THE SHALLOWER YOU ARE, the tougher it is to maintain neutral buoyancy, yet we teach newbies to launch DSMBs in the shallows, and it’s usual to end the check-dive of a liveaboard trip with some DSMB practice, yet check-dives tend to take place at shallower sites.
In both cases the reason for shallow water is obvious, but you can’t argue with the laws of physics, and it’s not unusual to see divers heading involuntarily toward the surface.
The result is often that divers either deliberately under-inflate their blob, or simply can’t get enough gas into it before the upward pull means that they need to release it.
That means a limp sausage floating on the surface and not standing firmly upright.
The shallower the launch and the less well-practised the diver, the more likely the flaccid buoy, and a floppy sausage is neither use nor ornament.
Which brings me to the Mares XR Training DSMB, which is a sort of half-size blob designed to make things easier for those just learning.
Italian manufacturer Mares has been in the diving business for a long time and tends to make good stuff. Lately, technical diving has been a growth area across the scuba equipment arena, and the company has its XR – extended range – series of products to cater for the needs of the tekkies.
It sent me three DSMBs from its XR range to try. Two were full-size buoys, in DSMB orange and emergency DSMB yellow, but the third was the smaller, orange training DSMB, and that was the one I went for.