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October 1999 Vol. 14, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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EQUIPMENT TIP — BCS

from the October, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

I like my integrated BC, and, generally speaking, the concept of slipping weights inside the BC’s attached, Velcro-fastened pockets works just fine. The guy who has to heft it back on the dive boat may not appreciate it as much, although in tropical waters I only add six pounds of weight to my U.S. Diver Alcyone BC’s specially designed pockets, which allow a diver to ditch weight in an emergency by pulling a cord.

While it’s never been a big problem, I have lost lead from these pouches when an exceptionally high giant stride loosened the Velcro holding the weights in. For reader Dave Guccione, however, losing weights has become a big problem: not only do the weights fall out of his Genesis Phantom BC with giant strides from 6 feet or higher, but they’ve also fallen out at depth when he’s been swimming horizontally.

Guccione spent some time discussing his problem with Genesis’ sales rep. When we heard from Guccione, he had a few tips that may help those of you who use integrated BCs.

  • Use soft weights in integrated weight pouches. Hard lead weights slide around in the pouches, weakening the grip of the Velcro.
  • Make a pouch check part of the buddy check before entering the water.
  • Check your weight pouches often during a dive to see if they have slipped or been pulled loose when you brushed up against some object or person.
  • Be judicious about the amount of weight inserted into the pouch.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: distribute weights among the pouches. That way, if you do lose one at depth, there is less chance that the loss will precipitate an out-of-control ascent.

— John Q. Trigger

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