PDA

View Full Version : Big Boy Bc



DZorn00
01-17-2008, 08:51
I am looking at getting a new BC and need a little help. I am 6' 4", weigh 330(wish it was all muscle but its not) I am not "fat" in the stomach area but pretty big. I currently have a Seaquest ProQD 2xl it fits good un-inflated but puts a real big squeeze on when loaded and the sides slide back, but I am dying on the bouyancy. I have done a few dives in Lake Rawlings VA, with a 5m shorty I have to wear 48lbs of weight, 10 in the back pockets and the rest in the dump bags, to make me sink.

I am in the pool at least three times a week to work on my bouyancy( I know, it is a lot different in the ocean or lakes). I also know practice makes perfect but i would like to one, wear less weight and two, reach neutral bouyancy finally!!!! I may get close to bouyant and move a thermal cline up or down and forget it it is all over. I have a few dives in Ginnie Springs FL coming up and then it is open water season here. I would like to find a new BC that can fit better inflated and/or maybe get some advice on how to approach the bouyancy thing.

One last thing I float like a log. I really don't need to hold my breath to float.

Battle with Bouyancy is on and I am in last place!

NitroWill
01-17-2008, 09:00
I think you might want to look into a backplate and wing setup as it will address several of your problems.

First - you would not have any squeeze with this setup as the bladder is completely behind you and you just have shoulder and waist straps.

Second - the bp/w with a standard hog harness will allow you custom configuration to your body - even if you add/lose weight - so it is essentially good until the webbing wares out.

Third - the backplate can add 6+ lbs of lead directly to your back which will help with your trim and reduce the amount of overall lead you need. Moving some weight to an area directly over your lungs and bladder makes trimming easier. You could then add the additional weight directly to the backplate with plates, to the camband (tank) straps, as well as the waist straps. Also, keep in mind that switching tto this rig will decrease the amount of lead you will need since the rig is much less bouyant then a standard jacket rig.

I am not saying this is the only way to go - but it does help address many of the problems you have been experiencing - so keep it in mind and try one out if you can!

MSilvia
01-17-2008, 09:23
I agree with NitroWill... you sound like a great candidate for a backplate and wing. I think an OxyCheq Mach V Signature Wing (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=OxyMachVWing) and Zeagle Stainless Steel Backplate (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ZeagleStainlessSteelBackplat e) would be good options for you. Those, combined with a simple "hogarthian" harness like the Hollis Solo Harness (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=Hollis_Solo_Harness) should serve you well.

mm_dm
01-17-2008, 09:23
If you don't like the BP/W, you may like the Zeagle Ranger. Very modular for a BC and a good amount of lift for a big guy. But, as Will stated, you will have more ability to customize the rig and change it as you and your skills change with the BP/W.

MSilvia
01-17-2008, 09:27
Very modular for a BC and a good amount of lift for a big guy.
DZorn00 is buoyant enough. I don't think lift and modularity are what he needs... reducing the ditchable weight he needs to carry, ensuring that he'll get a good fit, and eliminating squeeze are. Aside from eliminating jacket squeeze, I'm not sure a Ranger will address those needs well.

Take it from a guy who was once diving his bp/w at 5'11" and 290#... it's a great system for big divers.


I'd like... advice on how to approach the bouyancy thing.

There are two big hints I have. First, make sure you are neutrally buoyant at 15' with no air in your BC, and a pretty empty tank... say, 500psi in an aluminium 80. That way, you can be sure you aren't overweighted. Overweighting makes it much harder to nail neutral buoyancy. Second, only add short puffs of air to your BC at a time, and wait 5 seconds to see what effect it had before adding another puff. It may take a moment before a buoyancy change causes a change in movement.

mwhities
01-17-2008, 09:41
I'm 6' 6" and 330lbs. I use a BP/W for DSS. Any BP/W (DveRite and OMS sold here on STs) are very customizable and literally will help your trim/buoyancy/rmv.

DZorn00
01-17-2008, 09:50
My wife and I are going to our LDS today to check a bunch of stuff out. She is starting her OW class shortly. She has the opposite problem as I do. She is 5' 1" about 105 lbs and is tiny. She SINKS! like a rock. So hopefully we can find something that will fit her and I. There are two LDS's around us so one of them should have something we can enjoy.

Defman
01-17-2008, 09:53
If you don't like the BP/W, you may like the Zeagle Ranger. Very modular for a BC and a good amount of lift for a big guy.

I'd also offer that opinion. I'm 6' & 240# (like you, it's everywhere) and I bought my Large Ranger when I was closer to 200# and it still fits very well, I've had to adjust it some but it's obviously very adjustable to handle that kind of change.

DZorn00
01-17-2008, 09:54
There are two LDS's around us so one of them should have something we can enjoy.

Ofcourse this is to just try them on. I plan to make it to 250 and use my GC to get my stuff from ST.

I am not very familiar with the back plate/ wing set up would some one care to explain more on it?

Foo2
01-17-2008, 10:51
She has the opposite problem as I do. She is 5' 1" about 105 lbs and is tiny. She SINKS! like a rock. So hopefully we can find something that will fit her and I.

I would highly recomend for your wife a Zeagle Zena. I am 5'3" and 115 lbs. The Zena is the only bc that I could find that would get small enough. It seemed that even the XS in other jackets were too big in the shoulders or too long. If that doesn't work for her, consider a children's bc. They are much smaller all over. Hope that helps!

fisheater
01-17-2008, 11:14
My 330 lb. 6 foot something instructor dives (or at least teaches) with a Ranger.

If you need even more lift, you could order one from ST with a Tech bladder (65 lb. lift).

MSilvia
01-17-2008, 11:32
I am not very familiar with the back plate/ wing set up would some one care to explain more on it?
Sure... I'll try to give you a quick rundown.

Basicly, you have a metal plate that you strap on using some sort of harness. It's designed to allow you to attach a tank (or double tanks) to it either by threading cam straps through the plate, or by bolting a STA (single tank adapter) or doubles manifold to it. It sounds uncomfortable, but the plate is contoured so that you don't wind up with screws poking you in the back, and most users (myself included) find it to be quite comfortable.

Your buoyancy bladder is in the form of a wing that gets sandwiched between the plate and the tank. Because the wing is behind you, instead of wrapped around you, there is much less tendancy for you to feel squeezed when it is inflated.

While there are elaborate harnesses with various quick disconnects and adjustment doodads available, it is also common for divers to use a single piece of weightbelt webbing as a harness. That's what I do, and it allows you not only to ensure a proper fit for almost any size diver, but also to put D-rings and accessories exactly where you want or need them.

Having the metal plate (and STA) reduces your overall buoyancy, so you can take some weight off your belt. Having the plate, STA, wing, and your lungs all in the same area makes it simple to get your trim (position in the water) exactly the way you want it.

It can be a bit tricky for someone unfamiliar with the system to get it set up properly, but when it's "dialed in" it dives like a dream, and is very reliable and easy to maintain. It was originally put together for use in underwater cave exploration (I understand the first one used a modified street sign as a backplate), but it's becoming increasingly popular with recreational divers.

mwhities
01-17-2008, 11:34
Because the wing is behind you, instead of wrapped around you, there is much less tendancy for you to feel squeezed when it is inflated.

There is NO squeeze felt on your person from the wing. No squeeze at all, unless you consider the pressure from the water.

MSilvia
01-17-2008, 11:37
There is NO squeeze felt on your person from the wing. No squeeze at all, unless you consider the pressure from the water.
I only qualified the statement because I find it easier to take off my harness on the surface if the wing isn't fully inflated. I never feel constricted by it, but it is closer fitting when I inflate.

DZorn00
01-17-2008, 12:11
So with the BP/W there is no integrated weight system or is there a way to have one? I will definately check out the BP/W system when I make it to the LDS today. Thank you Msilvia for your definition. That helps a lot I have only seen them on line.

Thanks Foo, She has seen the Zeagles online to and likes them, the instructor that she is going to said the same thing so she will try that one out if they have one.

NitroWill
01-17-2008, 12:14
So with the BP/W there is no integrated weight system or is there a way to have one?

You can add plates to the actual backplate to add weight or you can add weight pockets to the waist strap or the tank slots (or both) such as these: XS Scuba Weight Pocket, Weights, XS Scuba, XS Scuba Weight Pocket (http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=XsScubaWeightPocket) They even make a ditch-able model that would allow you to drop some of the weight if it was on your waist strap.

cgvmer
01-17-2008, 13:15
At 6'5" 330# I spent 2 years renting, until one day I rented a transpac. Althoug not a backplate, it does have a wing with harness. I found it to be the most comfortable BC I tried . I have since purchased a golem gear bp/w

Puffer Fish
01-17-2008, 14:48
So with the BP/W there is no integrated weight system or is there a way to have one? I will definately check out the BP/W system when I make it to the LDS today. Thank you Msilvia for your definition. That helps a lot I have only seen them on line.

Thanks Foo, She has seen the Zeagles online to and likes them, the instructor that she is going to said the same thing so she will try that one out if they have one.
Zeagle does make an integratedweight system for their BP/W, but that is an exception for BP/W's. Myself and a lot of the people I dive with use that system... nice.

MSilvia
01-17-2008, 15:02
So with the BP/W there is no integrated weight system or is there a way to have one?
Part of the beauty of a BP/W is that you can add pretty much whatever you want. So long as you have available space on your waist band, and I hope you'll forgive me for guessing you do, you can slide any pocket you like on it. There are a number of weight pockets on the market designed for the purpose, or you might find something suitable at an army surplus store. You know... whatever works for you.

Personally, With a stainless plate, STA, and steel tank, I'm more than happy to keep the remaining weight on my plain old weight belt. Having some weight NOT integrated keeps me from rocketing toward the surface if I ever have to remove my BC underwater... to remove an entanglement for example, and it dramaticly reduces the clutter on my harness. I prefer that to the "convenience" of having a BC that weighs a half a ton.

marchand
01-17-2008, 19:06
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but there is a guy on scubaboard that makes back plates. He has a heavy version that weighs like 15lbs. The Guy's user name is Fred T, if you decide to go the BP/W route I would suggest talking to him.

DZorn00
01-21-2008, 09:24
Well, I got to try on a few things and I like the Ranger the best. the wife likes the Zena. We were not able to get wet but we were able to put on a tank and reg to get a good fit. I wish i could have gotten in the water to really see what it was like. Thanks for everyones input....

WAHMof2
01-21-2008, 16:30
The hubby and I recently went through the same thing you guys are going through. I ended up getting an Oceanic Hera. The only reason I picked that over the Zena was because #1, I didn't really care for the ripcord weight system, and #2, I didn't like the zip up front on the Zena.
He had the choice of a Trans pac, a Ranger, a Mares Icon, and an Excursion. Out of those he ended up with the Excursion.
I guess what we learned was to get what's comfortable to YOU, and has thew features YOU desire. There's lots of good BC's on the market, and it gets rather confusing until you're there to check out several of them.