Buoyancy control is an important skill. You can tell the difference between a good diver and an ordinary diver just by looking while he/ she moving underwater.
A good diver will move effortlessly underwater, his/her body streamlined, all equipment attached to the BCD and the diver appears relaxed. An ordinary diver still using his/ her hand to maintain his/ her body level, ordinary diver must keep on moving to stay neutral, having difficulties to stop and hover at one place. No wonder an ordinary diver will use more air and have less fun.
Controlling your buoyancy starts with finding the right amount of lead weight. You must make sure that you are not to heavy (negative) or to light (positive).
Buoyancy check : A weighted diver should float comfortably (water at mask level) at the surface while holding a full breath with BCD empty without moving his/her arms/legs. And when exhaling, the diver should sink slowly. To compensate the positive effect from an empty aluminum alloy tank at the end of the dive. Diver is advised to add 1 kg of lead in to his/ her weight system.
When descending remember to deflate (release) the air from your BCD slowly, keep your body vertical all the time until you reached the desired depth. As you descent, increasing pressure will compressed the air inside your BCD and will make your descend rate getting faster and faster, as you approached the bottom (diver will becoming more negative). So make sure to adjust your buoyancy (inflate some air into your BCD) before reaching the bottom.
At the bottom, start to swim slowly, keep your body horizontal all the time. If you feel your body “falling” down, you need to put some more air into your BCD (remember do it slowly, try to put one ‘burst’ at the time and check if you already neutral after the inflation, if not then repeat the sequence).
Remember to stay relax all the time, and breathe deeply and slowly. If you accidentally inflate to much air into your BCD, stop moving, bring your body straight up (vertical), reach your BCD inflator hose and deflate your BCD slowly.
Since its a skill, and its not difficult to master it all you need to do is practice, practice and practice. You wont master buoyancy control by reading books, join dive trip or sign in for PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Course or ask for a buoyancy clinic at our pool.
Buoyancy skill : Hovering
Photo Credit ©Rully Nasution