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Don't Get Bent (a bent hose, that is)

You've left your Christmas shopping to the very last minute again, haven't you? You figured, "It's fine! I'll just go to the scuba store tomorrow or the next day and get some regulators for that special diver in my life and they'll love them!"

May I make a shopping suggestion, rushed though you may now feel: be discerning when purchasing for cave divers.

All too often I get folks down here with regs that lack a swivel turret on the first stage or {shudder} miflex hoses.

Lacking a swivel on the first stage should not be a total deal-breaker. But the swivel is preferable. Backmount or sidemount... doesn't matter. Turret = Good.

You see, sometimes cave divers need to go single-file through passages. And in the (hopefully) unlikely scenario that divers are sharing gas as they need to fall into single file, every spare inch of hose counts.

Normally, which is to say 99.X% of all dives, the long hose will be stowed. So you're going to pick the nicest possible hose routing for it. Rather have the hose pointed down, to lay flush with your tanks and wing, rather than pointing off at some mad angle where it's just going to reach out and periodically grab the cave.

So lacking a swivel, one would logically pick a port on the first that points straight-ish down.

But as our swivel-less diver immediately discovers during an S-Drill... pointing down is not ideal for a shared hose. Because the fact that it's got to loop down, then back up to the "Out of Gas" diver eats up a few precious inches of hose.

Better to have a swivel where the team can take a moment to confirm that the hose is turned, in that moment, to point up and away from the donor, towards the recipient, freeing up that little, valuable length.

This problem can be magnified by the {shudder} miflex hoses. Which are made to be super bendy. Which seems like a great idea.

Until you donate a long hose and there's no way (or it's forgotten as a step) to swivel the long hose out to the OOG diver. And the bendy hose bends.

Suddenly and completely cutting off gas to the diver who was just out of gas a moment ago.

Not ideal.

Yes, this can happen with rubber hoses, too. It's harder and requires more force on the hose, but it can happen.

So the ideal, what you should be shopping for this week...

A first stage with a turret (and ideally a fifth port to really open up hose-routing options). And no miflex hoses - at the very least not on anything from which you expect to breath reliably.

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