IDC Guide

Equipment Exchange on DM Course

The Equipment Exchange exercise on the DM course allows candidates to plan ahead and
lets them see if they can solve problems creatively as they arise, as this is an exercise that is designed to see how you cope with unanticipated problems underwater
by exchanging all scuba equipment (apart from websuit / weights). If done in a relaxed and calm manner after a period of planning it can be fun but if not planned and if the breathing is not regulated then you can struggle, here is a recent query

Student question: I just had to do the complete equipment exchange while buddy breathing drill today.  After already having spent 4hrs in the pool assisting an IDC class, I admit I wasn’t relaxed or refreshed to start with. I also did the drill with a person distinctly larger than me.  Anyway, this was the first time I did this and I did the 5 min prep as best I could agreeing on the order of the exhange (bcd _ i take mine off first, fins, mask) and that we’d breath off of her reg to start.  I got my bcd off ok, then she got hers off, but as I started putting hers on breathing was already becoming a challenge and she then struggled getting in my xsmall so by the time we were both fully dressed again I just was breathing to quickly to be able to go on.

So, now of course I have to the whole thing over. The instructor told me to slow down and that I should agree on a breathing pattern (2 breaths  in/out) with my buddy before starting. However, I am not sure that I feel that is enough guidance to really help me through this.   Are there any other tips to this task overload drill that you could give me so that I can pass 🙂

IDC Guide: This is a great exercise and one people can struggle with, but dont worry its not really a proper skill or exercise that you will ever need to do for ‘real’ and the key to it is simply (as your instructor said) slow down and ensure you have a breathing pattern planned out. Its actually a waste of time trying to coach someone to do it as the point of the exercise it so give you something to do underwater that is deliberately  putting you out your comfort zone to see if you can cope and all we would say is talk about how you are to achieve it, be flexible, dont take it too seriously, expect it not to go to plan and have fun doing it. Good luck, and its much more fun when you are an Instructor watching your DMT attempt it 🙂

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