Put simply DIR is a way of diving aimed to reduce in-water accidents by unifying equipment setup and diving procedures to a more streamlined and efficient way of diving.
In this blog I'm going to cover just the basics of what DIR is and where it comes from as going into each aspect will take some time.
DIR stands for Doing It Right and started back in the '90s by the WKPP for cave explorers because many divers were building and customising their gear and diving styles leading to confusion in the water and accidents.
The equipment setup is often referred to as a Hog or Hogarthian rig after William Hogarth Main and focuses on simplicity and efficiency with minimal unnecessary parts or failure points. Bill Main is a 25+ year cave diving explorer who has spent many years adjusting and testing equipment configurations to find the safest and most efficient rig possible for different objectives.
Your harness should be a single length of 2" webbing threaded through your backplate and only have one QR buckle at the waist with a crotch strap. QR buckles are seen as potential failure points and once you set up your harness just right it isn't too hard to get in or out of it.
x5 D-Rings are spaced around the harness with one over each shoulder, one on your left hip and two on your crotch strap, all with specific uses without any excess.
DIR divers donate their primary 2nd stage and keep their alternate under their neck with a necklace so they have a single long hose setup on twin and single cylinders. Your primary regulator should always come off a right hand valve cylinder and with proper gas management you should only need one SPG even on twins.
With DIR you shouldn't need huge wings, bungee'd or double bladders because you should be weighted properly so you can drop excess weight and swim up without aid from a BCD if it ever fails. The aim is to be as neutral as possible at all times so you should only need your BCD for minor adjustments as you breathe your gas down.
Larger wings have more drag when diving and bungees squeeze out any bouyancy if the bladder is torn.
DIR is much more than equipment configuration and concentrates on divers keeping physically and mentally fit to prevent and fix any problems on the go with strong team-work and comfort in the water.
A lot of focus is spent on precise buoyancy of each diver with minimal weight for perfect trim and the ability to surface by dropping weights if necessary. Trim is very important for correct positioning in the water for better efficiency in the water.
Basic skills like mask clearing and AAS donation is practiced regularly so there is no confusion and any real world incident is handled quickly and efficiently and everybody is aware of their role.
DIR divers aim to be as safe and efficient as possible by unifying equipment configuration and diving procedures so everything runs smoothly and divers come back every time.
While every diver customises their gear to fit their diving better we all need to think about another diver needing to understand our kit in the unlikely event of an emergency in the water. A 1 minute pre-dive safety check is often fast-forwarded for jumping in the water sooner.
DIR isn't about being flashy or better than other divers, it's about being humble and uniform so divers can work as a safe efficient team.