I have been asked for a Nomad with less lift for diving lightweight tanks, such as aluminum 80s. We built a prototype and took it to several demo days, but what most folks seem to want is options. They want to dive aluminum 80s when they travel, especially warm-water destinations, but have the ability to dive heavier steels for longer dives and/or cold-water.
So instead of moving forward with a smaller rig, we added more gusset control to the Nomad EXP and Nomad XT models. Now a diver can pull the wing in tight for a small profile with smaller tanks. It can then be released for heavier tanks or if you need more lift for staging. In technical diving, its always better to have a little something in reserve.
Our new video “Sidemount: Customizing the Nomad’s Lift” shows you gusset control at 35lbs, 50lbs and 60lbs.
Customizing the Nomad’s Lift
I defined technical diving back in 1991 as “having to manage multiple regulators (gas supplies) while diving.” I told Dr. Hamilton and Mike Menduno this at the first AquaCorp Tech conference in New Orleans just days before DEMA. They were asking the attendees their definition of technical diving. To-date the managing of gas supply underwater is still the most common issue.
I bring this up because today the definition of a technical diver seems to be “someone who doesn’t settle with an equipment solution out of the box.” Everything should be adjusted to fit a diver’s stature for ease of access and comfort. That’s why there are so many hose lengths for divers now. A standard hose length won’t work for every body. We just shortened the traditional 27” BC inflator hose to 22” because it works better on most BCs and so far everyone seems to prefer it (we still have the 27” in case you want it).
Our new Tech SPGs are naked so the tech diver can pick the right hose length for his body stature and application (see the TIPS section for recommended starting lengths). The old standard is 32” for single tanks, yet tech divers want a shorter hose on their doubles and certainly their sidemount bottles. The most popular doubles gauge hose lengths are 24” and 26” depending on your height and I bet some women would like 22” (let us know). I personally prefer the 26” because when I am diving with dry gloves I like to clip it up on a chest D-ring so I can easily look at my gas supply and not have to unclip it from the belt in cold water.