Whether you are an experienced diver or you just started, you probably heard people talking about buoyancy control, right? Why? Buoyancy control is the most important skill in scuba diving. It improves your diving efficiency and makes your dive more fun and effortless. With good buoyancy control, you avoid touching the marine environment like kicking the coral and you don’t want that, do you?
When you go scuba diving here in Nusa Lembongan, you feel how buoyancy control can affect your dive since there can be a lot of currents around the island. At Scuba Center Asia we are more than welcome to give you some tips while diving! If you master your buoyancy control then your dive will be more fun and you will be easily drifting along with the coral of the dive sites in the North coast of Penida!
Tips to Improve Your Buoyancy Control While Scuba Diving
4 tips coming up to improve your buoyancy control in the water. Try them out! It might help you become a better and relaxed diver. We not promise it will increase your buoyancy right away while scuba diving, but these tips are definitely worth a try!
Buoyancy control tip: Use the right weights
Wearing the right amount of weight is the most important rule to achieve neutral buoyancy. Start the dive with the buoyancy check at the surface if you are not sure how much weights you need. This tip is especially of use if you dive in different environments and or if you use different types of equipment (use the rental equipment of the dive shop).
You might have heard that using less weights means you are more an experienced diver. You maybe think that when you see your own dive guide going down without weights. This is a big mistake! More importantly, please remember it does not matter how much weight you need. It is more important to wear the right amount of weights.
Buoyancy control tip: Use the Equipment Properly Especially your BCD
Your BCD does what it is designed to do: it controls your Buoyancy underwater. There are mainly two types of BCD’s most commonly used in scuba diving. It is called the “jacket style” or “the wing style”. The Jacket style is more regularly used in recreational scuba diving. The wing is more like a back-mount style. Doesn’t matter what style BCD you have or like, as long as you know how to use it.
Knowing your equipment plus having a good fit, helps you to achieve neutral buoyancy. If you have your own equipment, great! If you don’t have your own scuba equipment yet, or you just bought your own gear, please make sure you familiarize yourself with it first. Ask yourself, is it the correct BCD size? The more loose the BCD fits around your torso, the more direct impact it has on the flow of water while scuba diving. In this case the more movement you make, the more energy you use, hence the more impact on your buoyancy control.
If it is not your own BCD you use, so for example the shop gear of the dive center you are scuba diving with: Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the dive staff if you are not sure how the BCD works. They surely will be happy to help you. Or if you want to practice first in the pool ask for a ReActivate or Scuba Refresher.
Buoyancy control tip: Breathe normally and don’t stress out
The number one rule of scuba diving is to never hold your breath! Therefore, you need to breath continuously deep and slowly. Basically, how you breath here on land!
With scuba diving, your lungs can be used as a buoyancy compensator device for fine-tuning your buoyancy. (our golden tip we always say to our students is “your lung is your main BCD and you will have an extra device which is your actual BCD”) When you are neutrally buoyant you simply rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale without having to play with your BCD that much through the dives. If you do this and breath normally in a relaxed, continuously way your buoyancy control will be perfect. Again make sure that you never hold your breath since it can lead to lung over expansion injury!!
The dive sites around Nusa Lembongan and Penida are one of the most prettiest sloping coral walls of Asia. This also means there is not always something underneath you other than water or corals. This way it is very helpful to use your breathing instead of playing around with your BCD inflator hose.
Buoyancy control tip: Practice Practice Practice while scuba diving
As with any other sports, practice makes perfect. The best way to improve your buoyancy is just by diving more. Go scuba diving in different places and areas of the world. Go to areas where it is easy diving and go to places where the dive sites can be a bit more challenging. For example, diving around Nusa Lembongan and Penida can be sometimes a bit more challenging during milder to strong currents. At Scuba Center Asia we will pay always some attention to your buoyancy control. No matter if you are just a certified diver fun diving or a student doing a PADI course. We like to give you some practice tips while scuba diving.
In general, pay attention to the equipment you wear, the thickness of the wetsuit, type of water you are diving in, the size and style of the BCD and how much weight you need and use. Once finished with the dive trip, we strongly advice to log your dive and put that extra information in your logbook! Having this information will help a lot when you go scuba diving somewhere new. Keep in mind that while you are diving to keep analyzing your breathing pattern. Plus don’t forget, the more you do scuba dive; buoyancy becomes just second nature for you!
The best tip of all to make the learning curve even more efficient; at Scuba Center Asia Lembongan we offer many courses that can help you to improve your buoyancy while scuba diving. A very effective course is the Peak Performace Buoyancy Specialty. In this course your instructor will guide you throughout all the dives to master buoyancy control. In 2 dives plus a little bit of theory you will become a Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialist. It is a great way to learn since you will have an instructor who will guide and focus on your buoyancy control only!!
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