Jacket Style Back Inflate Hybrid Travel-Friendly
Buoyancy Control Device (BCD); when deciding to purchase a BCD it can be a bit overwhelming. What features do I look for? How many types of BCDs are there? What is lift? So here is a basic breakdown of what features and styles to look for;
Jacket Style BCD: a jacket style BCD is most common in rental gear, so this is probably what you used during your Open Water certification. A jacket BCD is designed to have the air bladder at the back and wrapped around to the front, giving you optimal buoyancy for when you are learning. After you are certified many prefer this type of BCD because they feel the comfort of the SCUBA hug that it gives. This design typically allows enough room and lift for cold water diving and most are a bit bulkier for travel, but Scuba Pro does make a great travel-friendly jacket BCD.
Back Inflate BCD: a back inflate BCD is simply that, the air bladder is only on your back. These BCD’s are designed for your perfect buoyancy while diving (huh, isn’t that the point?) since the air inside the bladder will surround the air tank while in the diving position. Some have had issues at the surface, since the air at the back can push you forward (face into the water) but it just a matter of getting used to it and leaning back. Most travel BCD’s are back inflate since they are typically less bulky and easier to pack but many also work great for cold water diving, especially in a dry suit.
Hybrid BCD: a hybrid BCD takes the best of both worlds from a jacket style and a back inflate BCD. The air bladder allows more air into the back (back inflate) but still allows some air into the front for a bit of that SCUBA hug (jacket). These can be great for cold water diving, will typically pack smaller than a jacket style, but will normally weigh more than a back-inflate for travel.
Travel-Friendly BCD: Most travel-friendly BCD’s are light weight for easy packing. They can have plastic d-rings instead of metal, smaller weight pockets, and less a rigid back plate. As I had mentioned most are back inflate for ease of packing but some cannot hold enough weight for cold water diving.
When it comes time to decide which one is best for you, you will have to consider where you want your diving life to take you. It isn’t something that you have to have set in stone, since some BCD’s can be switched from a cold water to a travel BCD with just a few clicks but it is a good idea to know all the options before the big purchase. So for wherever your diving takes you, make sure you make the right choice for you!
If you’ve been in the dive shop since November, you may have noticed our new watch display. We have always carried Momentum watches.. contrary to what some of you may thought.. but now we have a big, beautiful display with lights. Momentum watches are what we all wear proudly around the dive shop. They are designed, assembled and serviced all within Canada. They come in a variety of sizes, faces, bands, and even colours! The watches are waterproof to at least 330ft/100m and some are designed with a “wavey” band to compensate for the pressure changes at depth. One of the best features of the watches are the screw-down crown; a high-quality screw that threads into the case and features water sealing gaskets. It’s still very simple to change the date and time with the screw-down crown but you can relax knowing that it is sealed when you are ready to enter the water. Momentum also offers a sapphire crystal window that can take a lot more abuse than the regular mineral crystal window, trust me! Plastic/acrylic or mineral crystal can get scratched and over time can become difficult to be able to read you watch.. which is kind of the point, right? Well since I’ve upgraded to the sapphire crystal, about a year ago, I am yet to get any scratches on my window.. what time is it? Let me tell you!
Do any of your underwater pictures have you feeling blue or green? Did you forget to take your red filter off while you were snorkeling? We have been playing around in the shop with some of our own pictures with Vivid-Pix. And the results have been great! You have the flexibility to auto-correct pictures, reduce or increase colour hues, and even help restore some of those ancient photos that your parents passed down to you. It’s a very simple to use program, upload your photo and it instantly gives you 9 options with different brightness and sharpness. Once you’ve selected the image that you like the most you are able to still change the brightness, hues, sharpness, vividness etc. even more with an easy slide bar. The layout is also great, since it keeps your original photo on the left side so you can see the updated one working its magic on the right. Vivid-pix also never rewrites over your original picture, it is designed to save the updated picture as a copy. My favorite part? The restart button! Just in case you’ve taken the corrections a few steps too far (oops a purple turtle!) you’re easily able to restart back to your original photo.
Full face masks for snorkeling have been booming the, often quiet, snorkeling market. The idea of the mask is to provide a wider, clearer view for a better snorkeling experience. As well, without having a mouth piece – which is sometimes a turn-off for some – you are able to breathe through your nose or mouth.. whichever is more comfortable for you! Similar to the traditional mask, the fit of the full face mask is very important. It’s important to make sure that you get a good seal on the mask, lack of a good seal can result in carbon dioxide exhausted back into your inhalation area which can cause light-headedness, fainting and in extreme situations has led to unconsciousness and drowning. But don’t let this scare you, as long as you are properly fitted by a professional and the mask is of higher quality – then you should be able to enjoy the ocean life that you’ve wanted to see!
TOGETHER FOR THE OCEAN
Mission 2020 is a collection of pledges from organizations within the diving community to change their business practices in order to help protect and preserve our oceans for the future.
With a primary focus on single-use plastic, the project sets ambitious short term targets of changes to be made before World Oceans Day 2020.
Mission 2020 was originally conceived by fourth element as a statement of its intentions to eliminate the use of single-use plastic in the packaging of all its products by 2020 and to continue to develop new products (and re-develop its existing products) using recycled materials wherever possible. By inviting other organizations within the dive community to join Mission 2020 and encouraging them to make their own commitments, fourth element hopes to make this a commitment of the global dive community to protect the very thing which we enjoy – the ocean.
“We will focus on training divers to a higher level of skill and environmental awareness by providing; opportunities to be involved in beach and dive-site cleanups locally and globally, and access to more sustainable products to our customers through our increased support of companies whose mission aligns with our own.”
So what does this mean for you? It means with your support we will continue to promote and stock brands who strive to reduce gas emissions, single-use plastics, find sustainable alternatives, dive site cleanups, promote and use solar energy. The more we talk about it with others the easier the reality will become to find a sustainable way of living, reduce our carbon footprint and extend the life of our beautiful planet!
Enriched air diver is our specialty of the month and the most popular specialty scuba course. Why? Because diving with enriched air nitrox gives you more no decompression time, especially on repetitive dives. If staying down longer, and getting back into the water sooner sounds appealing to you, then this is the course for you! You’ll learn why diving with air that has higher oxygen and lower nitrogen content gives you more bottom time, along with enriched air equipment considerations. During the classroom session you will discuss managing oxygen exposure, practice analyzing oxygen content in a SCUBA tank, and set your dive computer to diving with enriched air nitrox.
We’ve decided that we need to go on a diet! Well.. maybe more so we need to lose some excess weight! So we are starting a clear out sale, we don’t want them on our shelves anymore. There is nothing wrong with the items, other than we just have too many. We will have clear out prices on masks, wetsuits, tshirts, bags and you don’t want to miss out – the deals run out when the items are gone!
We are excited that our EXCLUSIVE Diver City branded Prawno gear has arrived. Prawno is an ocean lifestyle clothing brand inspired by the underwater photography of Creative Director Lia Barrett. Prawno incorporates fabrics made from natural fibres like bamboo, hemp and organic cotton, as well as post-consumer plastic bottles and recycled fabrics.
Some of you may recognize the brand, we have carried it in the store in the past but this time we have our Diver City mask logo on the articles. We are proud supporters of companies that are trying to make a difference to the environment and ocean awareness. You will see us proudly strutting around in our bamboo tee’s and recycled poly hoodies!
We’re off to Mexico and the gang staying behind needs some time off too!! Diver City will be closed Dec 30th to Jan 1st, and will resume regular hours on Jan 2nd.