This is one of the best diving videos I've seen in a long time. What is your opinion on the sidemount discipline?

A hippy I am not, but find no point to dragging extra gear that I probably won't need. I go underwater to accomplish a task, be it find a specific animal, look for a wreck, take ecological data or shoot a specific photo.

So what- you're going to do a wreck penetration and never practice with the gear ahead of time? Good idea- just make sure you leave me your gear in your will.

Seriously- you claim technical divers are arrogant because they feel there is only one right way to do thing (an opinion held by a minority of technical divers for the record) and yet here you are espousing that there is only one way to dive correctly (whatever is minimalist).

The irony is you claim to not like extraneous gear and yet the only way you'd do a wreck penetration is with a rebreather. That's just absurd.

I particularly like this line:

"I would spend the extra prep time, money and training on getting a rebreather instead."

Just where are you going to practice if not on a dive boat under benign conditions? Are you going to do some training dives in a quarry and then just jump into the water in the North Atlantic and dive the Andrea Doria?

Get off your high horse and let people dive the way they want to. If they are bringing technical gear onto a basic dive then chances are it's for practice- and practice is never a bad idea. If you think you can throw on a set up doubles or a rebreather without practice- you're deluded.

The majority of technical divers I know use whatever equipment is appropriate for the dive. Sometimes it's sidemount, sometimes it's backmount, and sometimes it's a rebreather. I've been diving on rebreathers for years and while there are definitely times when it's the right choice- I still prefer open circuit for the majority of my diving because it's simpler.

Read Steve Lewis (The Six Skills and Other Discussions) and see what he has to say about the "right way" to rig gear (hint- it's whatever way works for you. Talk to people like Jill Heinerth and John Chatterton and see what they say is the best way to rig your gear (hint- it's whatever works for you). If someone is telling you there is only one right way to set up your gear- then as I said- then they're probably trying to sell you something.

You're ragging on sidemount (and technical diving) but the people you're describing are just twats. They'd be twats even if they were diving recreationally. If I were diving sidemount off your boat chances are you wouldn't even know I was there. I'd be in the water before anyone else because my harness would already be on- I'd just grab my tanks- clip them to the top and jump in. The other divers would still be wriggling into their BCDs by the time I splashed.

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