Your Octi (Alternate Source or Secondary Second Stage) is like the unsung hero of your dive gear. To some divers, it might seem like a silent sentinel – just dangling, waiting, and seemingly inactive. And while it's true that it doesn't engage as frequently as your primary, its potential importance in critical situations cannot be stressed enough. It’s not just about having a backup; it's about ensuring that backup works flawlessly when it matters most.
Cost vs. Reliability
A common misconception is that a reliable Alternate Source will burn a hole in your pocket. That’s far from the truth. Quality doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag.
1. Budget-Friendly and Compact: Consider options like the Performance Diver Slimline Occy. Crafted for minimal intrusion and cost-effectiveness, it provides reliable functionality without being cumbersome or overly expensive.
2. High-Performance Alternates: If you're looking for something that mirrors your primary in terms of performance, the Performance Diver Standard Occy or Scubapro R295 Alternate Source is worth a look. They closely resemble their primary counterparts, offering a consistent and high-grade breathing experience, albeit with a different color scheme. Although pricier and bulkier than the Slimline, their performance makes them worth the investment.
3. Integrated Octi - The New Zealand Favorite: Options such as Ocean Design Air Plus or Scubapro Air II are gaining traction, especially in NZ waters. Why? They cleverly merge the inflator of your BCD with the AS, reducing the number of hoses and minimizing snag risks. But, be aware – in emergencies, you'll donate your primary and rely on this combo unit. Additionally, these require a high flow regulator hose, which usually comes included.
Your Alternate Source is not an afterthought. It demands the same meticulous care as your primary. After all, it's designed to be your lifeline in emergencies. Whether it's post-dive rinsing, regular servicing, or pre-dive checks, ensure your AS is always in optimal condition.
To sum it up, while your Octi might remain largely unused, its role in potential high-stress situations is indispensable. Choose wisely, maintain diligently, and dive with the assurance that you're prepared for any situation.
Dive Smart, Dive Safe,