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THE KIT I WEAR & WHY

Nobody wants to buy the wrong kit. I use the best kit after years of trying everything else out there. Proper kit is no more expensive and will grow with the diving you do.

Most likely you are reading this as you are possibly thinking of purchasing equipment to help you become more self sufficient or help you reach new depths and return home safely

OMS Dual Bladder Wing with Retraction Bands (bungees)


 

 I have two versions of this wing with either Dual 60lb and Dual 100lb bladders. They cost the same price. OMS is renowned for making quality wings and pioneered the retraction band system. The bands make the wing contract to the minimum size needed and balance any air volumes within - this adds stability. The bands also do not let the wing go flat - effectively stopping the flapping against the tanks associated with large volume non-restrained wings. In an overhead environment this can help minimise punctures and crush damage as the wing is trapped between a rock and a hard place (the tanks)

Dual bladder wings are an absolute necessity when deeper diving. Deeper divers need big volume steel tanks sometimes more than 4 of them. Some divers state that their drysuit can offer 'enough' buoyancy in the event of wing failure - this may be true if your tanks are the lightest aluminium tanks used in freshwater with a minimal weight-belt but certainly not when diving in the sea with multiple steel tanks. Remember its one thing to 'reach the surface' with a grossly inflated drysuit but quite another to stay at the surface in a heads up position. If indeed you are trying to 'Do it right' you will need a dual bladder wing with retraction bands, especially if using a wetsuit.

I use a stainless steel backplate when drysuit diving in cold water but also a lightweight aluminium backplate for warm water diving using a thin wetsuit. The harness must have one breakaway clip (2 if you must) to aid getting in and out of the thing. Chest straps are optional. Crotch straps can be useful to stop the harness riding up at the surface. Some gurus out there keep repeating how dangerous breakaway clips are and that they can break without warning and your twinset will fall from your back etc etc. These people are fools - ignore them!

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copyright Mark Ellyatt
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