Lanyards are a useful tool for any underwater imaging enthusiast for both security and usability. Once you use a lanyard, you will never want to go back to the old days of simply holding your housing, you’ll miss the ease that comes with slinging a big camera rig over your shoulder and hopping on a boat. Luckily, these are an affordable comfort that is easy to pack and bring along on your aquatic adventures. If you haven’t seen a lanyard in action and are wondering if this tool belongs in your kit, then read on; we’ll show you why this has become a favorite accessory for most underwater housing owners.
Why use a lanyard?
We suggest using a lanyard for 3 main reasons:
- They make it easier to carry your system
- They can be used as an emergency clip off point if a dive gets tricky
- They make it easier to hand your system up to the boat
For a housing with arms and strobes/lights
The best way to utilize a lanyard is to have a set of multipurpose clamps with shackles for your lanyard to clip onto. We suggest using them as the “Elbow Joint” in your set up, meaning they will be used in between your two arms with both shackles facing up. Pulling the lanyard upwards causes the strobes to tuck in, making it a great way to manage your camera’s extremities while you are walking or even when you are handing the system up from the water to the dive or boat master. This method also provides a distinct handle for anyone looking to take the camera from you so they don’t try and grab your system from one of the unstable points like the arms or cables. A favorite feature for many is the ability to loop your arm through the lanyard and carry the system on your shoulder. This frees up your hands and allows you to carry more gear in one trip and if you are a shore diver, this keeps the housing well above the "impact zone" of rocks and other objects.
Once in the water, you can keep the lanyard intact until you reach a comfortable point where you want to position your lights. I’ll typically use the lanyard on a surface swim or a descent down a line and then go about positioning my strobes when I reach depth. At this point you can easily unclip one side of the landward and attach both sides to one shackle and go about your dive as normal. After the dive, you can reattach the lanyard to your shackles while you’re in the water and hand the system up to the boat with ease.
An important thing to note about multipurpose shackles is that they always need to be checked during your pre-dive prep as they can work loose if they’re not secured properly. That being said, if you tighten them down with a wrench when you first receive them or apply a little Loctite to the threads before tightening, you should experience no issues with them coming loose and find that they are a very reliable piece of gear.
When using float arms, the long multi-purpose clamps with shackles are going to be a better fit for you. These are made to provide more room between your arms and allow them to fold in better when you pick up the system. We have also found that the 18cm lanyard with snap hooks works best for many people as it keeps the system compact while still providing enough room to put the system over your shoulder. If you are a taller individual or have larger shoulders, a longer lanyard like the 23cm may be the best fit.
When you need to go "Hands Free"
This doesn't happen that often, but it is nice to know you have a game plan. There are times when it is useful to have both hands readily available. Descending a line to a wreck in a stiff current, having to remove and clear a flooded mask, helping a buddy with a loose tank during a safety stop: all come to mind as things that happen every now and then.
No one likes letting go of your pride and joy in those situations, but in seconds you can unclip one side of the lanyard, feed it through an upper D-Ring on your BC and clip it back your mounting point. Presto; your rig is secure and your digits are free to tackle the task at hand.
For a housing with arms and strobes/lights but you already are using multipurpose clamps
If you already happen to use multipurpose clamps with a ball mount for attaching strobes or video lights then this ball mount can also act as a secure mounting point for your lanyard, simply keep the multipurpose clamp in that same elbow location and clip the snap hook onto the skinny part of the ball mount for a secure hold. Some people also like to do this with their arms to avoid investing in multipurpose clamps, but it is important to understand that this method will damage the finish on your gear.
For a housing without strobes/Lights
It doesn’t get much simpler than a lanyard on a housing, especially when that housing has brackets. Every single Nauticam housing ships with a set of brackets, with multiple mounting points. Other manufacturers like Subal and Sea & Sea will often have a mounting point on the handle or housing body.
If you’re looking to use a lanyard in this fashion, you’ll want to attach the lanyard diagonally across the housing so the housing won’t tip forward or backward while you are picking it up.
Many smaller housings don’t come with brackets but can be equipped with a dual handle tray via the ¼ 20 mount on the bottom of the housing. With these housings, you will need to clip the snap hook onto the skinny part of the ball mounts on each side of the tray.
This does not work with every tray so if you are interested in using this method, it would be best to check with us to see if your tray is compatible with a Nauticam Lanyard.
If you’re still wondering if a lanyard is a good step for you then please reach out so we can help you better assess your gear. There are many ways to utilize this tool to make your life easier both in the water and out.