Good BC for a new, 13 year-old diver?

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by ippy01, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. ippy01

    ippy01 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    My 13 year old son is working on his Junior certification. He is 5'2" and about 100 lbs. Any good suggestions for a BC? We travel a lot, so I would like something light/easy to pack -- and simple/easy to use. Also, I'd rather avoid spending the big bucks given that he is growing like a weed (he has an 8 year brother who will "inherit" anything I buy for his, I do want to get something with decent quality).

    Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. RJP

    RJP PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    I'd go with something slightly used - or "pre-dived" to take a cue from car dealers. As you say, he's growing quickly so it's possible you won't even get one dive season out of it.

    Further, don't assume the 8yr old will even inherit the desire to dive! If he does, and can use the gear, that's great. But I wouldn't let the choice of what to buy for the 13yr old be influenced by the assumption the 8yr old will get/use the gear too.

    Heck - do the math on renting. If you're just talking about dive vacations, etc, for one season may be cheaper to rent than to "buy and replace."
  3. kidspot

    kidspot Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Mililani, Hawaii
    you could also go with a modular system that would allow you to change out parts in the future to fit his size.

    Zeagle BCD's if I understand correctly are built this way as are BP/Wing rigs - (start with a small plate, then just replace the plate when he outgrows it)

    Either would also work for your 8 yr. old in time.

    Aloha, Tim
  4. rakkis

    rakkis PADI Pro

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern California
    Or get a BCD that will gro with him. Have him try on a Zeagle Concept II. It's the most configurable/expandable Zeagle BCD. A SMALL will probably last him until he's about 150 lbs
  5. cecilb63

    cecilb63 Nassau Grouper

    I got my 13 year old daughter an oxy bp/w and she does great with it.
  6. mike_s

    mike_s Blue Whale

    I think that DIve Rite has a program for teens..... you buy one BC and you can upgrade it for free until they are 17 or 18. Check with your Dive RIte Dealer.

    I think that Phil at sells the TransPac II with wing, harness, weight pockets, crotch strap, and cam buckles for a really smokin' price. Check with him and he can tell you about the Dive Rite deal
  7. wmspdi

    wmspdi Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NE Ohio
    My son's first BC was a back inflate Seaquest Balance (he was 12 when certified) and it worked out well for him. He has a Dive Rite Transpac now and uses my Venture wing when we go diving. Since he was already used to a back inflate BC (instead of a jacket) the Transpac was an easy transition for him. Good luck.
  8. reubencahn

    reubencahn SoCal DIR

    My son began diving at 10. After one year with an XS Scubapro classic that was still too large, I moved him to a bp/w. He started with a small plate. As he grew, I adjusted the harness. At 14 and 5'6", he has almost outgrown the small plate, so in the next year I'll get a full sized one and re-rig with new webbing. Nothing else needs to be changed and for three and half years he's had a bc that has fit him perfectly.
  9. james croft

    james croft Loggerhead Turtle

    BP/W may be a good choice. I also recently have seen a BC made by Seasoft (Ithink I got that name right) that is extremely adjustable and would probably fit him until it wears out.
  10. scubadobadoo

    scubadobadoo Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal
    BP/W may be you best option. He will grow into it and will never outgrow it.
  11. plot

    plot Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kansas City
    The seaquest passport I think is a small BC that'd fit someone about your son's size...

    Although this bp/w idea sounds like a genious plan...
  12. O2BBubbleFree

    O2BBubbleFree Loggerhead Turtle

    I recently picked up a 'classic' BC off of eBay to use as my travel BC, but now that I've used it I'm thinking of ditching my modern rig.

    It's just the old-fashioned plastic backpack with a strap-on wing, vintage 1970.
    Here's a link to a similar BC that's still in production, but I haven't had the chance to inspect it up-close.

    It weighs next-to-nothing and packs really small, so is great for travel. I have gone back to using a weight belt, and need to add a pocket on the waist strap, but I really like it.

    This type is also one-size-fits all, so might be a good option for a growing diver.

    It is very similar to the BP/W setup, but without the weight of an AL or SS backplate. My belief is that I want to check as little weight as I can on the aircraft, and rent or borrow the weight when I get there.

    I think when I checked the price on the Aquatec it was about $230 with the funky inflator/noisemaker (which I would not get). Pretty reasonable.
  13. plot

    plot Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kansas City
    DSS has 1.6lb partially plastic, partially SS backplates.

    It's funny how often the simplistic of the old wins out over the complexity of the new...
  14. avpro4

    avpro4 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Wheaton, IL
    These guys sell exclusively direct to divers off their website, so if that makes you nervous forget about it. But I know they have extremely well priced BCD's in junior sizes for about 1/3 of what you'd pay in a LDS. Being a budget minded fellow and rather new to the sport I shopped around pretty hard and rather than by a used unit
    I decided to try them and for under $200 I'm not disappointed. They have juvenile models for under $125 that are full featured, and everyting is warrantied.
  15. ippy01

    ippy01 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Thank you to everyone for your excellent suggestions! Much appreciated.
  16. bajashack

    bajashack Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    SeaSoft would be the last BC I would want to consider this is the first BC they have ever developed and has only been on the market for a very short time, for my child however, the other brands mentiod will be a much better choice.
  17. kidsdream

    kidsdream Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southeast Michigan and Key Largo, FL
    A Dive Rite Transpac (size small) with a travel wing would be perfect and you son could still me using this through his 18th birthday.

    See if you can pick on up on ebay or if you want to go the new route Dive Rite Express in Florida can set you and are a authorized dealer.
  18. 1_T_Submariner

    1_T_Submariner Loggerhead Turtle

    My son has a Zeagle Scout works great for him.
  19. Jarrett

    Jarrett Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: DFW area
    My 11-yo daughter loves her Zeagle Brigade. Very grab and go with lots of pockets and clips for all her doodads. I personally like the Dive Rite Transpac.
  20. aquanut56

    aquanut56 Guest

    The seasoft pro bc will fit anyone from 70lbs. to 240 lbs. (so it can grow with him)
    It is the most adjustable jacket style bc on the market
    And the most comfortable.

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