I read things on the forums. I come up with long winded answers that go far beyond what the OP asked. I post them. I get mocked for committing overanswer.com and drinking too many sugar free redbull. I am going to try something new.
In a fabulously random turn of events, when i write one of my novelettes as a response, instead of posting it there, I will just post it here.
This week we are going to address SMB (surface marker buoys) and how to inflate them.
The question was something along the lines of: “should i use my drysuit or bcd inflator to inflate my SMB?”
I have some entertaining video of what happens when your buddy decides to try and inflate a closed cell DAM with an inflator whip.
The ideal use of the SMB is to have a controllable device underwater (after it heads up, another story) so you are only putting enough gas in there to send it on its way (the gas will expand on the way up, i promise) whilst still allowing a measure of control (you can hang out with it all day at depth if you have a GUE instructor floating above your head).
If you are using a larger Closed Cell DAM and sending it up from deeper (conditions that may merit use of a larger DAM) a single partial breath will still be more than enough to fill it on the surface.
Inflating with a LP whip, no matter HOW gentle and controlled you think you can with that valve be will make for a much less controllable situation. In fact due to the smaller size and shape of the SMB and the fact that unlike a lift bag you have no ‘weight’ helping control it, you can effectively …launch it at your buddy. bonk!
Your hands will both be rather busy one holding the nipple in place with the inflator whip engaged and the other turning the valve knob, which reduces the amount of control on overall situation AKA the spool that will be thinking of creative ways to tangle you up. (or maybe my hands are just too small to manage the whip and hold the spool at same time, YMMV)
To a novice, using an inflator whip may seem like a better idea (not removing your reg from mouth, speed, etc…) but by the time you are doing larger dives you will have practiced this deploy many many times and it will be like second nature. This is about efficiency of motion, not speed. Trying to go fast just makes things messy 🙂
Thats not to say it can’t be done, just sayin’ that its likely way easier just do use it as designed and orally inflate.
Whilst using larger 80lb closed cell lift bags to lift larger items (in the 40-80lb range) on the other hand, I find having a whip on a stage bottle ideal because it takes me about 14 breaths to fill for full lift capacity and can potentially cause a touch of hyperventilation if you don’t pause long enough between breathes. For smaller loads I will still use oral inflation because even though you are lifting from the bottom and in a stable situation, it is far more ideal to be using finesse over force 🙂