One of the most alluring things about scuba diving is that you can float. Up, down, left, right. In whichever direction your heart wants to go! If you can imagine it, you can do it. It’s like having a super power.
As long as you have control of your buoyancy.
If you lack buoyancy control, diving can be inconvenient and embarrassing at the least, while quite dangerous at its worst. Not only dangerous for you, but also for the natural aquatic environment which you are diving in. Several factors can contribute to a divers ability to control their buoyancy. Reasons such as body positioning, exposure suit type, the amount of weight you are wearing, depth and most importantly, how you control your breathing.
Although a crucial underwater skill, buoyancy control truly begins at the surface. Gear up and enter the water wearing your usual amount of weight or the amount suggested by your instructor. Don’t forget to ask your buddy how much weight they are taking down with them. (In theory, the amount they are taking could help you to calculate your own weight, if you are unsure.) Inflate your BCD. Float upright on the surface with your head above the water and release the air from your BC as you take a deep breath from your regulator. If you sink below the surface, you’re over weighted. It’s valuable to log your weight adjustments along with exposure suit changes.
“Slow, steady, deep breaths.“
How you are breathing underwater strongly influences your buoyancy. Many new divers find they’ve been holding their breath and must learn to how to dispense all of the air from their lungs in order to reduce the amount of weight they are using.
Buoyancy perfection enhances your safety, reduces exhaustion, and makes the diving experience more pleasurable.
In addition to the aforementioned considerations and techniques, Columbus Scuba offers a Peak Performance Buoyancy course that gives divers a chance to work with a professional for a better grasp on their weighting and buoyancy concepts understanding. It can take months as an individual to figure out what the instructors can iron out with you in a weekend.
In closing, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of having your buoyancy under wraps. If you want to be the best diver you can be, make a mental note to spend some extra time properly weighting yourself, and using lung control to hover in front of objects, just above platforms, or even through the tires at your favorite dive park. Peak performance buoyancy is an extremely rewarding SCUBA skill- you will thank yourself later for the extra practice!