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5 Tips For Choosing Your First BCD

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Articles' started by scubateena, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. AngelfishK

    AngelfishK Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Singapore
    2
    0
    1
    Thanks for sharing. I am considering to buy one.
    BTW where can I get the cute hood.
     
  2. REVAN

    REVAN Barracuda

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    170
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    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.
     
  3. 1911Dexter

    1911Dexter Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: USA
    1
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    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
     
  4. Froggle

    Froggle Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: UK
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    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.
     
  5. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    10,785
    3,467
    113
    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.
     
  6. mattia_v

    mattia_v Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
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    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).
     
  7. Mercury Divers Co. Ltd

    Mercury Divers Co. Ltd Garibaldi

    1
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    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!
     

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