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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. FezUSA

    FezUSA Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Hiram, OH, USA
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    People will have different opinions on this, but here's a viewpoint you should strongly consider. A plate is mostly a plate. There are some differences in design and manufacture which may affect fit and finish, but at the level you're looking at, the differences will be minimal. (Some, like the Freedom Contour, are different though!). So then yes cost can become either a deciding factor or a strong contributor. However, and this is where it gets tricky considering that it's not my money being spent, I would recommend at this point that you include in your 'value' calculations the service you have received thus far and according to your comments will also continue to receive. You have used considerable resources (time, experience, pool trial, expertise etc.) of this shop. To then turn around and spend your money elsewhere to save some coin is why so many stores are struggling. I understand it's not for the exact same product, but all things considered the SP and DGX are close. Others on the forums can probably chime in with more detail on any actual differences and then you can decided if those differences matter to you and your diving. You have received solid support and feedback from a store, somewhat unusual for BPW configurations, so I would think that there is real value there that should warrant your wallet. Just a thought.

     
    Tournesol2000 likes this.
  2. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location:
    422
    120
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    Yeah I just have to figure out what the total cost for it is going to be if I get it in the shop. They are having an open house this Saturday and while she wouldn't tell me specifics of the deals they are going to have, she told me that the specials they are running this weekend will be ones that will be of interest to me.

    I also have already decided that if I don't end up buying from the shop, that I am going to pay them for the time spent in the pool trying gear out. She told me that typically they charge for it if you are just wanting to get in their pool, but since I am interested in purchasing from them, that they would let me do it free of charge.

    On the flip side, I contacted another local shop that carries Atomic regulators and various BCD's, and they told me that they have rental gear I could try out, but they were going to charge me and it was between like $25-30 to rent BCD's and regs (each), and then there is a pool fee and air fee on top of that. So it would have cost me like $100 or so just to try out a BCD and Atomic reg there.

    I'm still on the fence about getting one of the SP regs (from this shop) versus an Atomic, solely for price reasons. Initially the way you have to clean Atomics scared me off, but after doing more research, it's not as bad as I initially thought. I also have researched the Deep 6 regs that people really like and that's a consideration too, solely for price reasons.

    But the reg discussion is for another thread.
     
    FezUSA likes this.
  3. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,225
    1,758
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    Personally I think "big jacket" thing is overrated: all that extra fabric and stuff is about neutral and the net added lift should not be more than a couple of pounds. You had 6 lbs of lead, now you have 6 lbs of the plate. Assuming the same tank and all, the main difference is in the suit. What kind of suit you were wearing of those dives? -- that would be the buoyancy you didn't have in the pool with bp&w. You can see how that plus a couple of pounds of "fluff" of the jacket couldn't possibly add up to full 30 lbs of lift.

    I had the crotch strap fall apart on me once, and I jumped in with it not hooked up once or twice. I suppose it wouldn't be so noticeable the very first time and if you fitted the shoulder straps tight, but your kit starts shifting around on your back and feels a bit like a parachute instead of staying put and moving with you.
     
  4. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location:
    422
    120
    43
    I'm no sure exactly what BCDs they were, they were just rental ones. I know one of them was Aqualung though and the other one I used on another trip felt similar as far as the style and bulk.
     
  5. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    1,564
    1,011
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    Either plate material, stainless steel or aluminum, will work. What you choose should depend on how you dive. If you travel by air to dive and mostly dive in warm tropical waters with a thin exposure suit then you should lean towards buying an aluminum plate. if you dive in colder water, use a wetsuit thicker than 5mm, or plan to start using a drysuit then it may be better to steer towards a steel plate. If, with your wetsuit on, that you need lead to submerge at the beginning of the dive then you can replace some or all of that lead with the weight of the steel plate. The heavier plate puts the weight closer to your center of mass and spreads it across your back where many find it more comfortable....this will reduce the amount of lead you would need on a weight belt or in pockets.

    In the end, whatever you buy will work.

    -Z
     
  6. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    8,746
    7,721
    113
    ScubaPro has minimum pricing for its distributors. They are not allowed to discount below a set price. The DGX is a basic plate, harness and wing. It is really all you need and will likely last a lifetime. The harness may wear out after a couple of thousand dives, but it will outlast a jacket BC by many years.
     
  7. carobinsoniv

    carobinsoniv Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moultrie, Georgia
    687
    124
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    The thing that confuses me is if you were slightly negative at the surface, your negative buoyancy will only increase as you descend. If your wing is full at the surface, your wing cannot hold any more air so how can you have neutral buoyancy at depth. In theory, you will only continue to sink.

    Not sure where you live but I would try a different BPW for comparison.
     
  8. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,225
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    The materials are roughly neutral so the extra buoyancy from the jacket itself should not be that much in any of them. There are other factors, like having an air bubble in there that you can't easily squeeze out, but I suspect it's mostly that as people get more comfortable and more relaxed in the water, they tend to need less ballast in general. That just coincides with "progressing away from poodle jacket".

    If you don't have any neoprene on, your only parts that can lose buoyancy are lungs and the wing.
     
  9. carobinsoniv

    carobinsoniv Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moultrie, Georgia
    687
    124
    43
    Maybe saying the same thing but as you lose buoyancy, you are probably crawling on the bottom of the pool or kicking upward to stay off the bottom.
     
  10. Nasser

    Nasser ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You're welcome. Keep in mind that your weighting will change from a jacket BC to a backplate and wing, especially if you consider the different weights of a steel backplate vs. an aluminum one. You're weighting can even vary among various jacket style BC's due to different materials and buoyancy characteristics. So consider that anytime you make a change to your kit you need to adjust your weighting.

    BTW as far as regulators go, Atomic regs are great, but SP are excellent regs as well. I've been diving SP regs for over 20 years in various conditions and on pretty demanding dives. They have been very reliable and have preformed consistently over the years. One thing to consider when purchasing a regulator is how practical it will be to service around the world. If you get something like Apeks or SP or other very well known and widely distributed brands, then serving will be much less of a hassle and also generally be more cost effective... especially if you have something go down when you're traveling.
     

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