Sesimbra scuba diving

Information on PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course

Buoyancy is something that I am still learning and understanding. It has been a huge learning curve. I know the more I practice the better I get. However, completing the PADI Peak Buoyancy Specialty course helped me in understanding how the buoyancy works in the water and how I can make sure I am properly weighed so I can be buoyant well.

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PIN for later reference - Information on PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course
PIN for later reference – Information on PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course

What is buoyancy?

Buoyancy, in simpler scuba diving terms, refers to a tendency that makes the body float in the water. The force of buoyancy is caused by the pressure applied by the water when we descend in the water for a dive.

Six factors impact the buoyancy of scuba divers underwater:

  1. Weights, the additional weights that the divers wear on their weight belts or in their pockets.
  2. Air in Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD). The air can be controlled by either inflating or deflating.
  3. Wet suit buoyancy.
  4. Position of your body in the water, which is also called as Trim.
  5. The depth at which the diver is at.
  6. Breathing technique.

There are three types of buoyancy:

  1. Positive buoyancy – The positive buoyancy is when the diver finds it difficult to descend to the bottom in spite of blowing out all the air from their Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD). This happens when an object (which is the body) is lighter than the fluid (which is the water) it replaces. I have a lot of problem descending and even with a lot of weight, I often have to be pulled down so I can descend.
  2. Negative buoyancy – The negative buoyancy is when the diver automatically sinks to the bottom once the air is blown out of the Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD). This happens when an object (which is the body) is heavier than the fluid (which is the water) it replaces.
  3. Neutral buoyancy – The Neutral buoyancy is where every diver wishes to be. This is where the object’s (which is the body) weight is equal to that of the fluid (which is the water) it replaces. The diver’s body is in the horizontal position while diving if they are neutrally buoyant. And the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course helps the divers in learning and managing their buoyancy while diving.
Three states of buoyancy
Three states of buoyancy; Source: Human Kinetics blog

Wikipedia has a very detailed explanation with pictures of how the buoyancy works.

PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course
One of the very few times where I am neutrally buoyant

Why do you need good buoyancy in the water?

Having the right buoyancy underwater helps in many ways. Some of the reasons how it could help the divers are:

  1. Not harming the marine life – The corals and the marine life are very fragile and it is a diver’s responsibility to be mindful of them. Not being neutrally buoyant can harm the marine life. So. being neutrally buoyant helps in ensuring that the marine life underwater is not harmed.
  2. Safety – Being neutrally buoyant helps the divers to know their surroundings well. And this way they are well prepared for any unforeseen situations.
  3. Enjoyment of diving – One of the reasons how being neutrally buoyant can help is by easing the diver. The diver is more relaxed and calm. This way they enjoy the dive more than when struggling to be buoyant all the time. I can personally tell this with experience. I am happy and tend to enjoy my surrounding when I am neutrally buoyant.
  4. Less tiredness – Constantly trying and focusing on changing buoyancy underwater can be very tiring. It causes fatigue and is not a good feeling. So, being neutrally buoyant helps in reducing the fatigue.

What is PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course?

The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course helps the divers improve their buoyancy skills that they usually learn in their Open Water certification course and elevates them.

PADI refers to Professional Association of Diving Instructors. They are the Worldwide leading scuba diving training organisation.

Requirements

There are only two eligibility requirements for taking up the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course:

  1. Must be at least Open Water certified.
  2. Must be at least 10 years of age.

Course details

As part of this course, one needs to finish the below:

  1. eLearning module on the PADI app that will be assigned after enrolling for the course.
  2. Two dives where one demonstrates their buoyancy skills.

At the end of the course, the diver must have learned:

  1. To do the buoyancy check on the surface of the water.
  2. Determine the exact weight required to be neutrally buoyant.
  3. Use the air efficiently.
  4. Hover underwater, in a vertical or horizontal position.

Dive Centre Details

The details and the cost of my course are:

  • Dive Centre: Scuba Waterhouse/Geo Divers in Sydney, Australia.
  • Address: 1/50 George Street, Clyde NSW 2142.
  • Cost: AUD 190 for the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course.
  • Equipment: AUD 95 for two tanks, BCD, weights, and a regulator. I had my own wet suit, mask (3 mm) with an inner vest, snorkel, fins, and boots.
  • Booking: via phone 02 9689 1389.

I dived at Camp Cove as part of the buoyancy course.

I had a great experience interacting with the owner Judith McDonald. She kept me updated throughout and made sure I had all the bookings done prior to the dives. She also arranged for my equipment to be collected by my dive buddy Malcolm on my behalf. The instructor Karleen Going and my dive buddy Malcolm Wright were extremely friendly. They were the best team I could have on that day. Very friendly and patient. They took care of me as they knew that I am still a newbie in diving. I loved diving with these two people.

The group at Camp Cove Beach
My instructor Karlean and my dive buddy Malcolm

Techniques that help in buoyancy

There are two techniques that have helped me in being buoyant and are taught in the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course.

  1. Weights – Wearing the right amount of weight can help the diver in being neutrally buoyant. In Australian waters, I need to wear a lot of weights (as close to 24 pounds) to sink and be neutrally buoyant.
  2. Breath slowly and deeply – Panic or breathing fast does not help buoyancy. Breathing slowly and deeply helps the divers control their buoyancy. This requires a lot of practice and I am still learning how to control my buoyancy by breathing rightly.

Closing Notes

The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course did help me and provided me an understanding of the foundations of buoyancy. In all the specialty courses that PADI runs, I definitely suggest doing the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course for sure.

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PIN for later reference - Information on PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course
PIN for later reference – Information on PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course

7 comments

  1. I remember going through dive training and thinking that neutral buoyancy sounded easy to achieve. Boy was I wrong! So cool that PADI does a whole training on it. And I’m sure practice makes perfect, too.

  2. Wow! There’s so much to learn with diving. I haven’t tried it at all (only scuba and snuba, which I know isn’t even close!). The bouyancy part is really interesting, but it makes sense. I do want to try someday!

  3. WOW there is a lot that goes into buoyancy, I had no idea. It never occurred to be that someone could sink to the bottom and damage coral. I can understand why mastering this is so important. Diving is such an expensive activity; it be disappointing to be somewhere so beautiful and be focused on buoyancy instead of what is around you.

  4. Buoyancy is such an important skill to perfect. And you are right that it needs lots of practice. But once you get better, it does so help your scuba dive to go so much easier. And ensures you can safely move around the underwater life. Nothing worse than seeing divers and snorkellers banging into the coral!

  5. Thanks for all the information about buoyancy and diving. Even floating while swimming requires a lot of practice and regulated calm breathing. I believe even the speed of coming up after diving impacts the pressure on the lungs and breathing. A lot to learn! 🙂

  6. I am in awe of your story. Scuba Diving has been on my dream list for a long time, but I haven’t had the opportunity to make it happen yet. The underwater world is amazing. I hadn’t heard of buoyancy before, so I learned a lot from your post. For sure, it needs a lot of practice.

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