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BPW for someone with chronic back pain

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) & Weight Systems' started by jejton, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. jejton

    jejton Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I've been using a jacket style BCD I bought second hand 10 years ago and am ready to upgrade. While this has served me well, I find the style a bit constrictive and wanted to try out a BCD. I do mostly local shore dives in south Florida, occasional boat dives and very little travel diving - and then it would be warm water. I dive AL80 usually with either a 3mm wetsuit with 14lb or just a rashguard with 12lb depending on season. I've read through many BP/W threads but am a little concerned with using one for beach dives due to chronic thoracic back pain from an old injury. A dive buddy of mine uses one and says that its great in the water but does become uncomfortable for him when walking to and from the water. Are there particular styles or set-ups that may be more suitable for me to try? Even with my current BCD, I get a little pain when walking but that is due to the weight of the tank so I am unsure how the backplate will add, if any at all.
  2. emoreira

    emoreira Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    I guess you should try side-mount.
    JBFG, Ontwreckdiver and Jcp2 like this.
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Sidemount with LP50s or AL40s.

    I’ve got bad knees/sciatica and SM is so much better.
    Ontwreckdiver and Jcp2 like this.
  4. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    Freedom Plate?
    BalekFekete likes this.
  5. gqllc007

    gqllc007 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany NY
    I use a regular size SS BP/W from XDeep Zen with the xDeep wing and I use the deluxe harness.I need the quick release buckles to get out of my gear without twisting too much. I have severe L4-L5 pain and my L4 vertebrae moves or slips 6mm on flexion to extension. I use a cart with wide wheels and haul my gear to the shoreline. I then put my gear on in the water while kneeling. That has worked out great for me.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  6. emoreira

    emoreira Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    Gearing in the water is one of the best ways to avoid back pain, as long as you have someone that can handle the scuba equipment (BCD+tank+reg all assembled) to the water so you don't make that effort, even more if the BCD has integrated weights.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. Scuba Client

    Scuba Client Banned

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    Use a hooker system. Float you alloy tank on the surface.
  8. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    A rear-inflating BCD is another option (I know that goes against the church of the BP/W on here....though it looks to me like most responses have completely missed what your issue is); it isn't restrictive like a jacket (though not quite as 'free' as a BP/W, it is much more comfortable than a jacket), and you might find that it can offer a little more back support - though you can get padded backs with lumbar support for a BP/W, so that's another option which might support the BP/W. There was one rear-inflating BCD out there which advertised itself as having a harness that's 'inspired' by normal backpacks, which might be right up your alley....i can't remember which one it was right now, but I can have a look to see if anything jogs my memory if you like.

    My wife has a serious lower back injury, though is mostly pain free these days - so with that consideration, we went for Oceanic Excursion rear inflating BCD (though it's about 4kg, not sure if that's going to be an issue for travel - we'll be travelling with 2 of them, because I bought the same one). Made several dives walking back and forth along quite a long pier and she pulled up fine (8kg weight too - 7mm wetsuit....are you sure you couldn't drop 1-2kg from your weights - I know every bit helps with a back injury?). - though of course, that doesn't necessarily mean you will; the weight is still mostly on the shoulders.

    A little trolley is great if you have somewhere to lock it up
    chillyinCanada likes this.

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