How to Use a Scuba BCD

Buoyancy control/compensator device, commonly known as scuba BCD is basically a vest with air pockets allowing us to add or subtract the amount of air inside them, thus allowing us to control our buoyancy in the water.

Using our Scuba BCD at the Surface.

Using our scuba BCD for descent

Achieving neutral buoyancy using the scuba BCD

Ascending safely using scuba BCD

Scuba BCD care and maintenance

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Using our Scuba BCD at the Surface.

Whenever on the surface, a scuba BCD should always be inflated, lifting our head above water level, allowing us to relax, and conserve energy, which makes a scuba BCD suitable for snorkeling too.

Using our scuba BCD for descent:

When we choose to be submerged we deflate our BCD up to the point we are negatively buoyant and we descend.

Using a Scuba BCD to Control the Descent and Ascent Rate
Using a Scuba BCD to Control the Descent and Ascent Rate

A recommended safe and easy way to use our scuba BCD for descent is to descent feet first, extend the scuba BCD deflator hose upward, and deflate the scuba BCD gradually, meaning after a short deflation, exhale, and check if you can descend. If still buoyant, repeat this method again.

Slowly deflating the scuba BCD helps controlling our descent rate, making it easier to equalize air spaces, avoid touching the bottom, and reaching neutral buoyancy easier

Achieving neutral buoyancy using the scuba BCD:

As we reach our desired depths we need to add enough air to compensate on the decrease buoyancy of our wet suit, and the increased water pressure. We want to make sure we don’t add too much air to our scuba BCD otherwise we can end up floating to the surface. Add a small amount of air, try to breath normally, while motionless and monitor depth changes. Change air volume on your scuba BCD according to changes of depth.

Bad Buoyancy- Not Using Your BCD Can Couse a Lot of Damage to the Environment
Bad Buoyancy- Example off Ill Used BCD

Ascending safely using scuba BCD:

When ascending we need to pay attention to our ascent rate. Controlling our ascent rate is easier when using our fins, rather than our scuba BCD as air trapped in the scuba BCD might expand and pull us to the surface faster than we planned. It is therefore recommended to extend the exhaust valve upwards, over our head and deflate our BCD whenever we feel it pulls us up. Monitoring speed rate is crucial and best-done using dive computers.

Scuba BCD care and maintenance:

Always rinse your scuba BCD with fresh water, even after diving in a swimming pool, as Chlorine and salt can ruin your scuba BCD easily over time.

Pay extra attention to the scuba BCDs valves. Make sure you run fresh water through each one of them.

Scuba BCDs tend to have some water in them after diving, so it’s likely you’ll have salt/Chlorine water in your scuba BCD:

1.Inflate your scuba BCD, hold it down so the deflater hose faces downwards and deflate it, allowing all the water to exit your scuba BCD.

2. Hold the deflater button while pouring fresh water into the deflater hose. Fill your scuba BCD with fresh water, and inflate it again. Shake your scuba BCD a few times, allowing fresh water to clean the interior properly.

3. Repeat step 1, then partially inflate your scuba BCD and hang it dry in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Find More useful Dive Equipment Tips Here

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  1. I am impressed with the quality and value of this product. My wife and I had a great time snorkeling in Mexico. I look forward to using it again. I should really get some fins to go with it. The mask fit me well. I was skeptical about the dry snorkel at first, but it worked great. It doesn’t come with any carrying case or mesh bag.

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