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Bouyancy Issues
David_A - 9/06/2017 6:35 PM
Category: Training
Replies: 10

I have about 30 dives under my belt. I have an AOW and 3 certifications.

I dive in a drysuit/aluminum tanks in cold water (Long Island Sound and Dutch Springs).

I am still having problems with Buoyancy (22 pounds). I am a little concerned that I have not been able to drop the weight. Some of the divers at Dutch Springs have dropped the weight from 30lbs down to 8-12 pounds.

Any suggestions or tips?
JohnDiver123 - 9/06/2017 6:46 PM
Keep diving. I have over 75 dives and still done have it down. Using a drysuit now which has really made it a mess. I think bouyancy is something that takes a lot of time to master. Are you using 22 lbs at Dutch or in open salt water?

Just keep diving. You will get it.
JohnDiver123 - 9/06/2017 6:47 PM
Just re read your post. 22lbs in a drysuit at Dutch isn’t bad. Would find it hard to believe anyone other than very experienced divers are diving 8-12 lbs in a drysuit. Wetsuit yes.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/07/2017 8:26 AM
It took my daughter 30 dives to get comfortable and she wasn’t using a drysuit.

You’re also diving Dutch which can be limited viz and without visual reference points divers go up and down. I’ve even seen instructors with issues when they go to the Caribbean and realize how bad their bouyancy is and now everyone can see them :(

Once you get trim in Dutch you may do some other local dives in salt water and the process starts all over, shallow dives need more lead but how much? Every dive is a learning experience.
Resqdivemedic - 9/07/2017 8:56 AM
Just keep trying and tweeking until you get it. I was well over 50 dives before I got it down. The other thing to remember is to log each dive, especially weight and type/thickness of the suit. Once you get your buoyancy set your log will be the reminder if you forget.
Eric_R - 9/07/2017 12:59 PM
Keep diving and use a diverse profile. Following along a drop off helps visually with developing your bouyancy.
JohnDiver123 - 9/07/2017 4:12 PM
Where in the sound are you diving? I’m in the Bronx. Maybe we can do some dives.
David_A - 9/08/2017 3:56 PM
Hi John,

I go diving in Long Island with Danny Rivera of Good Life Divers. Look him up! He is a great instructor and let him know I sent you!
Agojo - 9/13/2017 8:11 AM
Until I started serious cardio swimming and did 200+ dives in a year did I get VERY comfortable and and drop most weight. Wetsuits and drysuits adds difficulty in getting perfectly weighted. I remember the day/dive I was in 81 degree salt water, dive skin, no weights, let all the air out of my BC, did a 100’ dive and never put air in my BC until back on the surface. I was using a 6lb backplate and wing. It’s about heart rate (lower heart rate, lower air consumption), comfort in the water, and dive skills knowledge and practice.
David_A - 9/13/2017 8:28 PM
Hi Jimmy,

Thank you! It seems the right answer is to go diving!
MDW - 10/30/2017 6:19 PM
That 22lb may very well be part of the problem, rather than the solution. If you are overweighted, and with 22 lb you probably are, you have to put more air into the suit and/or wing than you should have to if properly weighted. Therefore, when you go up or down just a few feet, there is a larger than necessary mass of air changing volume that needs to be constantly adjusted.

Next time you are at Dutch, try this. Put on your BP/wing, Drysuit, etc. with FULL tanks and NO lead weights. Grab some loose weights and carry them down to the dock with you. EMPTY your wing, and burp out as much air as you can from your drysuit. This will get you as negative as humanly possible without weights. Now just lay down on the dock platform (that’s right, in 4 to 5 feet of water). Exhale completely (with regulator in your mouth, of course) and see if you sink to the deck (believe it or not, you might). If not, add weight just 2 lb at a time until you can sink. Once you are able to sink those first 3 or 4 feet naturally, you have a baseline. Now, calculate how much to add for when your tanks near empty at the end of a dive. For double 80s, that’s about 6 or 8 lb depending on how low you define as "empty" for your tanks. (If you were able to sink with no weight, it may even be less). Now, if your drysuit is a little too tight with all the air let out, add another 2 lb (MAX) to allow for leaving a little squirt of air in it.

Using this methodology, many people I know, including those with a 2 figure dive log count such as yours have ended up at about 6 to 10 lb in double 80s with a steel plate (10 - 14 with aluminum plate). I find that I need only a 6lb V weight, even with my very floaty 7mm uncompressed neoprene drysuit. I have found that I need about the same in a borrowed shell suit with the requisite thicker underwear. This is in contrast to needing no weight in a 5mm wetsuit with the same tanks and plate/wing.

Give it a try. There are only 2 weeks left in the season at Dutch, but if you happen to be coming out there, I’d be happy to meet you there and walk you through this right-sizing exercise for your weighting.