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Specialist Forums > Technical Forum > diving with a pony
posted : October 22, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
completed 28 dives and have been diving with a pony cylinder, talking to an instructor in a shop and he said you dont need a pony as nothing is ever likely to go wrong and plus you have a buddy, complacency is a bad habit to get into and if you never dive with the same buddy how do you really know how they will behave in that rare emergency, I will always use a pony even if it never gets used.

posted : October 23, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
he sounds like a good instructor - not!

self sufficiency is always the best way. you've got a good idea of how you'll react. you have no idea how a buddy will react when the sh*t hits the fan. at least when the sh*t does hit the fan you know it's down to you to sort it out rather than relying on someone else or hoping that little angel on your shoulder didn't fk off yonks ago ;-)

when i'm not using a redundant setup then the approach to the diving is modified accordingly.

posted : October 23, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
I was not really impressed with what he said but at the end of the day it is down to the individual to decide how and what to dive with, I will make my own decisions especially when it comes to safety.

posted : October 23, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
amen to that.

love the bit about "nothing is likely to go wrong". i've seen a mates jetstream literally explode on a wreck in the red sea. his cylinder was empty by the time i'd escorted him to the surface. numerous other minor incidents, way too boring to go into here though.

posted : October 23, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
I have only just started out in diving, 28 dives now so hearing an instructor talk like that does not fill me with confidence, but you get good and bad in every sport, he was a tech diver maybe that had something to do with his comment. one thing he did say that made me laugh was 'lots of people use pony's because it makes them look good' whatever.

posted : October 24, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
i'd be very surprised if a tech instructor would say something like that ;-) redundancy and self sufficiency are the main things in tech diving.
admittedly, a pony isn't the best of redundant gas sources, but it's far from the worst. anything that gives gas is better than not having it at all (within reason)

posted : October 24, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
what other redundant sources are there, available to the non tech diver

posted : October 31, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
I've never seen the point in pony's firstly from afinancial point -200 min for a 3l back up - just not worth it!

I use a manifolded twinset - this way I have double the redundancy of equipment (two 1st stages) and double the gas supply (I use twin 12l's)

If you are not strong enough to handle a large twinset - use twin 7's or twin 10's then

posted : October 31, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
yes I intend to switch to a twin set after xmas, so for the time being I feel happy having a form of self rescue, when you never dive with the same person you never know if you can trust them to help you in an emergency,

posted : November 7, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
we alwys use pony , you can fill it with nitrox and used at the proper depth depend on your mix % on your way to ascent, and switch to pony nitrox by using multigas computer ex: suunto vitec..

posted : November 8, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
Do yourself a huge favour., and never talk to this "instructor" again.Sounds like a complete waste of space.How on earth can he say nothing is ever going to happen? By that rational we should all just dive whenever however we want!! I used to carry a pony before i made the switch to twinsets, and i can thank it for getting me out of one cold, panicky situation is stoney one year, when my main reg froze!!! God bless redundancy :-)

posted : November 21, 2007 Post subject: diving with a pony
I read somewhere (american origin I think) that a pony cylinder won't last long enough at 50m to recite the Lords prayer.
I don't know about you, but if the sh*t hits the fan I don't intend kneeling on the bottom praying ! I'm out of there, and a pony could make all the difference. Ignore your instructor and keep using the pony until you are ready for a twinset.

posted : September 30, 2008 Post subject: diving with a pony

Filling your pony with nitrox and using as a decompression gas defies the point of a pony in many ways.

a) its a redundant air source so you shouldn't be using it

b) if you have an emergency at your max depth and you switch to it - you will tox

c) conducting decompression dives requires training - relying on your suunto computer will not always keep you safe - i.e. if your computer dies - how will you know how much deco to do?

I stronly suggest that you get decompression diving training AND IF you insist on having nitrox in your pony - only have a mix that is safe to breathe at depth - most uk divers stay above 30m so have 32% put in - that way if you do have to do some deco on it - if your comp still thinks your in air you are decoing (ever so slightly) better but nothing worth raving over.

geoff b
posted : October 1, 2008 Post subject: diving with a pony
i always dive with a pony and feel more comfortable being able to self rescue in an emergency siuation.
by the way i've only been diving since january and have realised that some instructors have gone straight from openwater to instructors never done any real diving and sat on the six meter shelf at stoney cove their whole diving career watching students taking their masks on an off!!.
which brings me to my point always ask the old boys with loads of experience rather than how many certificates someone can show you.
ps:- best bit of advise i was given was get loads of diving in, now 130+dives in 8 months and i don't think i could have enough experience to start teaching people to dive so why does padi?

posted : April 23, 2010 Post subject: diving with a pony
Geoff B,

Agree wholeheartedly!

When the midden hits the windmill, I'll take the experienced (real experience, not sunbathing at 6m in the cove) over the paperwork any time.

Instructors come in good and bad, same as the rest of us, but the bottom line is that diving is an un-natural act. You need to bank on being self sufficient at the very least, plus looking after your buddy. Trust everyone, but always check.

frankie b
posted : January 9, 2011 Post subject: diving with a pony
i started wiyh a 12L then 15lt and pony and thought i would do it right and went to twin 12lts cw tec3 1st stages and xtx50 regs shoud have done this from the start got more confidence in myself and my kit you can neaver have to much air

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