PDA

View Full Version : Small Woman: BCD Fit Problems



nilg
08-13-2008, 04:41
I am 5' 3"/123 lbs. with a very short torso. I've been diving over 15 years. In sea water I use 2-4 pounds of weights, depending on dive conditions. In fresh water I genreally use no weights.

I've had a problem with getting any bcd to be satisfactory. (I've purchased 4 different ones in the past 10 years.)

Every bcd I've tried, expecially the back inflated bcds (including the Zeagle), does one of two things when I'm horizontal in the water: When the tank is attached in the "normal" place with the top of the tank at head level, my head movement is restricted because the back of my head bumps into the hoses. If I lower the attachment straps (which I've had custom done on those bcds that don't offer that ajustment) so that the tank sits below my head level, the bottom of the tank hangs so far below my torso that it creates a long arm below the attachment point for movement, which is most aggravating.

My current solution, though not a very satisfactory one, is to use a small woman's jacket style bcd with 2 tank straps adjusted so that the tank sits just sits below my head level, thus eliminating the problem of the back of my head hitting the hoses. I then take a weight belt (no weights) and wrap it around the tank and my body at hip level to secure the tank at that point and limit the "swaying" of the tank below my body. Looks dumb and is a cumbersome way to outfit. However at this point in time, I've found no other solution that seems to work at all.

I usually dive at international locations, where shorter tanks are frequently not available. (I realize this is the solution when the smaller tanks are available, but they rarely are in the locations I dive.)

I would be most grateful to anyone who could offer a better solution!

Thanks,
Nancy

hooligan
08-13-2008, 07:26
Have you thought about a backplate/wing combo? Deep Sea Supply and a few others, Oxycheq maybe, make different sized backplates. You should email or call Tobin at Deep See Supply and describe your problem. He will be more than willing to help you figure out what is right for you, even if it won't be one of his products. http://www.deepseasupply.com He makes a light weight steel/kydex plate that is good for light weight travel.

Truered1
08-13-2008, 08:01
I also have a short torso and had a problem hitting my head on my tank until i found the Oceanic Hera. It is fully adjustable, in addition to the standard adjustments this one can be moved to fit a long to short torso from the adjustments in the back plate. My tank has never swayed and as long as I tighten my top strap at the proper height I have full range of motion with my head. It is so comfortable for me, I love it. Here is what Scuba Toys has listed :

Just for the ladies

The Oceanic Hera Bcd is built from the ground up for you – designed specifically around the female form with ample adjustments to make it your own, without sacrificing features and functionality. The Oceanic Hera Bcd may just be the most comfortable, best fitting BC you've ever worn.



Patented BioFlex Hybrid bladder combines the benefits of both rear inflation and jacket style BCs
Patented Custom Fit Harness with multi-position shoulder strap that delivers individual comfort for women of all sizes
QLR Integrated Weight System accommodates up to 20 lbs. plus dual 5 lbs. rear weight pouches for improved in-water positioning
The Oceanic Hera BCD is contoured over the hip for added comfort
QLR Integrated Weight System accommodates up to 20 lbs. plus dual 5 lbs. rear weight pouches for improved in-water positioning
Weight pockets are loaded positioned at a slight downward angle to aid self-loading
Reinforced shoulders, padded back pack and an adjustable position sternum strap ensure comfort and stability
Pre-bent welded stainless steel d-rings
Integrated instrument retractor mount (retractor not included) and Spinner BC Knife mounting grommetsOceanic Hera Ladies BCD - BCDS: Women - Oceanic

http://www.scubatoys.com/store/bcds/pics/Oceanic/herabcd.jpg

MSilvia
08-13-2008, 09:10
Have you thought about a backplate/wing combo? Deep Sea Supply and a few others, Oxycheq maybe, make different sized backplates.
Not much to add except that given your problem I'd look at backplates with a single tank adapter, as that will get the tank slightly further from your back, and therefore give you more room between your head and the valve. As far as I know, the DSS system doesn't use a "STA", so it wouldn't give you that particular advantage. Still, Tobin's great at helping people find a solution to their diving problems, so it's worth talking to him either way.

Rileybri
08-13-2008, 09:22
From the sounds of things you are a perfect candidate for the BP/W combo. It does not gat any more customizable to your body size than a BP/W set up. Do be fooled by the "oh that looks way to uncomfortable" look if the BP. It is by far the most comfortable rig I have donned yet! DSS is defiantly one option to consider in getting info on possible options that will fit you. I would also add that Joey at ST has been very helpful with me in choosing the correct wing for my BP set up. He is there Tech (BP/W gets lumped into tech regardless of what you are using it for.) specialist and VERY helpful and knowledgeable about the products ST carries as well as other options out there that may be better suited to your need. Give him a call or email him directly at [email protected] it will be worth your wile trust me!

BlueC5Kitten
08-18-2008, 15:55
I am 5' 3"/123 lbs. with a very short torso. I've been diving over 15 years. In sea water I use 2-4 pounds of weights, depending on dive conditions. In fresh water I genreally use no weights.

I've had a problem with getting any bcd to be satisfactory. (I've purchased 4 different ones in the past 10 years.)

Every bcd I've tried, expecially the back inflated bcds (including the Zeagle), does one of two things when I'm horizontal in the water: When the tank is attached in the "normal" place with the top of the tank at head level, my head movement is restricted because the back of my head bumps into the hoses. If I lower the attachment straps (which I've had custom done on those bcds that don't offer that ajustment) so that the tank sits below my head level, the bottom of the tank hangs so far below my torso that it creates a long arm below the attachment point for movement, which is most aggravating.


I can completely relate! I am only 5'1" with comparable weight, and have found that aluminum tanks hang so far down that if I use a modified flutter kick to avoid silting, I end up kicking my own tank...and if not, I am bonking my head on the hose/valve assembly. The only fix I have found is the HP tanks...I typically will dive an HP80 while my male diver friends dive an HP100 and our down time is comparable.

Unfortunately, travel with tanks is not possible. But then again, for travel, a BP&W may also be the less weighty solution with travel since it typically weighs less than most BCDs designed for women and his highly customizable. I am looking into a BP&W, myself, for travel purposes. http://images.corvetteforum.com/images/smilies/cheers2.gif

dogseatmayo
08-18-2008, 17:54
well maybe since you cant rent a small tank you could just buy your own. get an al 63. sorry i cant be of more help

Daz
08-18-2008, 18:24
Have you thought about a backplate/wing combo? Deep Sea Supply and a few others, Oxycheq maybe, make different sized backplates.
Not much to add except that given your problem I'd look at backplates with a single tank adapter, as that will get the tank slightly further from your back, and therefore give you more room between your head and the valve. As far as I know, the DSS system doesn't use a "STA", so it wouldn't give you that particular advantage. Still, Tobin's great at helping people find a solution to their diving problems, so it's worth talking to him either way.Agreed - BP/W is probably the best solution. As mentioned, DSS makes a smaller BP, but uses a STAless design so the tank will be closer to you than one which uses a STA. Halcyon uses a STA and just came out with a small sized backplate targeted towards smaller divers. They can be had in either stainless steel or aluminum from both manufacturers.

Diver Kat
08-18-2008, 18:47
Curious ... I'm 5'4" and use a Zeagle Zena. It has two tank straps so I can put the top strap right at the upper edge. It positions the tank pretty evenly so it's not too high, and not too low. Haven't had a problem with the hoses bumping my head at all - maybe you need to see if the hoses can be relocated on your first stage so they're directed more to each side?? Just a thought!

lemon lime
08-18-2008, 19:53
I'm 5'1 and I've tried all manner of tank and reg adjustments. I've just learned to live with the fact that since I'm wearing a neoprene mask strap cover, being hit in the head is more comfortable than being hit in the butt. :smiley36:

BlueC5Kitten
08-18-2008, 20:49
I'm 5'1 and I've tried all manner of tank and reg adjustments. I've just learned to live with the fact that since I'm wearing a neoprene mask strap cover, being hit in the head is more comfortable than being hit in the butt. :smiley36:

:smiley36::smiley36::smiley36: I'm hit either place, so I'm mostly indifferent to it. I do really like the single strap on my LadyHawk BC though...but sometimes wonder if it is secure enough to wear the tank as low as I do.