Buoyancy is every diver’s all-in-all. Improving your buoyancy is to make you diving more comfortable and enjoyable. You will dive longer by saving air and cut back on destroyed corals.
So, let us discuss some simple things that will help improve your neutral buoyancy.
Your buoyancy depends on six factors: your body composition, saltiness of water, what you have on you, your weights, how you manage your buoyancy control device and how you can breathe.
Let us start off.
- The more muscular your body the denser it is. Therefore its buoyancy is less, that is a little negative. Take it into account when you pick weights.
- Salty water is denser that plain water. Therefore you need heavier weights for salty water.
- The colder the water is the thicker wetsuit you need and the weights you should use. Don’t forget the helmet, gloves, thermal base layer, etc.
- What weights do you need when you dive? Examine it at every location with every particular set of equipment during your check dive. Here is the rule. On the surface divers with deflated BCD should sink to the eye level. But most of the beginner pros are usually overloaded and have trouble with neutral buoyancy, consume air faster and diminish enjoyment of their diving. In many cases proficiency in selecting weights comes with experience. At your check dive pick the right ballast by adding or reducing 400 gram weights. Your goal is to achieve neutral buoyancy at the safety stop depth (approximately 4.5 meters or 15 feet).
- Log the weights that you used at a certain location and your equipment (wetsuit, gloves, helmet, etc). This will help you select the right weights next time. It is really handy.
- And now on BCD. Practice does magic. Do not rush to inflate, deflate or press buttons. Feel the system’s inertia, make corrections by small portions, allow the system to do its work. Be patient. Otherwise, reaching neutral buoyancy you will take more efforts and air.
- Deflating or inflating your BCD you perform a coarse correction of buoyancy. Fine correction is done through breathing. Easy deep and relaxed breath is vitally important in controlling buoyancy.