Spare Air – The Best Item in Your Scuba Toolbox
By Melinda Herndon, Director eScuba Pty Ltd and Dive Instructor
I purchased my first Spare Air during my inaugural year of diving…directly after a much more experienced dive buddy had an out of air emergency and scared the heck out of me by grabbing my primary and bringing me to the surface too fast. I was so freaked out, that it took me half a minute to even sort out getting my octo in hand and it was flooded & I was too green and anxious to remember to purge, so I aspirated on the first breath.
The spare air was recommended to me by a friend whose life had been saved by the thing after a catastrophic equipment failure. I used the products provided out of the box to craft a slick behind body position for the small and magical tank so I had no drag at all…anti drag, actually, with the confidence that comes from knowing u have the ability to self-rescue. Additionally, It is beyond easy to maintain, travel with and refill from your main cylinder. In the case of self-rescue, it is as easy as de-holstering it and breathing. Even in the case of helping out a buddy, you can maintain more control by putting it into their mouth and helping them to make a controlled ascent whist positioned behind.
After a decade and a half of use, I accidentally left my original spare air behind on a dive trip and decided to replace my 3.0 tank with a 1.7. I love the smaller size and weight. This is a very small footprint for a device that can save one’s life in the event of an out of air emergency OR an equipment failure. It is hard to imagine a more meaningful bit of safety equipment than the spare air in any scuba “toolbox”.