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Thread: Hand Signals

  1. #1
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    Default Hand Signals

    Besides OK, go up, and air check; What are some of the most commonly used hand signals you use underwater to communicate with your buddy?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mark Vlahos's Avatar
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    Default

    With out question this is the best resource I have found for hand signals. The book is mostly intended for cave divers, but it is also a very good reference for recreational divers.

    The book pretty much covers all of the signals I see and use on a regular basis.

    Mark Vlahos
    At 50 dives, I thought I had this diving thing figured out. At 100 dives, I realized how wrong I was at 50.
    If you're going to dive like a man, shave like a man
    Cancer survivor since 2011.

  3. #3
    The Borg Queen LCF's Avatar
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    In addition to those, I commonly use: twirly finger for turn the dive; flat hand moving up a step for move up; clenched fist for "hold"; hand held palm up with all fingers together, then moved up and fingers spread for "shoot a bag".
    "What other sport is there where a cute woman has trouble getting rid of her underwear?" Doppler

  4. #4
    Fruit Pie the Magician. RIP Mo2vation's Avatar
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    Fist on the nose = "clown"

    Right hand / left hand rolling index fingers = "roto tiller"

    Combine above for "roto tilling clown"

    Fist to second stage (mime sucking thumb) = "this dive sucks." This will usually be followed by either the fork into mouth sign ("this dive sucks" + "lets go eat") or the tipping glass (index and pinky extended, tipping back) to deliver "this dive sucks" + "lets go drinkin'"




    There are lots of non-hand signals we use, too.

    Bug eyes = "are you kidding?"

    Drop reg from mouth = "no whay"

    Combine above for "no whay, are you kidding?"


    Grab can light cord in hands and mime horse's reins = "...and the horse you rode in on" (this is generally reserved as an add-on to any one of a number of signs...)


    Flat palm, mime writing = "do I need to write this down for you" (this will almost always garner some potty mouth sign, followed by the above, "and the horse you rode in on...")


    Grab light cord, spin can light head like a Kmart blue-light special = "I found a Tylodina Fungina Nudi"


    Clutch hand to chest, feign heart attack = "crap, I thought you'd never catch on... catch me while I faint" or a 5' angel shark you didn't see just lept from the sand at your feet and scared the poo out of you.

    The above is usually followed with Buddy lunging for my wrist = "when Ken dies, I get the X1".

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    Yeah - diving with our team is a Dive at the Improv. We're prop comics.

    We have hundreds of intra-team signs.


    -K
    You've got some new momentum - you better keep on going
    Tomorrow soon will be your yesterday
    You've got some new momentum - you better keep on going
    You've got to move to make it all the way... - NM

  5. #5
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    OMG some of these are priceless; and not to be found in any book... :-)

    one missing but actually comes in very handy (no pun) is the middle finger
    Not even meant as humor- - - a finger to light- - _____'fd light ;
    finger to gauge/computer ____'fd computer
    finger to head... well just not too mentally there.... :-)

    "slow down" up and down palm motion I use pretty frequently
    as well as the "finger pointing arrow" with the finger towards exit and thumb up...

    again gotta love some of the quoted ones below...
    (ohhh not to mention the clown nose coupled with the finger- - "____'fng clown" typically when pointing towards your buddy... as in "you are a _____ " )

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by Mo2vation View Post
    Fist on the nose = "clown"

    Right hand / left hand rolling index fingers = "roto tiller"

    Combine above for "roto tilling clown"

    Fist to second stage (mime sucking thumb) = "this dive sucks." This will usually be followed by either the fork into mouth sign ("this dive sucks" + "lets go eat") or the tipping glass (index and pinky extended, tipping back) to deliver "this dive sucks" + "lets go drinkin'"




    There are lots of non-hand signals we use, too.

    Bug eyes = "are you kidding?"

    Drop reg from mouth = "no whay"

    Combine above for "no whay, are you kidding?"


    Grab can light cord in hands and mime horses reins = "...and the horse you rode in on" (this is generally reserved as an add-on to any one of a number of signs..."


    Flat palm, mime writing = "do I need to write this down for you" (this will almost always garner some potty mouth sign, followed by the above, "and the horse you rode in on...")


    Grab light cord, spin can light head like a Kmart blue-light special = "I found a Tylodina Fungina Nudi"


    Clutch hand to chest, feign heart attack = "crap, I thought you'd never catch on... catch me while I faint" or a 5' angel shark you didn't see just lept from the sand and scared the poo out of you.

    The above is usually followed with Buddy lunging for my wrist = "when Ken dies, I get the X1".

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    Yeah - diving with our team is a Dive at the Improv. We're prop comics.

    We have hundreds of intra-team signs.


    -K

  6. #6
    Site Moderator Ben V's Avatar
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    Dive buddy Don has a nice series of entries in his blog about handsignals... a nice read

    Deep Sea Sherpa
    Today I went to look at Drysuits... and came home with a tube of Aquaseal :(

  7. #7
    Fruit Pie the Magician. RIP Mo2vation's Avatar
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    Default And now, the real answer

    Quote Originally Posted by IE_Diver View Post
    Besides OK, go up, and air check; What are some of the most commonly used hand signals you use underwater to communicate with your buddy?
    This is what the pre-dive briefing is all about. Well, that and weeding out the un-diveable.

    Seriously - the cave crew and T1 club can point you to all of the 'standardized' sign websites and threads and courses and books they want - and many of these are good. But the bottom line is if the core signs are not standardized to you and your buddy on this very dive, they not standard at all.

    If your buddy was taught (and dives) five-finger-flashy, and you were taught (and dive) the one-handed number system - who cares who's "right"? If you guys are not together on THIS DIVE, it doesn't matter what the standard is, or who is "right"... you're not going to be able to communicate down there.

    • ALWAYS run through the "core" signs before you splash if you're diving with someone new, someone who is new, or someone who's not in your regular circle. These core signs include the thumb (end the dive) the turn (turn the dive) the OK (thumbs up never means OK), the digits (as in numbers... how much gas do you have, depth, time, etc.) and time to deco, how to move from stop to stop, hold, pause, go, etc, etc.


    • ALWAYS have wetnotes or a slate available ON THIS DIVE. If you guys aren't clear, if there is any doubt at all, pause and simply write it down.


    Remember: the responsibility for understanding the sign is 100% on the sign GIVER. When giving a sign, you need to be clear, concise, demonstrative, demand, secure, and keep the attention of the sign receiver and most of all, receive an acknowledgment. I'll mention him again in a moment, but there is nobody I've dived with better at this than FDog. He's simply the best sign giver, ever.

    Your buddy isn't a mind-reader. If they don't get the sign or misinterpret the sign they're receiving, its 100% YOUR FAULT.

    Chica and I have hundreds of signs between us because we've done nearly a thousand dives together and, well, we're silly and can't stop ourselves. So to onlookers who aren't in the dive team on this dive, we look like a couple of mental patients, gesticulating wildly - arms flailing and bubbles flying as we crack each other up.

    But when we're paired with another diver - its all business. We did some dives recently with FDog, who we've dived with once over a year ago. The communication on these recent dives was nails as we know the "standardized signs" and the three of us understood each other perfectly for the core signs.


    -Ken
    You've got some new momentum - you better keep on going
    Tomorrow soon will be your yesterday
    You've got some new momentum - you better keep on going
    You've got to move to make it all the way... - NM

  8. #8
    Site Moderator Ben V's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo2vation View Post
    Fist on the nose = "clown"

    Right hand / left hand rolling index fingers = "roto tiller"

    Combine above for "roto tilling clown"

    Fist to second stage (mime sucking thumb) = "this dive sucks." This will usually be followed by either the fork into mouth sign ("this dive sucks" + "lets go eat") or the tipping glass (index and pinky extended, tipping back) to deliver "this dive sucks" + "lets go drinkin'"




    There are lots of non-hand signals we use, too.

    Bug eyes = "are you kidding?"

    Drop reg from mouth = "no whay"

    Combine above for "no whay, are you kidding?"


    Grab can light cord in hands and mime horses reins = "...and the horse you rode in on" (this is generally reserved as an add-on to any one of a number of signs..."


    Flat palm, mime writing = "do I need to write this down for you" (this will almost always garner some potty mouth sign, followed by the above, "and the horse you rode in on...")


    Grab light cord, spin can light head like a Kmart blue-light special = "I found a Tylodina Fungina Nudi"


    Clutch hand to chest, feign heart attack = "crap, I thought you'd never catch on... catch me while I faint" or a 5' angel shark you didn't see just lept from the sand and scared the poo out of you.

    The above is usually followed with Buddy lunging for my wrist = "when Ken dies, I get the X1".

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .







    Yeah - diving with our team is a Dive at the Improv. We're prop comics.

    We have hundreds of intra-team signs.


    -K
    As an occasional guest on some of Team CK's adventures it's hilarious when you find yourself in the middle of a long exchange of patented Team CK signals... That being said it took a lot of composure not to blow all my gas laughing... I don't know what's more amazing, the creativity... or the fact that I understood everything that was going on LOL
    Today I went to look at Drysuits... and came home with a tube of Aquaseal :(

  9. #9
    May I have this dive? HBDiveGirl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo2vation View Post
    But when we're paired with another diver - its all business. We did some dives recently with FDog, who we've dived with once over a year ago. The communication on these recent dives was nails as we know the "standardized signs" and the three of us understood each other perfectly for the core signs.

    -Ken
    hee hee... I 'specially loved the business-like core signal by James,

    "Ok, This is where you do a big sweeping barrel roll with your microcuda and I'm your wingman on the faster Cuda and I'll barrel roll in synchrony around you.. like a double helix... It'll be soooo COOOL!!!"

    Well, it's a standardized signal now.

    It all went so well until the George of the Jungle moment: "Watch out for That Rock!!!"


    I can't even imagine a dive where text book hand signals could express all the inspired joy and fun of the experience.
    Ken and I go nuts with the pantomime haiku charades, both totally unwilling to settle for boring subtitles instead of the full script.

    If the textbook hand signals are enough, the team needs to try harder.


    I'm blessed with the Night at the Improv buddies!!!!


    ~~~~
    Claudette
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." --Albert Einstein

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