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Which dSMB is Best? #askmark #scuba @ScubaDiverMagazine


Which SMB is the best for scuba diving?
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#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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M.
M.
6 months ago

Hey Mark! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your insights ever since your days at SimplyScuba. Your expertise really shines through, and I often find myself revisiting your videos from years back.

By the way, I’m a novice diver and I’ve been using the Apple Watch Oceanic+ App as my dive computer for my recreational dives. Do you think this is a good approach, or would it be wiser to invest in a dedicated dive computer for now? Looking forward to your thoughts on this! #AskMark

Alison Anthony
Alison Anthony
6 months ago

It might be a novelty item, but I love my pink, fluorescent dolphin 😊

douglaw99
douglaw99
6 months ago

If you filled a dsmb with helium, would it float above the waves? Any tech divers out their tried…

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  douglaw99
6 months ago

Unfortunately not… I did the sums on one of my dSMBs:
The dSMB weighs 160g and has an internal volume of 2.5L.
The volume of He required to lift 160g is around 150L

It would be cool but, I don’t think it’s going to work

Scubavery
Scubavery
6 months ago

#Askmark . Enjoying the #askmark content. Some very helpful tips and some questions that some divers might find stupid to ask there dive buddies. So thanks for the videos . So here’s my question dive pony’s or alternatively air as a recreational driver do i or we as divers need to have one ? If so what’s the pros and cons . Thanks Mark ps how many dive masks do you need ( background) 😂scubavery

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  Scubavery
6 months ago

The benefits of an extra cylinder is redundancy. Should something go wrong with your regulator or your buddy’s regulator then you have a completley independent source of air that you can resort to.

You can also use a separate cylinder for controlling your buoyancy so you’re not wasting expensive breathing gases like Nitrox or Trimix on filling your BCD, Drysuit or SMB.

The downsides are the costs and how the weight can affect your trim. You have the cost of buying the extra cylinder, another regulator and mounting system as well as the maintenance costs of both. And depending on the size and type of cylinder and how you mount it, that can affect your trim so you need to compensate with your weighting.

Ideally, every diver would have their own pony _just in case_ . But the design and quality of modern dive equipment is good and reliable. I wouldn’t worry too much about investing in one unless you’re diving in cold waters or you worry about how far your buddy’s octo is.

Scubavery
Scubavery
Reply to  Scubavery
6 months ago

@Scuba Diver Magazine Thanks mark some good points . Food for thought. I dive in Scotland and been offered a pony . Going to try them out this weekend see how I get on . Thanks for quick reply it’s much appreciated. Might have to get myself some twins 👯‍♀️ 😂

weiniesail
weiniesail
6 months ago

Your definition of “red” is not my definition of ‘red’

Jamie Caldwell
Jamie Caldwell
6 months ago

Really nice explanation, Mark! I never really considered the stitching on both ides, but that makes sense. Agree with others that not just having one, but PRACTICING deploying your SMB is so important!

Cassie Whitworth
Cassie Whitworth
6 months ago

Recommendation for a dsmb with fingerspool in one little bag I can strap on my back (hydros pro)

Bloody Marvelous
Bloody Marvelous
Reply to  Cassie Whitworth
6 months ago

I don’t know of any dSMB that’s sold with a finger spool. They’re usually separate purchases.

Most dSMB’s roll up into a nice little package, and a finger spool usually isn’t that bulky either. If you don’t want to clip them off of a D-ring, you could probably rig up a few bungees to tuck them under. Just make sure you can reach it without having to take off your BCD.

I personally loop the line through a hole in the spool, clip it to a double-ended bolt snap, loop the line around the trigger and back through the gate. I then thread the bolt snap through the dSMB’s D-ring, and clip it off through the same gate where the spool is attached. This keeps the gate from accidentally opening, and even if it does, both the spool and the dSMB are still secured.

You can clip it off to a hip D-ring, a butt D-ring, or even off a shoulder D-ring, and it won’t dangle that much. Or you could put it in a pocket or pouch if you have one that will fit.

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  Cassie Whitworth
6 months ago

OMS used to make a dSMB kit like that. I’m not sure if they still make it… It was a small mesh pouch with a dSMB and a spool inside that you could clip to a D-Ring.
Mares also make a dSMB/Spool combo that they called the All In One dSMB which had a mesh pouch built into the dSMB for the spool. That’s probably the simplest option.
If you want it in a pouch the Ninja Pouch from Scubapro is made for the Hydros Pro, They also make thigh pockets that clip to a D-Ring or just look for a butt pouch where you can keep a buoy and spool inside.

Zachary Koh
Zachary Koh
6 months ago

Hey Mark! Thank you for your continued content creation of all things scuba! Really appreciate all the insight and tips you’ve shared across the years.

I would like to ask your opinion on cutting tools for travelling divers. If checked in luggage is not an option, are there any cutting tools we divers can bring up the plane with us? Belt cutters/safety cutters? Metal blades/ceramic blades?

Looking forward to it. Thanks!

#ASKMARK

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  Zachary Koh
6 months ago

If airport security find any sort of cutting device in your carry on they’ll take it from you. If you need to travel light you need to buy a cheap knife at your destination.

There are even some cases where security have confiscated larger dive knives from checked luggage…

mike davies
mike davies
6 months ago

I have a self sealing Hollis DSMB. I find if I am shallow and just sending it up for my safety stop, I use the LP whip on my pony to inflate it. If I am deep, I use my exhaust gas to inflate it, by holding the open end above the exhaust. I have yet to find a time where the gas escapes from my DSMB on the surface, out the bottom.

TheEveryDayRandomizer
TheEveryDayRandomizer
6 months ago

Is this a piece of kit you can go cheap with or should you stick to brand names?
Thank you Mark and team!

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  TheEveryDayRandomizer
6 months ago

Most dSMBs are on par no matter the brand. Some of the parts of big brand dSMBs may be a higher grade but, a cheap dSMB will still do the job.

Ben Heckendorn
Ben Heckendorn
6 months ago

#askmark
Hi Mark
I just could say the very same, you do a great job. To get the chance to ask you is amazing, I really appreciate it.
I got a question about a brand, I’m normally not a huge fan account cheap brands, sure Cressi is cheap but quality isn’t cheap made.
But except them I would choose the middle, where you get something nice for a fair price.
Here is my question, because I’m bit sceptical, what do you think about the brand subea?
Their semidry cost CHF 320, almost 50% of others, I guess you understand why I ask about their products.

Thank you so much Mark

Ben

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  Ben Heckendorn
6 months ago

I know of Subea from Decathalon but, I’ve never used them.
I’d want to touch and feel a wetsuit from an unknown brand. Double check their returns policy if there are no stores near you.
From what I can see on the website it seems perfectly fine and they can afford to have such low prices because Decathalon is their own distribution network

Ben Heckendorn
Ben Heckendorn
Reply to  Ben Heckendorn
6 months ago

@Scuba Diver Magazine I just thought to check it, because it would be a neoprene I want to use here in Switzerland, where I do mostly just lake dive and lake Zurich has a few sand (tiny stones, not like those in the sea) and stones so a neoprene would be in a quide rude area, so I thought about something dureable or cheaper category.

a closer look
a closer look
6 months ago

Just the video I needed! Thanks, Mark! 😁

Bryan X
Bryan X
6 months ago

had a 1.8m, 1.5m and a 1.2m. the 1.2m now is my favorite. 1, faster and less air needed to inflate in water, 2, less bulky 3, less time to deflate and roll it.
I prefere the semi closed bottom. but can’t find any that are 1m long. if they make a 1m semi closed, I’ll get the 1m.
the 2 weights in the bottom are soft bentable leds. I took them out from one of my old SMB to save some weights of my luggage. but when in the water, it need more tension on the line to keep it upwards.
about the color, in some busy dive spots, some time I’ll take a less common color so that is easier for our captain to spot me and follow.

Talbot McInnis
Talbot McInnis
6 months ago

Humor me :). Lp or orally inflate your “fish dsmb” on the surface. I bet it will hold air. It looks like one of those hybrid with a closed bladder inside/beside the open cell. 5:21 You can see a horizontal fused seam. Lemme know!

Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver Magazine
Reply to  Talbot McInnis
6 months ago

Yeah, it will still inflate on the surface. The true opening is further up the dSMB, above that horizontal seam.

But, the opening won’t close properly unless the buoy is inflated fully. It will be hard to fully deflate a dSMB like this unless you mean to though

James Aurich
James Aurich
6 months ago

Awsome job mark. Dsmbs are a great piece of equipment. If you are going to deploy from under water you should practice. I have seem people become tangled in the line. Keep up the good work

Bloody Marvelous
Bloody Marvelous
6 months ago

I’ve got the Apeks dSMB. It just seems to tick all the boxes: 1.4m long, closed cell, stitched on both sides, comfortable silicone oral inflation valve, solas reflective tape, convenient pull tab on the bungee cord, with an additional bungee with two tabs to tie it to the Apeks reel, but which also can be used to clip a strobing flashlight on.

I’ve got an orange and a yellow one.

NickMaverick
NickMaverick
Reply to  Bloody Marvelous
6 months ago

How wide is it? The one I have is quite wide, making it hard to inflate fully orally.

Tim Gosling
Tim Gosling
6 months ago

I have red and yellow DIR Zone DSMBs, closed, oral inflate, which work very well, except when it’s really cold and I find I can’t get a good lip seal round the inflator. I’ve now got an Apeks one with the mouthpiece and it works really well. I’d recommend it.

Lensvana
Lensvana
6 months ago

Great vid! For typical recreational diving (liveaboard), is a 15 meter spool enough? Or might as well get a 30 m just in case?

Bloody Marvelous
Bloody Marvelous
Reply to  Lensvana
6 months ago

15m is perfect for deploying from the safety stop. That’s usually plenty of time for the RHIB or the boat to come pick you up. It’s also nice and compact.

When buying a cheap 30m spool, keep in mind that it will be over spun, so you’ll have to remove 10~15m of line to gain access to the holes in the side, so that’ll be a 15m spool when you’re done preparing it. If you get a premium spool, like the ones from Apeks, they’re ready to use out of the package and have all kinds of nice features.

If you’re going for an Apeks 30m spool, you may want to consider the Halo version. That’s a great spool for use in cold water with thick gloves. It is more expensive than the green 30m spool though.

Lensvana
Lensvana
Reply to  Lensvana
6 months ago

@Bloody Marvelous Cheers, thank you for the breakdown!

Jake Williams
Jake Williams
Reply to  Lensvana
6 months ago

You want about 1.5x your deployment depth to be you’re length of line on your spool/reel.
30m deployment = 45m of line etc.
10m deployment = 15m of line.

Personally, I use longer lines for uk diving as I may be deploying from the wreck. If you’re only diving abroad and deploying shallow, 15m is fine (although I’d still want more).

Personally, I wouldn’t get a apeks spool (as someone that has one), as they are very expensive and there is knock off versions online that are the same (up to 45m of line).

Lensvana
Lensvana
Reply to  Lensvana
6 months ago

@Jake Williams Thanks, this makes sense. I’m leaning towards just getting a knockoff spool – I see some for <$20 that have good reviews

Mark Hammer
Mark Hammer
6 months ago

This is a requirement in PADI

Ahoy F⚓️ckers
Ahoy F⚓️ckers
Reply to  Mark Hammer
6 months ago

No, it’s not. It’s a specialty course that you can do through padi

mike davies
mike davies
Reply to  Mark Hammer
6 months ago

@Ahoy F⚓️ckers I had to launch my DSMB in both my OW and AOW courses, both PADI. My SDI Solo instructor also wanted to see me launch my DSMB.

Ahoy F⚓️ckers
Ahoy F⚓️ckers
Reply to  Mark Hammer
6 months ago

@mikedavies4694  That may have been your instructor, but it is not a part of the Padi curriculum for OW. Like I said, it is a Padi specialty course though. Both of my kids just got certified, my son two months ago and my daughter last month, and it was never required for them to deploy an SMB. It wasn’t required for my OW or my AOW. Just to be assured, I also looked it up, and it’s not a part of the skills requirement for OW.

mike davies
mike davies
Reply to  Mark Hammer
6 months ago

@Ahoy F⚓️ckers I find a safety stop in crap vis, is so much easier when hanging on a DSMB line.

Mark Hammer
Mark Hammer
Reply to  Mark Hammer
6 months ago

@tvelocidad  I am a PADI Instructor and I teach it in Open Water

Daniel Ricardo
Daniel Ricardo
6 months ago

The Halcyon DSMBs dont require you to push the inflation valve with your teeth to orally inflate (they have a one way valve inside) – this is far more comfortable!
Another bonus is that if you also have a Halcyon bladder, the OPV on the DSMB is the same as the bladder, so it can serve as a replacement part in case you need one.

Toad OU812
Toad OU812
Reply to  Daniel Ricardo
6 months ago

Have you actually swapped valves? I have both, and the DSMB circa 2020 has coarser threading than that of the wing dump valve.

Daniel Ricardo
Daniel Ricardo
Reply to  Daniel Ricardo
6 months ago

@Toad OU812 Not personally, but I know someone who did

Eric Lin
Eric Lin
Reply to  Daniel Ricardo
5 months ago

The Subgravity deluxe DSMB has a similar inflation valve. It doesn’t pack up quite as cleanly as the Halcyon model, but it does come with SOLAS tape (which the smaller Halcyon DSMBs don’t have for some reason) as well as a loop you can fit a glow stick or similarly-shaped tank light to.

Rafael Moreira
Rafael Moreira
6 months ago

We use Orange because it’s the color that sits directly opposite to blue (Ocean) on the color wheel.. so higher contrast…

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