April 26th, 2010
After watching divers play with sidemount bungees I starting looking at a solution for what I felt to be of concern. Many divers simply place the bungee over the tank and reg and then deal with the bottles slipping out since they haven’t taken the time to run the bungee under the reg and around the tank neck. It’s understandable since it is difficult to route the bungee and I’ve watched seasoned professionals take several minutes just to hook up one tank.
I also see divers with the choker system bungee not using a safety. The safety is important if you happen to carry the bottles attached to you when entering or exiting the water. Instead of hooking your bottle into the bungee, you clip into a metal D-ring to avoid stressing and potentially breaking the bungee. Bungees aren’t intended to be load-bearing on land.
Another issue is slack in the bungee when changing tank size. Divers who wear the bottles up close and tight need a different bungees for varying tank sizes. This is a hassle.
My solution to all this was to find a way that divers could more easily adjust the sizing of the bungee, while including a safety and making sure the bungee is easy to don. The Nomad Sidemount Ring Bungee keeps the bottle under the arm where the bottles need to rest for sidemount. By using Quick Links, sizing can be adjusted for varying bottles or for divers of different sizes (just add or remove a Quick Link…there is one on either end of the bungee). For the safety, I had an additional Quick Link, but our National Field Manager, Pete Nawrocky, who mainly dives in cold water screamed “gloves!” So I added a 2-inch stainless ring instead. This proved to be the best set up because the ring is easy to put your thumb in and stretch the bungee when connecting bottles. Since the ring sits under your arm we can use lighter bungee to make it easier to stretch. The 2-inch ring is attached to the snap via a Quick Link so you have a hard connection safety as well.
This new sidemount bungee system was unveiled at the Beneath the Sea Scuba Show in New Jersey and was well received. Our team has been diving with prototypes for a couple of months and even our minimalist junkies like them.