At 07:24 AM 6/19/00 -0400, Art wrote:
>On Mon, 19 Jun 2000, Don Ward wrote:
>> I just don't get it.  Maybe it is some tech thing, but for my www
>> diving in the islands, it still seems to me that my good ole BCD seems
>> fine.
>Try it. Until you do, you probably won't get it.
>Art Greenberg
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So true.
I learned using a "horse collar" and was thrilled when I bought my AT-Pak
(the first back plate and wings) BC. When SCUBA PRO came out with their
stabilizer jacked I tried one. . .  They were giving open water demos of
them in '77 so I took part in one .Set up the gear walked into La Jolla
Cove, inflated the jacket to swim out of the cove and ... it felt awful.
Completely unnatural for me. I never submerged the blasted thing.  Went
back to my back plate and wings and have used them ever since.  I realize
that in the last 20+ years that there have been improvements in design but
the whole "jacket" BC thing was an attempt to get around the Water Gill
patents for the wings flotation. Once the patents lapsed everyone started
offering wings, it's just that their sales propaganda from the previous
years was believed and the demand for the jacket style bc continues.

Crotch straps are not needed, except when scootering and only the if the
scooter is attached to the BC.  Wings are more compact for travel. (you
break them into their component parts and stuff it in your baggage) They
are less confining, I wear my quite loose.  They are versatile; each of the
two sets of wings I own can dive singles, doubles, or I can bolt my
rebreather on to them.
When something wears out, you replace that item not the whole BC.

But back to my La Jolla Cove dive.  In the water  wings are comfortable,
you don't feel them around you, all you feel is a slight pressing of the
back plate on your spine.  It's as if you were diving without a bc on,
until you need the flotation.  If you dive in warm water and don't need
lots of weight to offset you thermal protection there are some very small
wings available. Using these would feel like you put on a tank and no bc at

                                                Best Regards
                                                      Ron in San Diego

Diving in San Diego
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