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beginner diver back plate and wing config

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by twofor2, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. twofor2

    twofor2 Angel Fish

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    I am fairly new at diving but I am very intrigued about back plate and wing setup. I want to just start with this type of setup instead of buying a jacket bcd. I had a few questions though. I plan on mostly diving with single tank. I am diving with a 7mm wet suit so I have a bunch of questions.

    aluminum or stainless steel back plate?
    Also are all back plates created equal?
    Are pre-made harnesses worth it or would it be cheaper the same quality if I bought things individually.
    Also when looking for a wing how many pounds of lift do I need for a single tank?

    If anyone could direct me in the right direction I would appreciate it.Any recommendations are also gladly accepted.
     
    MargaritaMike and scrane like this.
  2. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
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    1) A stainless steel plate will help offset the amount of lead needed to sink with a 7mm suit, however depending on how much weight you need, it may make you overweight. The plate itself is 6lb's.
    2) Many will argue yes they are all the same, but I say no. There is difference in machining that you may care about, and there are plates that are better in the eyes of the user than others. I had a DGX plate at first, it had burrs that tore up harnesses and the holes didn't align with some aftermarket parts (back pad)
    3)I prefer a 1-Piece continuous harness. other harnesses out there that drive up the price and are not worth it due to additional failure points like plastic buckles and other "creature comforts" that are unnecessary.
    4) you can search far and wide on wing lifts and will never get the "best" answer. warm water most use something in the 20lb range. cold water the 30lb range. anything above that and you are looking at something that is not optimized for a single tank and can add drag in the water. Avoid horseshoe and bungee wings. Donut shaped are best.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. twofor2

    twofor2 Angel Fish

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    I dive mostly in fresh water for now and am 5'7 and weigh around 150 pounds. Other than trail and error at this point is their an easier way to determine how much weight I would need?
     
  4. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
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    Nobody can tell you how much weight you need. Your comfort level, tank selection, exposure protection all play a difference in weighting requirements.

    I would personally say get a SS plate. With an HP100 you now have 8lbs of weight total, with an aluminum you have 4lbs. Add a STA and you have 10lb/6lb respectively.
     
  5. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
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    It's hard to say. I'm 5'7" at 140 lbs and I need 10 lbs with an aluminum backplate, aluminum tank, and a 3mm suit in salt water.
    I started out with a SS plate but soon traded for aluminum. I didn't like being locked into carrying weight on my back or in my luggage.
    Buy the harness kit. Get a cheap one. I think piecing one together will end up costing you more.
    Get a cheaper backplate as long as you're sure it will match the wing. They're pretty much all the same. If you find sharp edges take them down with a file.
    Spend your money on the wing. The VDH Argonaut is what I would get now.
    I only dive warm water and have a 23# wing. It is plenty. I could probably get away with 18# but I don't think it would make a practical difference.
     
  6. twofor2

    twofor2 Angel Fish

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    would it be advisable to get a a back plate that can just support single tanks instead of getting the STA? I dont see myself doing doubles any time soon
     
    Caveeagle likes this.
  7. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

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  8. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    3,249
    2,998
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    The VDH flat plate works perfectly with a single tank and it’s not limited to DH, I used one as a travel plate until I picked an aluminum freedom plate, I did diveTruk with my SS freedom plate and didn’t faint it out of place heavy for the extensive travel needed to get there and only added 3lb for the diving. The FP, the VDH and most soft travel plates and all good options for a single tank.
     
  9. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    312
    167
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    The STA has nothing to do with doubles.
     
  10. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    3,249
    2,998
    113
    It has something to do with the plate design, most of which are designed for doubles and don’t always work well with a single tank.
     

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