Doin' it Right (DIR)
Update! Read the DIR response to our original piece.
How to rig your outfit the DIR way.
Please note: It would be extremely irresponsible, dangerous, and foolish for you to assemble and
wear this rig without understanding exactly why you're doing it and what each little
Keep it simple
Too many people today seem under the impression that more is always better. The basic principles of the DIR outfit are this:
1. Remove all unecessary equipment - take all you need, but only what you need.
2. Each member of the team should be wearing an identical outfit. This makes it easy to understand each others equipment and in an emergency, kit can be swapped or cross patched.
Lets look at each item starting from the top.
Almost goes without saying that it should be kept short, no more than 1 inch on top. For easy identification, it should be parted slightly to the left.
A French crop would appear to be a suitable alternative at first glance, it presents a number of problems:
1. A considerable increase in task loading as it requires visiting a decent hair dressers in the first place and then regular maintenance after that.
2. Usually requires some form of gel/mousse. The use of hair products is strictly for strokes and only serves to increase drag and reduce efficiency.
Other Syles to Avoid:
Quiff - too much task loading due to the maintenance
Mullet - although popular in Holland and Germany, it really doesn't get any more unfashionable than this. And anyway a hair cut named after a fish? - I ask you.
Curly mop - although it requires no real maintenance there is a distinct likelyhood of being mistaken for Sheck Exley, Rob Palmer or Bill Stone (the horror of it).
Moustache - not strictly a hair cut, you may end up being mistaken for one of the above. It can create an even worse scenario when combined with cropped hair - you just end up looking like one of the Village People.
Simple wire rimmed are essential as they are light and unobtrousive. Designer glasses are not acceptable because they are too individual and therefore cannot be interchanged with another team member in an emergency.
This is a key part of the outfit and whilst there are many t-shirts on the market, the DIR shirt must have the following criteria:
White Eygptian cotton
Short sleeves - the correct length must be 5 inches - any longer and there is a risk of entanglement, any shorter and there is a risk that they'll look like those cap sleeve T-shirts that were worn in the 70s (thus precipitating a major fashion incident).
The DIR logo on the front should be at least 3 inches high, as you will be instantly recognisable anyway, and there should be no other markings on the T-shirt. Beware of large oversize type as this is dangerously 80s (eg Frankie Says Relax).
The back of the T-shirt should have a much larger logo (at least 12 inches) with the words 'No Strokes' written on it. This will allow you to be clearly seen by other team members who may be looking for you in a conference room or busy pub.
There is no excuse for incorrect T-shirt markings - although other agencies recommend other sizes and colours it may lead to other team members failing to recognise you.
Always analyse your T-shirt before wearing it. Picking up a T-shirt from the drawer or the shop without properly checking it first could be dangerous. A recent incident occured when a Genesis Tour T-shirt was mistakenly bought from a shop (the label hadn't been checked) in the belief that it was actually a bonafide DIR T-shirt.
Levis regular 501's with the button fly. The key thing about these is that they have the correct number of pockets and most significantly, exactly 5 belt loops of 1 1/2 inch diameter. This standardization allows team members to cross patch their equipment during a major trouser emergency.
There has been an trend away from jeans and towards combat trousers in the belief that the extra pockets will come in useful. This is wrong. Its just a just fashion thing as the extra pockets creates an atmospheric trapping effect, thus increasing drag.
Brown leather, 1 inch in width. These fit best into the 501's belt loops and stay properly in place. Extras like studs should be avoided as they may snag.
Timberland desert shoes. Colour:sand. Makes for easy identification of other team members and allows for interchangeability if you end up putting your foot in it and ending up on your back-up shoe. Avoid boots as they create drag (especially in thigh length patent leather)
Must not be cross threaded through the islets as they will make removal and replacement difficult in the event of a major shoelace failure.
Leather, rubber, studs - just say no to bondage gear. This is Doin' It Right! (not an S&M convention - though lets face it, easy mistake to make)
Mark Brill, 1999
After posting this on the Tech Diver Mailing list, we received this typically stern response from one of the DIR divers (George Hamilton IV or someone)...
What you morons need to understand is that to wear any thing other than
Egyptian cotton, you would have to be an blithering idiot. How many people
to die before you strokes get a clue. There is no excuse not to
have the right equipment. Rayon, Silk, 50 50 blends. These are nothing but
attempts by manufactures to take advantage of all you strokes.
The catwalks have displayed some of the most dangerous stupidity ever
I am real sick of amateur bullshit opinions whether they come from 5th
Pairs. We do not need displays of drooling ignorance, such as long sleeves.
the insulation provided by 5 inches is insufficient you should abort your
excursion. I've been wearing T-shirts longer than most of you have been
I learned the hard way. The fact is that I know what it is like to come out
from hell with only Haynes on my back.
I don't buy cheap ass bullshit gear for Evening Dress, and only a stroke
would do so.
Suits are some of the worst examples of idiocy I have ever
seen, like collared shirts, with ties no less, have resulted in fatality
You can not get around the logic of the system, and when you start
adding other things, you are asking for confusion, trouble and mutations
that will end up killing somebody.
Are any of the basics of DIR making any sense to the strokes yet, or do
we need more research?
But if you really want to know how to rig your harness, go to www.gas-diving.demon.co.uk/pages/misc/kit/harness.htm
There's more on DIR at www.wkpp.org