Building a rig for a 10 yo diver to be... looking for opinions.

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elan

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Hi everyone,

I am building a rig for my daughter who will be doing her youth open water certification this fall. I would like to get a feedback from professionals or parents with kids who started diving at young age.

For the next couple of years our diving will be in our local quarry which is 45ft deep and mostly 60F + during the diving season. We also have an option to dive another small lake which is 25ft deep and shore dive lake Erie and Ontario to the certification limit of 40ft when the conditions permit. It's possible that she might travel with me or mom to a resort and dive some reefs there as well. So warm water.

She already has a 5mm wetsuit, boots, hood, gloves and some split fins that she inherited from mom.


Here is what I have in mind for the rest.

Regulator set.
I am building it around SP Mk17 EVO yoke the octo will be R195. I have some doubts about the primary 2nd and here where I am looking for some advice.

We can select from the following stages: G250V, G260, A700 and S620. I have some other regs as well like BA156, D series and Air 1 but I do not plan to give them to her for various reasons at the moment.

She has smaller hands so G250V and G260 will be on a bigger side I think so that leaves me with A700 and S620. Either should work for her, she tried A700 and really liked it . 620 is still in the mail and we did not have a chance to try it but I had S600 before and that gives me an idea that it will breath similar to A700 give or take.

A700 has an advantage being metal so more moisture will be recycled. I suspect S620 will be a bit lighter in the water so potentially less jaw fatigue for a beginner.


BCD.

I am torn in between giving her my single tank BP/W and getting her a new back inflate BCD. I find a BCD might be easier to learn for a kid but I might be wrong. Most likely my backplate will be too large for her and I would need to look for a shorter one still.
She will be certifying in a "classic" PADI configuration but we might transition to a Hog style later once she gets comfortable.


Advices will be greatly appreciated. I kind of realize one thing is to learn things yourself and making the decisions on configuration based on your own abilities and the other is picking the configuration for a new young diver.

So thank you in advance!
 

tbone1004

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@elan Regs-hands on the smaller side shouldn't matter for donation since you don't have to hold the whole body so I would have no problem going with a G series though what she likes is what matters. All of those regs are going to breathe basically the same if they're tuned well and unless you're a computer you shouldn't be able to tell a difference. How it feels in your mouth and how it looks are important though and I think the A700 and S620 are ugly as sin and I think the G260 is quite possibly the sexiest regulator being made today but that's just me.
A700 moisture recycling is irrelevant so don't worry about that
Jaw fatigue is a function of proper hose lengths and the right mouthpiece and the weight in the water is what matters not on land and they're all close enough and not something I would think about at this time.

BC-just get her a backplate and wing. You won't have to replace it later, it's what you are diving so it will be better for you to be in the same configuration and it will be better for her in the long run. I have never met a female diver who went to bp/w and went back to a jacket because of how much better they deal with curves. Obviously at 10 it's not a concern now, but best to begin with the end in mind.
There are short pattern plates around with the sexiest ones being from @Eric Sedletzky and the cheapest ones being the fabric travel plates from Oxycheq, but if she's shorter than about 5'2" and going to stay shorter then best to find a short plate vs. a standard one.

All of our divers are trained in bp/w from day 1 for a myriad of reasons but one of them for the university is that we can have a very small number of extra plates *24 total rigs, typically 16-18 students +2 staff in each class* and the ability to easily resize them is what allows us to do that. If you buy the bp/w now and leave about a foot of extra length on the webbing which is easy to handle on the buckle side with some innertube loops then it is highly unlikely you'll ever have to replace the webbing for her due to her body size changing.
 

USdiver1

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I have found some of the smaller second stages [Mares Proton, Aqualung Mikron} work well with kids. Couple them with a small size comfo-bite mouthpiece and you should be good to go. These regulators may need to be sourced second hand now, but parts for servicing them should not be a problem.
 

johndiver999

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A ten year old, especially a girl is quite likely to have strength issues. The ability to function in cold water with a thick suit and relatively thick gloves and handling all the lead necessary for a thick suit are going to be challenging. Also, if she is thin and presumably small, keeping her warm enough to be comfortable and fully functioning are going to be challenges. Staying shallow where suit compression is less may be needed.

Things like the size of the second stage are probably inconsequential. Also, a transition from a recreational BC to a BP/W should be easy, if she is trained well and is competent.

My biggest concern would be her overall comfort and ability to function in a thick suit with a thick hood. I would suggest taking her snorkeling with the full wetsuit (including gloves and heavy weightbelt) in the local cold waters to give her time to learn to deal with the thick wetsuit and also get a feeling for how much a challenge thermal issues are going to be. It gives her a chance to perfect her equalization, kick and mask clearing too. It will probably take several outings to gain a level of proficiency that I would be comfortable with before sending her in open water with scuba tank on her back.

Also, in my experience, using an air2 type inflator may be quite challenging for a small girl simply due to hand strength issues. A standard inflator is smaller, easier to hold and the buttons should be easier to work, particularly when her hands are made weaker from the cold and constrained by gloves.
 
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elan

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Thanks @tbone1004 that's very helpful. I guess with the regs I will give her what she likes :). I do not have anything in pink, however :D IIRC one can get a different purge cover on 6xx. So, may be, she will like that :D

She is now 5'2'' and she will still keep growing so I guess BP/W will be a better choice.
 

tbone1004

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Just saying... Every bit as good as those Scubapros but cheaper to own in the long haul
01_1_2.jpg
 
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elan

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A ten year old, especially a girl is quite likely to have strength issues. The ability to function in cold water with a thick suit and relatively thick gloves and handling all the lead necessary for a thick suit are going to be challenging. Also, if she is thin and presumably small, keeping her warm enough to be comfortable and fully functioning are going to be challenges. Staying shallow where suit compression is less may be needed.

Things like the size of the second stage are probably inconsequential. Also, a transition from a recreational BC to a BP/W should be easy, if she is trained well and is competent.

My biggest concern would be her overall comfort and ability to function in a thick suit with a thick hood. I would suggest taking her snorkeling with the full wetsuit (including gloves and heavy weightbelt) in the local cold waters to give her time to learn to deal with the thick wetsuit and also get a feeling for how much a challenge thermal issues are going to be. It gives her a chance to perfect her equalization, kick and mask clearing too. It will probably take several outings to gain a level of proficiency that I would be comfortable with before sending her in open water with scuba tank on her back.

Also, in my experience, using an air2 type inflator may be quite challenging for a small girl simply due to hand strength issues. A standard inflator is smaller, easier to hold and the buttons should be easier to work, particularly when her hands are made weaker from the cold and constrained by gloves.
Thank you John, this all aligns with my thinking. She has been freediving with me in summer to shallow - 10 ft depth. We have been also our with her in the quarry sitting in a 3 ft water in the 5mil suit with lead and breathing off a long hose so you are absolutely correct it has to be done to build the comfort.

The deal I made with the shop is they will do the pool sessions in the fall then I will be going with her to the pool over the winter and build her confidence diving it to 15 ft (max depth of the pool) and she will do the checkouts in summer (local lake - 25 ft max).

I am even thinking to rent her a BCD for the pool sessions if it's easier then move her to BP/W. The shop mostly certifies in Jacket style but they are not opposed to BP/W.
 
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elan

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I have found some of the smaller second stages [Mares Proton, Aqualung Mikron} work well with kids. Couple them with a small size comfo-bite mouthpiece and you should be good to go. These regulators may need to be sourced second hand now, but parts for servicing them should not be a problem.
The downside for me is I will need to purchase them. I already own the other mentioned - they are just my backgas/stage regs.
 
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elan

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Just saying... Every bit as good as those Scubapros but cheaper to own in the long haul
01_1_2.jpg
Nice thinking about girls/ladies on the Deep6 side. May be I can use it as stimulus for her to complete her school terms with all A :D
 

Marie13

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Look at the Comfo-bite mouthpiece. Has a part that goes across the bridge of your mouth. Don’t have to bite down quite so hard. DGX sells a good version of it. All I use.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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