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Buoyancy Control Tips Scuba Advice

Some Things Float... Some Things Sink!?

My Advice & Buoyancy Control Tips Explain Why

These simple buoyancy control tips can help you if you're having trouble finding your Zen when scuba diving! It can be frustrating if you are always adding air or letting air out of your BCD, crashing into buddies or the reef, not to mention taking all the pleasure out of the dive when you are always trying to stay at the a depth instead of relaxing and enjoying. This scuba advice is to point you in the right direction. Remember though, there is no substitute for good training!

Don’t forget that bad buoyancy control adversely affecting your air consumption shortening your precious time underwater enjoying the dive, not to mention making it much more difficult to take great underwater photographs!

So, where to begin fixing your buoyancy control?

What is proper weighting and how can I learn more about it? How can I distribute my weight for better trim and balance? How can my streamlining and finning technique affect my buoyancy? These are the kind of questions you need answering to master your buoyancy control, why not take a look at the peak performance Buoyancy specialty course and learn to be a buoyancy master with some help, practice make perfect and under close observation with a professional instructor you can accelerate your learning curves and save you time on trial and error.
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Use the Proper Weight

Most novice scuba divers are over weighted to some extent. In the beginning it feels like you may need more weight as you adapt and refine your breathing, in spite of of what your instructor may think or advise, its actually needed perhaps because you're breathing too much or even your equipment is new. Of course, that little bit of extra weight this will generally cause more use of the inflator as you change depth. If you are wearing a scuba diving wetsuit you will also become less buoyant as you descend. With these factors, the needed adjustments to your BC to maintain proper buoyancy are magnified.
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Be Patient and adjust buoyancy in small Increments

If you add or release air from your BCD, give it time to take effect. Its affect my not be instantaneously noticeable. Moreover If you don't give it a bit of time, you will have the tendency to over inflate (or deflate). Several seconds should be sufficient. Also, just give the BC a short shot (or release) of air. You do not want press it too hard too long and over inflate - or vice-versa.

Remember you only need to adjust your buoyancy usually for to reason.

#1 To compensate for the air as you use it. On Aluminium tanks this is normally around 100bar when the tanks half empty you'll begin to become lighter significantly, thus needing to release a small increment of air to rebalance.

#2 The Compensate for Depth Changes When you descent air compresses as you ascend it expands, so remember adjustment is required when you change depth.
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Empty Your BC

If you feel you are under weighted or floating up, always make sure your BC is empty of all air! More often than not air bubbles get trapped inside, the effect of which will be magnified as you ascend and the air expands.
How to get the last of the air out of your BC? Point your shoulders up and hold the inflator hose straight up while pressing the release button. Do a little wiggle and dance raising one shoulder up more on the left next to the inflator if you have to! and see if any air escapes. Otherwise try the head down approach. Hold the right side of your BC against your body and tilt a little to the right. Go upside down and pull the dump valve on the bottom back of your BC, releasing any air up and out behind you.
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Stay Horizontal In Trim

You should be horizontal in the water so your kicks propel you forward and not upward. You may have to adjust where your weights are to accomplish this. It is also a function of experience, so be patient. Remember your body position doesn't always match where your eyes are pointing, its the top of your head which points the position of your body.. point that first (so that initially you actually look straight down) they tilt your neck to look forward, not your whole upper body.
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Concentrate on Breath Control

Don't forget the air in your lungs. Do not hold your breath, that also includes breathing out fully - which you know already. Besides being dangerous, it will give you extra buoyancy. Eventually you will get to the point where you can ascend or descend a few feet solely by breathing in or out.

Perfect Buoyancy Control is achieved using breath control. Breath control is achieved by breathing, you control your breathing, therefore you and you alone are the key to your perfect buoyancy control. It sounds cryptic, but once you practice and learn how to inhale to stop yourself sinking and exhale to make yourself sink, it all clicks together.
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Dive, Dive and Dive Some More

Like all scuba diving skills, the more you practice them, the easier it will be. Once you get enough dives under your belt, relax under water and have experience with the weight you need, you will be diving without even giving scuba diving buoyancy a second thought

Putting It Together Like a Boss!

Be confident and believe in yourself and your training, if you haven't had good training, get some. Find an instructor who will take the time to explain, challange you and help you grow as a diver. When all is said and done you will get your weight and trim tuned in, you'll barely need to think about the fine-tuning of your BCD to compensate for the by now, very predictable changes due to breathing down your tank and changing depth. And as if by magic, you'll use only breath control to drop gently down to that nudibranch, hover inches above and lift away from it harmlessly without disturbing a single grain of sand. This should be your goal and finally you will feel like a true Scuba Jedi as the divemaster applauds you!
Buoyancy Control Tips Scuba Advice Dive Like a Boss

How Is Your Buoyancy Control?
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Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.