5 POINT BUOYANCY CHECK TUTORIAL

5 POINT BUOYANCY CHECK- OPTIMIZE WEIGHT CARRIAGE

Bad Buoyancy

Buoyancy checks are important steps in scuba diving, allowing us to minimize weight carriage helping us saving effort and energy, minimizing environment and equipment damage and generally recommended for safer more

pleasant dive experience.

When should I complete a buoyancy check?

How to perform a buoyancy check

Buoyancy check skill tutorial video

Buoyancy check tips and trick

When should I perform a buoyancy check?

There’s no need to perform a Buoyancy Check every dive, as the various elements affecting your buoyancy rarely change. Here’s when a Buoyancy Check is highly recommended:

1. Diving with a new scuba diving gear-Every item of scuba gear affects our buoyancy to some extent. The main contributors to our buoyancy are our exposure suits – wet suits, dry suits, BCD’s and to a lesser extent our fins. Whenever you rent equipment or change one of these items, it’s advisable to perform a buoyancy check.

2. Water Salinity– moving from fresh water as in diving in lakes, pools, or quarries to diving at sea makes a huge difference on our buoyancy. We’ll need more weights on salt water diving. You should roughly need 1.3 times more weights, diving is salt water. See complete guide to pre-dive weight estimation here

3. If you haven’t been diving for a while and you physical conditions might have changed, for example perhaps you’ve gained a little beer belly? Or lets be optimistic and say you’ve lost some weight, it’s time to perform a quick buoyancy check prior to your dives.

How to perform a proper 5 point buoyancy check:

Before starting the skill estimate the amount of weights you need. Find out how to estimate weights for scuba here.

1. Enter the water fully equipped.

It’s important to be fully kitted for that check, as each item contributes somewhat to our buoyancy.

2. At water to deep to stand in, empty your BCD fully.

Emptying a BCD fully simulates the last minutes of the dive; we shouldn’t need to have any air in our BCD when in shallow water. That makes our safety stop easier and safer to perform.

3. Hold a normal breath, stay vertical and motionless

That’s the only time when scuba diving, you’re asked to hold you breathe, and as it’s done at the surface there’s no problem with it. As you may submerge, keep the scuba regulator in your mouth.

4. Add/subtract weight till you float at eye level following steps 1-3

5. Exhale and you should be able to slowly sink. When proper weight estimation is achieved, you should be able to sink slowly when you exhale that normal breathe of air you kept in your lungs. When you inhale again, the accumulating force of water pressure above you should keep you underwater.


Buoyancy Check Tips

Remember. Due to our air consumption our cylinders weigh 5lbs/2kgs less at the end of the dive. Add those extra weights prior to diving in order to be able to complete a safe and comfortable safety stop at the end of your dive. If you’re not too sure about it, you can always complete the buoyancy check with an empty scuba tank (around 50 bar/500psi.

Some divers find it a bit difficult to dive with the proper amount of weights at the beginning, especially at shallow water. If you find it hard, reduce the weights amount gradually. You can also check with your scuba instructor or Divemaster if they carry extra weights with them as dive professionals tend to do so for that particular reason.

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Buoyancy Check Tips

Remember. Due to our air consumption our cylinders weigh 5lbs/2kgs less at the end of the dive. Add those extra weights prior to diving in order to be able to complete a safe and comfortable safety stop at the end of your dive. If you’re not too sure about it, you can always complete the buoyancy check with an empty scuba tank (around 50 bar/500psi.

Some divers find it a bit difficult to dive with the proper amount of weights at the beginning, especially at shallow water. If you find it hard, reduce the weights amount gradually. You can also check with your scuba instructor or Divemaster if they carry extra weights with them as dive professionals tend to do so for that particular reason.

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