5 Tips For Choosing Your First BCD

I think most of us, whether you are a highly experienced dive instructor or an occasional holiday diver, can remember our first time donning scuba gear.

At first it feels like “so much stuff”! Your instructor is explaining in great detail what every little gadget does and it’s rather overwhelming. Before you know it, three days later and your gear feels second nature. Now you want to keep diving and that shop gear that’s been used 100 times is just not going to cut it anymore. When you take a look at your local dive centre or try looking online for your own gear where do you even start? With so many brands and so many styles it can be a tough decision, especially when you don’t know what to look for. After all, is it not just a “jacket that fills up with air”?

1. Ladies First

When you did your open water course, there is a good chance the dive centre did not have different models for men and for women. Well ladies, let me say one thing, you might have to pay a little more, not always, and if you have to – it is well worth it. BCD’s designed for women make all the difference. They are fitting for our smaller shoulders, wider hips and most importantly… our chests.

2. Comfort Is Everything

Comfort is a given. The BCD will be your backpack carrying a very heavy tank and if it doesn’t sit right you will only hate wearing it. Good cushioning on the back plate is important. Even if you don’t have to do a shore dive where you walk with all your gear, those moments before you get in can either be utter bliss or sheer pain if your BCD is pushing into your lower back. Other than good back support wearing integrated weight pockets can help. By shifting the weight from your belt to your BCD you take immense pressure off your hips and back. If you are someone who uses a significant amount of weight then this is particularly important.

3. Lord of D-Rings

Something you probably did not pay attention to when you were completing your open water course were those D-rings on your shoulder straps and pockets. These are of vital importance to dive instructors but they are also important to novice divers. Soon you might get into underwater photography and will need to securely attach your expensive camera somewhere safe. Maybe you love night diving and need to safely secure your back up light. The fact of the matter is you will eventually get a new gadget, and will want to make sure that it can be attached to your BCD so that you won’t lose anything and can stay streamlined. Metal D-rings are a good idea as they won’t break as easily as the plastic ones, especially if you are clipping several items to one D-ring. Where the D-rings are placed is also something to be aware of. In some cases there are too few D-rings and sometimes they are just placed in awkward positions where it’s not so easy to reach. It’s rare but good to keep in mind.

4. Wings Or No Wings?

Chances are you used a jacket-style BCD for your first dives. The other style is what they call a wing BCD. They work just like the name suggests – like wings. Instead of the air inflating around the body they have designed the bladder to inflate behind you and you essentially don’t feel any pressure around your body when the BCD is fully inflated. Experienced divers, technical divers and most dive professionals who use them swear by them but I will say this – if you are not used to it, it can seem weird at first. When you are at the surface instead of floating comfortably it will usually push you forward. The reason for this is when you are diving the wing style is designed so you hang effortlessly.

5. Gear Isn't Everything

With either a wing or a jacket style BCD nothing can beat experience when it comes to being a good diver. The wing BCD won’t make you a better diver just because of its design. When you first learnt to dive you were probably slightly overweighed and this can be for several reasons. When you are anxious or nervous you tend to hold more air in your lungs than you should. The more you dive and the more comfortable you are underwater you will automatically relax, your muscles won’t be so tense and you will exhale all the air in your lungs. In turn you will need less weight and won’t be adding unnecessary amounts of air in your BCD to compensate.

Your BCD is an important piece of equipment. It holds everything together and it should last years with the proper care and maintenance. It’s important you take your time when selecting one.

For more info, check out the Complete Guide to BCD's on Mozaik UW Cameras' blog.

Kristina Kirk

 

26 Responses

  1. please stop propagating the fact that wings push you forward at the surface as it is simply not true if you are diving a properly  balanced rig.
  2. <p>[QUOTE="scubateena, post: 7726864, member: 476861"]</p><p><br /></p><p><a href="https://www.scubaboard.com/category-articles/professional-submissions/5-tips-choosing-first-bcd/" class="internalLink ProxyLink" data-proxy-href="https://www.scubaboard.com/category-articles/professional-submissions/5-tips-choosing-first-bcd/">5 Tips For Choosing Your First BCD</a></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="https://www.scubaboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Eilat_0005s-1024x676.jpg" class="bbCodeImage wysiwygImage" alt="" unselectable="on" /></p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p><a href="https://www.scubaboard.com/category-articles/professional-submissions/5-tips-choosing-first-bcd/" class="internalLink ProxyLink" data-proxy-href="https://www.scubaboard.com/category-articles/professional-submissions/5-tips-choosing-first-bcd/">Continue reading the Original Article.</a>[/QUOTE]</p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>What is this picture an example of?</p>
  3. Leaves a lot to be desired information wise and point 1 is only partly true. If you have to pay more you are getting ripped off.  Point 2 is simply wrong. Underwater padding is not necessary. On the surface if you need to carry your gear far you break it down and make several trips. Point 3 is screaming for clarification. Most divers need 3 D rings. 4 is nice. More important is being able to place them where you need to. Not where the mfg thinks they should be.Back inflates will push people forward due to improper weighting and weight distribution. Not because of what they are designed to do. Point 5 is actually spot on correct.

  4. I can wholeheartedly agree with point 5; there others, not so much.  Point 1 is correct for jacket style BD's because of the design and a woman's anatomy, but it should not cost any more than a comparable man's version.  For back-inflate harness style BC's, there isn't any difference as nothing crosses the chest except a sternum strap.  Regarding point 2, I agree that a little padding is necessary if only to protect your wetsuit or drysuit.  The edges of the webbing can easily damage these items.  Excessive padding makes the diver more buoyant and thus requires more weight.  Point 3 is less about D-rings than about hanging equipment from them.  I agree with Jim Lapenta that most divers need three or four d-rings for carrying things like cameras, back-up lights and stage bottles.  A BRW setup allows the diver to place the D-rings in the right spot for them.  What really gets me, however, is the diver who thinks he or she has to carry every accessory they own on every dive.  Some of these look like walking Christmas trees and I am amazed they are able to get to the back of the boat.  An experienced diver takes only what is needed for the dive.  Finally, the old canard about back inflation versus jacket style regarding attitude on the surface.  The simple fact is that no BC is designed to support a diver face up on the surface.  Look at the warning label on your BC!  All BC's are unstable when fully inflated.  Jacket BC's will roll you sideways and back inflation styles will pitch you forward.  All that is needed is enough air in the bladder to float you comfortably.  Any more than that is a problem.  When I see a student struggling on the surface, I have them let some air out of the jacket and lean back.  That usually solves the problem quickly.
  5. <p>well the floodgates opened, so here we go.</p><p><br /></p><p>1 is complete garbage because the simple harnesses on a backplate work insanely well to conform to lady curves... without a chest strap the straps go outside of their chest, come down at the narrow part of their waist, and then fit whatever hip size they have. The crotch strap removes any possibility of the waist strap riding up on their hips, so no need to buy some special lady bcd</p><p><br /></p><p>2 is also a load of garbage because you hang below the bc in most circumstances, and you don't need any extra padding because you're wearing a wetsuit most of the time. If you aren't, then yeah a backplate pad is nice, but certainly not necessary.</p><p><br /></p><p>3. you NEED 3 drings for most all types of diving. you NEED 4 drings if you are using a dpv or are clipping stuff off *front crotch vs back crotch*. You need 5 d-rings if you're doing technical diving where you need the right shoulder for light clipping and primary regulator clipping, left hip/shoulder for SPG and stage bottles, front crotch for DPV, and rear crotch for things like reels and what not. You can put a 6th d-ring on the right hip if you put stage/deco bottles over on that side or want it for temporary storage. Anything more than 5/6 is completely unnecessary in any backmoutn circumstance. Sidemount will sometimes have 2 additional d-rings on the shoulders so you can have a low d-ring for cylinder attachment, and a normal height d-ring for everything else, but that is extenuating circumstances.</p><p><br /></p><p>4. as mentioned is completely wrong and a function of people that don't know what they are doing loading too much weight on the belt, typically too far forward on the diver. If you are weighted properly, you can chill out at the surface with no problem.</p><p><br /></p><p>5. isn't really a tip, just a generic statement. Yes, good divers should be able to dive any rig without any problems, however that doesn't fix the fact that a small woman diving a big steel tank in a 7mm wetsuit may not have enough lift in her jacket bc because the amount of lift they have is typically set by the size of the rig, or the big guy diving an al80 without a wetsuit with a 50+lb lift jacket bc.</p>
  6. Coming from a super noob and his super noob wife thanks for the article scubateena. it hit alot of good points that the wife and I just experienced. we both just got certified & we both had fit issues with the learning/rental gear. none of the gear( we tried many gear combos) felt like it was just  right the entire training period for either of us. it felt like we were fighting our gear.  i run into fit issues with my clothing frequently being 6'4 and the wife runs into fit issues too because she is very chesty. after searching a few local dive shops and trying on various bcds we finally found ones that just "fit" right. usually, for me anyway, when something fits & feels right...it is right and i buy it. one day i'll stop wearin my new bcd around the house. ps: it has 6 d-ringshave fun
  7. <p>[QUOTE="tbone1004, post: 7728474, member: 136424"]1 is complete garbage because the simple harnesses on a backplate work insanely well to conform to lady curves... without a chest strap the straps go outside of their chest, come down at the narrow part of their waist, and then fit whatever hip size they have. The crotch strap removes any possibility of the waist strap riding up on their hips, so no need to buy some special lady bcd[/QUOTE]</p><p><br /></p><p>Even in a bp/w setup, lady curves are an important consideration! If a guy wants to move his backplate farther down on his back, he can shorten his crotch strap and put the waistband around his hips. A woman with larger hips and a smaller waist can't do that. I ended needing to buy a smaller backplate despite all the guys telling me that a standard size would fit just fine. Even on something as infinitely adjustable as a simple backplate and harness, fit matters, and it can be more of a challenge for women.</p><p><br /></p><p>I'm still wondering about that picture though...</p>
  8. <p>[QUOTE="evad, post: 7726962, member: 3400"]What is this picture an example of?[/QUOTE]</p><p>I do like the ears on her hood!</p>
  9. <p>They should just post the standard Scubaboard replay...Get a BP/W!</p>
  10. <p>No one is saying that.  What is being said is to not spread MIS-information.  You can do pros and cons of each all day long and that is fine. </p><p><br /></p><p>Here is an example:</p><p><br /></p><p>Jacket BCD - Comfy, easy, stylish, secure</p><p><br /></p><p>BP/W - Comfy, easy, cheaper replacement parts, <b>YOU GET ANTHRAX AND DIE</b>, adjustable,</p><p><br /></p><p>Well on down the road people get to where they heard their instructor one time say YOU GET ANTHRAX AND DIE and now that has been repeated enough that people take it as truth.  A. It is not the truth B. Should not be used as a con for one device and a pro for another.</p>
  11. Let me save the investigation work for purchasing a BCD. Purchasing a BCD is like buying a car. New ones are pricey and lose their value quickly. A sharp buyer can get a gently used one at a considerable savings. That said, there are a lot of folks who go all in for diving, buy a ton of equipment, use it for a season, maybe two, and then for one reason or another never dive again. That is the equipment you should be looking for. It is also not hard to find. Get a Zeagle Ranger. A sharp E-Bay user can get them in good condition in the $200.00 range. If you must have something with more of a technical look, get a Poseidon BESEA, They don't come up as often on E-Bay, but they can be purchased for a fraction of the retail price. Both are functional, durable, and comfortable.<br />-----<br />Too Boring Here... Bring Back Reck Diver and Volker
  12. [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5][COLOR=#808080][B]1. Ladies First[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=#808080][...] BCD’s designed for women make all the difference. They are fitting for our smaller shoulders, wider hips and most importantly… our chests.[/COLOR][/FONT] Whilst not really qualified to comment upon 'ladies bits', I'd note that people of both sexes fit into a wide range of body shapes and proportions. It's important to find equipment that fits YOU. Basic harness systems seem to be a good solution for fitting all shapes and sizes. It's also rather bizarre to talk about 'fit' in regards to jacket BCDs.... as the very nature of these designs vary in fit dependent on whether the bladder is full, or empty, of air. Back-mounted (and wing) bladders do not cause fit variation over the phases of a dive. [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5][COLOR=#808080][B]2. Comfort Is Everything[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=#808080]Comfort is a given. The BCD will be your backpack carrying a very heavy tank and if it doesn’t sit right you will only hate wearing it. [/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=#404040][/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]First point to note is that the rig is NOT load bearing once submerged.[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]---Good cushioning on the back plate is important. [/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=#404040] Really? Sounds like you're propagating manufacturer waffle. Here's a lady using a[B] bare metal backplate[/B]..... to support 2x 18L cylinders, 4x AL80 cylinders AND a scooter for a standing entry. [/COLOR][/FONT] [IMG]https://z-1-scontent-sin.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11694958_736247849819231_7881253609889340836_n.jpg?oh=6f6b17f4177915a83a11cd1eb1315453&oe=581C47AE[/IMG] Photo courtesy of UW Frontiers on Facebook [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]--- Even if you don’t have to do a shore dive where you walk with all your gear, those moments before you get in can either be utter bliss or sheer pain if your BCD is pushing into your lower back. [/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]If a single tank is causing "sheer pain" when carried briefly - it's down to pathetic backplate design that insufficiently supports a trivial load. Compensating for bad design by adding masses of padding is...... very stupid.[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=#404040][/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]Other than good back support wearing integrated weight pockets can help. By shifting the weight from your belt to your BCD you take immense pressure off your hips and back. If you are someone who uses a significant amount of weight then this is particularly important.[/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=#404040] In what way does shifting weight from a belt to integrated pockets take "immense pressure" off the hips and back? Physically, carrying weight on the hips (belt) rather than shoulders (integrated) is far less strain. Just ask anyone who's served in the military or done some serious hiking.... [/COLOR][/FONT] [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5][COLOR=#808080][B]3. Lord of D-Rings[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=#808080]Something you probably did not pay attention to when you were completing your open water course were those D-rings on your shoulder straps and pockets. These are of vital importance to dive instructors but they are also important to novice divers. Soon you might get into underwater photography and will need to securely attach your expensive camera somewhere safe. Maybe you love night diving and need to safely secure your back up light. [/COLOR][/FONT] Again, this is merely an [B]unquestioning regurgitation of disingenuous manufacturer blurb[/B]. Many diving courses, even at recreational level, caution divers against 'danglies' ([I]masses of unrestrained equipment dangling from a plethora of superfluous D-rings[/I]). These pose a hazard of entanglement, increase task loading and also reduce streamlining. [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]The fact of the matter is you will eventually get a new gadget, and will want to make sure that it can be attached to your BCD so that you won’t lose anything and can stay streamlined. [/COLOR][/FONT] As mentioned.... in what way does clipping numerous 'danglies' to a multitude of D-rings help you "stay streamlined". Better advice would be to counsel divers to choose a BCD that has easily accessible and ample POCKETS. Or better still, put thigh pockets onto their exposure protection. Those pockets should have attachment points inside... to which items can be secured. [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]Where the D-rings are placed is also something to be aware of. [/COLOR][/FONT] Better still, choose a more flexible system that lets YOU designate and decide exactly where YOU want your D-rings to be located. [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]In some cases there are too few D-rings[/COLOR][/FONT] See that photo of the lady diver carrying 6 full cylinders and a scooter... in full technical kit? She has only 5 D-rings. Nobody needs more than 5-6 D-rings... not even for expeditionary cave diving or even world depth record attempts.... [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5][COLOR=#808080][B]4. Wings Or No Wings?[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=#808080]Chances are you used a jacket-style BCD for your first dives. The other style is what they call a wing BCD. They work just like the name suggests – like wings.[/COLOR][/FONT] In that they cause a pressure differential above/below the wing, thus creating a lift effect? Because that's how wings work..... [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]When you are at the surface instead of floating comfortably it will usually push you forward. [/COLOR][/FONT] As others have said.... an utter crock. Being 'pushed forwards' is neither usual or acceptable. It stems from operator-error, not an equipment or design fault. The reason for this is when you are diving the wing style is designed so you hang effortlessly. All BCDs [I]should[/I] be designed to have a similar effect.... and [I]all[/I] can be dived that way. When they aren't, it's down to individual human factors... i..e bad training, low experience, over-weighting etc... These factors are generally illustrated in examples like that posted by the OP (below)...... where training has created an instinctive response to go vertical and/or bad equipment set-up has promoted feet-down 'non-trim'.... [IMG]https://www.scubaboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Eilat_0005s-1024x676.jpg[/IMG] [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5][COLOR=#808080][B]5. Gear Isn't Everything[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=#808080]With either a wing or a jacket style BCD nothing can beat experience when it comes to being a good diver. [/COLOR][/FONT] Experience can be good or bad. As the photo (above) demonstrates.... bad habits can become insidiously foundational and instinctive if that's how you were trained.... and nothing was ever remedied thereafter. As the famous sporting quote goes.... "[I]Practice does NOT make perfect. Only PERFECT practice makes perfect[/I]". [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]The wing BCD won’t make you a better diver just because of its design.[/COLOR][/FONT] If something is easier, simpler, or more intuitive to operate, it demands less skill to achieve relative results. Whilst 'diver skill' remains a constant in different equipment, the results are not necessarily a constant. [FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#808080]When you first learnt to dive you were probably slightly overweighed and this can be for several reasons.[/COLOR][/FONT] One reason. The instructor has problems exerting effective control over multiple students, so it's easier to pin divers to the floor on their knees. Often this is necessary due to over-crowded classes. This is then not rectified beyond confined water training. It becomes a habitual approach for that instructor.<br />-----<br />[CENTER][IMG]http://scubatechphilippines.com/scuba_blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/frog-sidemount-logo-medium.png[/IMG] [SIZE=4][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#FF0000]Andy Davis[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE] [SIZE=3][URL='http://scubatechphilippines.com/sidemount-technical-wreck-subic-bay/']Sidemount-Technical-Wreck Courses and Clinics[/URL] [B]PADI TecRec, ANDI, BSAC and SSI - Consultant Technical Diving Instructor[/B][/SIZE] `[URL='http://scubatechphilippines.com/scuba_blog/']Scuba Tech Philippines Blog Articles and News[/URL][/CENTER]
  13. [QUOTE="melrose, post: 7743864, member: 478542"] Is there a certain brand that I should stay away from? Thanks in advance![/QUOTE] Zeagle comes to mind, re BCDs.<br />-----<br />Mammal

  14. RJP
    Tip #1: Save time, money, and hassle by buying your [B][I]SECOND[/I][/B] BCD first.<br />-----<br />Follow me for a marketing professional's perspective on the dive industry... Twitter: [URL]https://twitter.com/AquisMarketing[/URL] FaceBook: [URL]https://www.facebook.com/AquisStrategicMarketing[/URL] [IMG]https://www.scubaboard.com/community/media/aquis-logo-lockup-sb-sig.199758/full[/IMG]
  15. [QUOTE="RJP, post: 7745040, member: 55189"]Tip #1: Save time, money, and hassle by buying your [B][I]SECOND[/I][/B] BCD first.[/QUOTE] ... and then buy your [B]first [/B]BCD for second<br />-----<br />There's a logic thread and I stumble on it.
  16. [QUOTE="RJP, post: 7745040, member: 55189"]Tip #1: Save time, money, and hassle by buying your [B][I]SECOND[/I][/B] BCD first.[/QUOTE] So.. buy two?<br />-----<br />
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  18. Thanks for sharing. I am considering to buy one. BTW where can I get the cute hood.<br />-----<br />

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  20. [quote="tbone1004, post: 7726867"]please stop propagating the fact that wings push you forward at the surface as it is simply not true if you are diving a properly balanced rig.[/quote]I agree, especially for a newbie diver being uncomfortable at the surface sounds scary. BP/W does not push you forward.<br />-----<br />
  21. [quote="tekkydiver, post: 7734034"]Let me save the investigation work for purchasing a BCD. Purchasing a BCD is like buying a car. New ones are pricey and lose their value quickly. A sharp buyer can get a gently used one at a considerable savings. That said, there are a lot of folks who go all in for diving, buy a ton of equipment, use it for a season, maybe two, and then for one reason or another never dive again. That is the equipment you should be looking for. It is also not hard to find. Get a Zeagle Ranger. A sharp E-Bay user can get them in good condition in the $200.00 range. If you must have something with more of a technical look, get a Poseidon BESEA, They don't come up as often on E-Bay, but they can be purchased for a fraction of the retail price. Both are functional, durable, and comfortable.[/quote]thanks for the brand recommendations. My son (14 years) was certified last summer. After renting equipment for several days at a time for dive trips I've decided to look for a BCD for him. He hasn't yet hit his growth spurt so I know we'll be buying a larger size in the future. In the meantime I'm looking for a good basic BCD and found a few online. some new and some barely used... but I don't know anything about them! Is there a certain brand that I should either definitely look for or stay away from? Thanks in advance!<br />-----<br />
  22. Hmm.... Not a word was said about streamlining here. It seems it should have been. A BCD design that isn't designed to be as streamlined as possible is going to make you work harder in the water, and that's a bad thing. I like wing systems, simply because I can remove the wing to reduce drag in the water, and 90% or more of my dives don't require a BCD in the first place (this is statistically true for many, if not most, dive conditions). Before buying a BCD, it is worth considering taking the route to learn to dive without one first. A simple backpack is cheap, and you'll learn to weight yourself properly if you don't have the "training wheels" that let you propagate poor weight management skills. When to transition to diving a BCD system, you will be a much better diver for having spent the time to learn to dive without one. You will also be able to more easily recognize good from bad design features in a BCD system. All BCD systems are NOT created equal.<br />-----<br />
  23. [QUOTE="1911Dexter, post: 7920385, member: 484194"]Tbone help me out, I'm a new diver and I have the Aeris Atmos which is what I know now after reading the article, a wing type BCD. My son has a wrap around. Not sure of his brand. He floats vertical, I'm constantly being pushed face first in the water, which is exhausting to constantly battle as he floats effortlessly. According to your comment I'm doing something wrong with my setup. Help[/QUOTE] It's probably due to the fact that you have more weight on your front than on your back. Try moving weight around but also bear in mind that you need to maintain a horizontal trim position whilst diving. Experimentation is the key here and it's definitely worth spending time getting the right amount of weight in the right places. Also, at the surface you can't fill a wing like you can a jacket. You only need enough air in the wing to keep your head out of the water and, if you do this, you'll find that you're more stable. It's no substitute for getting your weighting right though.<br />-----<br />
  24. [QUOTE="1911Dexter, post: 7920385, member: 484194"]Tbone help me out, I'm a new diver and I have the Aeris Atmos which is what I know now after reading the article, a wing type BCD. My son has a wrap around. Not sure of his brand. He floats vertical, I'm constantly being pushed face first in the water, which is exhausting to constantly battle as he floats effortlessly. According to your comment I'm doing something wrong with my setup. Help[/QUOTE] sorry for delay, was cave diving this weekend. two things will typically put you face forward. First is wing being over inflated. You don't need to hit the power inflate button into the OPV goes. Orally inflate until you are comfortable and that will help. Second will be placement of your lead. Most weight pockets are placed too far forward, which causes you to be pulled forward in general. unfortunately most recreational back inflate wings are not designed well for comfortable sitting at the surface and you have to lean quite a ways back before it becomes tolerable. Crotch straps are quite literally the best thing for sitting at the surface because instead of you being held up by being squeezed at the waist where any movement will bring the center of lift closer to your head *read flip face down*, the crotch strap will allow you to "sit" on the bc which keeps it in place and is quite a bit more comfortable than being squeezed around the waist. You may be lucky and have a small slide lock on the bottom center of the BC where you can attach a crotch strap, and that would help significantly.<br />-----<br />[CENTER][B][COLOR=#0080ff][URL='http://uwlightdude.com/']UW Light Dude[/URL][/COLOR][COLOR=#0059b3]- [/COLOR][/B]Innovation guided by Exploration [URL='http://www.caveadventurers.com/'][B][COLOR=#ff0000]Cave Adventurers[/COLOR]- [/B][/URL]We'll Help You Get Trim [B][URL='http://www.deepseasupply.com'][COLOR=#ff8000]Deep Sea Supply-[/COLOR][/URL] [/B]Innovative Backplates, Wings, Harnesses and accessories [URL='http://www.caveadventurers.com/'][B] [/B][/URL][/CENTER]
  25. I echo what the others have said - when I first used my BP/W, I over-inflated (like I did with jackets) and even with a crotch strap had to keep my knees up and pay attention to not flip forward. After I while I wised up, inflate a little less, and now also push myself on to my back, and spend my time on the surface effortlessly floating around like an otter with camera resting on my chest/belly. Very relaxing. Weight is pretty far back, sometimes a little in integrated pockets on the waist band, rest in trim pockets on the straps (but only a total of 4-5 lbs these days).<br />-----<br />
  26. Nice article Kristina!:) I absolutely agree with point 1. I have to say that Aqua Lung's Pearl i3 is a very good choice for women!<br />-----<br />

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