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Pushed Forward - Skill or Equipment?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by tdallen, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. tdallen

    tdallen Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Somewhere south of Boston
    Hi -

    I'm a relatively new diver and just returned from a 8 dives with a Zeagle Stiletto. There are some things I like about it, others not so much. One issue is that I was unable to get into a good position on the surface. I know that a back inflate BCD (this is my first trip with one) requires you to not fully inflate on the surface, and try to lean into a position to float more on your back - but I couldn't get it to work well. Some additional notes:
    • I'm 5'10", 185lbs, wearing a 3mm shorty.
    • At sufficient inflation levels to get my head above water I was pushed forward uncomfortably.
    • With less inflation I could achieve a more vertical position but my head was only partly out of the water, requiring the use of my regulator.
    • I couldn't sustain a position on my back, in part because there was significant swell/chop.
    • Bottom line is that I feel like was expending too much effort on the surface, and not getting help from my equipment to prepare for recovery to the dive boat.
    Some additional thoughts, if they are relevant:
    • My legs are lean/heavy and no help achieving a floating position. But, I may go to a full 3/2mm or 3mm in the future (I was getting cold) if that is matters.
    • My fins are Aqua Lung Slingshots and slightly negatively buoyant, I think.
    • It seemed to me that the Stiletto places a large bubble of air fairly high up in the bladder at high inflation levels.
    • I was using 14lbs, 4lb in the front pockets and 3lb in the back trim pockets.
    I was happy with both vertical and horizontal trim under the water - but recovery to the dive boat wasn't fun. Any suggestions on anything different to try or skills to work on? Or, are there other back inflate BCDs that would perform any better?

  2. 1000RR

    1000RR Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Merritt Island, FL
    You mighty try and put the tank higher in the straps. I use a Zeagle Ranger LTD and found that it is MUCH better with the tank riding higher in the straps. The challenge then became ensuring the yoke wasn't a head banger when I tilted my head up. With a little work on finding the sweet spot and ensuring my hoses were routed good, My head (when tilted back) basically sits right in the neck of the tank where the valve attaches. Having the tank higher also makes it a bit easier to recover your reg if you need to reach back to where the hose originates and trace it out to the regulator.

    Worth a try anyway.
    mi000ke likes this.
  3. Don Rogers

    Don Rogers Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Springfield, MO
    Move more weight to trim pockets. You have to keep experimenting until you get the right mix of weight. You may even need to add a weight pocket on tank strap. It doesn't take a lot to make a big difference. Maybe get some pool time in and just get trim right.
    mi000ke likes this.
  4. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    have you checked that you are properly weighted? ive never had the problem but ive been told that being overweighted (especially if the weight is at the waist) will cause the faceplant issue. makes sense to me.
  5. woodcarver

    woodcarver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Based on your description of yourself, we are very close in size. I'm 5'11", 180. You are carrying almost twice the lead. In a full 2.5mil, I use 8# and am overweighted by at least 3# (on purpose). This is with the typical AL80 rental tank. 2# in each trim, 2# in each pocket. Been diving an AL i3 Dimension, also a back inflate. I think it's similar to the Zeagle except for the inflator system, but I've never used a Zeagle.
    When I started, was having the same issue, and carrying almost as much (12#). Seemed like I had to fight a little at the surface. What I found was with less weight and counterintuitively, less air in the bc, it was a lot easier to relax and just float at the surface.
    As others have suggested, play with tank positioning as well. As I dropped weight, had to play with the tank as well to adjust trim. Time in the water probably helps more than anything.
    Now I am adjusting everything again-bought an AL Outlaw and a different pony....
    mi000ke, Bowers and northernone like this.
  6. RainPilot

    RainPilot CCR Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    More weight = more gas in wing at the end of the dive = more face forward push.

    A crotch strap to sit in at the surface helps a lot with this.
    Diver0001, Kimela and undrwater like this.
  7. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Southern California, USA
    Agree with above.

    I like to have most or all of my weight on the tank band.
  8. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    I would start with checking your weight- that sounds like a lot of weight for a shorty which is making you put more air than needed in the wing. Secondly moving the tank high in the straps- I normally tell my clients that in the water if you arch back as far as you can and tilt your head back you should feel the first stage touch the back of your head in a normal dive position you will not feel it. Last step in move some of the weight to the tank bands to balance better and you could add a crotch strap to the bc to make sure it doesn't ride up on the surface and push you forward.
  9. cneal

    cneal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte
    There are two ways I have found to add comfort on the surface with a wing. First, don't overinflate. Once you start getting to high in the water the wing will push you forward and you face into the water. You can't fight leverage. The second method, and the one I use for surface swims, is to overinflate and get on my back with the wing under me. This keeps you high in the water and is extremely stable.
  10. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    ive been eyeing the outlaw. let us know how it does. :)

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