OW Training with Backplate/Wing

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Hondo

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Can I learn to dive and get my OW cert with a backplate / wing and a primary donate reg setup? If so, where can I find an instructor / agency that will train me that way? I’m in PA but travel to NC and FL often.
 

MichaelMc

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Shops that sell BP/W or tech technical diving are the best shots at getting OW training while using that type rig and donation style. I would search for those, there should be many in Florida at least. Most people doing BP/W are likely doing primary donate. It isn't at all required, but likely most are. So an instructor happy with BP/W would likely be happy with primary donate.

Shops that do not sell it risk other students seeing it, realizing it is often better and cheaper, asking where they can get one, learning the shop doesn't sell them, and buying elsewhere.... So, they may really not want to teach people in it. But some shops, or their contract instructors, may be fine with it.

Few agencies dictate the backup/alternate regulator configuration. A British specific one is the only one I can think of that limits donation type. So resoundingly yes on the agency front. Note that short backup regulators like the Air 2 necessitate primary donate, they just have different length hoses and attachments. Some, or many, dive shops may not feel comfortable/competent teaching that way. Or at least say that for the non-Air 2 style versions of it. Though with a five foot hose there should be very little difference in the methods. Their shop their instructors, though they may claim it is an agency rule.

Even fewer agencies dictate the form of the BC. But again, many dive shops may be unfamiliar with BP/W and may feel it is 'technical' only.
 

mattfish

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I didn't do my OW course in a bp/w and primary donate, only because I didn't want to buy the gear until I knew I could at least make it through the course, but I did know that if I continued diving that I wanted to go bp/w for sure.

Once I got my cert, I immediately went out and put together a bp/w and primary donate. I pieced together a mostly Mares XR heavy-light Aluminum bp/w. And I got the Dive Rite FT1 Advanced Open Water regulator set. I'm still new, but I've done every dive since the original 4 checkout dives in this kit, and I love it. I could never go back to a jacket style BCD now.
 
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Hondo

Hondo

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I didn't do my OW course in a bp/w and primary donate, only because I didn't want to buy the gear until I knew I could at least make it through the course, but I did know that if I continued diving that I wanted to go bp/w for sure.

Once I got my cert, I immediately went out and put together a bp/w and primary donate. I pieced together a mostly Mares XR heavy-light Aluminum bp/w. And I got the Dive Rite FT1 Advanced Open Water regulator set. I'm still new, but I've done every dive since the original 4 checkout dives in this kit, and I love it. I could never go back to a jacket style BCD now.
That is what I am leaning towards. The exact same setup as you. My concern. Was being new and figuring out the proper weighting. But then again being a complete newbie maybe I’m overthinking that part of it.

Was your first dive (actually #5) a difficult transition to the BP/W?
 

mattfish

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I did not find figuring my weighting out any more difficult with the bp/w than with the jacket. The biggest challenge I had on my first post-cert dive, was I also changed to a wetsuit from a rash guard, so that threw me off. But I asked the resort I was at if I could do a checkout dive off their dock to get my weight sorted, and they obliged. Once I had that all dialed in though, it was amazing. I find all aspects of diving easier in the bp/w. I have tons of freedom on my sides and chest/waist. Everything is clipped right where I want it. The wing makes it easier to get into and stay in good trim. I also feel I have better mobility and flexibility that I did wearing the jacket.

I really like the primary donate too. Having the octo on a necklace feels better to me than having it hooked somewhere on the left between my chest and hips. I haven't had to donate so far, but I know I can get my primary reg to my buddy way faster than I could fumbling to get my octo loose to hand over. The Dive Rite kit breathes really nice too, and I didn't have any freeflows with the regs out of my mouth and the venturi forward.
 

MaxE

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I’m fairly certain this would meet your needs.
a trip to Fl would likely be necessary.
 
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Hondo

Hondo

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I’m fairly certain this would meet your needs.
a trip to Fl would likely be necessary.
Yea. Looks over the top and has me interested.
 

Alaskan Scuba Dude

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Can I learn to dive and get my OW cert with a backplate / wing and a primary donate reg setup?
You can still configure the long hose with a jacket BCD. Whether they allow you to use it would at the discretion of the OW instructor.
 

Zef

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I dive a bp/w with long hose/primary donate setup.

To be honest, I think the setup used in the course you get certified from will make little difference in the grand scheme of things related to your diving, especially if your intention is to dive with a BP/W and primary donate configuration.

Learning to dive with a “standard recreation” configuration, will provide practical insight into the pros and cons of that systems and give you the basis to help make a comparative analysis when you make the switch.

Bottom line: get certified and start diving. Don’t get too hung up on the config the shop/instructor wants you to use.

-Z
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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