FIN PIVOT TIPS AND TRICKS
The first buoyancy control skill normally taught by Scuba Instructors is the Fin Pivot skill. It’s easy, fundamental and introduces concepts such as Negative Buoyancy, Neutral Buoyancy and Positive Buoyancy and achieving them changing our breathing pattern.
What is Fin Pivot?
Fin pivot is a simple buoyancy control skill where a scuba diver lays on the bottom, and elevates his/hers torso simply by controlling his/hers breathing. In a way, Fin Pivot is very similar to push ups, replacing our arms with the power of our lungs.
Why Fin Pivot?
The goal of performing a proper fin pivot is to illustrate the effect our lungs’ volume has on our buoyancy. Buy understanding how to breathe right we can later, while diving, get closer or away from, critters and objects without needing to move our limbs. Proper breathing technique is essential for us in order to save energy, dive longer and avoid damage to the reef, marine life, or us and our scuba gear.
Where to practice Fin Pivot?
How to perform a Fin Pivot?
1. Fully deflate your BCD.
2. Lay down on the bottom, facing down. Spread you legs and keep the knees straight. Some female divers may struggle with keeping their ankles down due to excessively buoyant ankles. If you’re one, consider the use of ankle weights, or ask for an assistant, and someone should support your ankles during the skill.
3. Avoid using your arms. Remember, we only use our breath for elevation.
4. Inhale slowly and deeply. Full lungs are more buoyant. If weigh properly, you should elevate your torso a bit. If you’re still not moving move to the next step:
5. Exhale fully and slowly. With nearly empty lungs very gently add some air to the BCD. If you inflate the BCD to much you risk in ascending to the surface.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 until you start elevating after full inhalation. On a slow deep inhalation you ascend, while when slowly exhaling you should slowly descend and touch the bottom. That’s it. You’re good to go.
The amount of air in your BCD is what you need for neutral buoyancy on that specific depth. (You can add a tiny bit of air to compensate on the fin tips touching the bottom)
Fin pivot oral inflation
The technique for Oral inflation fin pivot is very similar to the Power Inflator Fin Pivot. The difference is that instead of using the inflator button, you’ll use your lungs to inflate your BCD.
Why Oral inflation fin pivot?
In a very unlikely event you experience equipment failure you want to be able to complete the dive without having to abort it. On rare occasions, an inflator button might get stuck, due to sand trapped inside or poor maintenance, which may lead to a “self inflating BCD”. This may be quite serious as you’ll be forced to the surface. Don’t worry, this rarely happens and easily treated. Simply disconnect the quick connection hose and deflate your BCD. It would be a good idea to practice this technique a few times at the surface. Alternatively, you may simply want to use air leaving your lungs when breathing to inflate your BCD.
How to perform an oral inflation fin pivot?
As mentioned earlier; practice disconnecting the inflator hose on land. You should practice oral inflation too. Simply take a deep breath, and blow air to your inflator’s mouth piece, perfectly sealing it with your lips. Make sure to press the inflator button to allow air to flow into your BCD and release it as soon as you’re done. When underwater, the skills are done exactly the same, with the exception of the inflation technique.
Fin Pivot Tips:
1. Deep fast inhalation, followed by slow exhalation lets you descend.
2. Rapid exhalation followed by slow inhalation lifts you up.
3. Avoid using your limbs. If you do so, you’re doing something wrong.
Fine tune you buoyancy control by joining a peak performance buoyancy course or and Advance Open Water Diver Course
HAVE FUN AND SAFE DIVING KNOWS-DIVE TEAM