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Ow in bp/w

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by kenny kustom, May 12, 2013.

  1. BVickery

    BVickery Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    I did mine in a Transpac. Though not a traditional BP/W, still overall same philosophy. I do recommend you make sure you have a crotch strap, will make things MUCH easier and enjoyable overall.
  2. Griffo

    Griffo DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    They sell a transpac without a crotch strap? The crotch strap is kind of mandatory with harness systems.
  3. BVickery

    BVickery Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    Yup, got mine without.
  4. ootuoyetahi

    ootuoyetahi Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Branchburg NJ
    I just thought i'd give my two cents from a students standpoint, coincidentally, a student of the shop RJP teaches at (and yes, they do their checkout dives with Halcyon BP/W). He was not my instructor and his comments have on bearing on mine.

    When I first got to the shop to pick up my rental gear for the checkout dives, I was a little surprised to see totally different gear than what we had practiced our skills with in the pool sessions. I remember thinking to myself, "why would they teach us in one BCD and give us something totally different when it came to the checkout dives"? As it turned out, the only real difference out of water, was I now had a crotch strap, and the weights were integrated, no big deal. In the water, though, is where I was really able to see a difference. I personally found it to be far less complicated and less busy. It was much more comfortable, less bulky, and I finally didnt feel like I was wearing a life jacket. I had a much easier time staying horizontal which was a big difference from the jacket style BCDs we used in the pool where I felt like I was always a little too upright.

    Although I was a little unsure of the BP/W when I picked up the rental gear, I am very happy they gave me the chance to experience a different style of BC. I fell in love with the BP/W and when I buy my own gear next year (cant wait ), I will likely buy a Halcyon BP/W, despite the high price tag.
  5. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    My finding is that shops hang on to the numbers, and if the numbers are in jacket BC's then that's what they will push.
    There's also the part about the big companies pushing what they want and feeding the LDS whatever they want. Being that many brand stamped LDS's are hooked in to agregate sales quotas and tier pricing, BP/W would just dilute sales to to the stuff their getting the best wholesale deals on and the most markup.
    Until the big boys decide the BP/W is the way to go I wouldn't expect to see any changes in the LDS anytime soon.
    Reck Diver likes this.
  6. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    This thread reminds me of the History on the BP/Wing for the recreational and tech communities.....

    Back around 1996, Jarad Jablonski was trying hard to get Scubapro, or Mares, Dive Rite, or ANY of the big mfg's of BC's, to manufacture a bp/wing to WKPP specs...it would be an initial order of 100, and the expectation of perhaps several hundred more in the following months...this to grow from then on....None had even the slightest interest, and the big mfg's for BC's were only interested in developing the new "must have color" for a BC, or bigger pockets to shove more un-needed gear into, and a host of other features that would in no way actually assist people in better diving adventures or skills.

    Robert Carmichael, of Brownies 3rd Lung, was a member of WKPP....When Robert heard that none of the big boys would help WKPP with it's desire to have something better than a stop sign with holes drilled in it, and a harness ( only a slight exaggeration)..Robert decided to use the R&D facilities of his Brownies factory in Fort Lauderdale, to create the b/p and wing spec the WKPP wanted....His new design fit exactly what the WKPP club wanted, and all initial units were sold immediately, and a large back log of orders was immediately created....And so Robert ramped up production of more at Brownies....and decided to name the line of bp/wings HALCYON.
    I was given one to use, as I was a buddy of George and Robert and Bill Mee ( all WKPP inner circle), and instantly loved it.....I began assisting Robert in getting the word out on rec.scuba about the new Halcyon gear, the first DIR gear, ever.

    A year goes by, and we show up at the DEMA show. Brownies /Halcyon had no budget--we were a tiny little group of upstarts, with an idea that flew in the face of every large manufacturer, and was obnoxious to the goals and plans of DEMA and the industry strategists. We had a single booth....and we had printed about 3000 brochures--about all we imagined we could give out, and fairly expensive for us as well. Our booth stood in SHARP CONTRAST to the City sized booths of US Divers, Scubapro, Mares and Cressi.....they were huge, full of bright colors, pretty female models wearing the gear and looking sexy, coffee shops inside the booths, meeting rooms inside the booths...and plans to speak with thousands of people per hour.

    Halcyon was very different..... A small booth, everything in it all black....we wore black pants, and black dress Polo shirts that had Halcyon Embroidered on them. We were all function...We were nothing like the others.

    I don't remember if the doors to the Dive World at that DEMA show opened at 8am or 9....What I do remember, was the anticipation--it was palpable, not just for us, but for everyone....We were on pure adrenaline...we were scared...Would this show be a bust, would we be passed by, and all this work ignored, all this time wasted..? ....We knew this was what US Divers and Scubapro and Mares were expecting...we could see them gloating as they passed by us, prior to the public being allowed in....

    And then it was like a bell went off, and the race began....Quiet and emptiness was instantly replaced by an Avalanche of guests at the Halcyon Booth....in the blink of an eye we had 25 people trying to fit into our booth, see the Halcyon gear, and talk to us..and a line of about 1000 people formed --all waiting to get into the Halcyon booth.....

    Amid the carnage and the onslaught, I remember looking over at Scubapro and Mares
    ....they were empty....they were shocked....there was horror on their faces.....they were realizing that the diving world had just changed...and that they had made some major miscalculations. And then I was bowled over with more customers screaming for attention, and then in a few more heart beats, we were out of all of our brochures, and we had to send out our artist Preston, to go make Xerox copies of the Halcyon brochure so we would have something to hand out....Our 3 thousand lasted till maybe mid-morning.... We were like deers in headlights....we were getting shell shocked. It was exciting and fun, and I could not help feeling like the days of the industry just pushing new colors or big pockets, might just be about to change :)
  7. ronscuba

    ronscuba Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    Thanks Dan for the history lesson. Really enjoyable to know how it all started.

    I'm just a recreational diver, but use some of the DIR/tech diver gear configurations. Soft and hard backplates. Single continuous harness. Octopus on a necklace. Dive light secured to D-ring and shoulder webbing. Scissors on the waist strap. It just makes practical sense even for open water diving.

    I am happy to see things evolve and carry over to the recreational market.
    danvolker likes this.
  8. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Fantastic Danvolker!
    Great story indeed.

    I know I've converted almost every local diver that I know locally and then some.
    The dive shops in my area don't like me.
    On a beach dive a while back our entire club turned out for the dive and almost all of them had on BP/W.
    One of the LDS people happened to be there separately doing a class and saw what people were using.
    Those are sales the LDS missed out on and they are pissed, but they still don't get it.

    SP, AL, Oceanic, etc. saw you guys and the response from the public, and 15 years later they still don't get it.
    danvolker likes this.
  9. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    I've been trying to encourage all staff to be clearer with OW students about the gear to be used in OW. I do many of the pool reviews for students going up to Dutch for OW dives, and always take a few minutes to show folks what they will see when they pick their stuff up.

    PM me with your CW instructor's name if you feel like it... I'll casually mention something.

    PS - come out and join us on a boat sometime! The fun has just begun...

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