Have you ever looked around you when you are on a dive trip to your favourite dive destination or local dive site, and see divers diving with this weird looking hose wrapped around their body and a sort of necklace around their neck, wondering why they have that? What is the purpose of it?
My First Time
The first time when I saw it I was doing my internship as a divemaster at Divewise, Malta. I saw some technical divers going into the water and I was thinking “where is their yellow alternate air source?”
Asking one of the instructors at the centre, where is their alternate air source? With them answering; they use a different setup, long hose setup. To be honest it looks so much cooler.
After I came back to Malta from my 2 months’ work experience on Bonaire, a Dutch island belonging to the ABC Islands in the Caribbean, I told myself that it’s about time that I get my own long hose setup and learn more about it and teach other divers about it.
A long hose setup is not only specific for only technical divers but also used as well for recreational diving, but most of the people see it in technical diving.
Right enough chit chats about my long hose story, let’s get down to business. I’m going to talk about a recreational diving setup.
What Is A Long Hose System
With a regular setup, you have your primary regulator coming above your right shoulder, having the hose around 80 cm. Your alternate air source, usually yellow or different colours if you have a creative mind, coming under your right shoulder, having the hose around 110 cm. Every diver knows how to donate air with this setup, fingers crossed.
Some divers donate air by giving their primary air source and using the alternate air source for their use. This is similar to the long hose setup.
With long hose setup, the name says it already, the primary regulator has a longer hose. Usually, the hose is around 210 cm. The hose of the alternate air source is around 55 cm, depending on what feels more comfortable for the diver. It can be longer or shorter. Probably you are questioning yourself now “how do I store away this massive long hose?” First of all, you will need to store away the alternate air source. This hangs around your neck from a bungee necklace. You can make it by passing the ends of the bungee cord under the cable tie that holds your mouthpiece to the regulator body. Make sure you make a knot at the end of the cords, so the cords don’t slip out.
The primary hose comes from the 1st stage, down along the right side of your body and up towards the left side of your neck, around your head, and finally placed in your mouth like a regulator will do. Make sure you store your hose between your body and the waistband of your BC system.
To make your life easier you can place a small bolt snap on your long hose just a fist away from the regulator, so you can clip it when you are not using your regulator. For example, while walking to the water or walking back to the dive truck.
With the long hose setup, you will need to donate your primary regulator to your buddy and the alternate air source is for your own use.
So what is the best way to donate air to my buddy when he or she is out of air with a long hose?
As I said, you will be donating your primary regulator to your buddy.
Here is a step by step walkthrough of donating air:
- When you receive the out of air signal from your buddy, you will need to grab your primary regulator, between the regulator and the bolt snap you have attached.
- Tuck your head down, swing your hose over your head whilst turning your fist away so that your fingers are facing towards your buddy then donate. This way the regulator will be in the correct position for your buddy to received and place into their mouth.
- Remember to blow bubbles as you don’t have a regulator in your mouth. Like you learned in your open water course
- As soon as your buddy has the regulator in his or her mouth and has cleared the regulator, you can grab your alternate air source, that is hanging around your neck, with your left hand.
- Ask your buddy if he or she is alright by giving the “Okay” signal.
- Now, this is where the long hose comes into place. With your right hand, you need to remove the long hose that you stored away between your body and your waistband
- The next part is depending on which way you swim, left, or right. We will be swimming first on the right side, so make sure your buddy is on your left side.
- Place your buddy’s right hand on the long hose and place your left hand on your buddy’s elbow. Why do this? The reason we do this is that we can tell you’re buddy what we will be doing. Tapping the elbow from underneath means you want to go up. Tapping from above means will are going down and pulling the elbow softly will mean stop. Whilst all this, your right hand will be placed on the hose for support.
- Now to the point where we will be going left this time. Your buddy will need to be on your right-hand side. Your buddy needs to loop the long hose over his neck, like a long hose should be, basically, it is all the opposite way. Buddy’s left hand on the hose, your left hand on the hose, and your right hand on the elbow of your buddy. Making your way to safety.
What is the purpose of a long hose setup? It’s an easy and quick way of donating air. Let’s say you are diving in a wreck and your buddy is out of the air, with the long hose setup, your buddy can stay behind you or in front of you, whilst making a safe exit out of the wreck.
Written By: Jasper Mulder