I dive backplate and wings for all of my diving, including Caribbean
no-deco stuff. For warm water single cylinder diving I use a stainless
steel backplate and stainless steel single-cylinder adaptor, both made by
OMS. I use the 18 pound "bat wing" from Halcyon. With my 5mm Henderson
jumpsuit and Luxfer AL80, I add about 6 pounds on a weight belt. The
backplate and adaptor is the equivalent of about 7 pounds of ballast.

I am a rabid UW photog in warm water. My rig makes it very easy to
maintain any position in tha water. If I do nothing at all, it keeps me
nearly perfectly horizontal. It is also very stable - the backplate does
not move, no matter what position I am in. I also like the fact that there
is nothing in the way up front. I've added a Halcyon pocket to the waist
band on the right side (I don't use a canister light in the tropics) that
holds my port cover so I can enter & exit the water with the port
protected. That pocket has built-in stiffeners and a nice over-the-top
zipper that's easy to operate with one hand. I stow a small dive light in
the shoulder strap in the "Hogarthian" manner, completely out of the way
but easy to deploy and replace. I clip a safety sausage to a D-ring on the
crotch strap in back, at the bottom of the backplate.

There's a not-very-good photo of my wife and me taken a few years ago at - its not that great, but you can get an idea
of how it looks. I may have a better shot that I haven't scanned yet. Let
me know if you want to see it, and I'll see if I can dig it up and post

I used to dive a jacket style BC. With respect to clutter, stability and
trim, the improvement I experienced going to the BP/wings is tremendous.
Like night and day.

I suggest, if at all possible, you beg/borrow/rent a setup to try out. Put
in a few dives on it to get the shoulder straps properly adjusted and your
weighting and trim established. Then you'll be in a better position to
make a proper evaluation for yourself. I really think you won't want to
switch back.

On Sun, 11 Jun 2000, Don Ward wrote:

> OK, I have been reading here from some time now all the talk about diving a
> wings and back-plate set-up and how great it is.  I am a true and confirmed
> warm water wimp (WWW) who travels from middle America to the islands as
> often as possible to dive.  I do no technical diving and have no interest
> in doing such.
> Is there a benefit to switching from my BCD to a back-plate and wings?  It
> seems to me to be a lot of trouble so what is so great about it?

Art Greenberg
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