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BCD or drysuit? - The vote!

  • Buoyancy done on suit

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  • Buoyancy done on BCD

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  • Something else

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Let's see what proportion is doing what
 

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What did you have in mind for the "something else".

Peter
 

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<font color='#000080'>A lift bag!!! That would work!

Good to see that we've avoided the usual argument, which is patently going to end up with Mark Chase being called a shrink-wrapped chicken!!!

Each to his own.
 

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Just enough gas to take the squeeze of the knackers and then all buoyancy taken care of with the wing - shoulder dump fully open. Option Three.

Rationale?? There is far less space for air/gas to accumulate and/or travel/migrate in a wing (and even then it's all in one place and controllable) than there is in a dry-bag (quite literally neck to toe). And, with there being no/little gas in the suit, you can 'muck dive' (face two inches away from that which you are trying to look at closely whilst your feet and legs can point upwards) without fear of suffering an inversion and/or a rapid (feet-first) ascent.

Did I hear someone say 'Gotta be the way forward' ??  
 

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When i started diving it was in a wet suit, so all of my bouyancy was controlled with my bouyancy control device.  After i bought a dry suit to keep me dry i didn't need to change my diving style.  I thought everybody done it this way.
  Are people learning to dive, i'm assuming you don't go and buy a drysuit for your first lessons/course, with club (PADI/BSAC) kit in the pool and then changing their way of bouyancy control once they've bought a drysuit.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (peter k @ May 25 2003,14:36)]What did you have in mind for the "something else".
CCR counterlungs?  Works a treat.

Duncan

PS.  I don't generally wear a BC but use the suit for bouyancy by default.  I only slap on a BC when I'm wearing a load of tanks or going deep (as backup).
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (DougParker @ May 26 2003,11:01)]Are people learning to dive, i'm assuming you don't go and buy a drysuit for your first lessons/course, with club (PADI/BSAC) kit in the pool and then changing their way of bouyancy control once they've bought a drysuit.
The rationale behind using the dry suit for buoyancy is "only one source of air to worry about dumping from on ascent". The BCD is for backup and surface support.

At the time I took my dry suit course there were two instructors at the dive centre and each one had a different opinion on which was the best method.

If you are happy and safe with what you do then stick to it.

I recently tried using the BCD i/o the suit (after a slightly enthusiastic debate on Divernet which, if I recollect correctly, Bren was quite vociferous with his typing fingers) and it was a real pain in the ass imo. After years of diving on the suit only I instinctively went through the same routines as normal.

With more persistance I could have re learnt the way of doing it, but, as I am not having a problem, why bother. I can get within a few inches of things + go inverted to look under things without suffering any problems.

Never having dived a neoprene dry suit I can only guess if there is a difference in the amount of air needed to ease the squeeze BUT luckily for me, in my suit it happens shortly before neutral buoyancy is achieved.

Of course this may change as my kit configuration changes but it is coping at the moment.
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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<font color='#000F22'>Just enough air in suit to be comfortable and the wing does the rest.

I found using the suit for deep dives with heavy equipment to be unbalanced, uncomfortable, and impractical. If I went heads up the air shot out the neck seal and let water in?

Have to say that with a single and pony just enough in the suit for comfort was usually all I needed for buoyancy any way so the wing became a bit redundant.

DIR say use the wing for buoyancy control and have the minimum of air in the suit at all times.

That’s what I switched to and I like it. The wing has three methods of dumping air and a normal dry suit has one. When all dolled up in kit and stages with 5mm gloves, grabbing a neck seal is not always an option and I tried the roman salute with minimal success on my old membrane suit and no success at all on my neo suit.

I fitted a cuff dump to make up for the problem but that has its own little problems so a lot of people don’t like them.

All in all buoyancy in a controlled environment i.e. a bcd has got to be better than a bubble of air moving to various extremities of a suit. IMHO. But the UK divers appear to have a thing about not using the wing / BCD so most will start with the suit and stick with it. Like any viable system if you stick with it you will learn to overcome the glitches and will feel odd doing it another way.

I think the type of dry suit and the type of under suit used has a lot of influence on this subject as I found totally different buoyancy characteristics in different under suits and Neo to membrane suits.

All in all,  Its not right or wrong either way, It's just what your happy with personaly.

Mark Chase
 

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I always used the suit, that was right up to the moment I added stages and an Argon bottle, then it became very quickly apparent that the suit did not offer enough lift. It took a couple of dives to get it sorted but I fly the wing now and find it the simplest of operations, much more comfy than the suit as the air is in ine place.

ANdrew
 

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Well, it's been running long enough now I think...

Looks like suit / BCD aren't all that far apart. Amongst people who use purely one method, the suits have the slight advantage. If you include the people who use the BCD when carrying lots of gas, then you have 28 people who use their BCD when in a drysuit.

Leads to the fairly typical conclusion of "When on singles, do what you like, it makes no difference, on twins you're probably better off using the BCD"

Hey ho..
 

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hmmm.. open circuit revisited...
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<font color='#008080'>Thought I jump in on this thread.. I use a bit of both - hence ticked the last option.


I find it easier to hold station using just the wing, but... it all depends on water temperatur and where in the dive I am.
 I am originally BSAC trained and learned to use only the suit for buoyancy. When I started using twins and stages (even alu ones) I quickly found that my suit was not enough for buoyancy at depth, but I still automatically start using the suit, and then later start adding gas to the wing to avoid looking like the Mitchilin figure. I try and only have enough argon in the suit to keep me warm at depth and run buoyancy mainly from my wing, but my first reaction is usually to add gas to the suit - even GUE wasn't able to retrain me in that
If the water is warm I tend to use the wing more than the suit...

On the ascend, especially when reeling up, I prefer to use the suit only (with cuff dump) as it is easier to dump gas from that than having to faff about with the wing inflator as well as holding the reel. I actually make a point of dmping all gas from the wing before I start to ascend.

If I take photos I use the wing more to avoid accidental dumping of gas from the suit.

Once on deco, where holding a given depth is more critical, I use my suit only to keep warm, and fine-tune with the wing..

Sounds more complicated than it is, I suspect..
 I guess it's all down to what works for you <takes cover to avoid being excomunicated from the DIR crowd>  
 
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