How to Manage the Long Hose

As divers are seeing the benefit of diving the long hose, more and more scuba divers are switching from short hoses to the long hose configuration. While it is very important to understand how to dive the long hose, it is equally important to know how to manage the long hose when you actually have to deploy it. Many divers new to the long hose have no clue how to actually deploy it, let alone how to manage it once it is fully deployed during an air share.

Air Share on the Long Hose

Once the long hose has been deployed on an air share, you can’t simply forget about it. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the long hose is left hanging out there. Know what this becomes? Another accident waiting to happen is what it is. As the hose is floating around in the water, it can snag on something (i.e. wreck, rock, coral, etc). Once it snags, it can quickly come out of the out of air (OOA) diver’s mouth. Thus causing another out of air situation.

Long hose routing once deployed will depend on the position of the divers in relation to one another. Another consideration would be if the divers are forced to swim single file (like getting through a restriction).

If the donating diver is on the left side of the OOA diver, the long hose will be held by the OOA diver in their left hand, wrapped behind the head and into the mouth of the OOA diver. The graphic below shows the hose routing. In this example. The OOA diver is on the right and the donor diver is on the left.

Long Hose Air Share Side by Side

If the donating diver is on the right side of the OOA diver, the long hose will be routed behind the donating diver’s head. It will be held by the OOA diver in their right hand and into the mouth. The graphic below shows the hose routing. In this example, the OOA diver is on the left and the donor diver is on the right.

Long Hose Air Share OOA Diver on Left

When traveling single file while air sharing with the long hose, the donating diver will be behind the OOA diver. The long hose will be routed from the donor, up to the OOA diver, running next to the tanks of the OOA diver. Then into the OOA diver’s mouth. The graphic shows the hose routing. In this example. The OOA diver is in front and to the left.

Long Hose Air Share Single File

It should be noted as well, that the donor is also responsible for managing the long hose. The donor can hold onto the long hose to keep it from getting caught on something. Just make sure the donor doesn’t interfere with the OOA diver. In each case of an air share, the OOA diver should be holding onto the long hose. Remember, that hose is the only source of breathing gas. It should also be mentioned that touch contact becomes critical when swimming while on an air share. When on the air share with the long hose, the donating diver should maintain touch contact with the OOA diver.

The thing that diver’s should take away from this, is that the team needs to decide which method of routing the long hose works best for the situation they are in. Each time the air sharing team changes direction or conditions change, the long hose routing needs to be evaluated. This can be the difficult part considering a diver did have an out of air emergency and decision making may become rushed. Take your time, move slowly and maintain awareness of where the long hose is at all times.

About Duane Johnson

Duane Johnson is the founder of Precision Diving and runs a scuba diving blog to help scuba divers improve their diving skills and enjoyment. He teaches recreational and technical scuba diving classes in the Chicago area. Learn more about him here and follow him on Twitter at @PrecisionDiving.


  1. Kerry Chambers says:

    Nice article, Duane. There is one more issue with long hose management that you didn’t address. Sharing air in zero visibility while following a guideline adds another problem. Since it now requires the OOA diver to keep contact with the line as well as his buddy plus control the long hose. I’m thinking it would be possible to clip the long hose to the right shoulder D-ring if the clip was a few inches from the regulator. Even if the reg was pulled from the OOA divers mouth, he would know where to quickly relocate the hose. I haven’t heard of this technique being used but it seems like a logical idea. What are your thoughts?

    • Thanks for the comment Kerry. You are absolutely right. When you add the line and low/no viz, it complicates the exit for divers on an air share.

      I think the problem you’ll have with clipping off the donating long hose to the OOA diver’s right chest d-ring is that you now limit the head movement for the OOA diver. Since the OOA diver will be in the lead, he/she needs to be the one to see where the team is going. If the long hose is clipped off, then the OOA diver won’t be able to turn their head and look to the left. I would think it would be to restricting.

      I should also not to everyone else, that these techniques outline here work for both double and single tank configurations.

      • Kerry Chambers says:

        True, it would limit the ability to look around. I have different thoughts on who leads out though. I follow the philosophy that the less stressed diver should lead since navigational decisions will probably be required. Maybe that’s just a cave diver mentality or my training is antiquated. I guess it really comes down to what the team accepts and practices. Luckily I’ve never had a real out of air emergency. Thanks for giving me something to think about and test on my next practice session! :)

        • It depends Kerry. For my friends and I, we could handle either OOA diver in front or back. If I were diving with an inexperienced diver, I’d put them in front. That way, there is no chance for you to accidentally yank the reg out of their mouth. Think about this, if the donor was in front and the place silted out, the donor wouldn’t be able to see if the OOA diver lost the long hose and was signaling (with a light). If you think about it, OOA divers will go where the air source goes.

  2. I Are Diver says:

    It is essential that divers take training before switching to the long hose. I was very keen to change to the hog loop, but waited until i had completed my tech course before adopting it on a permanent basis.

    OOG drills are very different to my rec training, changes buddy checks and everything to ensure the hose is not snagged etc.

    Another important factor is when a can light is used as the cable can trap the long hose. That was my first mistake when i changed. At the end of the dive i stowed my can light and tucked the cable into my waist band as usual forgetting it was now OVER THE TOP of my long hose. I are bad diver!

    I think it goes hand in hand with a different mindset when you decide to dive a hog loop / long hose / primary donate.