Custom Divers Sportster

Stylish and bulletproof recreational wing has technical origins

Author: Pat
31st January 2012
 

The Sportster makes the Custom Divers brand accessible to a new class of shopper.

The Redhill-based company makes a range of quality equipment predominantly for the technical end of the market. But for those happier with the shallow stuff, the Sportster bridges the gap with plenty of appeal for recreational divers. This rig comes ready to use out of the box, with no tinkering or bolt-ons required.

The Sportster wears its Britishness with pride – literally, with a Union Jack badge suitable for James Bond. His foreign travel needs should be taken care of, since it’s billed as a lightweight travel BC. Although at 3.4 kilograms, the Sportster isnt the most baggage-allowance friendly unit.

Take a closer look though and you see why. The buoyancy cell has high quality stitching, webbing is deliberately thick and durable and plastics appear to be bulletproof.

plenty of appeal for recreational divers

The beauty of a wing compared to the conventional stab jacket is its uncluttered front, laden in this case with 8 heavy steel rings. There’s a crotch strap too and central steel ring, bull’s nose-style at the front too for attaching a scooter.

Stick the BCD on and there’s a wide range of adjustment as the Sportster only comes in one size. Technical divers will opt for a more modular wing system, but its dual tank band and built-in plastic backplate betray the Sportster’s origins. If required, Custom Divers sells Velcro utility pockets, a ‘comfort pad’ for the backplate and other optional extras.

Using a wing in the water with the lift on your back makes diving a more comfortable experience, as you tend to float face down. Custom Divers has made the Sportster as sleek and drag-free as possible, while still delivering up to 35 pounds of lift fully inflated. The inflator button mechanisms and three dump valves feel robust, and suffice to say there’s a feel of real quality to this piece of kit.

Which is reassuring to know before you put it through years of salt water abuse. All things considered, the Custom Divers Sportster is a stylish and keenly priced piece of kit, which should raise a few eyebrows at big name manufacturers.

 
 
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