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

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VikingDives

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I see you're from Canada, so this might not apply but I'll throw it out there anyway. Cold tolerance in kids can be a real problem. I teach in 62 degree water and I've stopped teaching kids under 12 for that reason. Every one of the kids I taught that was 10-12 had issues due to the cold. I stopped teaching kids that young because I found that it ended up turning the kids away from diving. My son was one of them, but by 13 he didn't notice the cold at all.

The second issue is height - if your daughter is under ~5'4" a BP/W may be too large for her. In my experience, being shorter than about 5'4" is getting into the too short for a standard bp/w. There's probably someone out there making shorter back plates though.
 

CT-Rich

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I see you're from Canada, so this might not apply but I'll throw it out there anyway. Cold tolerance in kids can be a real problem. I teach in 62 degree water and I've stopped teaching kids under 12 for that reason. Every one of the kids I taught that was 10-12 had issues due to the cold. I stopped teaching kids that young because I found that it ended up turning the kids away from diving. My son was one of them, but by 13 he didn't notice the cold at all.

The second issue is height - if your daughter is under ~5'4" a BP/W may be too large for her. In my experience, being shorter than about 5'4" is getting into the too short for a standard bp/w. There's probably someone out there making shorter back plates though.
I was thinking along the same lines, your daughter is probably 85 lbs and thin as a rail at that age. Cold water is a reality based on your location. My daughter, even at twenty has very low cold tolerance because she is much smaller. Cold tolerance can be learned, but only to a point.
 

tbone1004

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@elan

My best OW student was a 14 year old girl, but she was a competitive synchronized swimmer. It sounds like your daughter is comfortable in the water, which is hugely important for learning. My only concerns would be her strength and warm. I'd recommend taking OW in a dry suit if at all possible.
my worst was a gold medalist olympic swimmer... couldn't get him to not exhale out of his nose!
synchro swimmer would be an ideal student!
 

Harrisb411

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For my Daughter, who is very small for her age, cold tolerance was and is a big problem. The mouthpiece and hose length made a real difference in comfort. She felt like she was biting as hard as she could the whole dive just to minimize the pulling. Ultimately I purchased an Aqualung Mikron which helped with the overall comfort due to the smaller size of the 2nd stage. A few companies make smaller backplates like Oxycheq.
 
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elan

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@elan

My best OW student was a 14 year old girl, but she was a competitive synchronized swimmer. It sounds like your daughter is comfortable in the water, which is hugely important for learning. My only concerns would be her strength and warm. I'd recommend taking OW in a dry suit if at all possible.
Thanks for the consideration, we will skip the drysuit. She will not be certifying in 60F she will do it in summer where the temps are in mid 70-80ies. Then we are only planning to dive shallow (40ft limit) in our local to the cottage quarry which is 5 mins away and we can just make short dives if its cold. We spent 30 mins last week in 60F and she was a bit cold but as cold when they sit in the water for hours at the beach.
The quarry is pretty warm in summer - it was 75 until the end of September. Its now dropped to 60-65.
 
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elan

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For second stage consider scubapro's c370. It has top performance (similar to G250 etc), while it is much smaller, lighter and probably cheaper than the rest.

Stepfen I do not think c370 is available in Canada and then it will be an extra unnecessary expense (I have all those stages i mentioned above already). Its more about what reg I need to pull of my stages or backgas and give to her and what is left for me :)
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Thanks for the consideration, we will skip the drysuit. She will not be certifying in 60F she will do it in summer where the temps are in mid 70-80ies. Then we are only planning to dive shallow (40ft limit) in our local to the cottage quarry which is 5 mins away and we can just make short dives if its cold. We spent 30 mins last week in 60F and she was a bit cold but as cold when they sit in the water for hours at the beach.
Okay that helps a lot. Have hot drinks for her in between dives, also have warm water to pour down her wetsuit.

I'd recommend a private lesson from an instructor who teaches neutrally buoyant and trimmed. That will help keep her warm vs sitting on her knees (as well as she learning properly)
 

Imla

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Live in Norway (So cold water) and have quite a few friends with kids in this agegroup. All (!) their kids have started with a BPW. Usually leftovers from the parents. One dad machined some extra strap holes for his daughter, effectively making it suit her smaller body better. (By age 12 she was diving double 4s and loved the balance). The other one with a girl bought a small Halcyon plate for her. (Both mom and dad were under 170cm so she was likely to be on the petite side even fully grown). The guys who had boys just put them in regular plates. Couldn't recommend it enough. Easy to adapt, and you don't have to spend a fortune every year and the kid will have gear that fits every dive!
 

Jim Lapenta

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At 5'2" I'd not bother with a standard BC. Let her get certified in what she'll be diving from the get go. A BPW is a BC. I wish all the kids I've certed had parents who would buy them a BPW to use. If you think she'll transition to one anyway, let her start with it. Unless you have to buy something to use yourself, don't even waste money renting a jacket.
I put all my OW students in jackets, back inflates, and BPW's at some point during the 6 or so pool sessions. They don't have a problem with it. It only becomes a problem if the instructor makes it one. Then they decide what to use for their checkouts. Most choose the plate and wing. Some don't and that's fine.
But for a kid a BPW will last them years and years. As long as the wing is cared for, all you have to do is adjust the harness as they grow.
 

James79

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My kids learned at 13 and 10, and both had to wear jacket BCDs for lessons (shop required we use their rental gear) and both have been on BPW that I make since (and both love the freedom of a minimal harness). Neither had any issue with the transition, and both would have been fine in BPW to start. If you need a short plate, and can't find one to your (her) liking, just make one. The raised channel on most BPs is there for doubles, and not needed for singles. Both my boys use BPs that I cut form $5 plastic cutting boards, using hand tools. I made a VDH plate clone, and they both prefer their cutting boards still!

Respectfully,

James
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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