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VDH wing and bladder

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by couv, May 10, 2019.

  1. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    Right... though there is (was??) the Aqualung Outlaw with the 12 # (I think?) wing option.

    No. None of them make a big difference. The biggest thing going from the DSS was that it was a horseshoe wing. Everything after that has been a donut. The horseshoe could be problematic if I needed to dump gas while in a head down orientation. Other than that, they’re all very small differences. I think just about anyone would be very hard pressed to really tell a difference unless they were literally diving them back to back, on the same day, in the same condition.
     
  2. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

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    Location: Miami, Florida
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    Thank you Stuart, this has been my experience also. What I don't understand, is that given this, there seems to be a vocal number of divers advocating diving with the smallest wing possible. Within reason, is it not better to have a more buoyancy than needed instead of less?

    There is a recent thread where a diver is looking for a high lift BC because he fossil hunts in rivers and is over weighted to stay down. What if while diving there is something you want to pick up like fossils, lobsters, or abandoned weights? You can use a lift bag but most rec divers don't carry one.
     
    RayfromTX likes this.
  3. lexvil

    lexvil Manta Ray

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    If you look at a well sized “wing” you may wonder why it got the “wing” nick name, if you look at an old wide wing, especially high lift ones or doubles wings used with a single it will become clear.

    I first used my VDH 18 last year as they first came out, in Truk and using my SS freedom plate and one 3lb weight, it was really nice having a “wing” tucked in tight and out of harms way and was more than enough to float that rig on the surface.

    I also like the more narrow profile of the 35 for the kelp in Monterey.
     
  4. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
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    I think it's easy, here in the SB Echo Chamber, to get lured into Over The Top gear optimization. I am about as guilty as anyone. I already had the VDH 35 and a HOG 23 and yet I still just bought a VDH 18, just because I am going on a Caribbean liveaboard at the end of July and I wanted the smallest rig possible for maximum streamlining. Will I *really* be able to tell a difference? Probably not. I admit, in reality, it's more about what's in my head than anything really practical. I could probably take my VDH 35 and STILL have a smaller and more streamlined setup than any of the other divers on the boat....

    As for wanting to bring stuff up, I totally do NOT agree with using an extra large wing for that. Use the right (and safe) tools for the job. In that case, use a lift bag. Lift bags are not that expensive.
     
    Tournesol2000 likes this.
  5. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
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    Lex, I always called them "wings" instead of "bladders", I am not sure where the wing name came from. However, I have seen in photos the older style double tank horseshoe bladders (the ones with the plastic backpacks) and can understand if that is where the name came from. I have seen in person the mega double-tank wings from OMS and Abyss, but those wings are pushing close to 20 years old now. IIRC, some of those wings had over 100 lbs lift. Wings in that range are no longer sold new.

    I am not sure when the first single tank wings came out, but the early wings such as the Halcyon Pioneer, OMS, and Dive Rite travel wing were all in the 30 lb range for their smallest wings. The modern internal-bladder narrow wings first came out over 10 years ago with the Oxycheq Mach-5 and the DSS LCD. I agree with you that I do prefer the narrow wings to the rounder wings on the market such as older Hog and Halcyon. I have noticed other sellers have gone to narrow wings such as Apeks, Mares, DGX, and of course VDH.

    I am not advocating going back to mega wings, but we have a situation where newer divers are agonizing over what size wing to get. They are afraid of getting more lift than needed. My point of view is that there is nothing wrong with a few extra pounds of lift and you not even going to notice it. So they should relax and enjoy their purchase and not obsess or second-guess themselves.
     
    couv likes this.
  6. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
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    I would not consider a 23-32 lb wing as extra large. I have never seen divers use lift bags to bring up lobsters from the bottom or a lost weight or even a full weight belt. Also using a lift bag can be dangerous for someone who is not properly trained or forgot their training.
     
  7. lexvil

    lexvil Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
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    Agreed about necessity, no one needs to make a travel dedicated rig but there are advantages for us nuts who can’t leave well enough alone :wink:

    I like being able to pack everything needed for diving into a backpack, actually make a backpack out of my dive gear. With so many airlines getting a bit nuts on baggage I’ve found they pay little to no attention to what you wear on your back.
     
  8. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    Agreed. I was thinking of even larger wings. My bad.
     
  9. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    I use a DSS 20 lb wing. In fresh water with a steel 100 and a 5 mil wetsuit at 100 feet of depth and a full tank and no lead, my wing feels close to full. If I was choosing between a 18 or 23 lb wing I would definitely go with the 23 lb wing. In nobodies world is that a big wing and the extra 5 lbs of lift is just flexibility with no drawbacks that I can define without seeming like, ok seeming like the obsessive perfectionist that I naturally am but struggle not to be.

    I found a great deal awhile back on a used DSS 27 lb wing and small stainless plate. I wanted the small plate for my wife and I now use the 27 lb wing for these freshwater steel tank dives. Now I'm getting a deep6 7mil wetsuit. When I dive it I will need to add lead to my rig. If I was to still use the 20 lb wing in that case I could make it work and convince myself that it was ok but that's really pointless.

    If all my diving was in warm salt water with nothing heavier than a 3 mil and a hood I could easily get by with 12 lb wing instead of my (oversized to the exact situation) LCD20. At the surface in heavy chop, while waiting for the boat, the 8 lbs is important. It is also what floats the rig when I doff it.

    Many conversations have been exhaustingly pursued here on Scubaboard about diving oversized wings that taco around single tanks. That isn't what we are talking about when the choices are 18,23 or 35 lb wings. None of those are ridiculous or grossly oversized for anything. If I was monkey diving an al80 in Cozumel and strapped a 35 lb wing on and spent a minute worrying that it was oversized or not streamlined enough, I would have missed the point of what I was there for. It isn't to be the guy with the smallest wing.

    This overthinking to find perfection thing is my great burden which I work daily to overcome. This post is me arguing with my inner demon of ocd perfectionism. I want to be more like the best divers I know, none of whom give a moments thought to whether they can use a wing that is 5 pounds smaller and get away with it.
     
    ams511 likes this.
  10. Anthony A.

    Anthony A. Barracuda

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    I totally agree. Im perfectly happy with my vdh35 wing for travels as i can wear a 3mm or 7mm, alu or steel tank and still enough lift to help a friend in need. Plus lots of my dives in europe we drop our rig in the water and jump in to put on. With integrated weights, the #23 was really close to the limit and not significantly smaller than the #35. From new zealand to florida diving, i use this wing for everything.
     
    Tournesol2000, stuartv and couv like this.

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