How to Choose Your BC
The choice of a BC makes more of difference to your diving comfort than any other bit of kit save for the cylinder.
Your diving comfort depends on reducing drag. We want a BC with the smallest possible drag profile we can find. Most BCs in SA are far too big and have far too much lift with the downside that they are high profile/high drag BCs.
Below we will characterise what determines a Good Low Drag BC as well as explain some of the terminology used to describe the many different BCs available.
What you need is the smallest, most compact BC you can find. Wear the smallest size you can fit into. As long as the Velcro strap goes around the body… it will fit.
Smaller BCs will result in less Drag as well as having to carry less weight on your weight belt. An oversized BC will really ruin your dive.
Back inflation BCs are as described the air does not continue around to the front. These tend to be more stable on a dive and won’t squeeze you as much when you inflate them.
They also tend to be smaller, low drag BCs. if they have weight integration systems, this does tend to make them more bulky.
These BCs have a wing on the back and nothing on the front. This makes them clean and comfortable to wear.
BUT…. The wing is not at all streamlined and it is a very high drag BC (like having a rubber duck strapped to your back) They are, however, good at counteracting the rolling of a steel cylinder.
The idea is good, it means that you might not require a weight belt at all. The downside? The weight system bulks up the BC in the front increasing the drag. The whole set becomes extremely heavy. The pockets get dropped with amazing frequency and replacement costs are high. When dropping weights in an emergency a weightbelt is far safer.
Inflator/Deflator Side Controls...
These are a really nice feature to have that does away with the big corrugated hose. It also allows for you to dump the air in any position, which is a definite bonus.
Downside – they are very prone to corrosion and expensive to service as there are decidedly more complicated than a simple Power Inflator.
The Choice is yours.
This particular trait makes buying a BC online a little tricky. Not only are you unable to fit it correctly but you also can’t feel the material.
You want to look for the thickest material as these BCs will last. 1000 denier is usually a really rugged material that will last.
This rugged material is especially important around the inflation parts of the BC.
Streamlining features on BCs are incredibly important. Anything that lowers the drag of the BC will always be advantageous. Low profile pockets and places to tuck in gauges, knives and octos are nice to have.
Many BCs will look great with all sorts of great finishes in various colours and materials. However they usually only look good when they are new, after a few dives all the flashy bits are usually the things that these tend to scratch tear and perish.
Basic is better...
All in all a small, compact, hardy, simple BC is by far the best choice and are not nearly as expensive as their bigger and blingier cousins.
Look for quality, the right price and Low drag when purchasing a BC.
Don’t fall for the marketing!
The Different Types of BCs...
Below we have depicted the different BCs we have.
Please contact us should you need any further information or advice.
Clicking on the images below will redirect you to the shop page which describes each BC in detail and lists the prices.
DIVETEK DIVEMASTER PRO
This is our Flagship BC, it is low volume, low drag and a back inflation unit.
It also has all sorts of streamlined pockets.
DIVETEK NOR BC
This is the ultimate option in low drag and low volume BCs. It is technically just a harness but truly incredible to dive with, like letting the Handbrake up!
DIVETEK TRAVEL WING
This BC has all the characteristics of a Wing BC without the added drag of weight pockets.
Its great for travelling.