One of my great pet hates is ‘danglies’. These are the unsecured bits of kit that “dangle” off a diver like octis, lights or gauge consoles. There is just something about an untethered octi or gauge console dragging behind a diver that offends me and gets my OCD screaming! And it’s not just my sense of aesthetics that are upset either, danglies cause a bunch of problems like:
- Entanglement: All these dangling bits and pieces can easily get caught in the reef or wreck that can either be a minor inconvenience or a life-threatening event.
- Damage to gear: Anything dangling along behind you is likely to get bashed and damaged. Divers are clumsy enough without making it worse. One of the most common danglies is of course your octi which is the last thing you want to have damaged. An out of air emergency is bad enough by itself without having to deal with an octi that’s full of the sand it’s been dragged through.
- Damage to the environment: We are always trying to minimize our impact on the aquatic environment we love so much so the last thing we want to be doing is bashing gear into any delicate structures.
- Ease of access: You want all your gear at your fingertips when you need it. Keep it stowed neatly so you can get at it quickly and without fumbling.
- Drag: We should be taking every opportunity to increase our streamlining through the water not increasing our drag.
- You look like an idiot: Nothing screams ‘I’m a kook’ like danglies. You didn’t spend all that time and effort colour coordinating your snorkel and fin straps just to lose all your cool guy points to an unsecured SPG.
The good news is that keeping your gear neat and streamlined is easy!
- Use clips and connectors: There are a plethora of snap clips and connectors available from brass carabiners to retractors. My personal favourites are simply stainless dog clips attached with cable ties.
- Use pockets: You don’t have to display all your toys on the outside. Use the pockets on your BCD or wetsuit to keep items safely tucked away.
- Use bungee cord: If you do need something on the outside of your gear use bungee cord to cinch it down tight.
- KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. The leading cause of danglies is simply carting around too much junk. Do you really need that fourth knife and is it really necessary to have that wreck reel clipped to you if you’re not going to actually use it?
So before your next dive make a dangle check part of your pre-dive procedure and point out any danglies to your buddies as it might be you who needs their octi in good working order.