Cave Diving, Cave Exploration and Cave Mapping in Yucatan, Mexico
A bathing bird at the Zoo in Sydney

Update to My Cave Diving Helmet

About a year ago I wrote my original Cave Diving Helmet article.  Since then my diving has rapidly evolved calling for ever more refinement in my helmet.  Following are some photos of two revisions of my helmet.  The photos with the yellow backup lights is what I call revision two.  It was sufficient for sidemount diving.  I used it to do a bunch of survey and 100 sidemount dives.  It was still a little too bulky and presented a lot of drag.

The photos with the single light head holder is revision three.  This came about when I started to scooter deep cave with my CCR and realized I needed the minimum amount of drag and tightest fit to stop the helmet from moving when I was zipping along.  Additionally, I learned that my backup lights interfered with my T pieces on my over the shoulder counter lungs.

The things to notice are:

  1. I changed the shape of the helmet by slicing it down the middle and clamshelling it.  It sits very tight to my head now and doesn’t move at all.
  2. I got rid of the flimsy black PVC and created a nice new holder out of white pvc.  I also created some wedges for adjusting the focus of the light for scootering.  Also, I rounded the edges of the PVC to allow easier insertion of the light head.
  3. The teal helmet is the original helmet, I have a backup encase I blunder when cutting.  You can see the difference in fit and shape.  And a serious lack of holes.
  4. Like all things in cave diving, my helmet and my needs have gotten very specific.  For CCR, I need one light configuration.  For sidemount/survey/exploration I need a different configuration.  I have not reconciled how I am going to switch back and fourth.  Maybe the teal helmet will fill one role and the purple one the other role.
  5. I am migrating away from the SL4 LED lights to the Intova light.  Having 8 C-Cell batteries on your head is heavy.

I think that is all, just wanted to write a quick article.  Enjoy and I look forward to you comments!

3 comments

1 John K { 03.25.09 at 1:57 pm }

Nice modifications. Thanks for documenting it. Glad you back blogging.

John

2 CRUZ { 05.25.10 at 4:30 am }

Is your helmet positively buoyant? Where can I purchase one?

3 Hans Kaspersetz { 05.25.10 at 7:36 am }

Cruz, the helmet is negative but not by much. I purchased the purple helmet at a supermarket in Playa del Carmen. The teal one I purchased from a guy on a scooter on the street. I paid 50 Pesos each, which is about $3.50USD.

When I got the helmets they had a foam liner. I removed all the foam and cut the helmet apart so I could redesign it to fit my hood very tightly. It took several tries before it fit, some of which were very uncomfortable.

I hope that is helpful. Since I don’t know where you live, I can’t really recommend where you can get a helmet.

Where do you live?