Posted by Eric S on March 09, 2005 at 20:53:24:
In Reply to: Backpacks and bouyancy posted by Dick Analog on March 09, 2005 at 16:21:33:
I Recently tried backpack diving for the first time. I designed and built my own special ergonomicaly designed aluminum backplate for single tank diving. It holds the tank so nicely to your body that you could literally do karate on dry land and it would hold perfect on your body. the design gives you complete freedom of movement in the shoulder blades so you could actually swim laps with it on and not be affected.
I can put a wing on it if I want to but I chose to test it without.
I found that I had to weight myself a little light at the surface just like freediving and tip head down to decend just like freediving.
I weighted myself perfect so I was exactly neutral at 15 feet with 500 psi in the tank.
I found it amazing that I had no buoyancy issues even at 40 - 50 feet, which is about as far as I took it. I guess when there is one less air space to get compressed it makes a difference.
I also liked that I could zip around like a seal doing barrel rolls, gliding through swim throughs, and generally was very agile in the water, again very similar to freediving.
I figured if I had a problem I would just dump the belt and go up. The dive was not deep enough or long enough to present a problem doing this.
It was quite exilerating to experience that kind of freedom.
So to answer your question based on my experience I would say yes, there are definite advantages.
I'm sure some of the readers will disagree, so let the flaming begin!
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