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I'm a newbie who tried a BP/W for the first time today...

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by purbeast, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    So I'm newly certified of OW/AOW and on my dives I used jacket style BCD. That was back in March and then last month I did my first dives that were for fun and rented a jacket style BCD and had a great time with it. Lifetime I have a total of 15 dives all with rental jacket style BCDs.

    And now I want to buy my own gear and thankfully I have a local shop that let me try out some gear in a pool today. They are a Scuba Pro shop and I tried out a Hydros Pro and a BP/W today, that I believe is X-Tek. I also tried out a bunch of different SP regs today but that's another thread lol.

    I first tried the Hydros Pro and I liked how it felt. It didn't feel like anything special really, although I did like how it gripped my body. It did feel really great on but I had the weight pockets on it and it did feel a bit like a normal jacket style BCD. Initially I had no weight in it but it was hard for me to use it with any air in the BCD and see how back inflated compared to jacket style, so I put in some weight and tried putting some air in it to see the difference. In all honesty, I didn't see much difference underwater but at surface, it definitely wasn't as hard to stay out of the water as I had thought based on what people told me compared to jacket style.

    I then tried the BP/W. Within 2 seconds underwater I LOVED IT. The minimalistic feel of it was just incredible. It felt like I was swimming without any gear on at all. I used it for like 7-10 minutes to play around with it and definitely want to buy one of those now. I'm 100% going with BP/W now.

    The one I used had a steel plate on it, and I could have tried an aluminum plate, but tried the steel plate for weight purposes so I wouldn't need to put any weight on. Without any air in my BCD, I sunk like a rock. But it was good to test it out, because I put air in the BCD and felt the difference between jacket style this time. I just loved everything about it.

    Now the BCD was rated at 30lbs of lift. On the surface, with BCD fully inflated, I was still slightly negatively buoyant. I was in fresh water pool, with a rash guard. So that is different than my normal 3mm wetsuit in salt water.

    So I am not sure if I should get one that has a bigger bladder, or if I should get an aluminum plate. The shop that let me try it out did say if I got a steel plate, and it was too heavy, that I could swap it out for the aluminum plate. But I'm also wondering if I should get a 40lb bladder one, which is the next size up, if I get it from this shop.

    Anyways, I just wanted to share, and I am now fully converted to the BP/W after just 5 minutes in one lol.

    This shop actually does training for OW students with BP/W too, which I thought was cool.
    Diver0001, chillyinCanada and dive1bb like this.
  2. okvij

    okvij Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Malaysia

    Choose the lift and the plate material based on the type of diving you will be doing. If you will be using a 3 mm wetsuit, you don't need a heavy BP and 40 lbs of lift.

    Try different BC configurations in the pool with the gear you will be diving, and see what works best.
    dive1bb likes this.
  3. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
  4. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Jacksonville NC
    Out of curiosity, much weight did you have? A 30 lb wing not being enough lift leads me to believe there is some kind of issue here somewhere.

    For reference, I use an aluminum plate and 40lb wings for aluminum doubles and 2 stages.
    rongoodman and LiteWeight like this.
  5. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    The X-Tek is far from a minimalistic backplate. You should try a regular BP/W with a basic harness before you invest in something with a padded back, chest strap, too many D-rings, plastic quick releases and a wrap around waist. There is too much unnecessary junk on that BC.
    CDMac, LiteWeight and Griffo like this.
  6. drk5036

    drk5036 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sapporo, Japan
    Yeah, are you sure you didn’t make a mistake with your wording here? You should only need a few pounds of buoyancy to become positively buoyant in this situation...
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    I can't imagine you being negatively buoyant with a 30lb wing fully inflated unless you were way overweighted. I use 32lb wing in a pool on a regular basis with a steel plate, 12L steel tank, and no exposure suit or lead...there is more than enough buoyancy and although I have not tried to swim down with my wing fully inflated I am sure I would not be able to do so.

    Realize that with a BP/W, especially a simple hogarthian style harness, there is not padding in the rig that adds buoyancy. Many BCs are positively buoyant which requires lead in and of itself to sink. One typically finds they can leave a few kg of lead on shore when they initially switch to a BP/W.

  8. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    It depends on which x-tek OP is referring to. x-tek pure harness + back plate would be what we call bp/w. But if it is x-tek Form harness, then it is no different than another other back inflate BC with a backplate stuff between the harness and tank.

    And as other mentioned, there is something seriously wrong with OP's weighting. The fact is if you are negactive with 30lb fully inflated, 40lb won't keep your head out of water. switching plate material shouldn't be the solution.
  9. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: same ocean as you
    Dive Gear Express stainless plate 30lb wing

    and after you spend less money for more purposeful gear, with the money you save
    you can hire this woman to protect you the next time you go into the scubapro shop


    or at least make yourself a garlic garland and wear that
    CDMac and D_Fresh like this.
  10. D_Fresh

    D_Fresh Barracuda

    :rofl3: Love it!!

    @purbeast , Welcome to the light!! :thumb: I basically had the same feeling of incredible joy in my first BP/W dive. I loved the effortless feeling of flying through the water, as opposed to fighting a stab jacket with so much bulk. And, as a major bonus, my trim and buoyancy improved greatly over the first 3 dives. I will never go back to jacket....

    Cheers buddy!

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