Question Teaching OW with backplate and wing from the very beginning ?

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Ayisha

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I'm assuming that the whole world should eventually migrate towards BP/W as the default ... :cool:
Why is it important for everyone around the world to use a BP/W?

Anyone who can achieve and maintain trim and buoyancy control in a BP/W should be able to achieve the same in a jacket, women's back-inflate, etc.

The beauty of the BP/W is less fabric, less bubble-trapping, customized fit, tank stability, more streamlining, that it provides ballast over the kidneys where it's often helpful, and that it's modular, so individual components can be swapped out if divers progress or due to wear and tear. The latter feature alone can hinder sales of entire new non-BP/W BCD's.

Jackets have a little more to a lot more fabric to sink, can have trim pockets, can accept weights on the camband(s), and body position may factor in more. Anyone who gets the physics of the fulcrum and weight distribution can easily trim out a jacket. Buoyancy control is about the same with dumps in similar areas.

BP/W's can have some advantages, but that's not to say that divers shouldn't dive anything else.
If someone seeks advice on buying a BCD, sure, many of us suggest a BP/W for the above qualities, but if someone has a jacket and is happy with it, that's all good too. It really just comes down to personal preference and sometimes goals.

Creating a BP/W model with fast-adjusting webbing shouldn't be so hard for companies that build BC's, except maybe for their wallet ...
There are some, including the Halcyon Infinity. Unless the BP/W is for rental or multiple divers, they don't require fast adjustments. If it's your own, you just set it and forget it.

If someone buys a BP/W from a shop, the shop will often help fit it to the diver. Any diver experienced with adjusting a BP/W can help others optimize their fit.

Dialing in the BP/W to fit your heaviest exposure protection, it should still be just fine with a swimsuit.
 

MichaelMc

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Yes! This is the problem. It amazes me how many instructors do not have a clue about the basic physics involved. Most can comprehend Boyles law, but they fail to incorporate thrust into the mix. They often demonstrate the "Budha pose" as evidence of "mastery" when it's the antithesis of trim. BTW, Boyles law really stands for Breathe or Your Lungs Explode, Stupid!

If you teach students to rely on a BP&W to be trim, then they are going to have a hard time if/when they use a rental BC at a resort. Why not teach the knowledge and skills outright?
Yes, ideally all instructors and divers should know and practice weight distribution to make their time underwater more enjoyable. Many instructors don't at all. So many (most?) students don't learn in their limited instruction time.

Say a shop puts students in BCs that need active application of weight distribution, and limited pocket space to do that. Their instructors will likely put big lead chunks in the hip pockets and the students will learn that diving is a sea horse type affair.

If the shop puts them in BCs that have a 6 lb. spine, the instructors loading up lead at the hips will create less of a sea horse experience and the divers may keep diving.

Yes, the divers on vacation may be given a BC that needs active application of weight distribution, get little weight distribution help from the dive op, and be shocked at the flailing about they do. But the dive op is used to their customers diving that way, so they are likely perfectly safe, if rather unhappy that the dive op did not set them up properly.

But they at least know that that is not how it is meant to be. And they know where to get gear that worked well for them. And, after their visceral experience, likely now understand weight distribution, even if their instructor still doesn't.

I don't think that teaching them in gear that puts them inherently in a better position is a gear solution to a skill problem. I think it is starting them off smoothly. Yes, they should get the weight distribution training and learn to dial the gear from scratch for themselves. But they are not. So gear help to see how things should be is not a bad thing.
Anyone who can achieve and maintain trim and buoyancy control in a BP/W should be able to achieve the same in a jacket, women's back-inflate, etc.
If I put a BC with a 6 lb. spine on someone they are likely close to in trim. (Baring cold water diving.) They have achieved and maintained trim. Thou through no effort on their part. They will have a nice dive and may come to like diving.

If I then give them a BC without such a spine, but rather a set of hip pockets and some weights, they will not achieve the same trim. They are less likely to have a nice dive.
 

Eric Sedletzky

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Ironically, I know more about rocket science than b/w diving! I have questions. I had never seen a backplate/wing stetup until just a few months ago. Is the philosophy of it to streamline and simplify as well as standardize equipment for emergency situations? That is my takeaway, correct? Are weight-belts used? Are there means of attaching weights to a backplate? Wings are bladders that attach to the plate somehow? Bladders in different sizes depending on wetsuit thickness / buoyancy? In the event your buddy needs air, you give up your regulator and then you use the octopus which is hanging by a necklace, is that correct? Can you direct me to more information, please?
The purpose of going to a BP/W is multi faceted. One would be streamlining, meaning less fluff like padding, buckles, pull straps with plastic D-rings, lots of fabric, design features like netting, piping, clever sewn in design panels, elevator levers, etc.

The next thing would be stability, the tank mounted to a plate is very secure in your back without a lot of slop or movement side to side and up and down like many jackets do.
BP/W also leaves your frontside clean with no bulging pockets or wrap-around fabric design sticking out making you feel like a stuffed pig.
BP/W utilizes the less-is-more philosophy where minimization is the key.
They are also very rugged and pretty much everything used on them is self repairable, such as the webbing/straps are nothing more than common weight belt webbing sold in length at any dive shop. Keepers and D-rings can be added or substracted and placed in any location. Those are also a common item at any dive shop. Most wings are double contstructed with an outer shell and inner bladder. This makes DIY repairs easy with peel and stick urethane patch kits available at any West Marine store. The inner bladder can be accessed via a zipper, the hole located and a patch put on.
The steel plate itself can literally be driven over by a truck and nothing will happen to it.
Most BP/W systems use two cam bands, most jackets use one. Two is better than one.
Standard steel plates are between 5-6 lbs and thus some weight can be removed from your weightbelt.
And yes, a weightbelt is used with a BP/W, at least I do. I do not believe in having all my weight attached to my rig, I like to split up the weight between my rig and my person.

Also, having less bulk sticking out all over like a jacket has you are more streamlined or put another way, you have a cleaner profile improving your slipstream through the water which improves efficiency.
 

lowwall

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The purpose of going to a BP/W is multi faceted. One would be streamlining, meaning less fluff like padding, buckles, pull straps with plastic D-rings, lots of fabric, design features like netting, piping, clever sewn in design panels, elevator levers, etc.

The next thing would be stability, the tank mounted to a plate is very secure in your back without a lot of slop or movement side to side and up and down like many jackets do.
BP/W also leaves your frontside clean with no bulging pockets or wrap-around fabric design sticking out making you feel like a stuffed pig.
BP/W utilizes the less-is-more philosophy where minimization is the key.
They are also very rugged and pretty much everything used on them is self repairable, such as the webbing/straps are nothing more than common weight belt webbing sold in length at any dive shop. Keepers and D-rings can be added or substracted and placed in any location. Those are also a common item at any dive shop. Most wings are double contstructed with an outer shell and inner bladder. This makes DIY repairs easy with peel and stick urethane patch kits available at any West Marine store. The inner bladder can be accessed via a zipper, the hole located and a patch put on.
The steel plate itself can literally be driven over by a truck and nothing will happen to it.
Most BP/W systems use two cam bands, most jackets use one. Two is better than one.
Standard steel plates are between 5-6 lbs and thus some weight can be removed from your weightbelt.
And yes, a weightbelt is used with a BP/W, at least I do. I do not believe in having all my weight attached to my rig, I like to split up the weight between my rig and my person.

Also, having less bulk sticking out all over like a jacket has you are more streamlined or put another way, you have a cleaner profile improving your slipstream through the water which improves efficiency.
All of this is true. But I like mine mostly because having less stuff around me makes moving through the water more enjoyable. I want to be a dolphin, not a minisub driver.
 

MichaelMc

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A different look at "But they will not have that on vacation".

We know how to set up student's training gear with a balanced weight distribution.

But they will not remember that weighting much less that distribution, and the vacation dive op will not set them up that way with the rental BC. So their vacation weight distribution will be messed up.

Shouldn't we train them with a bad weight distribution so they are ready for it on vacation? We can show them diving with a balanced weight distribution when they come back.
 

The Chairman

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All, or mostly all of my students travel with their gear. Why? Because I do. Monkey see: monkey do. To graduate from the pool they had to demonstrate true mastery of trim and buoyancy. First, they had to doff and don, their gear mid-water, not touching the bottom or the top. Most stayed within 2 to 3 foot. Then they had to do a proper descent and be able to ascend/descend three times using only their breathing. Then I had set a number of 2-pound soft weights on the bottom. They picked up a weight and breathed it neutral. They kept adding weights until they could no longer hover. Then they reversed it, dropping one weight at a time without losing it. Men had to deal with at least 6 pounds and women 4. My best student held 14 pounds. I've done 18. Then we play underwater Jenga with the weights. Stand two weights up, with a weight added as a roof. Add a second floor. Add a third. Laugh when they fall over. Repeat until bored. This requires true hovering. You can't be moving even a bit since the weights stay put.

This is all quite easy and fun if you understand the physics and practice a bit.

Caveat: if you try this in a pool, never occlude your glottis. If you don't understand this: ASK!
 

rongoodman

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I am superficially familiar with b/w. So, how would I, for example, learn backplate and wing diving? Retake an AOW class with that in mind? Or, is this in the tech diving realm of $CUBA?It
It isn't rocket surgery. There are videos all over the place on how to assemble one. Buy it and go diving.
 
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Roger Hobden

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Then I had set a number of 2-pound soft weights on the bottom. They picked up a weight and breathed it neutral. They kept adding weights until they could no longer hover. Then they reversed it, dropping one weight at a time without losing it. Men had to deal with at least 6 pounds and women 4. My best student held 14 pounds. I've done 18. Then we play underwater Jenga with the weights. Stand two weights up, with a weight added as a roof. Add a second floor. Add a third. Laugh when they fall over. Repeat until bored. This requires true hovering. You can't be moving even a bit since the weights stay put.
Very cool ideas !
 

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