Over on ScubaBoard today I noticed an interesting new thread and decided to take a look. The title was, “First dive with bp wing and doubles.” It was posted by a diver from Canada named Ray and it sort of tells it like it is when it comes to choosing gear. Like many of us, Ray got a taste of the underwater world and wanted more. He caught on a little quicker than most and made the move to equipment that fit his needs. Many thanks to Ray for sharing his experience and possibly helping others. Here’s Ray’s description of the process-
So, where do I start? From the beginning is best, right? I got interested in scuba while snorkeling in the Caribbean, on an excursion. They gave us pathetic demo and garbage snorkel gear. Being unsatisfied with the experience, when I got home to Cornwall Ontario, Canada I went to my local dive shop where my life changed for the better.
I signed up for the next SCUBA diving course available and I couldn’t wait to get in the water and dive. This was in 2014 and the only time I rented a bc was for my checkout dive. After that I was offered and bought a gently used bc jacket. It worked, got me underwater, and I was fine. I was a scuba diver!
I joined a dive club and met some tech divers and was asking questions about their rigs and they answered them very politely. They explained why they setup the way they setup but mostly they explained how their trim was better. Fast forward a year and I bought a 117 cubic ft. Faber hp tank. I was tired of freezing my butt off in a wetsuit so I bought a used drysuit and that’s when I started noticing my tank not sitting right on my back and everything being floppy. That’s when I started thinking of my conversations with the tech divers so I went to my local dive shop.
I already had a 108 cubic ft. lp Worthington tank and the dive shop had a second one that was only 5 serial numbers off of mine. (It’s best to have tanks made on the same day to match up as best as they can) They sold me a used manifold, tank rings and everything saved me a pile of money. Now, being as cold as it is here, we need lots of weight and one of the pros as well as cons of a stainless steel backplate is it’s weight. I won’t buy an aluminum one. They are light and can crack, especially on a rig as heavy as mine (130lbs total).
I went for my first dive with my new rig and boy let me tell you underwater I didn’t feel my rig on my back. It didn’t flop or want to roll. It stayed put! When I put air in my wing, it didn’t squeeze my sides, but helped trim me out. It was easier to stay horizontal. On the surface, I didn’t feel like my face was being pushed forward. So, my advice to anyone who has any questions: Don’t be afraid to ask. We are all proud of our rigs and would love to answer questions.