Doing It Right: The Fundementals of Better Diving
DIR/ 2004 a three disc video review by Jarrod Jablonski & George Irvine
I`ve been curious about the DIR system. Some of you might know that because I`ve posted on the buddy boards asking about opinions on it. What I finally did was go to the GUE website and order their material to read and watch for myself.
The book is 170 pages long and wastes very little time on fluff. To me the DIR system comes down to simplicity, streamlining and training. They lay out their position and then proceed to drive it home. Sometimes with a sledgehammer. They are not subtle about their belief that they have developed the best and most reliable system for diving. On page 66 the arrogance that they have a bad rep for shows through (most of the book they manage to avoid it) That page is when they start comparing their system to other systems and discussing whether you can adopt their system piecemeal. Guess what, they think you`re wasting your time if you do but that it`ll be an improvement over what you`ve been doing.
When it comes right down to it, I was impressed with the book. The writing wasn`t dumbed down at all. You won`t get the impression that they think you`re to stupid to understand the more advanced techniques. As a matter of fact, they take the position that the more advanced forms of diving especially when it comes to mixed gases will become the norm and most responsible divers should adopt them. I would have to say that I think the book is designed for divers with some experience or to people who plan to put a lot of time and effort into detailed study. I think their attitude towards quick release fasteners and dive computers borders on the paranoid. Though their point about dive computers being a crutch just like a calculator is in math is valid. You should learn the tables first. And, you should plan your dives with the tables to keep those skills sharp. Electronics can fail your knowledge shouldn`t. After the drills I went through at the PADI Rescue Diver course I was wondering about getting a DIR rig off in the water when dealing with an unconcious diver. That quick release buckle came in handy during those drills. I do agree with the points they made in the video about people relying on quick release buckles to get out of your equipment on the boat. If that`s why you have them then you`re just being lazy, their rig will work perfectly well if you know how to handle it in those circumstances.
The video is an excellent supplement to the book. Together they very much resemble a PADI crew pack on an advanced level. The 3 DVD video is about 8 hours long to give you an example. Some of it was very easy to understand at my level. Others, like the gas mixing and stage bottles tended to shoot over my head due to my lack of ever having dealt with them. I felt like I basically understood them, but I wouldn`t try to adopt those procedures without a course. Someone who has learned Tech diving from another agency could probably adopt DIR in that area with just the books and video. I felt like I could adapt DIR to recreational diving up to doubles and nitrox without taking a DIR class. During the video, the attitude that DIR has gotten a rep for does show up more often. The demonstrators are the guys who developed the system and they don`t edit themselves when they`re talking like they do when they are writing. More then once you`ll see them disparaging divers who don`t use their system (strokes)
The third disc is where the educational seems more like fun. This has a long question and answer style section where they describe their dive experiences that led them to develope DIR. I`d suggest watching that part of disc three first and then watch the first two before going back to the third for the sections on planning extreme dive planning and decompression.
My background in the military may be what makes the DIR system and its rationale attractive to me. The KISS concept (Keep It Simple Stupid) aka soldier proofing your system is very attractive to me. Solid training is as well. Short of getting into the water with it, I`d say that DIR sounds like a good idea.
Where you can see and order them.