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Possibly going instructor route, Apeks Black Ice or Backplate & wing?

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by warmNmoist, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. warmNmoist

    warmNmoist Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oman
    I'm currently a PADI DM and most of the diving I do at the moment is as a dive guide/master so I usually have to carry spare weights and sometimes more things like slates or other equipment. I may or may not go down the instructional route in the near future. I currently dive a jacket BCD and would like to upgrade. The Apeks Black Ice ticks all the boxes for me (integrated weights, pockets, D rings, loads of dump valves) however it does feel a bit bulky.

    I really like the modularity of a backplate and wing however I have some reservations.

    1. I rely on and use multiple dumps a lot, especially the shoulder dump. I can survive without it but I'd rather not and most wings seem to only have one dump.

    2. once I add the necessary integrated weight pockets and gear pockets a wing becomes more expensive than the Apeks and almost as bulky.

    3. I believe it is beneficial for my students to see me demonstrate skills in gear that is similar to theirs (rental jacket BCs)

    any advice or insights from the knowledgeable members of SB is appreciated!
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    If you go the instructor route later and are wondering about that...

    If you work as a professional for a shop at any level, they will want you wearing the gear they sell. If you buy now with the hope of having the right model when you later become an instructor, you are playing long odds. In most of the cases in my experience, the instructors use the same rental gear as the students, so it does not matter what they own for their personal diving.
    oly5050user likes this.
  3. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: In transit
    Many places do require the staff to where the brand of gear the shop sells, but not all.

    At my store I prefer the DMs to use the shops rental gear so that they are in the same gear configuration as the students. This also helps them by not having to use personal gear in a chlorinated pool. During the open water dives they can where their personal gear. Some of the DMs, as well as me, have bp/w and long hose configuration.

    Years ago, I didn't let the brand issue prevent me from buying a bp/w before heading to the tropics to work. If you go that route, don't be surprised if the dive operator wants in a different brand.
  4. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    That's because it is bulky. I know, I've owned one.

    Of course if you add everything to make it like a Black Ice, or another brand or model, the price will rise. The good thing is you can put those wherever you want, when ever you want on a BP&W. Flexibility
    You may also find, depending on the system and or your location, you won't need integrated weights because you don't need any additional weight.

    Many instructors and stores have the same belief, nothing wrong with it. At the OW level in confined water, I agree. Interestingly enough the LDS I currently instruct for has both jacket and BP&W in rental. What to do, what to wear. :wink:
    For open water checkout I use a BP&W with a long hose.
  5. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    Definitely recommend the BPW, chlorine is gonna kill the black (Brown) Ice, where as you can change the webbing/wing/parts cheaper on the BPW. All the things you want on the Apeks can be had on the BPW......and in time you'll find you wont need all the pockets, pouches and things.....If youre diving in Oman then I assume you don't really need "integrated" weights but more likely $20 XS scuba pouches that are quick release......much cheaper than the Apeks quick release system.
  6. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    What brand/model BP/W do they use in rental?
  7. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    A friend is a full-on DIR, long-hose diver. She instructs at a local shop where they don't even stock/sell a bp/w so what she does is grab a rental jacket and reg set for class and o/w checkouts. And will bring her rig and explain it either during a class or at the lake to anyone interested.

    my ,02
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    shoredivr likes this.
  9. Scuba J7

    Scuba J7 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Somewhere between here and there.
    I teach pool sessions in the same rental gear the students use(jacket BCD long alternate) , in open water I use what is essentially a soft backplate in streamlined OW setup. At that point the biggest difference is that if a student needs to share air with me, they take the reg from my mouth.

    I use rental gear in the pool for a few reasons, one is the chlorine will destroy your gear, mine got it bad during the IDC. Two, it’s easier for students to follow skills if your using the same gear, otherwise I would spend too much time explaining differences between gear and how to perform a skill in each gear set.

    By the time we get to OW I shouldn’t have to demo any skills and if I do it’s not all of them so I have more time to explain the differences.
  10. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    I DM in my bp/w. Single tank for the pool, twinset for open water dives. I use shop regs for the pool, but only because I do not own a single tank reg set-up. Long hose set-up for open water dives. Students don't have an issue if you are in a bp/w and them in a jacket. I have demo'd it many a time.
    shoredivr likes this.

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