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Jacket BCD vs. Backplate/Wing

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Doc Harry, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Whoever gave you this piece of advice was way off the mark, IMO. I have never heard of anybody putting a clip of any sort on their inflator. A simple loop of bungie run under the chest d-ring is enough to keep the hose close to the chest, and give you plenty of room to move the hose around to vent.

    mexlin, in answer to your question, Peter starts all his private students off in backplates, and we have had no problems with the gear remove/replace skill, either in the pool or in open water. The key is properly adjusting the harness, so that it is not too tight.

    We really must not conflate equipment and skill . . . a skilled diver can dive beautifully in almost anything, and the best equipment won't make a superb diver out of a novice. I didn't even write to the magazine to tell them I thought a backplate system was PREFERABLE for new divers (although I think in cold water, it is) but only to say that dismissing such a rig as unduly complicated was unfair and inaccurate.
  2. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad

    You do have a flair for drama.

    Please note that my description of today's BC's especially the ones that are used for tech. diving doesn't mean that I am this type of configuration or not. I was only commenting on the difference of today's BC's compared with the ones I used in the late 70'2 early 80's and the evolving role the BC in its many formats is taking place now. One of my points is that the BC is being used more than just a buoyancy compensator and tank holder now.

    I am content with my Classic no problem. I am looking for a Back flotation BC to fit my dry suit since my Classic isn't comfortable with the dry suit, otherwise, Classic all the way. I don't think that there is a simpler, more versatile, safer and more durable BC for my type of diving and the greater majority of recreational divers than the Classic.
  3. Kenny13

    Kenny13 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Belle Chasse, LA

    Just curious, but was the BP/wing your first setup, or were you used to using a jacket style BC before you got it. Also, were you new to diving when you got the BP/wing setup? I don't have an opinion either way because the only style I've ever used it the jacket style, but I can say - especially for a new diver - that there is a learning curve with whatever style you decide upon. I've used the jacket style rental BC and I have a back inflate (Oceanic Excursion) on order, so I'm fully expecting to have to deal with adjusting fit, making weight adjustments for trim, getting used to back inflate, etc.
  4. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    It's an absolute ball!

    I really love being a part of someone's first scuba experience, especially kids. And these programs are so different than being part of someone's CW Dive #1" because those folks are in a class, and have the fear and trepidation that goes along with "learning" and being "evaluated." DSD's and Scuba Parties? People are just there to try something fun. They are more relaxed, and in many ways more open to learning than folks "in a class." Few bigger smiles than a 10yo coming up after their first lap around the pool on scuba.

    vinegarbiscuit likes this.
  5. scjoe

    scjoe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern Cal
    These threads are always interesting, but some participants seem to miss an obvious point. Gear manufacturers that stay in business make what they can sell and the marketplace has a way of sorting things out notwithstanding advertising or distribution channels. If one system is clearly superior, it takes over. Examples abound. The diesel engine replaced the steam engine on trains, the airplane replaced the passenger ship as a way of getting from London to New York, cars replaced the Red Line in LA (no it wasn’t a conspiracy), the single hose regulator replaced the double hose, etc. Since VHS and Beta have already been mentioned, I would be remiss if I did not point out that when a truly superior device came along (TIVO) that was pretty much was the end of recording TV on VHS.

    When multiple systems abound, they do so for a reason. As some have pointed out, people have different opinions about what works best.
  6. bubba105

    bubba105 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New York City

    Now this would be perfect. I have never seen a BP&W for rental. I'd love to try one but I'm not shelling out $400 to find out it's really not that much better for my pretty coral, pretty fish diving. I'm retiring after 29 years with FDNY next month & to tell you the truth, I've had enough excitement, so tech, wreck, cave just aren't happening. Maybe 10-15 years ago but not now. Vacation diving in mass quatities, in every exotic locale I can find, with my lovely bride/dive buddy in tow, is the order of the day. If tech stuff were in the cards, by all means, BP&W would be the way to go but if I didn't read here I wouldn't know there was anything wrong with my diving the way it is.
  7. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    Funny, my bp/w is set-up exactly like the picture, d-rings and all. I might add a couple of weight pouches to my cam bands so I'm not carrying around as much weight on my weight belt when I'm wearing lots of neoprene, but that's it. The only gear I have attached to my bp/w is an smb, spool, whistle, and spg. That's the only gear I ever had attached to my jacket bc as well. Even though my jacket was weight integrated, I prefer a weight belt.
    The reality of it is, you don't need a whole lot of extra gear while diving. Unless you're night diving, in a wreck or cave, and maybe poor vis, a light isn't exactly necessary. I took a slate on a couple of dives with me. It was more hassle than it was worth. The reason I switched to a bp/w was for the simplicity of it all. I haven't been diving all that long, but from what I've seen, much of the extra bells and whistles that companies market are not needed.
  8. g1138

    g1138 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, SC
    Problem with the BP/W is that the diver never EVER feels their BC inflating.
    With a back inflate you sorta feel the inflate, right before the BC auto purges, with a jacket you feel the inflate immediately.

    New divers will not always be able to adapt to this lack of feel easily.
    A BP/W places more emphasis on technique, ability, buoyancy, and trim characteristics that just aren't present in a typical new diver.

    Setting one up and using one effectively is like rocket science to someone who's never even seen one. And before the BP/W users jump down my throat, just think about it.
    When you were certified did you ever think of things like tying down your danglies with bungee or inner tires? No.
    Did your basic instructor teach you the proper way to clip something onto your shoulder D-ring? No
    etc etc

    Without any experienced BP/W diver as a mentor, a BP/W for a new diver is a horrible choice IMO.

    Having said that however, using one is not hard if you have someone showing you the ropes.
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I don't know, g1138. Without someone to help you learn to set it up, I think ALL scuba equipment has its issues. If nobody showed you how to put an octo in a holder, yours would hang behind you, right? If nobody showed you how to put the inflator hose in whatever velcro or other restraining device the BC has, IT would flop all over, too.

    I think a new diver has to be shown how to assemble and use equipment. I don't think a backplate rig is any more difficult than anything else.
  10. robbcayman

    robbcayman Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Temecula, CA
    I've never seen a group of people so concerned over what equipment other divers use. I knew this was going to be good from the beginning. :)
    Krazytomdiver likes this.

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