The Basics
Cylinders
Harness
Webbing a Harness
Wings
Regs
Hoses
Stages & Deco
Lights
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Gas Choice
Single Cylinders
Scooter Prop

Wings

As you have to add volume to a wing to get lift, it will be the same volume on any wing for the same lift. As such, you want the wing who's shape most closely conforms to the rest of the gear, i.e. the Halcyon, Dive Rit or Seatec wings.

Halcyon, Seatec & Dive Rite Classics wings

45_66wing.jpg (16985 bytes)     inflate-detail.jpg (25093 bytes)The Halcyon, Seatec and Dive Rite classic   wings are all similar in construction in that they are a simple wing of double bag construction, which when diving lay tight against the tanks, wrappping up around them with smooth surfaces. They sit in the water which is already in the slipstream of the rest of your equipment, thus not adding to the drag.  The Halcyon wing is available in the UK from Halcyon UK.  Many UK dive shops now carry the Dive Rite Classic.   The construction is such that the inner bladder holds the gas and the outershell offers containment, protection, and determines the final shape when inflated. The Halcyon and Seatec are slightly better than the Dive Rite in that the outer bag is not stretchy.   The advantage of this is that when fully inflated the inner bag is protected from over inflation (i.e. before the over pressure valve blows) by the outer bag thus it will not pull a seam and burst. The last Dive Rite Classic I saw had an additional cloth bag inside the outer bag which prevented the inner bag from over stretching.

The Halcyon offers a few major advantages over the other two wings, which I will get some photo's on the site within the next few days to show you.

The Seatec and Dive Rite offer about the same amount of lift (45 to 50 lbs). The Dive Rite Classic comes as standard, with a pull dump, so when ordering it make sure you specify that a simple elbow (a no cost option) is specified.

Double wings and redundant bladders

We do not agree with the double wing theory. The additional task loading and other associated gear complications that arise from dual inflators/wings are beyond self defeating.  In keeping with the DIR concept of simplicity, any additional lift requirements should be accomplished by a separate device that is capable of serving another purpose as well (i.e. drysuit, Delayed SMB, lift bag, etc.). One of the biggest issues we have with double wings is that of being in the middle of another minor problem/tasks, having one of the two inflators runaway (i.e. fail and start inflating the wing) and not being able to determine which one it is. Some divers attempt to protect from this by only having one wing inflate hose and they plan to move the hose to the redundant inflator in the event of a problem - they have just compromised their so called required redundancy in that they now are not protecting from a hose blow or a first stage failure. In addition any air in that redundant wing - which was probably not noticed at the beginning of the dive when heavy, will affect the ascent as it expands - leaving the diver to drive a dry suit deflate and a wing deflate and then another wing deflate, whilst also possibly winding in a reel for the ascent - way too many hands.

IANTD now require that all students, attending a training course, who are using double wings have to have a check out dive with the instructor first.  This dive is intended to demonstarte that the student is capable of using a double wing system.

Wings with bungees

Although at first these look a great idea they are fixing a problem that does not exist and in doing so unfortunately introducing many more.   They will exert pressure against the inflation and cause the over pressure valve to dump well below what the ambient pressure would. They are obviously going to present a massively dangerous static lung load if you try to inflate them manually. If you tie them too tight to start with, which many do because they think it is less "drag", they will not give much lift. There have been other accidents associated with this, so I believe they are now shipped out without the bungees tied for this to be done at the dive shop or by the end user. The drag issue is in fact the opposite of that is expected.   The bungee'd surface causes massive vortex shedding which increases drag, not to mention the entangling capabilities of all of that bungee.


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Revised:4 March, 2002