Nailing Buoyancy Control Dramatically Increases your Enjoyment of Scuba Diving
Some divers get diving immediately but not all. Students who are strong swimmers and confident in water tend to find the course easy and a whole lot of fun giving them the opportunity to experiment and really get hold of buoyancy during the PADI Open Water Course but poor swimming technique and nervous heavy breathing can make buoyancy a very difficult skill to master. You may well be passed as safe diver but it could take a bit of time to become completely relaxed and confident.
Relax And Don’t Be Afraid To Say Stop!
Strange as it sounds, good practice for buoyancy control starts before the dive. Make sure you kit up well beforehand, give yourself a chance to complete an unhurried buddy check and make sure you understand the dive briefing. Rushing around or being confused before the dive can raise your heart rate and therefore breathing making a descent a lot harder than it should be, if you feel you’re breathing getting deeper then ask your guide/instructor to stop or slow down.
If you have a long swim to the decent point then again stop and relax, get your breathing under control before you descend. Many new divers carry too much weight simply because of heavy breathing on the surface, being overweighted makes buoyancy control extremely difficult for new divers but is a very common issue.
Keep It Simple
You will see divers who have a ridiculous amount of accessories, most of which they have no idea what to do with. Avoid the Christmas tree look for a while and keep it simple, slowly build up your extras and make sure they’re actually useful.
Avoid using cameras until you’re really competent, we go into that in more detail in our photography tips section which you read here – getting started with photography
Buoyancy Check & Log It
You should have been shown and asked to carry out numerous buoyancy checks at the surface during your PADI Open Water Course, if you can’t remember how to do it then ask your guide or instructor to refresh you. You should run through this procedure any time you change equipment or if you haven’t dived for a long time and then make sure you log it.
You’ll then very quickly build up a reference for how many weights you need in various diving situations and be able to quickly and confidently set yourself up for a dive which can help alleviate some unnecessary anxiety and relax you a little quicker.
Do Your Research And Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
There will be dive sites that require a quick decent or even a negative entry, if you feel you need time on the surface then avoid this type of dive for a while. Ask your dive centre or dive master well in advance about the different dive sites and plan your trip accordingly.
Be Patient And Stick With It
It may take you 10 or 20 dives before you really master buoyancy, don’t worry you won’t be alone. Be patient, when you finally nail buoyancy you really get to enjoy diving and concentrate on taking in the wonderful world under the waves rather than being worried about were you are in the water and the more relaxed you are the less air you’ll use so the more time you’ll get. Taking the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty will be a great help to quickly get you on track.
Of our day trip tours, Racha Noi/Yai and Phi Phi/Shark Point will not require a fast descent in normal conditions but things can get a little hurried and hectic on the King Cruiser dive.
Get in touch with our experienced staff to talk about any issues you have and let us solve them and ultimately make diving the wonderful hobby that is is.
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