answer ... superior mobiity

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Chris on May 30, 2002 at 05:33:07:

In Reply to: The question is... Why would you want to dive this way? posted by Tribes on May 29, 2002 at 13:43:07:

The most fundamental life-support equipment is your in the water skills.
Emphasizing your equipment instead of your in the water skills can be a grave error.

Backpack diving when properly weighted is very easy for those with good skills.
The superior mobility of shedding the drag of a BC or backplate/wing is why many bug divers favor it.
Freediving with a tank is perhaps the best analogy.
Both breathing and proper weighting is critical for both.

Backpack diving is not for everyone, and is not suitable for all situations.
There is no one equipment configuration that is best far all divers and situations.
Those who insist there is do so because they want to justify their own choices to them self, and are to small minded to accept that there are other ways to dive besides theirs.

I dive with a backpack most of the time, but not always.
When I learned I learned with a backpack and orally inflated horse collar.
I then bought my own equipment to a jacket style BC.
Then in 1991 I bought a dive-rite back plate and wings and found it far superior to the jacket BC.
Then in about 1995 I tried my first backpack, and have never wanted to use a BC for recreational diving since.
The lack of drag, even compared to a backpack and wings is amazing.
Other people I know love it for the same reason.

Although I love backpack diving, I do not dive that way all of the time.
When I do deep dives with twins I use a back plate and wings, because it works better for those dives.
When I dive with newbies I use a BC, because the newbies are very dependent on their equipment and are still learning their skills by watching me.

Backpack diving is not for everyone.
But for those with advanced water skills and many dives under their belt, it offers superior mobility compared to any other equipment configuration.
It is not the only way to dive, and almost everyone I know who dives a backpack, also uses a BC sometimes.

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