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Team Erectus Domini Co-Founder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well i thought it was about time I wrote about my experiance building my first wing as it could help answer some of those noobie questions like what i first asked you lot.

The Building Blocks of a Wing

A wing is a pretty simple piece of kit when you break one down into parts, the simplest form would consist of-

Backplate
Harness
Wing
Cambands or Twin bands

Depending on what type of wing you choose you may also need a single tank adapter if you wish to dive using singles, but the above would create a fully functioning system.

Choosing Parts

Deciding you want a wing and finding out how to build one is easy, there is so much information on the internet available but it is the choosing of manufacturer and model that are the part which people worry about the most. Whilst the choice is a personel thing, here are some things that i have realised since building my own.

Harness
A Harness is pretty much just a length of webbing-
you do not need to buy a fancy expensive harness and more often than not they will only complicate things. I bought a Dive Rite deluxe harness as i was going from a Jacket to a wing and didnt want to lose all the ease and comfort a Jacket provide, and whilst i love the harness and find it very comfortable, I realise now that it wouldn't have made much difference of some standard webbing and could have saved some money.

Backplate
Most backplates come with standard spaced holes so that the majority of wings will fit with them, I would recommend checking when you buy if you are going to mix and match just in case though.
The most import thing about a backplate in my opinion, is probably what material it is made of, which you should determine from what you are going to use use you wing for. I bought an Aluminium BP, i thought that it wasnt worth another £40 for a bit more weight, and whilst it works fine, and will allow me to use the wing on holiday I wish i had gone for a Stainless Steel BP as it would have put some more weight were i needed it.

Wing
This is the most personel choice out of all the parts of a wing, it all depends on what diving you are going to do.
The general feeling with wings is that you shouln't try to get a wing that does it all, i.e. Single tanks and Twins. This seems to be a good rule although there are wings out there that will do both jobs well. I opted for a single tank wing as thats all I need for the next year or so, and am pleased with my decision as my wing is great to dive with.

Putting it all Together
Once you have the parts comes the fun part, putting them together is fairly easy, the hardest part being adjusting the harness. There are many resources on the net that can describe how to fit the harness, and some harnesses come with instructions so if you are worried it might be too complex to do, don't.

Diving with a Wing for the First Time
With all equipment it is worth doing a test dive in a pool and taking your first few dives easy and getting used to your new equipment.
When I first tried my wing in Stoney Cove, the last time i had dived was with a BCD and I could feel the difference.
I felt more streamlined and this made it easier to move. I also felt as though i was more trim in the water than with a BCD and I had a very comfortable dive.

Wing on the surface
Many people are worried about buying wings as they push you face down on the surface. I think all that is needed to avoid this feeling is to move your weight to your back, as when i did this I could fully inflate the wing and not be pushed forward at all (granted this was with a 30lb wing not a 100lb). So my advice would be to think about moving as much weight to the back of your rig as possible (in contrast to bcds where it is best to have your weight on your sides/front).

Overall
I am very pleased with my wing, and have no regrets buying one as my first bcd instead of a Jacket.

If anyone is interested what my setup is its-:

Dive Rite Alu Backplate
Dive Rite Deluxe Harness
Frog Single Tank Adapter (the bands that came with this are sexy)
Frog Indigo Single Tank wing


I know there are many more people more qualified to give advice on the subject than I am so if you think i have made a mistake please let me know and i will amend the post.

Hope this helps someone.

Shaun
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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11,804 Posts
So my advice would be to think about moving as much weight to the back of your rig as possible (in contrast to bcds where it is best to have your weight on your sides/front).
A good piece Shaun, but I would question the bit I have quoted above.

Whilst putting weight there will help with any surface issue, I would recommend the best place for weight is between the tank and you. Either in the form of a weighted STA or a heavier plate or weights cambanded to the front of the tank.

If you put the weight too far back it can make it uncomfortable under water since when you are trimmed out flat the weight is then on top and gives a feeling of instability.

HTH
Mal
 

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The smell of freshly turned delrin is more powerfu
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3,173 Posts
hey Shaun
all I did was mess with the weight positions

This weekend I spent Diving well no not diving just climbing in and out of vobster. A rough guess of how it went.
Dive 1 3 kilos of weight between twin set bolts .... felt head down
dive 2 3 kilos 1 kilo between bolts 2 hanging in a bag of bottem ...bolt trim better
dive 3 twin set now getting empty say 100 bar could feel how heavy I was. trim ok

dive 4 1 kilo just near bottem bolt on twinset. just about get underwater, dry suit so tight cant reach valves put gas in suit cant hold 3 meter stop. but trim ok

dive 5 2 kilos between bolts near botem bolt. Can reach valves can hold stop trim ok now got about 40 bar

dive 6 full of gas now very heavy same 2 kilos trim seems fine got accents under control decents easy just beacuse of the extra weight in gas.


Now most of the weekend was spent chatting and not diving but I had a great time. My twin set is now almost how I want it, I did swap some hoses around change to long hose and get the piss taken out of me all weekend. So all in all we had a good time. My team mostly left me to my own devices unless some kind of abuses was needed :) Thanks Guys

David
 

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Team Erectus Domini Co-Founder
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256 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey guys thanks for comments Mal, I agree I didn't phrase that too well, I have amended slightly.

David- yeah I still feel that I could improve my trim even more if I play around with positions, I have have only really just moved the weight and found it comfortable enough

Cheers

Shaun
 

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The near exactly what i've just done.

Alu backplate (i travel a lot so need light)
Frog STA and Indigo wing
I did have a DR QR harness but switched just standard one piece as its quicker to adjust.

All goes together nicely, some adjustments still needed. My trim is terrible though currently very foot heavy in both wetsuit, pool and drysuit despite having tank high. Suspect i may need to add some weight high up on the plate.

(This is single tank not twin)
 

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Team Erectus Domini Co-Founder
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400 Posts
Finally found where you hide yourself away on here ******, having had a nosey at your set up Im kind of wishing I hadnt gone ahead and bought my jacket when I did. Though how much of that is just shiny thing envy syndrome (so hope everyone else gets that too) im not sure!
Then at the same time it is a wing style jacket, ah the debate continues...
 
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