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Just something I like to do is loosen the shoulder straps so I can get a good fist in there with my wet suit on.
My goal is to have it so all the weight of the tank is on my hips and almost no weight on my shoulders. My shoulder straps just keep the tank from falling backwards my waist strap is just above my hips and below my fist rib and all that weight sits there.
This allows me to walk long distance for beach dives without the shoulder straps cutting into me. Think of it as a hiking backpack.
Not trying to hijack thread but thought I would offer my recent experience switching to a BP/W. I just bought a VDH BP/W with the 35lb wing (made sense to me since the 35 is very close to the physical size of their 23s due to the internal bungies, in fact the wing is not much larger than the AL backplate). I set it up with a VDH aluminum backplate and their Hogarthian harness kit. When order arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that Bryan had assembled the backplate for me so all I had to do was make small adjustments to size it right for me. I added a couple of XS scuba Velcro ditch weight pockets I got from Cave Adventurers and a few bits of tire innertube tire on the shoulder harnesses for tie downs and was ready to dive.
Completed short checkout dive this morning. A couple of observations.
1. A lot of folks complain that BP/Ws have a tendency to put you face forward while on the surface. I did not have this problem whatsoever. Maintaining an upright posture in the water was extremely easy.
2. Buoyancy...I found maintaining neutral buoyancy and staying in trim with the BPW slightly easier than with a jacket bc, not sure why. I found that I could control buoyancy very easily with lung control (breathing deeper or shallower) with little need to inflate BCD.
3. Loved the feeling of freedom. I have come to be a bit annoyed by the bulkiness around the waist of my jacket BCD, even though it is a lightweight travel (Cressi Travelight). I loved not having a bunch fabric around my waist. I have ordered a small vertical DGX pocket for the right side for storing small items.
I am extremely happy with the switch to the BP/W after 1 dive on it. Looking forward to using it under more conditions. Best of luck with your first dives with it!
That's good news to hear. I won't get to take mine on a real dive until September when I'm in the Keys, but I am going to get it wet in a couple weeks for the first time in a pool. I'm excited to just do that lol.