TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Combat Swimmer Gear

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

When conducting combat swimmer operations you will need to have a certain amount of gear on you. This gear will depend on a of couple things. First what you will be doing during the dive, second what you will be doing at the end of the dive. If you are just doing a straight up dive and never leaving the water you can get away with just a gun belt with maybe a couple extra pouches for an extra mask, mask strap or fin straps. If you plan on conducting a ship attack or a raid, you will need more then just a pistol belt. This will be up to the diver and the mission requirements.

Gear Common to all

Items to have on you at all times.

– Gun Belt

– Pistol Holster

– Pistol Mag Pouch

– Water pouch and bottle.

– Radio pouch

– E and E kit

– First aid kit

– Extra mask/ mask strap/ fin strap

– Knife

– Signaling device, strobe/ flares

Gun Belt

There is a lot of them out there right now. There are many things you need to think of when setting it up. You need it to be able to easily expand the belt for the type of thermal protection you will be wearing, IE wetsuit /drysuit thickness.  You need to always have your pistol holster and mag pouches in the same place for muscle memory. Other things to think of are, will you be climbing? If so can the belt be used as a harness by adding leg loops or can it be put over a climbing harness? Can you swim with it on without it rubbing the hell out of your legs? Items like the S+S Precision gear retention track are a great way to move items around with little effort. Lastly a good set of suspender’s will help keep your belt in place and stop it from spinning as you swim.

Pistol Holster– One of the things you need to look at for this is, where you want it to sit, if you want it on your thigh, on your hip or a spot in the middle. If you have it on your thigh you need to make sure it does not move around as you are swimming. It also needs to be able to be easily moved if you have to adjust your belt for the think ness of your wetsuit. It also needs to be able to lock your pistol in so it will not fall out; a bungee is a good item for it to have to lock the pistol in but that can also get stuff on something. Should it have a flap cover to protect the gun a little from small things in the water? With all this stuff it should be able to drain water fast.

Mag pouch –They need to be able to keep your magazines in place when you are diving and be able to get to them out fast when needed. Keeping them free of items in the water and be able to drain water fast. This goes for everything you carry anything it. A good mag pouch is great for carrying an extra mask.

Water Pouch- Be able to carry the water bottle you use. A Nalgene bottle is a great bottle to use, as it’s easy to fill in the field. It also doesn’t take up as much room on a belt.  Typical tactical Nalgene bottle pouches have a mess bottle that drains water fast. Depending on if you have to carry something on your back or not you can also use a Camelbak on long dives when it is hot, it’s nice to drink something other then seawater when your legs start to cramp up.

Radio pouch– as radios advance it means that the people at the TOC want to know more and more what you are doing and when you are doing it. So that means that you might have to take a small radio with you to maintain comms, you might have to take along a survival radio. They can be one of the same but you might have to carry two. As one is none and two is well two is twice as much to carry.

E and E kit -Your E and E/R kit can just be a candy bar and some money to pay some people off or it might be more extensive, like having way to purify water, start a fire and kill a bear. No matter what you have, it needs to be waterproof and negatively buoyant as will everything on this list. You can laminate dollar bills in between two 3×5 cards, so it looks like they are just 3×5 cards for write info on. Then if you need the money just rip them open. This way they are hidden and waterproof. Most good kits are small and can be used for about every situation just by adding one or two items depending on what you are doing. If you have to dump all your gear for whatever reason, make sure you have your kit on you separate from everything else.

Extra straps / Masks- It is best to keep an extra mask/ mask strap and an extra fin strap on you. The extra mask should be the same mask that you are diving. You can put an extra pouch on your dive rig straps and put the mask in there. You can also switch your mask strap out to one of the newer comfort straps. They are made of the same martial that ski goggle straps are made of. As for an extra fin strap you can keep that in there also. You need to have a plan on how to change your fin strap out. This will depend on how it breaks. If it breaks in the middle on the strap, it’s not as bad as if it rips away from the fin and takes some of the fin with it. Most fins have the ability to replace the rubber strap with a  steel spring version. Cave divers started using screen door springs because they wanted something that was extremely reliable. They almost never break. They have them for Jet Fins, Twin Jet max and also the Seawing Nova’s.

Knife– Knives are very personal, and everyone has the one that they like. The main thing to remember about your knife is have it in a place that you can reach it on a dive. Some people like it on their legs others like it on their waist. Some people have one on the leg and on their chest (again one is none). Keep it sharp and clean.

Signal devices – You can and probably do carry both a strobe and a flare when diving. The Flare is for emergencies and a strobe for overt and covert signaling. Both need to be waterproof and easily accessible if needed. The bad think about a flare is they are a onetime use. So make it count if you are going to use it. Almost all that are geared towards the military can handle a combat swimmer dive. Lastly you can carry a signal mirror. It is 100% waterproof and never needs batteries.

No matter what gear you take on a dive you make sure it is probably maintained. Make sure you prepare for the conditions and environment you will be in and adapt you gear and E+E kit for it.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Buoyancy

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Buoyancy is key to a lot of things. It helps make the dive easier in a lot of ways. When using a closed circuit rig (CCR) it keeps you from rocketing to the surface, it prevents you from dropping to the bottom when you stop to fix your gear or “Dräger” talk/ yelling at your dive buddy.

There are two keys to buoyancy: balance and breathing

The two significant factors in achieving neutral buoyancy.

• 1st Wear the right amount of weight for the dive. This will differ depending on the thickness of your wetsuit/ dry suit and gear you are wearing.

• 2nd Breathing slowly and evenly and not having too much air in your breathing bag. If diving a CCR

What is the best way to maintain proper buoyancy?

Pre-dive preparation. Buoyancy control begins, with the pre-dive preparation. As you pick what to wear for a dive. Double-check to make sure nothing has changed that could affect buoyancy. A new wetsuit is more buoyant than an older one and will need more weight. A new suit has more inherent buoyancy at first because diving, especially deep diving simply bursts its bubbles. New gear; compare the old version to the new. Gear is always being updated with new buckles or martial so when you switch from old to new make sure you know what the buoyancy is of the new stuff. So when you go to the new magazine pouch make sure you know how it is in the water. Check the weights on a scale; often there is variation between claimed and actual weight. If diving open circuit, are you using a new cylinder? Some cylinders are negatively buoyant when full and simply less negative when empty; others sink first and float later.

Do a buoyancy check. Here is the best way to do a proper buoyancy check. With your lungs half-full, you should float at eye level with no air in your BC. If you are diving open circuit, remember the average cylinder loses about 5 pounds as it empties. So you might have to add about 5 pounds to your weight if you have done your buoyancy check with a full one.

Keep a log

Keeping a log of what gear you have wore, what the temperature was and the type of water (salt/fresh /brackish). What equipment you used, how much lead you carried, how much your body weighs and whether you seemed too heavy or light.  Knowing the weight of the gear that you used on the dive will help. Make sure you understand that if you are going to remove something during the dive you need to account for that on the return trip home. If you plan ahead by recording in training what you used it will help when you have to do it the next time.

Saltwater VS Freshwater.

If most of your diving is done in the ocean, then ballast calculations should be done in the ocean. Jumping in the pool to check your balance will get you close, but it won’t be 100% correct. If you switch back and forth, you’ll need to adjust your ballast. Be prepared to add anywhere from 4 to 7 pounds going from fresh to saltwater.

Buoyancy, Trim, Position, and Breathing

The secret is buoyancy control, begins with fine-tuning your weighting. How much lead you put into your pouches or have on your weight belt. If you are carrying just the right amount of weight, you will only have to put a little air in your BC. That means less drag and more efficient finning. Less BC inflation also means less buoyancy shift with depth, so you’ll have to make fewer adjustments. There are many tricks, but buoyancy control is the fundamental skill. Precise control of your buoyancy is what enables you to hover motionless and fin through the water, at any depth, without using your hands at all or stirring up mud or silt from the bottom. In addition to using the right amount of weight, make sure you are correctly balanced to optimize your position under water. Keeping a more horizontal position makes you more hydrodynamic. Distribute the weight as uniformly as possible from side to side; you should never notice that you put on more weight on one side while diving. You must also consider the weight of your dive gear and any other additional gear you might be wearing. I.E gun belt or special gear. Make sure it is balanced on your body and it doesn’t shift when you are diving. The lowering you wear your dive rig can cause a tendency to push the diver forward (upside down) in the water, so the placement of weight towards the back can help reverse this position, especially on the surface. While carrying weight in the pockets on the back of the vest or taped to you rebreather can help with the adjustment. Lastly, any dive weight you put on should be easy to remove in an emergency.

The factors that affect your buoyancy besides ballast weight are BC inflation, your trim, exposure suit, depth and breathing control. Your ballast weight and your trim are the only two factors that, once you’ve selected them, stay put. Ballast is the amount of weight it takes to keep you neutral in the water. Trim is about the position of your body weight relative to the position of your weight. Sometime when diving a rebreather you can tape lead washers on it to help with your trip.

There is one more thing to understand that will help with your buoyancy. It is controlling your breathing. Make sure you maintain proper breathing. Take long, relaxed breaths this will allow you to maintain control over your buoyancy.

To determine the amount of weight you need, you take your body weight, the diving suit you are going to use, the weight of your equipment and the environment you are diving in salt or fresh water. You can use about 10 percent of your body weight,  is a good starting point for a full  5 mm or more and for a 3 mm suit, use 5 percent of your body weight.

Dry suits and thick neoprene suits require more ballast to counteract the increased buoyancy of those suits in comparison with the thinnest. Body composition (the muscular density, for example) will also influence the necessary weight.

Remember to calculate for everything you are going to do and wear on your dive. If you are doing a long dive and plan to leave or remove something half way thru your dive. Say doing a ship attack, and you are taking limpets off. Plan for the whole dive. To check your buoyancy get into water deep enough to stay in an upright position, without treading and releasing all air from the vest. Inhale, in a normally, the surface of the water must be at the level of your eyes. When you exhale, you should sink until water covers your head and inhale again, you should emerge once again until the level of the eyes. Adjust your weight in small increments about 1 pound at a time.

Once you get your ballast weight and trim dialed in, you will be ahead of about 75% of all divers toward perfect buoyancy control. Now you can fine-tune your BC inflation to compensate for the very predictable changes due to breathing down your tank and changing depth and use only breath control to drop gently down to that cleaner shrimp, hover inches above it as long as you want and lift away from it harmlessly.

Lastly, there are advanced classes that you can take that focus on advanced skills like this. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will help make diving a lot better and make you more efficient at it.

www.scubapro.com

SCUBAPRO SUNDAY -Regulators

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

A regulator system is required to reduce the pressure of the compressed air contained in the cylinder to ambient pressure to supply breathable air when needed. It is also possible to connect pressure gauges (analog or digital), IP inflators to provide buoyancy compensators, dry suits and other devices to this system. The regulator system is composed of a pressure reduction device and one or more breathing devices. In this article, the pressure-reducing device and the breathing device will be indicated, respectively, by the terms “first stage” and “second stage.”

First Stage

Regulators can use either a piston assembly or a diaphragm assembly. The piston or diaphragm controls and reduces the air pressure from high pressure to moderate pressure in the first stage. Either design may be equally good and equally sensitive to the diver’s inhalation needs except under conditions where high flow is required: there the piston regulator delivers much more air than the diaphragm regulator. The first stage uses a standard piston, balanced piston or diaphragm mechanism. Air is compressed and stored in the tank under high pressure. To reduce this pressure, the first stage is a valve or piston that lowers the pressure to about 140psi to let air into the hose. The valve opens to allow some air into the hose and then closes again. A regulator compensates the pressure as it decreases in the tank when the air is used and as the diver changes depth which causes change the ambient water pressure.

Standard Piston

Standard piston first stages are the simplest mechanism with minimum moving parts to control the pressure drop from a tank to feed the second stage. Which translates to high reliability and durability, combined with minimal maintenance requirements.

Balanced Piston

First stages with air balanced pistons deliver significantly more air to the second stage than any other first stage, while their performance is unaffected by the changing tank pressure. A balanced system allows the use of lighter and more sensitive components, resulting in ultra fast breathing response, instant delivery of air on demand and extra high airflow.

Balanced diaphragm

The inner mechanism in a diaphragm first stage is isolated from the surrounding water. This feature makes it especially suitable for diving in cold-water conditions or murky water. In this system, the air flows through a seat & pin assembly, controlled by a loaded diaphragm. The seat receives equal inter-stage pressure from both sides, making it react independently of tank pressure. Balanced diaphragm systems deliver a slightly lower flow than piston regulators, due to the smaller diameter air passageways. However, these differences in performance are only detectable at great depth. Cold-water divers typically prefer diaphragm regulators because they are less likely to free flow in cold water than are piston regulators.

First Stage Body 

This metal cylinder contains the mechanisms that reduce the high-pressure air in the scuba tank to an intermediate pressure. High-pressure air flows in one side of the first stage body undergo pressure reduction and then flows out through the low-pressure hoses.

Yoke

The regulator first stage body is held against the scuba tank’s valve through one of two methods: a Yoke or a DIN fitting. This diagram illustrates a yoke fitting, also called an international fitting. The “yoke” is the metal oval that fits over the tank valve to hold the regulator in place. Two types of coupling fittings are used to attach a regulator’s 1st stage to the tank: DIN and Yoke.

Yoke couplings are more commonly found worldwide and are generally always used by the ever-popular aluminum 80 tanks.

DIN fittings are safer than yoke fittings and are the only fittings that can couple with high-pressure tanks. The advantage of DIN fittings is that they screw into the tank valve and trap the high-pressure o-ring so it cannot protrude, this can occasionally happen on a Yoke.

Yoke Screw

The regulator’s yoke is equipped with a yoke screw–a metal screw that runs through the regulator yoke and tightens the regulator first stage body onto the tank. To tighten the yoke screw, the diver turns the black, plastic handle attached to the screw.

Dust Cap

Keeps water from entering the regulator first stage body when not connected to the tank. The dust cap is a rubber cap that can be placed over the regulator first stage opening and tightened down using the regulator yoke screw. This seals closed the opening on the first stage.

Port/ Port Plug

Regulator first stage bodies have multiple openings, or ports, that regulator hoses and transmitters can bed screwed into. Most, regulators have more ports than the standard number of hoses, which allows divers to position their hoses in a variety of configurations. These openings are called ports, and the plugs that close the regulator ports when they are not in use are called port plugs.

Second stage

The second stage of a regulator is basically the part that goes in your mouth and delivers air upon demand. It contains a mechanism that reduces the intermediate pressure in the hose coming from the first stage to the surrounding water pressure making it comfortable and easy to breathe. The second stage also contains a piston or diaphragm construction which starts and stops the airflow. The mouthpiece, an exhaust valve, and an emergency purge valve/button are all parts of the second stage. The exhaust valve lets the air escape into the water when you exhale. It is a one-way valve and does not allow water in. When the purge button is pushed, it forces air to flow continuously into the second stage chamber forcing any water out of the mouthpiece through the exhaust valve.

This unit is supplied, with the intermediate pressure coming out of the first stage through the low-pressure hose. It reduces pressure further to balance air with the ambient pressure. The second stage may be balanced or unbalanced and equipped with a Venturi effect control (V.I.V.A.) and/or with an inhalation resistance control.

Second Stages 

There are two main types of the Second stage, Air Balanced, and Downstream

AIR-BALANCED VALVE

Air-balanced valve technology provides the optimum breathing comfort preferred by demanding divers. The air-balanced valve technology of SCUBAPRO’s second stages fine-tunes the pressure of the air delivered by the first stage to decrease inhalation resistance to the lowest possible level. The result is an ultra-high airflow that remains exceptionally stable under all breathing conditions.

CLASSIC DOWNSTREAM VALVE

The classic downstream valve is the best solution for resorts and rental facilities worldwide, as well as many recreational divers. These second stages are particularly noted for their legendary safety and reliability. A specific inhalation effort is always required to overcome the spring tension and opens the valve that lets the air flow in.

Parts of the Regulator

1. Purge Button
The purge button is located on the face of the regulator second stage. The purpose of the purge button is to flood the second stage with air, forcing water out of the second stage. Divers use the purge button when the second stage has been allowed to fill with water–for example, when a diver removes the regulator from his mouth during the regulator recovery skill.

2. Ease of Breathing Adjustment
Most regulators has a lever or knob that allows divers to adjust breathing resistance. This feature helps to prevent regulator free flow (a state when air flows rapidly out of the regulator second stage without the diver breathing from it), which typically occurs when the breathing resistance has been lowered too much. A free flow can quickly empty a tank.

Many second stage adjustments have a setting labeled “pre-dive” to help prevent free flow at the surface, and one labeled “dive” for easy breathing once underwater. As a diver descends, he can adjust the ease of breathing to compensate for the increased difficulty of breathing as he descends.

3. Exhaust Valve
The second stage exhaust valve is the plastic unit that channels exhaled air bubbles away from a diver’s face. The exhaust valve is usually located below the regulator’s mouthpiece to channel air down and to the sides. Helping to keep a diver’s field of vision clear of bubbles.

4. Mouthpiece
The Mouthpiece is the part of the regulator that a diver bites down on. High-quality mouthpieces are made of silicon or soft rubber and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit divers’ mouths. Mouthpieces are removable and replaceable. A diver should check to make sure that his mouthpiece is secured to the regulator second stage with a SCUBAPRO Quick release mouthpiece clamp. Try not to use zip-ties. They are not designed for long-term water exposure. The SP Quick clips are designed for long-lasting UV and saltwater exposure.

Octopus

The Octopus /alternate second stage, does the same thing as a primary second stage. The Octopus second stage is not intended to be used, except in the case of an out-of-air emergency. A diver with an alternate second stage can allow a diver that is having an out-of-air emergence to breathe from their tank without putting themselves at risk.

1. Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of the regulator second stage that a diver bites down on. Alternate second stage mouthpieces should be a standard size to fit any diver’s mouth–not a custom mouthpiece. The idea is that any diver should be able to use the mouthpiece in an emergency.

2. Low-Pressure Hose
Low-pressure hoses (LP hoses) transport air from a regulator first stage to its second stages. An alternate second stage’s LP hose is usually longer than the LP hose attached to the primary second stage. This extra length makes it easy for an out-of-air to use an alternate second stage connected to a tank he is not wearing. The LP Hose attached to an alternative second stage is frequently a bright color, such as yellow, to make it easy to see.

3. Purge Button
The purge button on the alternate second stage, has the same function as a purge button on the primary second stage–to remove water that has entered the second stage. Alternate second stage purge buttons are usually brightly colored–this one is neon yellow. The bright color makes it easy for an out-of-air diver to locate the alternative second stage in an emergency.

4. Ease of Breathing Adjustment
Just like the ease of breathing adjustment on a primary second stage, the ease of breathing adjustment on an alternate second stage can be used to increase or decrease breathing resistance during a dive. If ease of breathing adjustment is present, a diver should adjust it so that the breathing resistance of the alternate second stage is increased. The diver should also turn any pre-dive/ dive adjustment to “pre-dive.” The regulator will still work if needed, but this adjustment will ensure that the alternate will not free-flow during the dive.

5. Diver adjustable inhalation resistance control

Second stages equipped with this system have an over-sized external control knob acting directly on the spring tension, allowing the diver to adjust the inhalation resistance to adapt it to the needs of the dive conditions. Adjusting the control knob (clockwise rotation) causes an increase in inhalation resistance. Adjusting with a counterclockwise rotation reduces the spring tension for lower inhalation effort. All depends on the diving conditions, such as in strong currents, when the diver spends some time with his head down and when the second stage is used as an alternate air source (octopus).

SCUBAPRO AIR2

The Air 2 is a second stage regulator and a balanced inflator for your BCD in a single, compact housing. SCUBAPRO introduces the inflator concept to diving almost 30 years ago with the introduction of the AIR2 ( Alternate Inflation Reg). The Air 2’s air-balanced power inflator valve gives a steady stream of air, regardless of the pressure in your tank. The Air 2 has a fixed Venturi Initiated Vacuum Assist (VIVA) Flow Vane for safe and uncomplicated use now has a dive/pre-dive switch. This switch allows the regulator mechanism to be set more like that of a standard second stage regulator. It is CE-certified for waters 50°F (10°C) or warmer.

Post dive

Close the cylinder valve and drain the system by pushing on the purge button of each second stage. Once the system has been depressurized disconnect the first stage regulator from the valve. All inlets must be closed with the provided protective caps to avoid the entry of debris, dirt or moisture. If the cylinder valve is equipped with a reserve system, the rod should be put in the “open” position (fully lowered) to indicate that the cylinder needs to be filled.

Care And Maintenance

Regulators are precision devices that are essential to the diver’s safety. After every dive and especially if in chlorinated water (pools), rinse the regulator with fresh water, preventing water from entering the system by following these steps:

1.    Ensure that the high-pressure inlet of the first stage regulator is closed with the special protective cap.

2.    Should water accidentally enter the low-pressure hose, connect the regulator to the cylinder, open the valve and press the second stage purge button down until all water has been expelled.

3.    Dry your regulator entirely in a dry ventilated place, away from heat and direct sunlight. So not in your garage.

4.    Store in a cool, dry place.

This is from our older site but it is still good.

ww2.scubapro.com/en-GB/HKG/technology-index

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Choosing a Dry Suit

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Diving with a drysuit is a whole new dive experience compared to diving in a wetsuit. It is a different feeling being submerged in water, your body remaining dry. Drysuits offer many advantages, such as: exposure protection from the sun, as well as elements in the water, and drysuits can also be utilized as a redundant buoyancy device for added safety. If you’ve never attempted drysuit diving before, then this will be a great introduction to helping you choose your first suit. If you’re an avid diver, then there should be some nuggets in here to help improve your drysuit game.

Finding the Best Drysuit for You

Making the change from wetsuits to drysuits is a big step. Many people convert due to their regular diving in cold water (or being cold natured), or because they perform lots of dives with long exposure times. Determining the suit that is best for you is the first step to ensuring that your transition to drysuit diving is a smooth one. Choosing a bad suit can ruin the entire sport of drysuit diving.

When choosing a drysuit, you should consider the following:

• The type of diving you do

• What amount of thermal protection you need

• Personal preference

• Cost

• Material

While the first four are pretty self-explanatory, the last one – material – may need a little more explanation. If you are going to be traveling with your drysuit, a trilaminate version may be the easiest because they are lighter and easily transportable. If you are looking for a suit that provides thermal protection and is more form-fitting, then you might prefer a neoprene suit. These are two of the top materials that drysuits are made of and that SCUBAPRO offers.

Neoprene Drysuits

Neoprene suits are beneficial in that they provide thermal protection, whereas with others, you wear additional undergarments. The neoprene suits are more form fitted, which require less air to be used in the suit and offer the diver a more streamlined suit. Neoprene suits are economical in the sense that they are typically less expensive, and eliminate the need to buy undergarments as well.

SCUBAPRO offers two neoprene drysuits, the Exodry and the Everdry 4. Both come in men’s and women’s sizing.

The Exodry offers a unique approach to drysuit design by fusing 4mm high-density neoprene with latex wrist and neck seals. This hybrid design is extremely effective, delivering minimal inherent buoyancy, maximum range of motion and an excellent sealing system. The Exodry is a smart choice for all types of diving and can be used with or without an under-suit.

The Everdry 4 offers the streamlined fit, comfort, and flexibility of a wetsuit, with the thermal properties and water-tightness of a drysuit. Equipped with smooth-skin, fold-under neoprene neck seal, and ultra-smooth wrist seals, the Everdry provides comfortable, watering tight sealing surfaces. Known for its comfort and extended wear, the Everdry 4 fits like a glove, offers an excellent range of motion, and most importantly, keeps body heat in and cold water out.

Trilaminate Drysuit

Trilaminate suits are some of the most lightweight suits on the market. Trilaminate suits are also one of the strongest suits offered. Build with a Trilaminate material; these suits are more resistant to deterioration, are fast drying, and easy to repair. Trilaminate suits are designed to be worn with thermal undergarments. You can wear as many or as few thermal layers as you prefer, making it a good choice for a diver that does both cold and warm water diving. Our choice in Trilaminate suits is the Evertech Dry Breathable Drysuit. It is a premium Trilaminate drysuit designed for avid divers and loaded with features. Built with a breathable fabric blend, this suit is comfortable both above and below the surface. Stitched and waterproof taped seams provide extra protection from the water.

Additionally, a front entry diagonal zipper and Si-Tech ring seal system for wrists and neck allow you to change seals quickly. This suit is both comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. You will also find a telescoping torso, top, crotch strap, and bungee system within the waist to tailor the suit to your body shape.

Accessorizing the Drysuit Diving Experience

When it comes to accessorizing your drysuit, many additions are built into the suit – from the padding to pockets. The small details are essential details to consider when choosing a drysuit. Pockets are handy for storage of equipment, and every SCUBAPRO suit comes with at least one large utility pocket. Each pocket houses a D-ring and water draining grommets. These items might be helpful to store a spare mask, reels, wet notes, or surface marker buoys.

Some additional features you may find on your SCUBAPRO suit are attached boots or socks, removable blue suspenders to hold your suit in place, heavy-duty kneepads, and I-safe straps to secure your wrist computers. Each suit always comes with an anatomically shaped hood, repair kits, zipper wax and a versatile carry bag that also doubles as a changing mat.

Drysuit Gloves

When diving in cold water, your hands are typically what get cold first, and can potentially end your dive due to the discomfort. This is why dry gloves are a great addition to your drysuit if you commonly perform dives in frigid water. Dry gloves are designed to allow air inside, making a considerable difference in regulating temperature, much like a drysuit. SCUBAPRO offers two types of dry gloves, the Easydry Pro and the Easy Don Dive Glove.

Both gloves are manufactured from high-quality, vulcanized latex, which gives them high elasticity, plus makes the gloves very resistant to punctures and tears. The elastic latex cuff seal ensures that the glove is waterproof, while still providing access for air to enter the glove. The textured surface enables the wearer to maintain a non-slip grip on instruments, valves or regulator. They come with an inner glove for added thermal protection.

Wetsuit Gloves

Whereas many drysuit divers chose to dive with dry gloves, many others prefer neoprene gloves. Neoprene gloves still allow your hands to get wet, while the neoprene foam offers thermal protection. Many divers prefer wet gloves over dry as they vary in thickness and can provide better dexterity. SCUBAPRO carries dive gloves from 1.5mm up to 5mm, for all your diving needs.

What to Wear Under Your Drysuit

One of the beauties of diving in a drysuit is being able to control the amount of thermal protection you want. As previously stated, in a Trilaminate, suit you have the room to layer as much or as little undergarments as desired. With the neoprene suits you are more limited by space; however, the suit itself provides warmth. Our preferred undergarment is the SCUBAPRO Climasphere.

The Climasphere is our undergarment of choice for drysuit diving. This thermal wear keeps you warm with a low profile two-piece insulation system. You can wear one or both pieces under your drysuit, at depth, for total comfort and warmth. The garments are breathable and windproof, making them a perfect surface interval ensemble while on the surface. Designed with neoprene wrist and ankle cuffs, with thumb loops and stirrups, they’ll both enhance warmth and prevent ride-up when climbing into your drysuit. The Climasphere is also one of few undergarments that are washable; however, we recommend you air-dry them not to deteriorate the materials.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – HYDROS PRO 

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

The HYDROS PRO is a true breakthrough in dive comfort and convenience. The moldable Monprene®, adjustable fit and multi-attachment points combine to make this the most customizable and comfortable BC ever. Winner of the 2016 Red Dot award for product design. Interchangeable straps, a packable design and an included backpack with room for your entire dive kit make the HYDROS PRO perfect for any destination and any dive.

Durable Monprene® construction means ultra durability. The HYDROS PRO also stands up to UV, chemicals, and abrasion — without showing typical signs of wear.  And a modular construction makes repairs — even from remote locations — a snap. It’s a BC for life.

When you are wearing the HYDROS PRO, you won’t even know it’s there. The HYDROS PRO molds to your specific body shape, and has been designed with body grip gel, providing extreme comfort and stability. Near-Zero inherent buoyancy means less lead. And, thanks to a back inflation, smart air system you can dive in any position.

A 2-in-1 BC The HYDROS PRO includes both the Trav-Tek straps and a fully integrated weight system. So, with a quick switch of clips, you can transform the HYDROS PRO from a harness travel BC to an integrated weight BC. Now you only need one BC for both local diving and travel.

                   

Customize and Accessorize – Easily add, remove, or replace weight systems, bungees, D-rings, accessories and pockets to make the HYDROS PRO truly your own. With a wide range of mountable accessories and kits, your options are endless — and can quickly be changed based upon the dive and conditions.

Travel Friendly The HYDROS PRO goes everywhere with you. Instant dry, lightweight and compact, with a unique smart-pack design, the HYDROS PRO also comes with a customized backpack designed to fit your entire dive kit on your back.

The HYDROS PRO comes in seven colors, perfectly matched to SCUBAPRO suits, masks and Seawing Novas. Separate color kits are also available so you can change up your dive style whenever you want.

Specialized Fit for Women-Smaller air bladder. Shorter inflator hose. Curved shoulder straps that fit perfectly. Experience the difference of diving with a more thoughtfully designed BC for women.

Perfect For

• Instructors

• Tech Divers

• Travel Divers

• Female Divers

• Young Divers

• New Divers

• Dive Training

Ultra Durable: Patented Injection Molded Monprene® Gel Harness is extremely resistant to UV, chemicals and abrasion. The fabric-free harness uses no velcro or zippers.

Instant Dry: Ideal for travel due to less water retention and lower post-dive weight.

“BC-4-Life” Modular Design: Customizable to add/remove weight systems, straps and pouches. Extended lifespan due to simplified repairs. Virtually every component, including buckles, can be replaced without stitching.

3D Ergonomic Design: Conforms to your body shape for maximum comfort.

Lightweight: Advanced materials keep weight low.

Neutrally Buoyant: Near-Zero inherent buoyancy requires less lead, resulting in better buoyancy control and much more enjoyable diving.

Body Grip Gel: Prevents BC from shifting and riding up.

Dual-Compound Backplate: Provides the ultimate in stability and comfort. Single tank band system allows for easier assembly.

Torso Flex Zone: Auto-adjusts to your torso length for excellent comfort and freedom of movement.

Articulated Shoulder Straps: Allow straps to adjust to your body shape to achieve a snug fit.

Kit-Up Assist: Holds shoulder straps open for easy donning.

Cross-Flow Channel: Unrestricted internal airflow reduces air trapping for enhanced maneuverability and easy deflation at any angle.

2-Stage Inflation: Tri-bungee system controls air distribution to maintain a compact shape under water and high lift capacity at the surface.

Dorsal Weight-Wing: Anti-abrasion and instant dry. Optimal “Outboard” trim pockets.

Buckle Weight System: Simple, safe and reliable quick-release buckles offer a fixed location for easy one-hand operation.

Multi-Mount Accessory Matrix: Multiple D-Rings and mounting points for a knife + light + SMB + hoses + crotch strap and much more.

Smart-Pack Design: Folding shoulder and waist straps pack into the wing, creating an unbelievably compact package for easy transport and storage.

Available with Balanced Power Inflator or AIR2 alternate air source.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Snorkels

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

As far back as 3000 B.C.E, (5000 years) people were going after natural sponges off the coast of Crete and breathing through the world’s first snorkel tube that they made from hollow reeds. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, recalled instances of divers breathing through a device similar to the trunk of an elephant.

In later years, the Assyrians developed an alternative snorkel device. They filled animal skins with air to breathe from when they were under water. Aristotle wrote about divers who used a tube that led from the surface to the divers below.  The consummate Renaissance Man, Leonardo Da Vinci had many designs that he called diving or underwater apparatuses. He designed a self-contained dive suit and even sketched diving gloves with webbed fingers. Technically, they could be considered the fist fins.

The development of the diving bell which contained air bubbles for divers to inhale while underwater was overseen by Alexander the Great.

• 900 B.C.E- Assyrian divers used animal skins filled with air in order to lengthen the time they could spend below the surface of the water.

• 333 B.C.E Alexander the Great encourages divers to develop and use the first diving bell — a large bell-shaped object that trapped air in the top of the bell (and a person) to submerge and maintain the ability to breathe.

• 1538- Greeks in Spain (Toledo) submerge themselves in large diving bell-like contraption to the bottom of the Tagus River only to emerge later with dry clothes and a still burning candle.

The same concept allows modern-day snorkelers to breathe air from the surface with their face submerged. Modern rubber and plastics make equipment durable and comfortable while offering maximum safety. With the advances in rubber and plastic composite materials, snorkels have significantly improved their function and use. The most popular snorkels is the J-shaped plastic tubes connected by a flexible strap or clip assembly to the diver’s mask.

Snorkels for diving

The snorkel makes it possible to breathe safely on the surface without using the air in your tanks. When choosing a snorkel, think first what you want to use it for and how you will use it the most. The diameter is important because it minimizes your effort while using it. Most snorkels are brightly colored so dive boats can easily spot them and more importantly you.

Free-diving Snorkels

Free-diving snorkels are often the simplest models. They are made without a complex purging system and without valves to limit breathing noise, those snorkels are also shorter to easily expel water from the tube and are easily tuck away. They usually have a slightly larger diameter to properly ventilate between two dive immersions. They are one of the best for Combat swimmer to use, as they are small and can be packed away easily and mostly come in dark colors.

Types of Snorkels

There are four common types of snorkels and each has their advantages and disadvantages.

Classic

The classic snorkel, also called a J-style snorkel, is a plastic tube with a mouthpiece attached. This snorkel is usually slightly bent, but it can also be made to fit a more specific shape. The SCUBAPRO Apnea snorkel can be rolled up and easily stored in a pocket or attached to the sides or bottom of a Rebreather. This is the one best suited for combat swimmer operations.

Flexible Snorkel

The flexible snorkel has a purge valve. This snorkel has a flexible portion and a rigid portion, as well as a one-way valve located at the bottom that makes it easier to expel any water that may get into the snorkel. The added flexibility allows divers to fit the snorkel better around their masks and faces. The purge valve at the bottom of the mouthpiece helps ensure uninterrupted breathing as it flushes water out every time you exhale.

Semi-Dry

The semi-dry snorkel is a mix of a classic and dry snorkel. The top features a splashguard, and sometimes even a flexible tube and a purge valve. The splashguard at the top helps to prevent splashes or sprays of water from easily entering the tube. It doesn’t prevent all the water from entering, especially if you fully submerge yourself underwater or if water covers the top like in a high wave.

Dry

The dry snorkel has a valve at the top of the snorkel. The valve blocks water and air when the snorkel is submerged—and a purge valve at the bottom. They are great for snorkeling on the surface and occasionally dive without having to worry about constantly clearing water out of the tube. When used for diving, the advantage is that divers don’t have to clear them of water when they reach the surface.

As with semi-dry snorkels, the one-way purge valve at the bottom allows the user to easily flush water out with a few quick exhalations. While the dry snorkel is more convenient and efficient to use, it can also has its drawbacks. The valve at the top of the snorkel can sometimes become blocked. The dry snorkel may also be more buoyant underwater.

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SCUBAPRO Sunday – Drysuits

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

A drysuit is a significant investment and requires periodic servicing, but a well maintained, quality suit can last for years. Here are some tips to keep your drysuit at its best.

Cleaning Your Drysuit

Wash your drysuit after every use to remove skin oils and chemicals (like sunblock and insect repellent) from the gaskets. Clean inside with clean, fresh water, or SCUBAPRO disinfectant solution (P/N 41 050 034) to prevent bacterial development.

It is especially important to wash the suit after using it in salt water, as salt residues will degrade the latex.

To maximize the life of the gaskets, drysuits must be protected from sunlight and ozone. Never wash a drysuit in a washing machine or dry it in a clothes dryer. Any of these can severely damage the zippers and/or gaskets. If the suit is exposed to oil or grease, clean with a mild grease-cutting detergent and a soft brush. Rinse with clean, fresh water.

The inside and outside of a drysuit must be washed in separate steps. Wash the outside first, then turn it inside-out and wash the inside. Open all zippers and use a soft brush to remove any grit from the teeth.

Hang the Dry suit inside-out on a SCUBAPRO dry suit hanger (P/N 51 076 000) to dry indoors. Do not use a wire hanger, and don’t hang it outside where it will be exposed to sunlight. When the inside is completely dry, turn it right-side-out and allow the outside to air dry. Treat the latex gaskets with unscented talcum powder. Dust wrist and neck seals with talcum powder before pulling them over your hands and head. Talcum powder eliminates virtually all resistance between skin and seals, allowing them to slip on without stressing the rubber.

Apply zipper wax before zipping up the waterproof zipper. Use only the manufacturer’s wax that’s specifically formulated for your drysuit zipper. Apply the wax only on the outside of the teeth so as not to interfere with the zipper’s inner sealing surfaces.

If it’s a fabric suit, wipe down the outside with a microfiber towel and install the protective cap on the inlet valve to avoid corrosion building up inside the valve, which can cause a stuck inflator button. If it’s a neoprene suit, pat it down lightly, cap the valve, unzip and climb out.

Rinse off the inside. This is easier for drysuits with soft socks that can be turned inside out. Suits with attached boots can be difficult, but get them turned inside out as much as you can. Keep in mind that the insides of the boots are going to take longer to dry. You can add newspaper in there to help dry it. Make sure they are completely dry before putting the suit into storage.

Storing Your Drysuit

Store drysuits in a cool, dark place. Most clothes closets are fine but avoid attics and garages, any place that gets really hot.

Treat the gaskets with unscented talcum powder.

Hang the drysuit on a wide suit hanger. Because of their length, make sure the legs are off the floor, you can drape them over the shoulders of the suit if needed.

Zipper Care

Keep the zippers clean. Dirt and grit will make them difficult to operate and can even degrade their water tightness. When cleaning the suit, use a brush to remove dirt and grit from the zippers.

If metal zippers are stiff, rub them with beeswax or a block of paraffin wax. Do not wax plastic zippers.

Folding or over-bending can create a kink that will ruin the zipper. See the above video for tips on storing and packing your drysuit for travel, to learn how to avoid this type of damage.

Professional, commercial, rescue and military divers who may be forced to dive in contaminated conditions must identify the contaminant and take appropriate steps to remove the contaminant from the suit before it can be used again.

Storage & Transport

Dry suits are best stored on the SCUBAPRO dry suit hanger (P/N 51 076 000) that hangs the suit upside down by the feet with the zipper open. Keep in a cool dry place out of the sun. Keep copper away from the latex seals.

For longer-term storage, (make sure it is dry first) you can store it in a large Zip-Loc clothing storage bags and hang in your locker or closet

For travel, fold the suit loosely, avoiding over-bending or kinking the zippers, you can use round foam pool noodles to help with this. Then you can store it in a plastic box.

Bag

Each SCUBAPRO dry suit is supplied in a carrying bag. The flat design with perimeter zipper allows the bag to fold open for use as a dressing mat to keep your feet clean while getting in and out of the suit. Inside the bag is permanently attached pouches where the repair kit, zipper lubricant, and seal talc are conveniently stored.

Troubleshooting

Divers exposed to chemicals or contaminated water must take extra care cleansing & rinsing the suit after each exposure. Some chemicals can degrade or delaminate the suit materials to the point of failure

Leaks

Zipper

• Slider not closed all the way. Have your buddy check for full closure.

• Zip has failed – inspect for split in closed teeth.

• Zipper material failed – can either be punctured or damaged by abrasion.

• Foreign material caught in teeth – dirt, sand, debris, or the dry suit undergarment is frequently the trouble.

• The zipper is old, worn out, or damaged in some other way – have it replaced.

Valves

• Installation has loosened. Check back plate screw for tightness. Neoprene suits can see this, as the neoprene may continue to compress over time. Tighten if needed.

• The exhaust valve may be improperly adjusted, or there may be debris (sand, hair, etc.) under the seal.

• Valve parts may need servicing or replacement due to use and wear.

Seals

Seals leak for two reasons, damage or interference..

• Check the seals for holes or tears caused by sharp objects, wear & tear, or chemical damage.

• Check that there are no foreign objects such as hair, sections of undergarment.

• Check for over trimming. Make sure when you trim your seals you do it by putting a can or something round in the wrists or neck and trim around it. If you pinch the seals and cut them it will leave little “v” where you started and ended your cut and that will tear at some point.

• Check they adjusted properly and do not have folds that can create leaking channels, especially around the tendons in wrists.

Leak Testing Your Suit

Your dry suit can be tested for leaks by plugging the wrist and neck seals with objects of suitable size, closing the zipper and using the low-pressure inflation hose attached to the inflate valve to inflate the suit. Wrap an elastic band around the seal to help the plug stay in place under pressure. Start with the adjustable exhaust valve set at the lowest release pressure, and gradually increase until the suit is firm, but not hard. This way you will not stress the seals, fabric or seams of the suit. Once the suit is inflated, submerge it a section at a time in the bathtub, and inspect for leaks. Small bubbles will appear if a leak is present. Alternately, lay the inflated suit down outside, and slowly pour warm soapy water over the suspected areas. The soap solution will blow small bubbles, or create fine foam over the leak.

Once the leaks are located, mark the area, rinse and dry the suit thoroughly, and follow the repair kit instructions.

A dry suit is a complex piece of equipment designed to keep a diver comfortable in extreme conditions. Treat your drysuit as a piece of life support equipment, maintain it properly, and inspect it for wear and damage before and after each dive.

Revision Awarded Contract By US Coast Guard To Deliver Custom Bump Helmet Systems

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Essex Junction, Vermont (September 10, 2018) – Revision Military, a world leader in military head systems and helmet solutions, has won a helmet contract with the U.S. Coast Guard (contract ID: 70Z02318DMNQ07400). Revision was competitively selected against other solutions and will deliver a custom helmet system inspired by the company’s Batlskin Caiman™ Bump Helmet System. The helmet system is built on a skeletonized, lightweight base that is ideal for affixing headborne equipment and is specifically designed for the turbulence and physicality of maritime and mobile maneuvers experienced by boat crew Coast Guardsmen.

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“Revision’s proven strength is delivering tailored solutions built to the precise and unique demands of its customers,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO, Revision Military. “We are proud to continue this commitment through our development of the custom solution selected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Revision worked directly with users to tailor this helmet system to the challenges consistently faced by Coast Guard boat crews. This helmet system is particularly notable because it is based on some of the most exciting protective head systems developments Revision has made in in recent years. Leveraging the unique versatility and scalability of our Caiman Bump system, and the ultra-comfortable APEX Liner System developed for the Caiman suite, Revision is set to deliver a reliable protection solution that meaningfully enhances operational effectiveness for these dynamic users.”

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The contract with the U.S. Coast Guard stipulates a 12-month base period, with four 12-month option periods, over which time Revision will deliver these custom helmet systems. Like this tailored Coast Guard boat crew system, Revision’s Caiman Bump Helmet consists of a reinforced polymer shell that places a premium on scalability and integration for maritime and mobile operations while providing blunt impact protection that meets U.S. Army ACH standards. The Caiman Bump system also features improved ventilation, five-size comfort fit, and comms system-ready geometry. The Batlskin Caiman Bump System is available as a global solution for other Coast Guards and Naval Boarding Parties seeking a unique combination of integration, scalability, performance, and protection.