Wing Size Advantages and Disadvantages

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jwoolste

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I am about to purchase my first harness/wing and am wondering if there are any downsides to buying a slightly larger wing with more lift as opposed to a smaller wing with less lift. I dive with a single AL80 in warm water almost exclusively, but would like to have the option of diving colder water on the same wing. Is there any disadvantage to buying a larger wing as a future-proofing measure? I am considering a Dive Rite Voyager and an 32 lb OMS monowing. Any thoughts or advice appreciated
 

inquisit

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Your cold water case is more demanding. The litmus test: will your rig float without you. Typically if this is the case, it will also be able to compensate for wetsuit compression and weight of the air not yet breathed. (Those are all the wing needs to do when properly weighted.)

If you put all your lead on the rig, the 32 lb wing will be plenty for a 7mm wetsuit and single tank. It won't be "too much" for the warm water case.

You could use a smaller wing if you carried some weight on a weight belt, but it's not a huge benefit (as in less drag, less bulk/weight in the suitcase).

I do suggest getting a couple trim weight pockets to put on the upper tank band, against the backplate. (I use 6 lbs when I go to Mexico in a 3mm. This is enough that I don't rotate feet down when I stop kicking.)
 
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jwoolste

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Your cold water case is more demanding. The litmus test: will your rig float without you. Typically if this is the case, it will also be able to compensate for wetsuit compression and weight of the air not yet breathed. (Those are all the wing needs to do when properly weighted.)

If you put all your lead on the rig, the 32 lb wing will be plenty for a 7mm wetsuit and single tank. It won't be "too much" for the warm water case.

You could use a smaller wing if you carried some weight on a weight belt, but it's not a huge benefit (as in less drag, less bulk/weight in the suitcase).

I do suggest getting a couple trim weight pockets to put on the upper tank band, against the backplate. (I use 6 lbs when I go to Mexico in a 3mm. This is enough that I don't rotate feet down when I stop kicking.)
Thanks for the detailed explanation, will do on the trim pockets.
 

rongoodman

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The biggest problem with an overly large wing is that it might trap air and be difficult to vent. A 32# wing will be fine. The only potential issue with cold water and lots of neoprene is that you might require more lead than the wing can float without you in it, in which case you would have to move some of it to a weight belt.
 
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jwoolste

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The biggest problem with an overly large wing is that it might trap air and be difficult to vent. A 32# wing will be fine. The only potential issue with cold water and lots of neoprene is that you might require more lead than the wing can float without you in it, in which case you would have to move some of it to a weight belt.
In that case, do you just drop the weight belt when you're surfacing and recover it somehow, or how does the weight belt fix the problem?
 

rongoodman

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The problem is having to remove the BP/wing for some reason and losing it because the wing can't handle the weight. With some weight on a belt, If for some reason you have to remove your rig in the water you can either hand up the weight belt before doing so or ditch it if you have to. Much cheaper than losing the whole thing.
 

inquisit

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how does the weight belt fix the problem?
Several of my buoyancies: -1.5 lb (BP/W), -2 lb (regulator), +3.5 lb (AL80 at reserve pressure), +16 lb (7mm single-layer wetsuit). That totals to +16 lb, so I need to take 16 lbs of lead to be neutral at the end of the dive. Where do I put it?

Option 1, Integrated Weights -- the buoyancy of the rig alone (without me & wetsuit) is -16 lbs. If my tank is full, there's another 5 lbs of air I haven't yet breathed, so -21 lbs. If I have an 18 lb tropical wing, the rig won't float on its own.

Option 2, Weight Belt -- that 16 lbs of lead goes on me, leaving the rig buoyancy at a mere -5 lb with a full tank. That little 18 lb wing works just fine in the cold water.

(In practice, I'd probably put 6 lbs on the rig for trim and 10 lb on a weight belt. This would leave me +6 lb at the surface without the rig -- a nice benefit -- and somewhat neutral at some reasonable depth due to wetsuit compression if I had to take it off underwater.)
 

RyanT

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No reason not to do a 30-32lb wing. Any extra drag over a smaller wing just won't be noticeable. Having a bit of extra lift at the surface is always beneficial to support another diver or keep your head a bit higher above the surface.
 
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jwoolste

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Several of my buoyancies: -1.5 lb (BP/W), -2 lb (regulator), +3.5 lb (AL80 at reserve pressure), +16 lb (7mm single-layer wetsuit). That totals to +16 lb, so I need to take 16 lbs of lead to be neutral at the end of the dive. Where do I put it?

Option 1, Integrated Weights -- the buoyancy of the rig alone (without me & wetsuit) is -16 lbs. If my tank is full, there's another 5 lbs of air I haven't yet breathed, so -21 lbs. If I have an 18 lb tropical wing, the rig won't float on its own.

Option 2, Weight Belt -- that 16 lbs of lead goes on me, leaving the rig buoyancy at a mere -5 lb with a full tank. That little 18 lb wing works just fine in the cold water.

(In practice, I'd probably put 6 lbs on the rig for trim and 10 lb on a weight belt. This would leave me +6 lb at the surface without the rig -- a nice benefit -- and somewhat neutral at some reasonable depth due to wetsuit compression if I had to take it off underwater.)
it all makes sense now, thanks!
 
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