Objective: Using your BCD (and drysuit if worn) and breath control, hover neutrally buoyant in the water for 30 seconds with minimal arm and leg movement.
Value: Neutral buoyancy is the singular most important skill you can learn as a diver. Having good buoyancy will save you energy, streamline you, protect the environment, and protect your equipment. Once mastered, it is one of the most enjoyable diving skills since it will give you complete interaction with the underwater world.
How It’s Done: Some people think that buoyancy control is the most difficult skill to master. However, by following a few simple steps, you can easily achieve neutral buoyancy while also maintaining trim. While actually diving, hovering while in a standing or sitting position is unrealistic.
- Empty all the air from your BCD.
- Lie face down on the bottom.
- Add small amounts of air to your BCD until taking a full breath of air lifts your chest off the bottom. When you exhale, you’ll descend because your lung volume is reduced.
- Add a little more air to the BCD, and lift completely off the bottom. Then reduce the size of breaths you take, thus reducing the movement in the water column, and hover.
- If needed, adjust the position of the weights and cylinder to achieve trim while hovering.
- Practice hovering with and without fins.