Once you achieve buoyancy control as a diver, you’ll have a lot more freedom beneath the waves to enjoy your dive to the fullest.
It’ll allow you to take gorgeous underwater photos and videos while moving efficiently through the water without touching any of the delicate marine life you’re observing.
And you’ll reduce your consumption of much-needed air and dramatically reduce the risks of accidents, injuries, and emergencies under water.
If you need help achieving proper buoyancy, continue reading to learn more.
Factors That Affect Buoyancy Control
The following six factors will have an effect on your buoyancy:
- How much your BCD is inflated
- How much lead you’re wearing
- Your exposure suit
- Your breath control
- Your depth
- Your trim
Always Weight Yourself Appropriately
The most common cause of having difficulty with buoyancy, especially for new divers, is the inability to properly weight oneself. Many dive instructors will over-weight new divers in an effort to prevent accidents and give divers the ability to stay underwater and ascend, when ready, with more control.
And these same divers are then reluctant to change the way they weigh themselves for fear of their safety. To compensate, they’ll add air to the BCD, but this results in increased drag.
As you move further down into the water, the varying depths cause the air within the BCD to contract and expand, and this requires constant readjustment on the part of the diver.
To achieve the lowest possible amount of BCD inflation, head beneath the waves with the least amount of necessary weight. Find that minimum, and you’ll be able to achieve buoyancy control more effectively.
Boyle’s Law is one of the laws of physics that applies to diving. This law states that the number will be the same when you multiply the volume of gas by the pressure that surrounds the gas.
In other words, when the surrounding pressure goes up, the gas volume goes down, and vice versa. So this means the volume of air in your exposure suit, BCD, lungs, or cylinder will drop as you descend and as the water pressure rises.
On the other hand, it’ll go up as you ascend and as the water pressure goes down. As a result, your breath control and equipment will directly affect your buoyancy.
The only problem is that this law applies when the temperature is constant. If the temperature of a gas were to go up or down, Boyle’s Law can’t be applied.
Perfect the Way You Position Your Body
Your body position, which is known as your trim, also affects your buoyancy control. For example, if you’re unable to align your fins horizontally with the rest of your body, your kicks will move you down or up instead of forward. You’ll end up compensating by dumping or adding air from the BCD. This, in turn, will ruin the balance required when it comes to achieving neutral buoyancy.
First, get neutral buoyancy. Then move your body horizontally, stretching your legs back. Make sure your legs don’t float or sink by correcting the positioning of the weights.
As excessive weight set around the waist will only serve to drag the hips further down, and weights that aren’t spaced evenly will also pull you towards one side.
Both of these situations will prevent you from streamlining yourself and moving efficiently and effortlessly through the water.
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This article is published by The Scuba Page, the online magazine for Scuba Dive lovers around the world. The Scuba Page is part of RUSHKULT : the online booking platform for adventure sports. Visit the RUSHKULT platform to book your next Scuba Dive training, guided trip and accommodation.