeep rec sidemount

Recreational sidemount divers finally have a descent unit

Finally, the pool of recreational divers has some serious piece of sidemount gear to play with.

It’s been a while since a manufacturer has put on the market something specifically dedicated to rec divers. No convoluted rig with so many D-rings you’d think you forgot to clip something and a lift capacity…well, let say that diving with some rig feels like diving with a Samsonite suitcase on your back.
This XDeep Stealth Rec Sidemount wing boosts a good 35lbs of lift, nicely trimmed around the diver’s body with some funky looking attachment points.

Fitted with quick release buckles at the shoulder harness, it is a clean continuity for all the avid recreational diver out there. Easy to adjust and fits any body size.
It boosts some great weight pockets with quick release pockets that will please all recreational divers. A great travel sidemount unit.

Made of the fabric that made the first Stealth 2.0 sidemount rig, the most rugged piece of gear – Cordura® 1100 dTEX – tested by Mauro Bordignon from Cave World extensively in the super tiny caves of Mexico. I have dived with him more than once on exploration dives and let me tell you, he did put it to the test. Xdeep has it’s test pilot when it comes to cave sidemount 😉

One harness, one system, many different configurations. With STEALTH 2.0, divers soon would be able choose the best configuration for their current needs without changing the whole system.”

This is what you can read on the official Facebook page from XdeepGear.

I am personally looking forward to teach Rec 1 and 2 divers with this great piece of gear.

Thanks XDeep for you efforts in putting this together.

Tec Sidemount mode Stealth 2.0

Apparently, there has been a lot of thinking behind the Tec version of the Stealth unit.

Xdeep tec sdemount unit

Tec trimix divers have a new toy to dive with and will revolutionise the sidemount world.

First, the wing is attached to the harness. That is the top part of it. The upper section of the wing doesn’t inflate. The lift stays pretty much where it would if you were wearing the classic Stealth 2.0 

We still have the famous centrally located dump valve with the strong corrugated inflator hose and power inflator. One very interesting detail is that this hose, can be either placed on the left for wetsuit diving or on the right side, if diving dry.(if that applies to your config)
This modularity brings the Stealth line into the real sidemount only dedicated unit. It breath simplicity but it is packed with all we, as tec divers, are looking for.

The wig being fixed to the harness at the top, offers two option for attachement at the front of the diver. One would be to clip short bungee loops to the “new” XDeep sidemount flat D-rings. Or the diver can choose to use the more classic big bungee loop, like the original Stealth 2.0 wing.
Obviously, a larger lift capacity. This Tec version has a wing with 50lbs of lift… Yes, you read properly 50lbs of lift. More than the Cave version and this will appeal to multi stage/deco deep trimix sidemount divers.
Remember the minimum weight vs minimum lift? 😉

Everybody has seen Tomasz Michura’s videos where it is obvious how versatile and spot on this unit is in terms of lift and trim possibilities.

Stealth 2.0 Tec unit’s User Manual is available here.

 

And last but not least, the Stealth 2.0 Sidemount pouch

Great addition to the Stealth 2.0 tools, that pouch is what was missing and we’ve all been waiting for.
We all, sidemount divers and tec divers, need a pouch!

Fully expandable, to carry your SMB, spool, spare mask, wet-notes, spare mouth piece, double-enders…and…your BUL aka back-up light. Inner loop to clip all your goodies closed by YKK quality zippers.
The ingeniously positioned window allows for divers and team members to see if the BUL has been left ON in the pouch and will drain it’s battery !! One great piece of thinking behind this.
This makes the Stealth 2.0 pouch the one you want to clip on your DAPs 😉

Stealth 2.0 sidemount pouch

The one and only sidemount pouch you want to clip to your DAPs

So here it is a few words what we will start seeing emerging from the local dealers. Some great, fantastic sidemount products. If you are already a proud owner of Stealth 2.0 sidemount rig, simply order via your local dealer teh wing that will suit your needs as a scuba diver.

Remember though, that the Rec wing will not yet be available. Most likely around late Spring, early summer diving diving season 🙂

All photos are property of www.xdeep.eu and www.facebook.com/xdeepgear

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Reel Secrets

Or the art of tying off…

So this is something that has been on my mind since I came back from doing my introduction to cave diving, aka Cave 1 class with GUE – I wanted to deliver to you a closer look on how to handle a reel and how to approach and do a good tie-off. Cave divers have to run a continuous guideline from the open water to the permanent cave line and connect side passages with jump spools if they decide to venture off the permanent line. And during the cave class, although the message of continuous guideline is incessant, there is no real emphasis on the art of laying the line and using the reel. Yes, it is an art, ok?

How to keep it reel?

How to keep it reel?

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Cave Diving Helmet

So, with or without a helmet?

cave diving helmet

To helmet or not to helmet?

Have you already noticed that some cave divers are wearing a helmet and others aren’t?

Some are wearing their tanks on the side and others on the back. Here we say they use a different tank configuration. But why a helmet? Is it because they swim faster? 🙂 Or maybe that they can be subject to fallen rocks/debris that could hurt them? To carry their lights? To look cool?

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Keep it reel

Primary reel, jump spool and cave line

Time to send the SMB up or tie-off your primary reel to the cavern or cave line, time to go wonder on an off-shoot line… What type of reel should I use? A reel or a spool..??? These are questions you will have to answer while taking your Intro to Cave course or Full Cave diver training with me.

Primary or exploration reels

Well, to answer to this question there is no straight forward answer… With as many different types of reels/spools as there are types of scuba training, it is impossible to say, for me at least, this reel or spool is better than that one or the other… Have I made myself clear? 🙂 Continue reading


Evolution of Dive Lights

Light at the end of the … dive

Before going into details, we would first need to separate the primary dive light and the back-up lights aka BULs. The primary needs to have a stronger output that the back up light and needs to have a burn time of the planned total dive, plus reserve. We could say, time and a half to be conservative. On the other hand the BULs, have to offer, combined burn time of twice the total dive time as they’ll be used to exit the cave/overhead environment in the even of a primary light failure. They have to be bright enough not to delay the exit too much.

Cave or Tech diving primary light with Goodman handle

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Cave Diving Equipment

Hog rig or Doing it proper configuration

Apart from the obvious cylinders needed for cave diving, you must have a complete set of cave diving equipment, in working order, serviced and accessible. Keeping the KISS or KISS-ASS principle.

(Keep It Super Simple – Accessible Secured and Streamlined)

Tech Diver - KISS ASS principle

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Sidemount Diving Systems

Modular or Sidemount only rig

It is not a fad! It is here to stay! Sidemount diving has been used for decades already and in the harshest environment imaginable. So NO, it is not just a fad.

For the last two years now there’s been a surge with manufacturers to introduce sidemount compatible wings or other BCDs. No blame, just to say that everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, that’s it!

Diver using Sidemount configuration

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Delayed Surface Marker Buoys

surface marker for ocean diving

Deep sea diving or should I say open water diving? In any cases divers will need to be able to signal their position and communicate with the surface by using a surface marker buoy aka SMB, DSMB, sausage or even  a bolb!!
At a beginner’s level, surface suport is just the boat captain and maybe his crew, just waitng in the drift to see ‘where’ the client-divers are going to surface from their dive. Pretty basic you’d say…
It should be, as long as it is agreed before the dive, that an SMB must be used and the boat crew know the type and eventualy color of the surface markers in use within that group of recreational divers.

But on the other hand, we’d have the more experienced diver, possibly a technical diver, even a sidemount technical diver 😉 who absolutely need surface support for his or her safety. During your technical diving class with Essential Scuba Training, you will learn how to deploy safely an SMB.

Surface Marker

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Scuba Equipment Essentials

Scuba Diving Essentials

I have been scuba diving since the age of fifteen and have logged a good amount of dives. I would like to say I have enjoyed everyone of them but it would not be true and I would not be writing this article.

When you decide to go and buy your scuba diving equipment, on the recommendation of your instructor, of course, you need to keep certain rules in mind.

First off, here is what you will need as a bulk pak:

  • BCD or buoyancy compensator
  • Regulators with alternate air source, SPG and low pressure inflator hose.
  • Mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit.
  • Dive computer or depth gauge, compass, cutting tool slates or wetnotes
  • Tanks if you are sure of the need otherwise dive shops have these for rent

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What Scuba Equipment to Buy?

Ask an expert before buying scuba equipment!

This the first part of the journey when looking at getting certified. Usually you go in a dive shop and first see for yourself, compare prices and models. It is very easy today with online scuba equipment review and also the monthly dive magazines showing the new releases.
One thing for sure, once in a dive retail store you are at the mercy of the sales rep… What I mean by that is they will assist you to the fullest and will make sure you don’t go out of their nicely layed out scuba shop, empty-handed.

Have you noticed how it looks nice when you enter a retail dive shop? All the little gadgets are the first one you see, usually the pricy ones and then it is also very easy to browse around the aisle, it seems as if all items had a place and their place was calculated in a certain way. Making it very attractive place to be, even for non-divers!

One word of advice, if you want a piece of equipment and are going to go to a shop, do your homework before! It will help the shop assistant to pin point what category of dive gear you are looking for and will maximise the time spent in the shop. Continue reading


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