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Help me choose a new BC please!

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Crazy Fingers, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Crazy Fingers

    Crazy Fingers Barracuda

    My current BC (an Aeris Atmos Sport) served its function, which was to get me in a weight integated jacket cheap. The problem with it is that it orients me vertically in the water all the time. The second I stop, I am upright. Of course, when you're trying to avoid silting up the bottom this is a serious PITA. I'm sick of looking stupid trying to scull myself into a horizontal position before I use my fins.

    A lot of my diving is done in caverns, sinks, springs, etc. Which is why it's such a PITA when I am not horizontal. I am seriously entertaining the idea of getting cavern certified and then maybe work my way towards cave. I want my new BCD to be able to support this endeavour.

    I think I want a BP/W setup. Forgive me if my questions seem stupid, but I haven't had any experience with BP/Ws.

    1) Can a doubles wing and BP handle a single tank if I don't want to dive doubles on a particular occasion?

    2) They don't seem to have any way to integrate weights. I truly despise wearing a weight belt. Is there a way to use a BP/W without having weights digging into my thighs?

    3) What do you think of this? Seems like a pretty rad deal: http://golemgear.com/pc-219-2-oxycheq-50-wing-ss-combo.aspx

    4) What are the opinions of ScubaL wings?

    5) Doesn't that BP hurt the back?

    6) Are double AL-80s ever used or do they become too positively bouyant? I have only AL-80 tanks right now and would want to use them as doubles at least for awhile.
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I'm sure you are going to hear this from a number of people, but if you are going to dive a single tank, you should have a singles wing. Doubles wings "taco" around a single tank and are hard to vent.

    There are a bunch of threads on how to carry your weights with a BP/W -- weight belt, weight pockets on harness, Halcyon ACB pockets are all options.

    My BP doesn't hurt my back, and I've used it with a dry suit and with a 3 mil wetsuit.

    Double Al80's ARE used. You have to carry a fair amount of weight to use them, because they are positive at the end of a dive.
  3. rakkis

    rakkis ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California
    Trim and propper weighing are not only about the right amount of lead. The distribution of your lead, and how your tank sits on you are also important factors. Have you tried securing your tank higher up/closer to your head? How much weight are you wearing in front/sides vs the back trim pockets if any? You wanna get new toys? Go nuts, but give those techniques a try as a learning exercise.
  4. Crazy Fingers

    Crazy Fingers Barracuda

    One of the problems is its crappy weight integrated system. It's got two huge pouches on the sides which hold the weights, but in a weird position that other BCs don't seem to use. Essentially, they are large top-loading pockets with a clip to hold a weight. Hard to explain. This is the older version of the atmos sport, so I think they may have fixed it when they redesigned it in `05 (I think). There are no trim pockets. I've tried putting the tank high and low and no difference.
  5. kidspot

    kidspot Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moses Lake, Washington
    That is a very good deal you're looking at from Golem gear. I would definitely go with it over the ScubaL Maximus (which is a single tank wing)

    For your trim issues you might also try moving weights up - You can put ankle weights on the tank neck to move some weight "northward" I filled some 1" tube webbing and sewed it shut so that I can put it between my tank and BC - it's just a matter of being creative in how you move your weight and where you move it to.

    I have a couple of weight ideas on my site http://www.kidspot.org/personal/scuba

    Moving weight on a BP you have lots of options as it's commonly done. Plus you can get plates in different weights to move as much as 20# directly against your back (really heavy plate from FredT)

    Once you've moved your weights around do a CG (center of gravity) check in the water - get horizontal, then cross your ankles and clasp your hands (so nothing is moving) and see what direction and how fast your roll. Then move your weight accordingly until you find that "sweet spot" where you can maintain trim through body posture alone (moving feet closer/further from body, lifting head up, arching back etc..) Also make sure you are not overweighted.

    as far as weight integration on a BP - I like using XS scuba pockets one on each side of my harness waist. The rest of my weight I like to keep non-ditchable.

    I'd just pick up a singles and doubles wing - especially at the prices Golem gear has them for right now.

    I don't even notice the plate, and I just finished doing about 30 dives in a .5 mil suit and no pad on the plate -

    AL 80's work fine for me - I really like how they trim out, then again I've not had the chance to dive steel tanks yet.

    Aloha, Tim

  6. Jeff Toorish

    Jeff Toorish Instructor, Scuba

    That Golem Gear deal looks great, if I didn't already have 3 wings, I'd buy it myself as a back up.

  7. *Floater*

    *Floater* Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Here, there and everywhere
    Yes if you have a STA or if the wing and plate have cam strap slots, but it'll suck to dive singles on a doubles wing. There are some bungee wings, like the dive-rite rec wing, which can handle both, but before you consider them I'd suggest you do a title search in the BC section for "bungee" or "bungie."

    Yes, weighted STA's, V-weights, heavy plates, ...

    It's a really good deal assuming this is the right wing for you. I have not used the wing, but from the pic it seems to be a little wider towards the rear than I'd personally prefer. Wings with wide rears put lift back there which can tilt your head down, but then again, that's why some people prefer them... because they need the lift at the back to trim out properly or to compensate for tanks that become bottom light as they empty. Also, for AL80's a 40# doubles wing would be better suited. 50# wings can handle bigger tanks and/or more stages, but you have a bigger bag to deal with.

    Haven't used them, but the one I saw looked like a basic horseshoe doubles bungee wing: http://www.scubaboard.com/showpost.php?p=2288311&postcount=52

    I prefer non-bungee donut doubles wings. I use the Halcyon Evolve 40# for AL80's.

    No, at least I've never heard of it hurting. Well, one exception, I met someone who wanted to lower the plate for trim purposes, but the plate was too big for her so it dug into her lower back where the back curves upwards when in trim - but that person got a smaller plate and the problem was solved. And I guess this was more about being comfortable than about the plate actually hurting.

    AL80's are great, and they aren't too positive for wetsuit diving. With a 3mm I'm too heavy with AL80's and a steel plate. In a 7mm I didn't need any extra weight in Cenote cave waters. Same for my girlfriend. Though we both had can lights that added about 2 to 2.5# of negative buoyancy. However, if you need the extra weight, then just throw a v-weight on top of your plate between the doubles bolts.
  8. Dive Right In Scuba

    Dive Right In Scuba ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Plainfield, Illinois, United States
  9. GreenDiverDown

    GreenDiverDown Instructor, Scuba


    ... empty... or nearly empty double Al80s... are negative in fresh water. I've never checked for salt but I bet they are close to neutral or still a little negative.

    This is a common mistake because folks think that if a single Al80 is +3# empty (Lux)(fresh) that doubles will be twice as buoyant. But the manifold, bands and regs used with the doubles make the set negative... I would guess in the range of 2-3 pounds. That's a guess... I've never measured it exactly. But I do know that if you take your plate and wing off and toss your twins in the lake... you'd better hang on to your long hose! They're gonna sink... and sink fast!

    Double Al80s make for a nice set and given the right circumstances have some advantages over steel.
  10. GreenDiverDown

    GreenDiverDown Instructor, Scuba

    I'd snatch that deal up before its gone. $290 for a SS plate, harness, and Oxy Sig series!

    That's not just good gear ... that stuff is premo! If you are wanting to set up double AL80s, then that combo is almost perfect. The wing is a wee bit generous on lift but not enough to worry about... especially for that smokin' price.

    The wing, of course, is for doubles... only.

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