One of the main advantages of most wing systems is that fact that they are modular which allows them to be adapted and modified to meet specific diving requirements.
The only downside to this is that they often require some degree of assembly which can be a daunting task if it is your first wing!
Luckily it is usually quite straight forward but does take a bit of time and patience - We've gathered some useful guides and video to try and make this as easy as possible!
Please do bear in mind that your wing may be different from the ones described, if you every unsure the best thing to do is obtain guidance from the manufacturer of your specific make and model.
Backplate and Webbing
The most basic form of a wing and actually the one that requires the most amount of assembly! Likely you'll be starting with just a roll of webbing, a backplate and a bag of metal pieces which may not present themselves in a logical manner.
Apeks have published the instructions for their product assembly which offers some detailed instructions with pictures to attach the webbing to the backplate. Hollis have also published their instructions on how to assemble the Solo Harness to a Backplate.
Attaching the Bladder
Once you have your Backplate and Webbing assembled into a Harness the next step you'll likely take is to attach the Harness to the Bladder.
The simplest way to do this is by using a pair of Book Screws to attach your Harness to the Bladder;
With some systems you can omit the use of Book Screws and instead use the Tank Bands (Cam Bands) to hold everything together. This is an effective way of essentially keeping everything together, however is is worth noting that when using this method your wing will only be securely held together when attached to a cylinder. To this end we would generally recommend using Book Screws with most systems.
Threading the Tank Bands
This is usually a straight forward step and fairly obvious by this point, you'll be looking to loop you tank bands (Cam Bands) through your assembly. Generally speaking you are going to want to have the buckle end of the strap on the same side as your inflator hose.
The hardest bit of this for most people is actually threading the buckle, usually there are numbers on the slots which serve as a guide to threading the buckle but they are not always clear!
Please see our section on How to Thread a Tank Band on how to do this correctly as it is important.
We'll briefly cover some of the other accessories or parts you may have in your assembly although the way these attach is now generally specific to the make and model of wing you have.
an integrated weight system is a great addition to a Wing, especially if it is removable so you can take it off when you don't need it! Usually these will be threaded through the waist strap and attached to the back plate by a set of screws - please see your specific manual for exact instructions.
The Apeks manual for the WTX Surelock Weight system serves as a good general guide. There is also a handy video from Dive Rite on how to attach their 16lb weight system.
Single Tank Adaptor
These are used if you have a large wing made for using twin sets, by attaching a Single Tank Adaptor you can adapt these wings to be used with a single cylinder, usually these will bolt through the bladder and harness in the same slots you may place book screws in and will provide two pairs of vertical slots which you can thread your tank bands through.