Category: Gear

Drysuit Repair Tips and Tricks

I don’t think I mentioned this in my write-up about my last dive, but while getting out after my first dive my foot started getting wet. On the second dive, this translated into a fully-flooded leg, to the point where my undergarment was saturated. Luckily I’m having some minor trim issues, otherwise the water may have spread to my core, hah!

Shining a light inside the drysuit to find a leak

Shining a light inside the drysuit to find a leak

I suspect that I nicked my ankle on a barnacle on the exit, which caused the leak. I’m somewhat rough on my drysuit feet and have patched multiple leaks and dealt with other drysuit issues over the years. Here are some notes/tips/tricks/ideas on repairing drysuits, the easy way!

I’ll tweak and update this post as time goes on, perhaps to improve presentation, and to continue putting new tricks as I learn more. At this point, I wrote this late and night and haven’t proof-read it yet, so I apologize if anything doesn’t make sense. As I find time I’ll proof-read and add some photos. I just wanted to hammer a quick post out while I was thinking of it.

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Inside a DS4


DS4 components, prior to rebuild.

In case you were wondering what the guts of an Apeks DS4 look like…

A New Backplate

I apologize in advance for another gear related, non-dive-photo post, but I had to cancel out on diving today to stay home to watch over a couple of sick ferrets. (They are improving, so no worries there.)

Ralphie inspecting my Backplate

Ralphie inspecting my Backplate

Since I’m at home, I have been using the time to fiddle with dive gear, including finishing setting up my new Heser Tauchtechnik backplate and making a sheath for my super hi-tech IKEA dive knife.

A little while back I ordered a Heser backplate through my LDS. Shipping from Germany took a little while, so I just got it this past week. This backplate weighs in at a whopping 5kg (11lbs), and replaces my current aluminum plate which weighs in at a minuscule 2lbs. The original motivation for getting an aluminum plate was predicated on the assumption that I would be traveling a lot to dive when I lived in Alberta, and I didn’t want to carry a steel plate on an airplane and or dive with it in the tropics. An Al plate made perfect sense, back then. Moving to the west coast, with it’s epic diving, changed things somewhat and I suffered for years with a huge amount of lead — Sinking a Whites Mk3 undergarment takes quite a bit of weight. I’ve experimented with integrated weight pockets on the harness, and eventually settled to a heavy weight belt. Now with this plate, I get to take most of the weight off my belt – Quite a win. When I transition to doubles, I’ll only need to have a keel weight to keep me properly weighted.

The machining and workmanship on the plate itself is rather quite impressive, and the Project Baseline webbing looks swift. I’m happy with this purchase.

IKEA Dive Knife

IKEA Dive Knife. Cheap, effective.

With the excess webbing, I finally made myself a proper sheath for my super-fancy, ultra-hi-tech IKEA dive knife. Now, a snapped-off steak knife is somewhat ultra-DIR, but I’ve found it to be a cheap and very effective solution. The motivation for this is that if the knife is dropped, there won’t be the same compulsion to go after it while in a nitrogen-narcosis induced stupor. At $2 a piece, they are cheap too. Not to mention the objective need for an over sized, pointed dive knife is somewhat debatable. So far I’ve found the IKEA stainless steel to be of high quality as well, with no rust after a lot of diving in salt water and minimal rinsing.  I carry a Benchmade rescue hook and EMT shears as well when I dive.

Sewing the sheath in the stuff webbing worked easier than I thought it would. I just used a regular needle and thread, and used the weave of the webbing to my advantage when poking through.

Stay tuned, I should have some actual dive photos up again soon. I’m planning on (finally) taking the camera out next time I go scuba or free-diving.




There hasn’t been much activity on this blog as of late, as I unfortunately didn’t get out diving over the winter. (Although I did get in some free-diving in on the Sunshine coast!). I have, however, gotten back into the swing of things recently. I haven’t been taking my camera out diving, as I’ve been doing some shakeout dives and working with Josh to help him get ready for finishing Fundies. So dive photos will have to wait. I have, however, been wanting to make some posts about dive equipment. To kick things off, here is some information on my GreenForce HID upgrade.

(Quick note, since this is a “work in progress”, I’m updating and editing this post as I work on the upgrade. There’s a high-level change-log at the bottom of the post)

GreenForce HID50 Head

GreenForce HID50 Head (With Benchmade 7-Hook and Light Monkey Goodman handle)

The Whys of DIY

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a tinkerer and love DIY projects. Anyone who’s dove with me knows that I have a love/hate relationship with my Greenforce 10w HID light (old HID50). Naturally, the two have collided, and I’m working on replacing the old HID bulb and ballast with an LED with the objective of increasing reliability, light intensity, and hopefully making the dive light better for underwater signalling. Here is how I’m doing this, on a budget.

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New Case!

I lucked out recently and found a used Ikelite case for my camera, for a very good price. I snapped it up, and now have a new camera case. I still need to get a new strobe arm that’s compatible with the tray, and do a test dive without the camera to ensure the case seals up tight, but it looks like I’ll be posting underwater photos again soon!

The case feels much more professional than the Canon case, and hopefully will prove to be sturdier. The photo below shows a nice comparison in the size and construction between the two cases, with the Ikelite case on the left, and the WP-DC28 case on the right.


Ikelite (L) and Cannon (R) Cases