The secrets of neutral buoyancy
One of the most amazing moments in my life was my first scuba diving experience during my PADI Open Water Diver course – I was hooked from the first moment on and ever since this impression has never changed.
As a beginner diver I had a hard time controlling myself underwater though and I envied and admired my instructor, how he would just glide gracefully and totally streamlined with minimal moves through the water just like a whale shark, while I felt like a bug lying on its back wriggling with all fours in the air.
To master buoyancy it all comes to two basic steps – relax and breathe – and consider expanding air in your BCD and other air spaces while ascending.
Here are a few advises on how to improve your buoyancy:
- Always dive with the correct amount of weights. When diving here in Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand you won’t need as much weights as in many other places of the world, since the sea contains less salt. Using an aluminum tank count 5 % of your body weight and add 2 kg for the extra buoyancy your tank will have when it gets to 50 bar.
- Always descent feeling at ease, not being overexerted and out of breath after a swim against some current at the surface. Take a moment to relax and get your breathing under control.
- Once reaching your desired depth, add as much air to your BCD as you need to reach neutral buoyancy. Put yourself in a streamlined position, keep your arms close to your body and move your fins in an effective way with the main motion coming from your hips.
- The fine-tuning of buoyancy control is now done by breathing – inhale a bit deeper, so you will slightly rise and with a deep exhalation, you’ll sink – just as you have practised in your PADI Open Water Divercourse during some skills such as fin pivoting.
- If you want to stay at the same depth level you need to breathe a bit shallower– just as you did during the hovering skill in your PADI Open Water Diver course.
- The very best option to work on your expertise regarding buoyancy control is enrolling in the PADI Peak Perfomance Buoyancy Specialty course, which entails two dives focus on nothing but buoyancy control. You certainly can join this great and fun course with us at Easy Divers here on Koh Samui.