SCUBA DIVING BUOYANCY TIPS: BUOYANCY FACTORS
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  • 1. SCUBA DIVING BUOYANCY TIPS: BUOYANCY FACTORS What Factors Affect Buoyancy Control?Practicing Buoyancy Control on a PPB Dive1. Buoyancy and water salinity2. Scuba Gear and buoyancy control.3. Buoyancy control and air consumption4.Buoyancy control and physical condition5. Buoyancy control and Breathing6. Buoyancy control and Depth.7. Buoyancy Control and Multilevel Dives1. Buoyancy and water salinity:salt water consists of more particles and is denser, comparing to fresh water. More particles arepushing our body upwards. That means that when scuba diving in salt water we tend to floatmore in comparison to fresh water diving.Find out how much weight you need in fresh/salt water here.2. Scuba Gear and buoyancy control.Essentially every scuba item contributes to our buoyancy, as different volume and weight 1/4
  • 2. contribute to your ability to float or sink. There are three major contributors to our buoyancy:A. Exposure suit: skin rush, wet suit, or dry suit, their different length and thickness. The thickerand longer the wet suit you use, the more buoyant you get.B. Buoyancy Compensators (BCD) and their volume. Higher gear volume simply means morewater dispersed, and results in increased tendency to float.C. The amount of weights we carry. Estimating the weight amount needed for diving is animportant step in buoyancy control. When carrying extra weight we affect buoyancy in two ways:-We force our lower buddy downward as our upper buddy, supported by the inflated BCD,elevates. The outcome is increased drag and less efficient swimming technique.- By having to inflate our BCD to support our weight we increase the BCD’s drag too. That alsomeans that changes in depth will result in more dramatic changes in the BCD’s volume, as willbe discussed later.Find out how to estimate the weight you need for scuba diving here.3. Buoyancy control and air consumptionThe longer we dive the less air we have in our tanks. It’s hard to imagine, but our compressedair we carry can be quiet heavy. An emptied scuba tank can weigh about 2.5kg/5Lbs less than afull one. That means you’ll be more buoyant at the end of your dive.4. Buoyancy control and physical condition:We all have different physical aspects, contributing to our buoyancy differently. Fat tissues areconsidered more buoyant, and the bulkier we are the more water our buddy disperses. That’swhy heavy set divers need a lot of weight to drag them down.The previous four factors are handled before the dive. It’s all about getting ready for the dive,knowing your needs, getting familiar with your equipment. The last factor is the one that scubadivers struggle with the most, and it’s all done underwater:5. Buoyancy control and BreathingOnce you’ve estimated your weights, taking under considerations the previous factors, you’llneed to learn how to control you buoyancy underwater. As we’ll discuss this topic fully soon,lets just sum it up quickly now: Basically the more air you’re holding, either in your BCD, DrySuit or lungs – the more buoyant you become. 2/4
  • 3. Learn more about the effects of breathing on buoyancy control here6. Buoyancy control and Depth.Changes in depth affect our buoyancy in two ways:A. The deeper we are the more compressed the wetsuits we wear. Tiny bubbles in theNeoprene compress as we descend deeper making us less buoyant than at shallow water.Same thing happens to the air already trapped in your BCD. If you have air in the BCD’sbladder, remember you’ll need to vent it out as you ascend or add some more upon descent.This is why excessive weight carrying isn’t recommended when scuba diving; you’ll have toinflate your BCD in order to compensate on the increased weight and every change in depth willhave to result in change in BCD’s volume.7. Buoyancy Control and Multilevel Dives:Most dives we dive are multilevel dives, starting at the deepest depth with a full tank, we slowlywork our way up to the shallows towards the end of our dives. Problem with changing depths iswe also need to change air volume of the BCD. As we move to shallow water the waterpressure around us decreases. Air volume in our BCD increases in return, and our wetsuits, tosome extent become more buoyant. When ascending to shallow water we need to remember tovent out some of the air trapped in our BCD. This is crucial in shallow water where changes inpressure are more dramatic and every meter or a few feet can lead to significant changes in airvolume.When carrying extra load of weights, we are forced to inflate our BCD to stay neutrally buoyant.When ascending to shallow water we have more air than a properly weighed diver doestherefore have more adjustments needed to make. As mentioned before, being properlyweighed for scuba diving is a key element in pre dive buoyancy control preparation.Related search terms: buoyancy control buoyancy control in salt water shallow diving tips scuba dive weight comparison from salt water to fress water adjust inflate bcd while diving improving diving skills more or less weight for diving dry 3/4
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