Question Converting a gift to a travel BP/W for Warm water destinations

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Bubblesong

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Please advise on smartest Wing size choice:
I was gifted a light BackPlate that I’d like to set up as a travel BP/W for less than 100 feet Florida and Carribean. I attached photos.
I am not a deep or tech diver, but want to make sure I have enough lift in case the dive boat picks a site that is 75-85 rather than 35-45feet. I was thinking of the VDH 18lb, to add to this set up, but not sure it is too limiting, and wonder if I have to level up to 23lb Wing so I’m not restricted too much.
I am female, 140 or 170lbs depending on the year. Because I am short and not wide, the bigger the wing, the more it sticks out in some direction causing drag and “shifty” air in wing
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3F69F107-4BCF-4C22-A2DC-0B23E8DFF01A.jpeg
 

rhwestfall

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I dive VDH 18# wings in warm water and simply enjoy them. It is like having nothing on your back! Do you dive in those warm water areas with much exposure protection? What, and how much lead do you require? In an emergency, If you are diving with any lead, you can always drop the lead, and you will likely be plenty floaty on the surface... You could also go up to a 23# wing (which are in stock) for just a little more cushion and it isn't going to be really much noticed change...
 

Nemrod

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You can work with either the 18 or the 23. The VDH wings are very compact due to the internal bungee system. I use the 23 when I solo dive with a pony and a camera and a little bit of exposure protection. And my wife took the 18 and said thank you. But I do have an Oxy 18 and 30 so not exactly lacking :wink:.

I do not think that plastic blow molded plate will work. You will want a plate that has standard spacing for attach bolts (optional really) and two cambands (not so optional). Here, I use these and quite like them:


Also in colors:


Shown on the right, rigged and ready:



The VDH wings do fit the Oxy plate despite want the description states. Here with my wife's VDH 18 wing:



James
 

lowwall

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The only issue you may run into trying to put a wing on that plate is that the two slots on the wing might not line up with the one cam band slot on the plate.
Bubblesong,

Check the distance between the two holes in the plate where the STA bolts on. The VDH wing (at least the two 18# wings my son and I have), have two sets of holes that you can use with longer bolts to sandwich the wing between the plate and STA (and the cam band between the wing and STA. I just measured and it looks like any of these three bolt spacings will work: 9¼", 10½" or 11".

If there's no way to make it work, there are inexpensive options for the plate.

This is $15 and I'm almost certain the cam band slots just under the top bolt hole will align with the upper slots on the VDH wing

There are also soft/fabric plates from several manufacturers such as the Oxycheq Ultra Lite:
 

lowwall

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I dive VDH 18# wings in warm water and simply enjoy them. It is like having nothing on your back! Do you dive in those warm water areas with much exposure protection? What, and how much lead do you require? In an emergency, If you are diving with any lead, you can always drop the lead, and you will likely be plenty floaty on the surface... You could also go up to a 23# wing (which are in stock) for just a little more cushion and it isn't going to be really much noticed change...
I also have a VDH 18# and love it for warm water diving. Whether it's enough lift depends primarily on your exposure protection and secondarily on the weight of the air in your tanks.

Assuming you are weighted correctly, 18 pounds of lift will work for any 3mm wetsuit up to 120 cubic foot tank. If you use a 5mm or 3mm+hooded vest, you should really move up to the 23# unless you are only going to dive with 80 cu ft tanks.
 

VikingDives

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Please advise on smartest Wing size choice:
I was gifted a light BackPlate that I’d like to set up as a travel BP/W for less than 100 feet Florida and Carribean. I attached photos.
I am not a deep or tech diver, but want to make sure I have enough lift in case the dive boat picks a site that is 75-85 rather than 35-45feet. I was thinking of the VDH 18lb, to add to this set up, but not sure it is too limiting, and wonder if I have to level up to 23lb Wing so I’m not restricted too much.
I am female, 140 or 170lbs depending on the year. Because I am short and not wide, the bigger the wing, the more it sticks out in some direction causing drag and “shifty” air in wing

The real question is, how much weight are you using to dive when you are in those waters, and will the wing offset the added weight?

The other question is will the wing actually lift 18 lbs - for example, the hog 23 lb wing, in my experience, has about 18 pounds of lift. I haven't actually determined that this is true, it's just my rule of thumb.

All that being said, if you are correctly weighted, an 18 lb. wing would most likely be more than adequate.
 

rhwestfall

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Since we were talking about VDH wings, and the above comment is about another brand along with opinion rather than empirical data...

To clarify - Bryan (@Bryan@Vintage Double Hose) actually tested his wings for true lift capacity. IIRC, he did this with a tank attached to address the "pinch" of a tank limiting wing expansion, and the wings actually provided more than stated lift.
 

lexvil

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Since we were talking about VDH wings, and the above comment is about another brand along with opinion rather than empirical data...

To clarify - Bryan (@Bryan@Vintage Double Hose) actually tested his wings for true lift capacity. IIRC, he did this with a tank attached to address the "pinch" of a tank limiting wing expansion, and the wings actually provided more than stated lift.
I tested my 18 and had almost 21 lb of lift if memory serves, now for warm water travel I just use an aqualung outlaw with the 11lb lift which actually has just shy of 14lb A really nice simple rig.

my 35 lb VDH has around 40lb of real lift.
 
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Bubblesong

Bubblesong

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The only issue you may run into trying to put a wing on that plate is that the two slots on the wing might not line up with the one cam band slot on the plate.
Thank you, I recall from setting up the Freedom Contour Plates that lining up the holes was a starting point when looking for Wings, but slipped my mind, so I’ll measure, then check other manufacturers.
I really wanted to discern between roughly 18lb and 23lb for flexibility in diving situations. Another thing I’ve read on SB was that 18lb would not give enough lift to get head completely out of water and in “frisky seas” this might be less than comfortable. Thoughts?
 
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