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Author Topic: webbing vs harness  (Read 14253 times)
PMH
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« on: July 22, 2008, 08:52:42 PM »

Ok so who would like to have a debate on webbing vs harness eg DR transplate and why can't one be DIR and use a harness? why is webbing a DIR and GUE essential?

PMH

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JD
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 09:12:13 PM »

Paul, I'm impressed. Great thread. I am interested to see why myself, apart from the standard answer 'failure points', I dont know why either.

JD
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PMH
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 09:42:39 PM »

yes I will be interested in the failure point vs cutting free when getting stuck arguement

I dont know of any failures  but know of one near cutting free episode(webbing) and one stuck but able to unclip (transpac)  episode...both in the same place too

PMH
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 09:21:08 AM »

Yeah great post Paul, keep it up.

One reason, compare likelyhood of needing to cut yourself out of a harness as opposed to likelyhood of plastic quick releases failing. Gets back to removing problem areas before they become issues


RN
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PMH
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2008, 09:45:51 AM »

Yeah great post Paul, keep it up.

RN

I do enjoy my popularity!!!

Rick you are missing my point a bit and this thread is an example of my frustration and somewhat dislike of the DIR/GUE mentality.

Firstly does anyone know of any plastic buckles failing through a dive on a DR style harness?? I for one have not and I have been using these styles of harness (alpha and DR) for ten years and have never had a problem nor have ever seen one exist on a buddy or fellow diver. May I also remind everyone that these type of buckle are used on mountaineering packs around the world and I would be interested to know if any were the cause of failed attemps on Everest.

Whislt I get the gist of r the 'reduce the failure point theory I think this is far less of a problem as apposed to having to cut yourself free in a cave restriction and then and 800m swim home.

The other issue is that that a webbing style harness does not suit all body shapes in my view and is very uncompforable for larger chested people (like JD and RB for eg.  Grin) I prefer and find it more comfortable to have something I can tighten and the use of the stirnum strap, so if I wanted to be GUE then I would have to wear a webbing thus making my dive very uncomfortable and distracting me from what my mind should be on during the dive...so how is this then doing it right?

So perhaps this requirement of harness style has the potentially to create more problems than not.

So.....why can't I ...

  • learn how to helicopter turn
    learn how to fin backwards
    learn the deco on the run theory
    learn the team thing
    learn the reach around
    learn how to look the same as my buddies
    learn to how to dive trimix to 45m for $5000
    get number plates for my car DIR or GUE
     yada yada yada......in a buckle styled harness?

    Jokes aside seriously I struggle with this concept that GUE preach, as I don't think it makes sence

    I have no doubt that GUE have plenty positives to offer the dive community...but

    cheers

    H
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 09:53:40 AM by PMH » Logged
Ian T
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2008, 09:56:48 AM »

I consider the situations when a diver needs to remove their equipment, and then the method employed. Given the upcoming Penetration course, the question can then be asked, does equipment removal and restriction negotiation need to be a practised skill, which I believe it should be. We need a concrete pipe in Gouldens, with an access hole at the top. It would be a great fixed restriction to go through for training. I digress...

1. Harness removal. When would equipment need to be removed ? severe entanglement or restriction preventing movement. For entanglement, I would hope that the buddy is more of an asset than anything gained by removing equipment. For negotiating a restriction, where one cannot reverse, removal of equipment is very, very difficult. I almost pulled my shoulder out trying to get mine off ! KS has a good point about prevention of issues. I should have used a different equipment configuration for this section of cave. Side mounts would have been much more effective and prevented the issue. Its important to remember that at the point where equipment needs to be removed, buoyancy control isn't required. Hence deflating the wing is essential, though it makes equipment very heavy ( regardless of webbing or harness.

2. How to remove a Harness. I consider the risk of stabbing myself with my knife and puncturing my drysuit much greater than just it being difficult to remove. Besides, the webbing is damn thick, and sawing away at it would take a while. I'd think that if you did do it, you'd definitely cut your drysuit ( Now I've got two drysuits, I should test it, can i borrow someone's harness ? ). Now, once it's cut, what do you do once you've dealt with the issue ? Based on all this, cutting a webbing harness for me isn't an option I'd consider. Removal is quite difficult when underwater in a restriction in a webbing harness. A quick release buckle on one shoulder strap could be a good idea if you're planning on removing your equipment regularly. In this case though, i'd think use of side mounts would be a better diving strategy than having a quick release buckle.

3. Although I've never had a plastic quick release fail, I don't like them primarily because i find them bulky. The only time I was using them on my transpac was to clip it to the clothes line to dry. Also, mounting a back up light on the shoulder straps under the arms, with the quick releases there, makes it bulky under my arms.

Summary: Webbing harnesses will not fail, though I would be confident in quick releases also. Cutting a harness for me is not an option, removal of equipment much preferred, though best is to avoid the risk entirely by an equipment configuration suitable for the rock strata being negotiated (ie: Side mount).
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 10:06:01 AM »

PMH (or whoever, sockys abound)

Expanding the discussion from Harness V Webbing to the general philosophy of GUE is a big ask. Equiptment configuration is only one (small) part of the GUE/DIR concept and any of these areas taken in isolation can be argued to the cows come home. The reasoning behind all aspects of the GUE/DIR method of diving are fully explained in the fundamentals course or you may want to borrow my copy of "The fundamentals of better diving" by Jarrod Jablonski. Not trying to be smart here its just that this argument comes up continually and the information to answer your questions is out there. Its no big secret.

Regards rick
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Ian T
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 10:38:20 AM »

Well said RN,

The compromise to you PH, is do the course in a 'compliant' harness, then adjust it as you require after the course. There is no law to goven how you will dive post-course. You may actually be in a better position to determine how best to do things for what suits you. If you like being able to tighten up your equipment underwater, then I suggest it's too loose for you anyway, however, feel free to use adjustable straps after the course.
For the benefit that you'll get from the course, it's one small thing to do for 4 days of diving.
However, you've been on about this for years, stirring the same pot about doing the course. Just go ahead and do it. At least then also you will have a much better point to debate. RN made a good point about not just focussing on equipment, look at the whole system. 
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PMH
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 12:04:20 PM »

Well said RN,

The compromise to you PH, is do the course in a 'compliant' harness,

thats one of the points I am making...why should I "comprimise" (to me) how I dive (that works successfully and very comfortably) for the sake of a course! So Ian are you suggesting that GUE ask divers to "comprimise" the way they dive to fit in with their system and philosophies...I wouldn't train with any agency who asks me to comprimise the way I dive that does not feel write for me. Not sure how other feel about this.

Ok so for those of you who have done Fundies...could you do the course in a DR harness and BP and complete the course successfully.

Getting back to the original question...those of you who have switched from a TP harness to now webbing, why did you and also (be honest here) which is more comfortable?...and have any switched back and if so why???

PH
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 06:13:12 PM »

One of the strengths of the GUE system of diving is the consistency in gear configuration,Gas mixes, approaches to deco and dive planning etc. To compromise this system for the sake of perceived individuality reduces the effectiveness of the system overall. I would suggest that you dive in whatever way suits you, no problem. Unfortunately this would preclude you from benefiting from GUE training.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 06:49:34 PM »

Most of you guys know this already, and have heard the story, but here goes.

IT and myself, with Rob B are diving Tank. We had been running sidemounts up this particular path before, once with a stage I believe, so it was no big deal in sidemounts. We had not been there for quite some time, and had heard a rumour that backmounts were possible now. As it is a shortcut, we decided to give it a shot, me in the front, followed by IT, then RB. I got almost all the way through before getting well and truly stuck. Cylinders jammed onto the roof (with a projection in between them, like I said stuck!), chest pressing onto the rock enough so I could breathe, but not take a huge breath*, and vis about 6". I had to settle myself for about a minute (felt like hours), then decide to remove gear. I managed to slide my hand down and undo the waist buckle (I dont wear a crotch strap) and tried to slide out. I couldnt move. I slid my arm up and undid my right shoulder strap buckle to allow me to move sideways, which I managed to do. I snagged myself on the drysuit inflator, which ran under my right arm to the suit, but after moving right I was able to reach it and unplug, something I was unable to do when strapped in. I swung my gear in front of me after sorting out a twist in the reg hose and pushed through the restriction.
I, like most people, wear minimal weight when diving twins, but what I did wear was sandwiched between the wing and harness. Because of this, I was quite light when I exited the restriction, and rocketed straight for the roof about 1m above. Luckily I had a good grip on my gear, and managed to drag it up with me and inflate it a fraction. I now wear whatever weight I have to on a belt to stop this from happening again.
Long story short, I waited for about 2 or 3 minutes for someone to come out behind me, but knowing there was no way I could go down a restriction without my gear on with the way I was weighted, I left to go around the long way. To be honest, even if I was weighted correctly, I dont think I would have gone back down after that. If there was no other way out, sure, but I had an option and I chose to swim.
After a 30 minute swim (alone) around the long way, I met RB and IT at the start of the restriction. We shook hands (as all polite cave divers do when they meet) and left for the exit.
Ian (I found out later) was also stuck behind me, resulting in the 'almost dislocated my shoulder' post from him above. Why did he almost dislocate his shoulder? No buckles, and he couldnt bring himself to cut his webbing. Why? He says its because it expensive, I think he couldnt bear the thought of cutting through one of the 'H' symbols in the dark!

Now, those fault ridden clips that Dive Rite persist on putting on there harnesses saved my bacon. I doubt that I could have cut myself out in the position I was in, but if I could have, I had about a 1 hour swim ahead of me with a cut harness which would have been uncomfortable at best, and probably a complete PITA. Gas was OK, as I exited with about 50 bar in each cylinder (independents) and a full stage. I have had the same Dive Rite Transpac since I started diving in about 1999. Its a bit faded thanks to chlorine, but still works like the day I bought it. It has carried twins down rockpiles and ito caves on the Nullarbor many times, been bashed and crashed, but nothing has ever broken on it, including the 2 buckles under the armpits which are a failure point.

JD

*I think this is what gave me the most clacker factor. I have been stuck before, but I could always take a soothing and cleansing big deep breath. Here I couldnt, and it was not a nice feeling.

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PMH
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 07:41:24 PM »

Most of you guys know this already, and have heard the story, but here goes.

IT and myself, with Rob B are diving Tank. We had been running sidemounts up this particular path before, once with a stage I believe, so it was no big deal in sidemounts. We had not been there for quite some time, and had heard a rumour that backmounts were possible now. As it is a shortcut, we decided to give it a shot, me in the front, followed by IT, then RB. I got almost all the way through before getting well and truly stuck. Cylinders jammed onto the roof (with a projection in between them, like I said stuck!), chest pressing onto the rock enough so I could breathe, but not take a huge breath*, and vis about 6". I had to settle myself for about a minute (felt like hours), then decide to remove gear. I managed to slide my hand down and undo the waist buckle (I dont wear a crotch strap) and tried to slide out. I couldnt move. I slid my arm up and undid my right shoulder strap buckle to allow me to move sideways, which I managed to do. I snagged myself on the drysuit inflator, which ran under my right arm to the suit, but after moving right I was able to reach it and unplug, something I was unable to do when strapped in. I swung my gear in front of me after sorting out a twist in the reg hose and pushed through the restriction.
I, like most people, wear minimal weight when diving twins, but what I did wear was sandwiched between the wing and harness. Because of this, I was quite light when I exited the restriction, and rocketed straight for the roof about 1m above. Luckily I had a good grip on my gear, and managed to drag it up with me and inflate it a fraction. I now wear whatever weight I have to on a belt to stop this from happening again.
Long story short, I waited for about 2 or 3 minutes for someone to come out behind me, but knowing there was no way I could go down a restriction without my gear on with the way I was weighted, I left to go around the long way. To be honest, even if I was weighted correctly, I dont think I would have gone back down after that. If there was no other way out, sure, but I had an option and I chose to swim.
After a 30 minute swim (alone) around the long way, I met RB and IT at the start of the restriction. We shook hands (as all polite cave divers do when they meet) and left for the exit.
Ian (I found out later) was also stuck behind me, resulting in the 'almost dislocated my shoulder' post from him above. Why did he almost dislocate his shoulder? No buckles, and he couldnt bring himself to cut his webbing. Why? He says its because it expensive, I think he couldnt bear the thought of cutting through one of the 'H' symbols in the dark!

Now, those fault ridden clips that Dive Rite persist on putting on there harnesses saved my bacon. I doubt that I could have cut myself out in the position I was in, but if I could have, I had about a 1 hour swim ahead of me with a cut harness which would have been uncomfortable at best, and probably a complete PITA. Gas was OK, as I exited with about 50 bar in each cylinder (independents) and a full stage. I have had the same Dive Rite Transpac since I started diving in about 1999. Its a bit faded thanks to chlorine, but still works like the day I bought it. It has carried twins down rockpiles and ito caves on the Nullarbor many times, been bashed and crashed, but nothing has ever broken on it, including the 2 buckles under the armpits which are a failure point.

JD

*I think this is what gave me the most clacker factor. I have been stuck before, but I could always take a soothing and cleansing big deep breath. Here I couldnt, and it was not a nice feeling.



this take this discussion to another point of asking if the GUE/DIR system is not entirely suited to Australian cave diving...I seem to think it is suited to scootering through big tunnels???

any thoughts
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JD
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 07:46:49 PM »

Well,
Casey recently described a restriction as 5' x 4'. That is an entrance to my garage, not a restriction!
UK divers have adapted to sump diving with sidemounts etc for the types of caves they have over there. We have sort of a hybrid between the two, not quite sumps, but smaller tunnels with tighter restrictions.
I have no doubt the system is far superior for the type of diving they do. It works, and has been proven. No arguement there.

JD
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PMH
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 07:58:02 PM »

this thread has been going over 24hrs...and no personal attacks!!!!!

hmmmmmm?Huh?
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 09:38:57 PM »

Ah but the thread is young and we haven't heard from Karl for a while.
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