As a diver, one of the feelings I most enjoy when I am underwater is the sense of complete weightlessness when exploring. The ability to ascend slightly to negotiate a fan coral in the Red Sea or control buoyancy finely so as to navigate through a wreck at Stoney Cove, is a skill practiced (often without even realising) after a diver’s very first time in the water.
For me, buoyancy shouldn’t be something that divers do once they have stopped everything else and decide to ‘do buoyancy’. It is an integral part of what diving actually is and buoyancy soon becomes a set of very small subconscious adjustments that we make throughout our dive. After a little bit of practice, whether that be in a swimming pool, freshwater lake in a dry suit or the glorious climes of Egypt in the sun and a short wetsuit, we stop thinking about inflating our BCD, deflating our BCD, swimming up, then down and we make small adjustments and tweaks without evening thinking. This allows us to concentrate more on what’s around us, instead of thinking about all the changes and adjustments we must make, taking full advantage of actually being underwater! Surely this is why we became divers!
Being perfectly weighted achieves a lot more than just saving the time looking for the 1 and 2kg blocks! I truly believe it allows a diver more freedom in the water, not even mentioning the other benefits of comfort, better air consumption and efficiency while swimming.
For divers who want some hints and tips about techniques for improving their buoyancy, we offer the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Course. We teach you about adjusting your trim in the water, determining the amount of weight you will need when wearing different exposure suits, hovering in different positions and other general tips for making your diving more enjoyable.
With a bit of practice, ‘doing neutral buoyancy’ will become a natural part of your diving; no different than us not thinking before every single breath to actually breath in!