Having been diving for many years and been working at Amphibian Sports for over 3 years (and being surrounded by tonnes of kit I’m lucky enough to be able to try), it seems crazy I’d never tried a wing, backplate and harness on my single cylinder. Especially as I love diving my Custom Divers TDB (Technical Dive Bladder, or more affectionately The Dog’s Bollocks!).
When I was lucky enough to be invited on a trip to São Tomé, Alex from Custom Divers gave me an S40 system to take with me to test. Having been well and truly within my comfort zone with my BCD for years, I was reluctant to solely rely on a new piece of kit so took both the S40 system and my trusty BCD.
Roll on the first dive and I kit up with the S40 system. My kit was loaded onto the boat (ahhhh being spoilt!) and we were off. Got into the harness and immediately fell in love with the adjustability of the harness, which has no breaks but the webbing pulls through metal sliders. This made it easy to don (and take off!) and pull nice and snug, which is how I like my kit.
Rolled backwards into the water for a weight check. 3mm wetsuit, hood, gloves, boots and no weight needed – bonus! Now loving the steel backplate too (I had a high weight limit, but could’ve swapped to the Custom Divers aluminium dog bone backplate if needed – another great bonus!).
Time to dive! Descended and just fell in love with the system. I don’t think I’ve ever been so comfortable on the first dive in new kit! The trim was fab and it was so liberating having nothing around the front, so I could play with my camera to my heart’s content.
So, the verdict? Well, my BCD spent the week in my bag and came back undived… I love it! Since then, a few other people have tried it too and it’s proving very popular.
Now for the technical bit… The wing is a single bladder wing with 40lbs of lift, so suitable for single cylinder up to twin 12s with aluminium stages (dry suit recommended if tech diving for redundancy). The harness is fully adjustable and will fit most people. You can choose between an aluminium or steel backplate with your system or you can upgrade to a dog bone if you travel a lot. The system has a recommended retail price of £496, which is a bargain for such a versatile and well made system. Well done to Custom Divers!