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Spare Air??

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2001
Hi All.

I seem to remember a couple of years ago it was mentioned that
some freedive trainers would advocate the use of spare air bottles in the event of over doing a dive and prevent accidents - do any of you guys use them or is it just not worth it.

The question has been raised as my birthday's comming up and the wife has made spurious mentions of spare air - if its really not worth it I may have to cut her off at the pass!!

Thanks for your imput in advance,
My understanding is that unless you're a certified tank diver - you won't be able to buy one - need to show your cert card when purchasing or give a valid cert card # and the agency you were certified through..
Advice please.

Thanks for your reply Cliff,

The buying of the kit is no probs - I'm certified to trimix (and the scuba side of me is screaming out that that tiny bottle is useless!) but if I can ask your opinion as an instructor - would you recommend it or would I be better off going for another set of fins!!
Cheers mate,
I think it depends on what depth's you plan on going to. Personally, I have never used one. I think that it psychologically says that "I can stay down as long as I need to - I have this in case I stay down to long".

Freediving is a thinking persons activity - one must always be aware of their bodily processes while at depth - no matter if it is at 5 meters or 50 meters. I view the spare air as a crutch - a way to be sloppy, so to speak, in ones freediving technique. Besides, once you use it - you're done for the day - you have just gone from being a freediver to a tank diver.

But I have seen certain instances where they are useful. I have seen footage of Pipin having one strapped on each side of his video housing while shooting footage of large marine mammals. In that instance - where one is working on something of this scale, they are a necessary tool.

My $0.02 worth anyways...
Hi Lou,

I and many use Spare Air as a bail out bottle, the 2.7 cF one. I am not a qualified freediver ( maybe 5 more years:D :D ) but a recrational scuba instructor ( I gave up teaching long ago ). I live in the tropics and dive very light. This small air supply can save life ( in non deco state ) if you are say from 120 feet. This is about the maximum depth u can push with safe ascend rate. Remember I dive very light, only 2 kg of lead, 3mm polartec wetsuit and a single 80CF aluminum tank.

I don't know ur breathing rate but for me and all of my friends, this is a very useful bail-out bottle, no deco, no dive time extension............a do or die small bottle.... exactly how it is designed to be.

As for freediving, if you are hunting, I will personaly reccomend the Spare Air, we know that the line entanglement and other possible danger exist in much bigger proportion than if you are freediving to just be in the depth for pleasure. Again, as Mr. Etzel mentioned, you better do not assume that you are actualy carrying one to extend ur bottom time. This spoil the sport.

One might look at you a less macho freediver with those tiny bottles but if safety is most important to you, I don't see any fault of having small insurance tucked on ur weight belt. If you have a buddy pased out and sank deep, this tiny bottle might be the only instant solution to that emergency situation, unless you are sure that your skill and physic can handle the drag of a second diver from deep water, but how sure is sure until it happened ?

By carrying one of this small bottle the only damage is ur ego, if you keep sucking air out of it for dive time extension, then it will be best to scuba. Is it wrong to be extra cautious ? You choose.

A simple analogy is like a fighter pilot, is he wrong to carry a parachute ? He has a do or die job too. Do you put on a seat belt when you drive ? Does this seat belt make you look like a less capable driver ?

You are a scubadiver. We were taught how safety is above everything else. I see freediving differently, with many daring individuals ( the number is increasing ) trying to set world records ( of which a few died ), this is extreme sport if you push it. We can't blame them for whatever goal they are trying to set, it's their live and pride.

This is just my opinion. Hope my view help.

P.S Spare Air in my experience is not as reliable as say a US Diver reg. It's weakness is a very mild leak. It combined first stage and second stage in one seat design ( maybe the year 2002 model is different ). Don't ever purge this unit forcefully and always try to see escaping bubbles underwater, just in case there is a minor leak. Good luck.

My trimix buddies rip on me endlessly just because I own one!

I don't use it for regular freediving, but I do use it with my scooter. My scooter lets me get into way more trouble than a regualr freedive, so I figured that it would be an extra safety feature to have along.
You have to be a little bit careful on how you mount it if you are using a scooter. I had mine in the way of the prop wash one time and it free-flowed the bottle as I zipped along!

I have never acutally used mine for scuba diving.

Thanks alot for your opinions, much appreciated - it looks as if i'm gonna have to think about the pros and cons a bit more.
thanks again,
Hi Lou,

Re; the needing a cert to get a Spare Air or any other piece of SCUBA related gear for that matter, I'm amazed at how lax the industry is in not requiring to really see the friggin card.

Yo quero EBay?:duh

I personally carry a Spare Air when I'm wearing a tank and it's not for me. You or anybody else runs out of air and comes at me, I'm handing off the Spare Air and getting out of your way until you get a couple of hits and then I'll see what happens. I've been in a death grip with a "buddy" a few times and just between you and me, it's gonna be me. :blackeye

Freedive wise, leave it on the beach. You've enough to worry about losing while you're remembering to breath up correctly, equalize and still remember that it's supposed to be fun.

Originally posted by icarus pacific

Freedive wise, leave it on the beach.

Yes please !
If you are worried about SWB , remember that although all spearo's know dropping your weights might save you , almost all SWB cases are found with belt in place . You would be recovered gently bouncing on the bottom with your spare air securely in place .
If your concern is assisting a freediving buddy , dont dive over bottom outside your comfort zone .
In my opinion you will only increase your risk of entanglement .
Cheers for the replys

Right, thanks guys - decision made, I'll ditch the spare air idea and put the money towards a fdive course, I thinks I'm at the intermediate stage of fdiving which is supposed to be the most dangerous. Time to do it properly and get to an instructor!
Dive safe!
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