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I'll be investing in a set of tech wings sometime early this year and I'd like to know if any of you have any suggestions. My primary use for them will be for diving recreational limits on a 12 litre twin set but I would like to make the best choice for the future too as I'd like to do a couple of TDI courses in about 12 months time (advanced nitrox and extended range) so I need a relatively versatile setup. I know Andy is going to suggest the Buddy Tech Wing but do any of you dive with anything else? Requirements are more based on future adaptability (e.g. adding a secondary bladder for redundancy, new webbing / harnesses / D rings etc.

I'll have to try your Tech Wing out Andy - the price looks almost too good to be true! (BTW - could you get me a similar deal on twin 12s as you got??)

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Assuming you haven't bought one already...

Buddy wings get my vote as well. But modified:

If you're planning on diving singles, get the Tek or Travel wings so you've got the plastic backplate. Replace the webbing with one continous piece of stiffer webbing. I found the soft buddy stuff got tangled and moved around through the weight retainers, and the clips came undone.

If you're only really after using it with twins, rather than the Tekwing, get the Redwing - It's  the same wing, but much cheaper. You can move the inflator hose to the left side with no problem.
Also, buy a Combro backplate (www.backplates.co.uk) and some stiff webbing (about four meters) to make a harness with (http://www.gasdiving.co.uk/pages/misc/kit/harness_2.htm has good harness-rigging instructions)
You'll also need to punch holes in the wing for the bolts on your twin bands to go through. Use a soldering iron for that, and finish them off with metal eyelets, available from most fabric shops or the better outdoor shops.
You've then got yourself a wing setup that'll work for any type of diving you may take up in future (with the possible exception of CDG-type dives)
You can't add a second bladder to a Buddy wing, but you shouldn't need one so long as you're using a drysuit, and you can always just buy a Redwing to have two wings.
You really do only need three D-rings if you've got pockets. If you haven't, get some pockets rather than adding D-rings, they're a great way of keeping your gear organised. I keep a spare mask, DSMB, reel, strobe, cutters, and slate in my two pockets..
HTH
Dominic
 

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Hmmm - yes, I have been thinking about the Redwing (only because if I play my cards right, I may be in a position to purchase a second hand one very cheaply - eh Andy??? - :lol:)

Whay about the Diverite stuff? And why the Buddy preference? I'm going to make sure I am armed with ALL the facts this time rather than rushing in with my eyes closed and my wallet open (another story that I may share over a pint of Heavy at St Abbs).

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Buddy preference because it's a cheap wing, very well built, excellent customer service, and I've never owned any Dive Rite stuff, so can't really comment on it. I believe they make good wings tho.
Mind you, I do know someone who bought the Transpac and sold it almost immediately, he disliked it so much... If you do go for DR, still buy yourself a steel plate and rig your own harness, don't go the Transpac route.
I'm surprised Ammers hasn't advertised Halcyon wings on this thread yet, but I'm sure she'll get to it
 

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To be honest, I'd appreciate Ammer's view on the Halcyon stuff too - I'd like as much information as possible before making my purchase. Thanks for your comments though - I am favouring the Buddy system myself at present.

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you trying to push me into making that decision early Jay?  As for the Dive Rite stuff, I got a classic wing and SS plate with Hog harness but I just couldnt get comfy in it so I sold it within a week of buying it and went the Buddy way too.  The stuff is bombproof.
 

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Hi, sorry about the delay in getting this info to you. If you fancy having a look at the kit this Sunday I can arrange to meet you somewhere and you can take a look for yourself. The Halcyon wing is the only wing in production today that has a coated, extremely robust, cordura bag covering the bladder inside the main bag and that adds a layer of protection. Other wings, i.e. OMS etc only have the bag and you are relying on this to save your life. In environments like wrecks and stuff, it's this very bag which is vulnerable, so it's nice to have the extra cover. The corrugated inflator/deflator hose is quite short, meaning that you can deflate, inflate, etc whilst clearing your mask at the same time. I use the 55lb wing and this will easily provide enough lift for the type of diving that I am planning in the future, i.e. staged decompression in the 100m range. The lift capacity in the wing is fantastic and holds you in a good, upright position at the surface. I have used it with twin 15s and still been head and shoulders out of the water. It's a flat wing, no bungee, no unnecessary extras and very streamlined and easy to work with. Probably the most important point - it's extremely durable, like all Halcyon products, I have seen a few that have done well over 300 dives and they look like brand new. The build quality is incredible. Before I decided to buy the Halycon wing, I did open water dives trialling out lots of borrowed gear, including OMS, Dive Rite, Buddy and Scubapro to name a few. Not one of those other wings matched Halcyon for sheer build quality, comfort, ease of operation and trim/streamlining. Indeed with some wings you just can't get yourself into the right horizontal position in the water. The Halycon wing can be used with either ali or stainless steel backplate - this is personal choice although I recommend the steel as it's weighted (6 lbs) and you can remove lead from your belt. The harness that is generally used with it is continuous webbing - no failure points and extremely comfy and robust. I use a crotch strap, personal choice, I find this to be quite integral in the whole system as it holds the wing and tanks in place very well and there is NO tank roll in the water. The wing and backplate are designed so that when you have the bands in the right place on a twinset it's very easy to reach the valves for shutdown purposes.
My technical instructor is a UK Halcyon dealer and has years of experience of helping people to get kitted out for the type of diving they want to do in the future. He will not sell anyone stuff they don't need and I can recommend him in terms of integrity and experience. I want to make the point that I have nothing to gain personally from recommending this gear except the knowledge that someone will get infinite pleasure and many years of great diving from it.  Making expensive mistakes isn't nice for anyone and the sport costs us enough money without buying kit that you later find doesn't measure up to the job or indeed hinders you in the water. Anyone looking for contact details, drop me an email either in the forum or [email protected]
 

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"The Halcyon wing is the only wing in production today that has a coated, extremely robust, cordura bag covering the bladder inside the main bag"

Why does it need this when it's ALREADY protected within a tough outer bag?

"you are relying on this to save your life"

I don't rely on my wing to save my life. If it goes POP I switch to my drysuit as a bouyancy provider - something I'm well-practiced in doing. It's a pain, not a death sentence. And it's not even a problem until I make it back to the surface and have to stay horizontal...

"no bungee"

Is that a bad thing then? ;)

"I use a crotch strap, personal choice"

You can skip using the strap? I've left mine undone once or twice, the waist strap wound up under my armpits

Mind you, the crotch strap has left me soprano once or twice, when I hadn't got all the adjustments right ;)

Yes, work is slow right now..
 

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Dom..you MUST be bored at work. :fight:

Scenario 1 - In "The Last Dive", see the thread, the son goes into the wreck and a bit of the boat collapses and falls down on him. Both him and his Dad die because they fail to get to their deco gas.

Scenario 2 - Parker Turner died in a cave when there was a collapse, despite being a full Cave Instructor.

My point? Caves and wrecks are dangerous, hazardous overhead environments. Collapses DO happen and wings CAN burst. Drysuits CAN flood.

Another scenario, in a wreck, a bit of the boat collapses and bursts the wing, no matter how tough the outer and inner material. In your own words, you go to your drysuit. It then floods on the way up.

Oh dear.

Bzzztt.

Problem.   :eyecrazy:

You seem to be losing bouyancy. Oh no. At this point I would deploy my handily stowed lift bag, attached to the D ring on the harness. I would of course, unclip it first.

What would you do? Since you rely on your drysuit for secondary bouyancy? :drown:

Nice to see you have the crotch strap adjusted correctly. You should be able to hit the A, two octaves above Middle C if it's tightened up correctly. :moon2:
 

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Ammers seems quiet today. So:

The complete setup: Around £400 depending on whether you’re going for singles or doubles (Singles is more expensive as has single tank adapter)

Breaks down into:
Backplate & harness: £157
Wing: Between £232 and £282 – depends on size & type

Personally, whilst I might possibly someday go for a Halcyon wing, I consider the harness and backplate a total rip-off at that price when you can buy the webbing for about a tenner and an excellent backplate for £40 from <a href="http://www.backplates.co.uk

Check" target="_blank">http://www.backplates.co.uk

Check</a> http://www.dis-uk.org/shopping/halcyonuk.htm for a full Halcyon price list.
 

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Ok - thats a couple of different makes of wings discussed (thanks to all concerned). How about OMS? 100lb lift single or double bladder, steel backplate, minimal webbing and D Rings - must admit, I'm finding this quite attractive at present. Anyone used them?

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Dom - sorry but I have to refute those prices as there are several UK Halcyon dealers.

I have found the most competitive and helpful to be Andy Hayhurst, (Dalesdivers) who can be contacted on 07702 819 381. He is a TDI Regional Director and holds instructor certifications for many agencies. He will not sell anyone stuff they don't need and has many years of experience in kitting out divers for the type of diving they wish to pursue. I can certainly recommend him in terms of knowledge and integrity.
He is so confident of the Halcyon products that he became an authorised UK reseller. Most importantly, he is DIVING orientated, not money orientated.


One other point - the backplates Dom is recommending will not work properly with the Halcyon wing, the Halcyon backplate is designed to get the tanks in the right position in conjunction with the wing.

Having already tried other backplates myself I know from first hand experience. It caused tank roll, incorrect positioning of tanks, impossibility to reach valves etc.

The whole DIR system is designed to be and should be used together and using bits without others could be fatal. I would hate for someone to go out and follow some of the incorrect advice out in the public domain and then have a problem.

The guys that build the gear hold over half a dozen world records including depth and penetration in a cave, 3 miles from nearest air source. There is no doubting the quality of the kit, but it's got to be put together properly.

You sure can go out and buy the cheap harness if you want it to fall to pieces. I've been there. Looked like an octopus floating along in the water with all the webbing unravelling like tentacles.

I would like others to learn from my mistakes. I freely hold my hands up and admit that I have tried tons of junk gear and I think a lot of the stuff on the market is not acceptable for diving.

"Sell them what they NEED, not what they WANT"

(Edited by Ammers at 5:03 pm on Mar. 19, 2002)
 

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Wow.. a lot of posts occur in a 30-minute drive home


Halcyon prices - they're straight of DIS-uk, they're not the ONLY prices, but they ARE a Halycon dealer's prices. I know Dalesdiver as well, don't forget


Anyway, back to the main thread:
Can't find the "Last dive" thread you refer to. Got a link? I believe I remember the report tho. As I recall, this was the father & son team who decided it was fine to do a wreck penetration at 70m on air because they didn't want to spend money on Mix. And it wasn't the boat that collapsed, it was a life raft that got it's self-inflator triggered. Frankly, they were dead when they decided to do the dive - even the gas they were breathing was killing them at that depth.

Scenario 2 - I doubt even GI himself would make it out of a cave if he got trapped behind a cave-in. He'd probably be smart enough not to dive in an unstable cave tho. I confess I don't know much about Turner's death tho. Would he have survived if he'd had a Halcyon wing on?

MY point (Yes, I have one :p ) is that if something can cut through one tough layer of fabric, it can cut through two. A Halcyon wing being tough on the inside is no bonus in my book, because anything that gets through the outer bag is capable of getting through the inner as well.

Drysuits can flood, of course. That rarely stops them providing bouyancy. Assuming that you HAVE managed to slice up your wing AND your suit so badly that neither can hold any air tho, yup, that's the time to pull out one of the lift bags we both carry at least two of and make them earn the money you paid for them. Assuming you can't just hitch a lift on your buddy, that is.

Even in the event of a total loss of ANYTHING inflatable, including lift bags and buddy, that's when I start to swear at Murphy's law, but feel relieved that I know I can swim my kit up even with no bouyancy. It might even be the time I actually consider dropping my lead whilst underwater


But no, I still don't see any benefits in the tough inner of a Halcyon, nor do I see my wing as something I trust my life to. If I did, I'd be tempted to get a bungeed wing as that would be held so much closer to my cylinders, it would be less likely to puncture (Just watch Ammers self-combust over THAT one ;) )

Incidentally, Heads Up - 100lbs is WAY more lift than anyone needs if they haven't screwed up their kit config. Don't get a wing with bungees until you've really, REALLY looked into the arguments for and against them. Same goes for double-bladdered wings. They may have benefits, but they have problems as well.

I'mm off-line till tomorrow now. TTFN.
 

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Bungeed wing = suicide. Heads, he IS right about the lift capacity. Otherwise, Dom, you missed my point on those scenarios. Each to their own on kit, but I know what I've tried and I know what I trust.

Time to move on from this one I think as we'll never fully agree on wings Dom.
Your other thread on drinking underwater, the squeezy lucozade cartons are great.
 

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Of course not forgetting the SS back plate you can get from Nigel Hewitts company on ukrs newsgroups, around £30 for the backplate and it has more slots than the usual plate affair making it that bit versatile.  I make it about number 7 on my personal shopping list.  gotta go.
 

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Ok - thanks for all the information. I'l be making a few more enquiries and will be borrowing a few rigs to try out (so be warned!). Glad to see we can actually handle a forum discussion without resorting to flaming / insults (a la Divernet!)

Regards
 
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