Posted March 28th, 2012, 12:53 PM
Last edited by kgraham56; March 28th, 2012 at 12:56 PM
For me, getting into the BC is easier in the water than out. A trick I learned back in the days when it was 2 straps and a steel plate helps.
When in the water:
Step 1, lay the BC out on the water in front of you with the regulator facing you and the tank below
Step 2, insert your arms into the BC straps
Step 3, do a really hard dolphin kick and roll head over heels into the BC.
Step 4, when you finish rolling into the BC, tighten the cumberbund (or waist cinch straps) and then adust the shoulder straps.
It is sort of like the old kid's trick of laying a jacket on the ground and rolling into it.
Most dive masters freak out the first time I do that to them. I will talk to the dive master and just tell him that I am going to toss my gear overboard and get into it in the water. About 80% will tell me flat out no, that I have to do it the "normal" way. The other 20% look at me like I have lost my mind, but say OK while thinking "what the h*ll, it should be amusing". Tossing your all gear in and putting it on in the water used to be a required skill way back in the day (I was first certified for scuba in 1974). As well as being able to completely swap your gear with your buddy while underwater. So people tend to freak out when I stop and take everything off to reset the tank or the hoses or fix something while sitting on the bottom.
When I take my own gear, I looked for a BC that has the front straps on snaplocks. So I unsnap the left side and slide my right arm in, lean back into the BC and then refasten the left side once the right side is seated correctly. When I use rental equipment that won't do that I have to loosen both sides of the upper straps as far as they will go and slide my right arm in, then lean forward to get my left arm in and then tighten the straps. Arthritis limits my range of motion on getting my arms through the straps. Worse case I ask the person on my left to help slide my arm in. Getting old is not for fraidy cats.