One of the greatest sensations in scuba diving is the feeling of weightlessness. Whether you are hovering off the bow of a wreck, or drifting along a coral reef, perfect buoyancy is a key part of diving safely and enjoyably.
Here are five diving tips from the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Diver course that could help you:
1) Weight check: during your PADI Open Water Diver course, you practised checking for proper weighting at the start of each dive – make sure you continue this practice! Carrying too much weight is a classic error that divers make. Doing so will not only affect your buoyancy, but also impact your gas consumption as you work harder to maintain your trim and lug that unnecessary lead around with you!
2) Know your fresh from your salt: if your diving environments include both inland sites such as lakes and quarries, and as coastal sea water destinations, you need to be sure to address this by adjusting your weights accordingly. You are going to need more weight in the salt water environment (if you can’t remember which way it goes, remember that the Dead Sea is where you float – and the sea is salty!). Don’t be lazy and keep your weights the same between both locations!
3) Keep track: use your logbook or ScubaEarth to record the amount of weight you use with different exposure suits – if you have a tropical holiday each year in a thinner suit, this allows you to check back on the weight you used last time and go straight to the right amount, without wasting time trying to remember what you use last year…
4) Don’t carry it all on your hips: many BCDs now have integrated weights and trim pockets for you to effectively locate weights around your equipment, whilst still being able to safely ditch them in an emergency. If you dive with a lot of lead, this can be much more comfortable, as well as helping ensure you have good trim in the water. Your PADI instructor can show you different options for weight systems.
5) Trim up: correct body positioning in the water not only helps your buoyancy, but also ensures your fin kicks and movement through the water is as efficient as possible. You should be moving through the water in a horizontal position – the more upright you are, the more resistance you will encounter and the harder you have to work (as well as meaning your fins are more likely to make contact with the sea bed reef below you)
The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy covers all these buoyancy tips and far more over the course of two dives and classroom sessions with your PADI Instructor – it’s an ideal way to work on your buoyancy whilst getting more diving experience under the guidance of a PADI Pro. Be sure to contact us to book onto a course and get that perfect buoyancy!