SCUBA Diving Buoyancy Control Buoyancy Control Skills The Importance of Buoyancy Control!
|"No Performance Requirement in SCUBA Diving is more poorly defined or less often achieved than__Buoyancy Control."|
SCUBA Diving DO'S & DON'TS
THERE ARE MANY "HOW TO LISTS" ABOUT SCUBA DIVING........SOME LISTS ARE NUMBERED OR INDEXED
THIS LIST: is not copied from a book or someone else's list. This list is original and unique to: BuoyancyQuest.
DO SEEK TRAINING: Remember that "certification" is a tool that "the status quo" needs in order to maintain their control of the activity and to keep government interference out of the Sport of Recreational SCUBA Diving. You need a C-Card in order to use rental gear and to get on a dive charter boat. Some fill stations require a C-Card to fill tanks.
Learning to dive is more important than just acquiring a C-Card. Finding a good instructor is more important than finding the Right Dive Shop or the Biggest or Best Training Agency. Make sure that the instructor that you choose looks [ underwater ] like the diver that you want to become. Don't choose an instructor because of how they look on paper or plastic.
IF your goal is to learn to CAVE DIVE you should select the best Cave Diving Instructor that you can find.
Why would the safety of "open water divers" be less important than the safety of cave divers???
DO DEVELOP A REAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE PHYSICS & PHYSIOLOGY: We inhabit the first atmosphere of our planet. The gas atmosphere. The 14.7 PSI at sea level atmosphere. Because a gas is compressible, the pressure , at any given altitude, is not precisely predictable. Pico de Orizaba is a tall volcano in Mexico. At about 18,000 feet it is the 3rd tallest mountain in North America. The PSI atop that mountain is [ about ] one half that of sea level.
When we dive we enter a liquid environment and we enter the first of many atmospheres where the PSI is predictable because fluids are not compressible. The 2nd atmosphere ends at a depth of about 32'/33' [ remember: we live in the "first atmosphere" ] . When a diver ascends from 16' to the surface he experiences a change of ambient pressure....a loss of one half of one atmosphere OR one third of the one and one half atmospheres that marked his deepest point [ because 16' is half the depth of the 2nd atmosphere ] . In order to experience a change of one half of one atmosphere in the gas atmosphere [ where we live ] it would be necessary to travel from sea level to the summit of Orizaba.
SCUBA Diving: truly is an activity that takes place in an unfamiliar and "alien world"!
DO RESPECT BOTH THE UNDERWATER WORLD AND THE DEPTH GUIDELINES: We're just visiting! We're not under water to "take stuff" or to "break stuff"....at least, we shouldn't be. Remember: the things that get destroyed, may not be impressed by our tall talk and the dive credentials that are in our pockets. When divers fail to command good fundamental skills, the damage that they cause, remains as a monument to substandard buoyancy skills and/or carelessness.click here
The 130' recreational depth limit is not about sea monsters or narcosis [ even though narcosis may have even begun already at 100' ]. 130' [5 atmospheres] is where the partial pressure of the oxygen in the air that we are breathing is, more or less, equal to breathing 100% O2 at the surface. Breathing high percentages of oxygen at depth can be dangerous....
This is also the reason that EAN...Nitrox is: "NOT A DEEP DIVING GAS!".
Repeating what we stated above: learn more about diving physics and physiology.
DO LEARN FUNDAMENTALS FIRST: SCUBA is an equipment intensive activity. The local dive shops, who do most of the training also sell gear. These retailers make it easy for students to focus more on the tangibles [ that they sell ] and less on motor skills. The emphasis of instructor training tends to be on "salesmanship" because the focus of "the status quo" is on creating customers....NOT DIVERS! When you see your instructor on the sales floor of your local dive shop....you are probably seeing him/her at their best. The emphasis of almost all SCUBA Training is on equipment.... Shouldn't it be on skills?
In the terrestrial world we first learn to crawl then to walk and finally to run. Skiing, skating and bicycle riding build upon that foundation.
NOT SO IN SCUBA....where there are legions of Instructors, tech divers and public safety divers who never touch "first base". They never learn buoyancy control, streamlining and a proper kick. They never learn diving fundamentals. That's like trying to ride a unicycle before you have learned to crawl. They become "over equipped" but "under skilled" divers....and they share that example with others.
DO PRACTICE WITHOUT A MASK: We believe that along with fundamental skills, learning to be comfortable without a mask ranks very high on a competent diver's to do list.
As open water instructors we introduce our students to 18 to 20 skills. When we are learning to be instructors equal attention is placed on all of these skills. Keep in mind that the majority of instructor training is about selling, BUT whenever time is allowed to apply to actual skills training, it "USUALLY", gets distributed [ "MORE OR LESS" ] equally.
WHEN an instructor sees his/her first "real students" underwater and begins to mentor "real people", it soon becomes apparent that any skill that requires flooding or removal of the mask requires much more attention than any or even all of the other tasks.
New instructors learn, right away, "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MASK!"Many divers removed their mask for the last time [ underwater ] on the day that they were certified as beginners.
There is little or no documentation to support the possibility that a lack of comfort level with this skill has ever led to panic followed by a serious accident. Given the number of divers who are totally dependent on their masks, it ts difficult to imagine that this has never been a problem. We believe the idea of gaining a more realistic level of comfort, without a mask, has merit!.
A dive professional, however, who is unable to cope with a no mask event is professional in name only and it does not require a giant leap in order to realize that such a dive leader would not be able to remain in control of the divers for whom he/she was responsible . This would be unacceptable by any measurement.
EVERY DIVER should have the confidence to know that they can function without a mask, with or without assistance.
DON'T SCULL WITH YOUR HANDS: There's "NO SCULLING in SCUBA". The best advice we can offer, if you want to improve your Buoyancy Control, is "subtract your hands". You seldom hear this advice because there are just too many divers and instructors who can not put that into practice 100% of the time. IF your instructor knows he/she is likely to get caught sculling during confined water training, they will be unlikely to mention "no hands diving " in the classroom, much less, stress it as a goal.
SCULLING: is a benchmark in SCUBA. It betrays divers who have substandard fundamental skills.
DON'T HAVE DANGLIES & HOSE HALOS: If someone took a photo of you underwater and printed it as a silhouette, would there be any appendages or holes in that image?
Dangling gear and giant loops of hose are a feature of nearly every dive magazine photo ever. "DON'T LOOK LIKE A DIVE MAGAZINE DIVER!" Hanging consoles and octopus 2nd stages are the trademark of a "sloppy" substandard diver.
Some danglies even include the fancy retractors that were promoted and sold to contain them.
Hose halos can increase a diver's girth by 50% or more. Divers should be horizontal and streamlined [ like most fish ].
DON'T WEAR GLOVES WHILE WARM WATER DIVING: Just wear a sign that says "My buoyancy control sucks!". Wear gloves or mitts, if you need to keep your hands warm in cold water. Wearing gloves in most marine parks, around the world, is not a cool thing to do even if you did see it depicted in a promotional video by the largest dive training entity on the planet.
DON'T EXPECT YOUR EQUIPMENT TO MAKE YOU INTO A BETTER DIVER:Collecting "state of the art" gear and collecting C-Cards rather than perfecting motor skills is the most common mistake in SCUBA Diving. Equipment is the distraction that retards skill development. Follow the money! Remember: dive shops don't exist to teach divers. They exist to train customers who can meet "the minimum performance requirements" for diving....and then buy stuff. Becoming a diver is your responsibility!
DON'T GET CAUGHT PRETENDING TO BE MORE OF A DIVER THAN YOU ARE: Ask yourself if you look as good underwater as you look on paper or plastic or ask yourself if you look like the diver that anyone else would want to be. Getting caught could be embarrassing....or it could be much worse.
"NO LOOSE TANK STRAPS"
"NO HOSE HALOS!"
WHO REALLY WANTS TO LEARN
" Buoyancy Control SKILLS?"
Most divers are in such a hurry to collect c-cards and to buy fancy dive gear and to score bragging rights that they allow the proverbial cart to get in front of the horse.
Make no mistake....
SCUBA Diving is an EGO Sport!
SO FAR....fundamentals such as Buoyancy Control have managed to not become an "ego trip" or attract very much attention from most of the diving community. Perceived STATUS is more important than actual competence with fundamental skills.
WE "ONLY" MENTOR FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS.
We "pull no punches & take no prisoners".
IF you have nothing to learn....we can't help you!
We don't care who is the best....as long as everyone
GETS BETTER AT FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
Buoyancy Control Skills
are something that must be EARNED!
than just a tourist with a C-CARD in your pocket!
PERFECT YOUR FUNDAMENTAL DIVE SKILLS...."FIRST"!
BECAUSE: there's no such thing as buoyancy control skills that are "GOOD ENOUGH"
TRAFFIC IN PP SKILLS OR ANY OTHER "MICKEY MOUSE" BUOYANCY CONTROL
We mentor the kind of buoyancy and the kind of kick that you need to have on the first day of your Cave Diver Training*
* the kind of buoyancy skills that many or most **** open water instructors do not have on that day.
of people who say your buoyancy control will improve [ like magic ] if you
just dive more.
Ask them if that's how they did it....THEN watch their hands when you see them "UNDERWATER!"
Likewise: be suspicious of anyone who tells you that "the old timers" knew all about using their breathing to perfect their buoyancy skills before the invention of the BCD.
We know quite a few divers who fit that "OT" moniker and that's not true of any of them. If there were any, "old timers", who had good buoyancy, they didn't make it in movies or TV either. Take some time to hunt down some of that old footage and you may discover why there were no good examples of buoyancy control to inspire the divers who, founded "the dive business". The people who taught today's current batch, to follow their example.
PERFECT YOUR BUOYANCY SKILLS BUT HAVE NO PLANS TO EVER GO CAVE
....you'll still be an open water diver "with tech diver quality" fundamental dive skills.
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