Buoyancy determines if an object floats or sinks. There are three types of buoyancy, which are positive, negative, and neutral buoyancy. Positive is when an object is lighter than the fluid, while negative is when the object is denser. Neutral Buoyancy is the state when the average density of an object equals the fluid it is immersed in. When you achieve neutral buoyancy in scuba diving, you balance with the gravity that would make you either sink or float. Buoyancy control is fundamental when it comes to scuba diving because it determines whether you add or let out air to avoid grazing the floor or hitting things underwater. It is challenging for most scuba divers, but not impossible, so we are going to share some tips that will help you feel weightless underwater.
Wear the Right Amount of Weight
How much you wear matters a lot when it comes to achieving neutral buoyancy. One of the major reasons why most divers struggle with this is because they don’t take enough time to gauge their weight. Most divers tend to wear more than necessarily they expect their BCD to do all the work. You must do a buoyancy check at the surface. This is done by having a full lung volume of air and and empty bcd. If you are at eye level, you are properly weighted. If the water is at neck level, you don’t have enough weight. If you sink immediately, with a full lung volume, you are over weighted Remove or add more weight until you achieve that eye level.
Avoid Adding Too Much Air
Another common mistake most divers make, especially beginners who are just starting out, is adding so much air all at once. If you need more air, try to add a little of it in short intervals. Too much air all at once will make you shoot to the surface so if you feel a negative buoyancy, add a little air to go up.
When you carry the right weight for neutral buoyancy, you won’t sink to the bottom once you get in the water. You’ll need to take yourself underwater until you reach the point where you are barely negative or feeling neutral. This will make it easy for you to descent at a slower pace and will allow your mask and ears to equalize.
Control Your Breath
You may not know this, but your lungs actually act as natural buoyancy compensators. If you need a minor adjustment, all you need to do is inhale and exhale. If for instance, you need to take a rest, you can exhale and lower down slowly to the bottom. With this in mind, you should learn to control your breath to keep from adjusting the BC.
Vent the BC Before You Ascend
Air expands as you go up, which makes a person more buoyant. This means that you need to vent air from the BC when you need to ascend. Vent as much air as you need so you can rise to the top. Being underwater is great and it makes you feel calm so once you achieve neutral buoyancy, you’ll enjoy it.
Achieve Neutral Buoyancy for Better Diving
If you can learn to master the tips above, achieving neutral buoyancy will be easier. You need to practice often and get everything right, but everything in due time. If you’d like to learn more about scuba diving, be sure to check out our website. We are always teaching students and doing local diving in our area. We are always holding scuba diving classes at Dutch Springs.