Scuba Tech Tips: BCDs – Jacket Style vs Wings – S04E13

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Alec compares the common stabilizing jacket BCD to back mounted or ‘wing’ BCD’s. Both styles pros and cons are discussed plus how to properly distribute weights for comfortable diving.

***** Alec Peirce Scuba *****

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Rating: 4.91

35 Comments
  1. mike kotarba says

    Thank you

  2. MO A says

    Excellent video. I trained and was certified on a back inflate so that is what I plan to buy. Any expert advise Cressi Ultra Light vs Aqua lung Zuma?
    Thank you

  3. Ernie Stammers says

    Hi Alec, I wish I had seen your videos when I first started diving over 12 years ago now, (had to give up due to health problems) you have given me a great insight into all the things I was doing wrong in the beginning, dont get me wrong I have had some great dives in Portugal, Cyprus, and even here in the UK.
    Its a great pity I cannot take it up again, but now at 73 and health issues, its too late but great to reminisce .
    Thanks again from the UK, I will subscribe to your channel, as you never know my grand children might want to take up scuba diving, I did teach them to swim and snorkel in our 10 ft round Bestway pool.

  4. Jordan Eleniak says

    Can you do a video on backplate and wing style BCDs?

  5. Mauricio Muñoz says

    If there was a SCUBA Nobel Prize Alec would have one by now.
    It's OK if he never gets a prize: Alec gets the "people's love award" for his contributions to SCUBA.

  6. Wally Brown says

    I feel like I’m in kindergarten class with Alec. LOL. It’s ok though, he’s very informative, and seems like a great guy. Great info Alec.

  7. Willis Taylor says

    Hi new diver here starting off in freshwater lakes would just like to say I love your videos their very informative and interesting to watch!

  8. B3a5tma5t3r says

    I love your style to explain things..
    WOW i would love to have you as my Scubateacher… also your humor is the perfect one…
    BIG THUMBS UP !!!
    Keep this style ….

  9. Duncan O says

    Aqualung Outlaw. Best recreational BCD ever.

  10. Sune Groennebaek says

    HI Alec.
    Thank you for all your great videos.

    What’s your thought on when a BCD is too old and worn out?
    I have one that looks good but is leaking air from the "wings " you fold in front of you (like the one you show at first)…. is it dead?
    Best regards from the Faroe Islands,
    Sune.

  11. Mark Stengel says

    Hi Alec, I suppose trying them on in a store helps in choosing what's best for each individual. Every decision in life has a cost. Now i know a bit more re: BCD's. Alec, your vast knowledge is priceless. Hang Tuff

  12. Pricediver says

    Do you have to use a black plate for ur double hoses reg? I have a back inflated BCD.

  13. Stuart Colcleugh says

    Excellent video as always, Alec. As you know, there are other travel friendly BCDs besides the Oceanic Biolite, including the Scubapro Litehawk, the Aqua Lung Rogue and the Zeagle Stiletto. How would you rate these ones mentioned in order of preference?

  14. Michael Morgan says

    Bahahahaha, I agree, people who prefer weight belts are dangerous!

  15. Elliot Bentley says

    I also free dive so weight belts are not that bad

  16. Marly Sharky says

    Do you have some insight into organizing jacket bcd pockets? I‘ve heard for example of fixing a bungee on the pocket d-ring for clipping accessories?

  17. William McDaniel says

    Hi Alec, Love your videos! Quick question on weight placement. Does that change based on salt water vs fresh water?

  18. M Q says

    the rock music at the start is so bad… the bubble sound was much better

  19. Mark Thomas says

    Hi Alec love the video's how about showing how to convert to side mount without scrapping your wing system I dive with a APEX WTX setup and was thinking about the switch.

  20. Cactuspanker says

    Hey Alec, I've been going through your videos and was wondering what your thoughts are on the long hose regulator (hogarthian) setup?

  21. Boo Bear says

    my scuba friend told me wings are for pros and jackets are for noobs..

  22. Kim Siewers says

    If you like swimming with clothes on, use a jacket style BC.
    The good setup is a back inflated BC as shown. The other best equipment set up is a rubber weight belt like free divers use, e.g. Omer. The rubber weight belt will not shift around with wet suit squeeze at depth.
    Today divers often misuse Buoyancy Compensators; they are meant to compensate for wetsuit squeeze at depth.
    The ideal weight allows you to snorkel easily at the surface with no air in your BC.
    If you need an inflated BC to stay at the surface you have too much weight.

  23. Rick Smith says

    Good information with the exception of the comment about adding air to your bcd to ascend, any properly trained and competent diver knows you do not add air to ascend, you fin to the surface and dump air to maintain a controlled ascent speed.
    Apart from that it's fun to watch.

  24. SkyKing says

    i own a dimension i3 wing BC. Keeps me dead straight and level in the water. No pointed up like a submarine blowing ballast. I also found out when im on the surface i just dump a little air and lean back and it dosent push me face forward

  25. David Fenollar says

    I could literally listen to Alec for hours… Something about the way he delivers information is both informative and entertaining. Love your work mate. – From Australia.

  26. L Villan says

    19:02 "Kevin, do your job Kevin."

  27. LOGAN IRONSIDE says

    Alec you should do a review of zeagle bcds

  28. Stuart Jones says

    Hi Alec, excellent vid presentation but I am will disagree with some of your points but I must state that I am an old school diver as well, started late 70's as an RN ships diver the BSAC /PADI in the early days.My first bouyancy that I eventually reluctantly put on was a FENZI or the toilet seat as they where called, then a Spiro ABLJ and these where excellent devices as you when you where on the surface you floated with your head back

  29. Alain Dumesny says

    came across this fascinating video series, this one about blue hole accidents in Egypt https://youtu.be/YFGYJ1KYLYM?t=8m19s (rewind to beginning if you want to see entire video) – I don't understand why they say that at some point you sink so fast that your BCD can't bring you back… IP should always be 150psi above water pressure (assuming you have enough air) and inflate the BC which ought to be more volume than your wetsuit compression at depth – why wouldn't that bring you up even if you are not in a condition to fin up ?

  30. CR B says

    Alec, another great video! I'm an older diver that was certified only a few years ago. I wish I had done it early in life but can't change that. So your videos have helped me get some of the experience I missed. I hope to be diving for many more years and your tips have made diving much more enjoyable for me! I love the wing style BC as well, mostly due to the compact and light weight and your tip on weight distribution will make it even better when I wait for the boat to come pick me up… think I'll tinker around with the ratio of weight forward Vs back before my next dive. Thanks so much for this tip!!

    Keep 'em coming buddy!

    Chris

  31. Sandra Arrington says

    Hey Alec, really appreciate all your videos that you take the time to put up. I am looking at buying my first BC. I live in MO so dry suit and 7mm wetsuit, hood, and gloves are used. I also like to do a wide variety of water temps as I travel too. What kind of bcs would you recommend for me?

  32. Cody Sheridan says

    I would just like to point out for new/novice divers, you do NOT want to be inflating on ascent. To go up, fin, as you get shallower the gas in your BC will expand. As this happens you need to deflate your BC so you don't rocket to the surface and hurt yourself.

    Are your weightings based off aluminium tanks Alec? I use 9-12 pounds with my 8mm wetsuit in Sydney. I find people are often taught to take too much weight, which can be dangerous.

  33. Drive and Dive says

    Hello Alec,
    Thanks very much for this very informative video.
    Just as an experience sharing could I ask you how many times in your diving career or in the diving career of the divers you have crossed path with did you or did they have to drop weights?
    Thank you again for your straightforward answer as it will enrich a survey that I have been conducting for the past 2 years on this particular matter.
    For whoever reads this, I would be grateful if you could also share your experience. Thank you

  34. Rick Kinney says

    This video sparked my interest in a back inflate BCD. I've watched several other YouTube videos on in and read a lot of reviews. Based on what I like personally, I've ordered this BCD from my local Oceanic dealer. I want to thank you for explaining the various points of it in comparison to full jacket BCDs. This looks like it will fit the bill for my particular diving preferences. Thanks again to you and Kevin for making these Tech Tip videos. I have learned something and enjoyed every one I have watched.

  35. Charles Hays says

    Alec, I think the recap of the two types is very informative, however i do have one question. What about the so called "hybrid jacket" BCDs? Supposedly the best of both worlds, but what have you found with that style? Thanks for all of your videos!

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