Monday, September 10, 2012

Scuba Diving: How to Perform the Open Water Skill "proper Weighting"

Imagine swimming  through a watery paradise, soaring through the ocean like an eagle through the sky. kirkscubagear scuba gear provides an excitement few activities can replicate, however you must master the skills before you can move with ease and agility. One such skill, proper weighting or a buoyancy check, is performed before you even descend. It is crucial for both your protection and enjoyment.

Before you learn how to properly weight yourself, you must first understand the principles behind it. Scuba divers should be able to descend easily into the water, but not be so weighted that they are pulled down to the bottom. They should be able to swim with ease, and not use too much air.

Establishing the proper weight, which depends on the diver's body, suit and equipment, creates such buoyancy. Weighting yourself is exactly as it sounds - placing weights upon your body so that you can accomplish an ideal buoyancy in the water. The difficult part of the skill is deciding how much weight to add.

There are formulas you can follow to weight yourself, which will give a general idea of the required weight, however it is best to perform a check yourself. Weights can depend on body composition in addition to size, which is difficult to measure within a formula. Before you weight yourself, you must decide which type of weighting system to use. Weight belts are the simpler type and consist of nylon or fabric belts with spaces for weights to be added. A more comfortable device is a weight system integrated into a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), the device that allows you to control buoyancy by adding and deleting air into a bladder. Such a system does make you a little heavier outside of the water.

When you are ready to weight yourself, follow the following steps:

1. Position yourself in the water. You should not be able to stand and it should be the same type (saltwater or freshwater) as the water where you are planning to dive. Make certain that you are wearing exactly what you will wear during the actual dive. If your cylinder is full, add two pounds to account for additional buoyancy during the dive. Relax yourself. It is important not too move as this can serve to lift you and give a false impression of being under-weighted.

2. Inhale a normal breath and hold it. With the deflator over your head, push the deflate button to release the air from your Buoyancy Control Device.

3. The goal is to float steadily at eye level. If you are sinking, then you are too heavy. You must remove weight and restart the process with the first step. If you are floating too high, then you are too light. Add weight, and begin the whole process again.

4. Release your breath. Now you should sink. If not, try to breathe out more. If you still do not sink, then more weight is required. Add the weight and restart the procedure from the beginning.

It is important to weight yourself before any dive in which you have changed any aspect of the dive, such as using different equipment or diving in a new location. You should also check if some time has passed since your previous dive since subtle changes in your body could affect the amount of weight necessary.

Many factors affect the proper weight needed. Even the difference between salt and fresh water can call for a change in weight of almost six pounds. Incorrect weighting will make it more difficult to swim through the water, can cause you to crash into coral at the bottom of the sea or can use up your air too quickly. With proper weighting, you will soon be soaring amongst the vibrant creatures of the sea.

Thanks to Suzanne Rose @ yahoo

Kathy Dowsett

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post! I don't have scuba certification yet but my boyfriend had got his just recently. However, he has troubles in sinking. Well, he's still a novice so I can understand. But, he gets frustrated easily. I want to help him so I've started researching on the different techniques on how to sink. Good thing, I was able to read your post. It will surely be a great help to him. Thanks again!