BP/W configuration question

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Firefyter

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So you've been diving with no weights, a SS backplate and no air in the wing?

Maybe it's just me getting used to a different feeling configuration.

Jim

I dive your same setup, including wetsuit, at Clear Springs and have no problems.

You are just not used it yet. Give a few more dives. You will learn how to balanced to out in no time

This. Take Tobin's advice (the guy knows his stuff) and practice. You'll get used to it and love it, especially when you get to salt water.
 

OtherHalf

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I felt super tippy my first dive with steel doubles. Now. Nothing. Took 4-5 dives to get used to them but now I feel super stable.
 
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jimbeeler

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I just wasn't really sure if it was just a case of getting used the the configuration or if there was something else going on. I wondered if diving with zero weights other than the backplate was causing a problem and I needed to retreat to an aluminum plate and add a few lbs. I'm confident that in Salt Water, it'll be great.

Thanks everyone for the replies...

Jim
 

NAM001

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wE DIVE SITH STEEL TANKS. So to be perfect neutral left her top heavy. went to a al plate and put eight on her gut and that shifted the moment from the tank to front of her. A coule more #s made her a litle heavy but the air in hte wing now lifted the tank keeping it on top and further moved the moment from her chest cavity to her chest front. she can now roll to her side without ending up belly up.

That's what I was thinking... I do have a Aluminum Plate I can try. I was just wondering if the "tippy" feeling might originate from all of the weight being on the backplate and the buoyant part, me and the wetsuit being below the weight. I was thinking that if the a lighter plate and adding a few pounds on a weight belt, it would fix the problem. It seems logical but didn't know for sure.

Jim
 

halocline

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You are just not used it yet. Give a few more dives. You will learn how to balanced to out in no time

I agree. This is pretty common when first switching to a BP/W. The forward weight pockets on jacket BCs tend to act a little like a keel. Once you get used to the weight being on your back, you'll love it.
 

kwinter

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Your thinking is correct. The weight is behind you instead of in pockets on your front, giving you that feeling of impending turtle. That is normal. You will become used to it and adjust your position accordingly as you dive it more. You can add a couple of pounds of lead in some front pockets as training wheels and eventually you will get rid of them. Also make sure the plate is tight on your back and the crotch strap is cinched down. If it can come off your back by even an inch or 2, it will increase the likelihood of going turtle on you.
 
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jimbeeler

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Your thinking is correct. The weight is behind you instead of in pockets on your front, giving you that feeling of impending turtle. That is normal. You will become used to it and adjust your position accordingly as you dive it more. You can add a couple of pounds of lead in some front pockets as training wheels and eventually you will get rid of them. Also make sure the plate is tight on your back and the crotch strap is cinched down. If it can come off your back by even an inch or 2, it will increase the likelihood of going turtle on you.

I thought the reason I was feeling that way was because it was loose but I cinched everything down and still felt a bit wobbly. As I was trying to adjust my weighting I started out with 4lbs on the waist. I sunk like a stone when I vented the wing. I got rid of 2 and still sunk, though not as fast. I vented all my gas down to 500lbs and got rid of the 2 lbs and was good buoyancy wise but felt a bit tippy.

I'm just glad to know it's just a case of me getting used to it rather than something fundamental I was doing wrong. I might switch to the Aluminum plate next time with a few lbs on a weight belt and see how it feels. Or I may stick with the SS plate and practice.

Jim
 

Lorenzoid

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As others have said, feeling "tippy" is apparently quite common for a diver getting accustomed to a single-tank BP/W, especially when trying to remain still with little air in the wing. Both my wife and I had the same frustration. At first, we were like "why are we torturing ourselves when we were perfectly stable in our old BCs!?" Our instructor reassured us that it's like a baby learning to walk or like learning to ride a bicycle, and it can be frustrating for an experienced diver transitioning from a jacket or back-inflate BC. In time, you learn to balance yourself, and it will be second nature. It took me a total of several hours in the water, practicing just staying still, until I found my balance. Now, it has become so normal--the thing feels so rock-solid stable--that it's difficult for me to imagine I once had this problem.
 

halocline

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I might switch to the Aluminum plate next time with a few lbs on a weight belt and see how it feels. Or I may stick with the SS plate and practice.

Jim

In general, in warm water with a thin wetsuit, steel plates seem to work best with AL tanks and vice versa for most people. There are exceptions. If you're using an AL80, stick with the steel plate, as it offsets the buoyancy of your tank perfectly. If you're using a fairly negative steel tank, try the AL plate. Whenever I use an AL plate with AL tank (I do this traveling because my beloved freedom plate is one of the early AL ones) I put weights on the cambands, shoved up against the plate, one on each side of the tank. This simulates the added ballast of the steel plate.
 

RJP

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If you are horizontal, with with your knees bent and your fin blades horizontal spread your knees apart so your fin blades are ~ 4 -5 feet apart. The flat surface of your fins 4-5 feet apart is quite effective in countering the rolling moment.

Keep in mind that the 4-5ft spread is fin-tip to fin-tip; it's not like you need to keep your knees/legs spread all that wide. Keeping knees bent, fins flat, and flared out does a nice job in stabilizing...

Blue32.jpg
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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