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Buoyancy control, again

Discussion in 'Dry Suits' started by JohnL, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Practicing in Capers yesterday with a couple from my BSAC club - still work to get really comfortable in the dry suit but better on the second dive when I dropped 2kg to 9kg. The leader decided to teach me how I should control my buoyancy, got me to empty the BCD and put three clicks on the autodump (all underwater!). This got me thoroughly confused but I understood after a while.
    We discussed it after the dive and his view was that most UK divers use the suit for buoyancy. I've been back at old threads and read Nigel Hewitt's rant on the subject - these go the other way, with the suit for squeeze or alternative buoyancy if you have a BCD problem.
    As I'm intending to move to a wing, I've been investigating - it seems clear that the bladder is intended to buoyancy control, not surface buoyancy only!
     
  2. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    I've always thought that both drysuits and BCDs given very clear hints to their uses in their names ;)
     
  3. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Take squeeze/get suit comfy and wing for buoyancy. Chucking a load of gas into your suit is just uncomfortable. If you find your dragging your feet/fins ditch ankle weights if your using them and/or migrate air to the boots.

    Nice simple donut wing , stainless steel back plate @2.5/3kg and play with placing the other 6kg where you can achieve effortless flat trim.

    Personally l leave my suit dump fully open , never touch it.
     
  4. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    A lot of my club use just the suit for buoyancy. Maybe it's a BSAC thing.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  5. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    It seems to be prevalent across most of the main (non-tech) agencies at entry level... the rational being if you just use your suit, there's only bag of air to worry about... BCD and Suit = 2 bags which is more complicated...

    Not an argument I support - I used both, favouring the BC for buoyancy and the suit for squeeze only, from my first OW dive... made sense to me to do that way...
     
  6. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    PADI too.

    If you use your wing/BCD for primary buoyancy, as you should, it is worth while having the odd ‘suit only’ dive so that you are practised and familiar with that too.
     
  7. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Yes, but it seems like most of the PADI divers I know have gone on to use the wing/bcd for buoyancy. There's some very experienced members of my club who are just using the suit. To be fair some of them are very good at it too. Just my observations from a fairly small group, though.

    I've started doing dives with suit only every now and then, after having the wing inflate stick on a bit back. It's no problem with just a twinset, as my weighting is about right, but add stages and the extra gas in the suit becomes more awkward to deal with.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Suit for warmth; Buoyancy Control Device for buoyancy control. Leave the dump valve fully open to make it easier to dump gas during ascent.

    When cold, more gas in the suit.

    But hey, each to their own.
     
  9. Graysyid

    Graysyid Member

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    Done my drysuit with Padi in May and they made us use drysuit only for bouyancy. Surprised me as i thought I would only use the the BCD for buoyancy and the suit for squeeze. Tbh i never really put much air in the suit as buoyancy seemed to be just right. Took a bit longer to get down than others.
     
  10. speed098

    speed098 Member

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    Just done my SDI drysuit and was taught to use dry suit mainly for squeeze but also for trim with feet ie move air in drysuit to feet if feet heavy and vice versa. The BCD was mainly for buoyancy control. Also to use breathing to descend/ascend in parachute position. The instructor did also go through adding air to dry suit for buoyancy control ( hovering off the bottom but that felt more as an all round learn to use all the tools available as and when needed, as I had also done that with the BCD, can't remember now if that was in the quarry or pool though ). So maybe not all agencies teach the same or maybe I was lucky to have a couple of great instructors, who wanted me to use all the tools after all equipment no matter how well maintained can still fail and you need to have options.
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Sounds like a good course. Main thing now is to get practicing! You need time to get used to the suit, especially as it gets colder. Big thing to practice are ascents and keeping under control as you go through the 10 metreish point where things happen a lot quicker.
     
  12. speed098

    speed098 Member

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    There tomorrow should be fireworks LOL ! Will be my first dusk/night dive hopefully.
    Was fine doing safety stop but I am in the pool most weeks and main thing you can practice there is breathing and buoyancy control which if busy I do at around 1-1.5m and if quiet I mix it up at different depths between 1m and 2m
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    You've a real treat awaiting for when you do some deeper diving. Those drysuits make an enormous amount of difference to your diving, not least being able to stay down for much longer.

    When I changed from a neoprene suit to a membrane suit, I went diving in NDAC with @becky9 (for whom I am eternally grateful for her guidance in my early diving) where we did a couple of ascents from around 30 metres. The membrane suit was so "gassy"! Memories of seeing Becky stopping around 18 metres whilst I was furiously dumping and still ascending. Finally stopped well above 10 metres and felt well-and-truly humbled by the experience! Took a few dives (not that many) to get to grips with the new suit.

    I think the real thing one learns is to keep the drysuit well under control way before it begins to 'inflate' and take over the ascent. This often needs the trick of hoiking one's arm up and rolling a bit to the right to start the dumping. Also the occasional bring legs down to migrate the gas.

    The challenge with a drysuit is it's no problems at a constant depth to the point of almost forgetting about it until it starts to affect the ascent.

    All part of the fun of diving.
     
  14. speed098

    speed098 Member

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    Yep had that fun inverted was not an issue just first time I did it too quick so instructor had me do it again after rising 1-2m higher still no issue but on another drill when he dumped loads of air in and had to raise left arm angle/tilt was shaking vigorously and turning dump to open problem was he had already opened it and dummy me was now closing the damn thing, was just thinking need to break neck seal to dump when breached second time was no problem.
    Hoping if I get enough dive buddies to dive with at Capers and Eccy then do my SSI deep on holiday early summer next year, that will cover me to 40m, I will also do wreck and hopefully have my Nitrox before then so that pretty much gives me my AOW.
     
  15. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Inversions... Having fun going head-first down a hole on a wreck (the Rondo) where my twinset turned me over. Was funny, but my mask started to fill due to some fuzz growing under my nose (a week's tash growth) and the mask filling from top downwards... Although laughing, it was a challenge to put a drop of gas in my wing to float up and out of the hole, then flip over so I could drain the mask. Other thing I noticed was all the gas migrate from my torso to my feet, so it's a lot tighter on the chest.

    As long as we can laugh about these things on the surface afterwards, it's just another learning experience.
     
  16. speed098

    speed098 Member

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    A good laugh and a pint are essential lol.
    Not too sure I will bother with twin sets as looking eventually to go sidemount. I will probably have to get used to being inverted a lot as I also love photography. My first dry suit dive was great ( for anyone watching ) I had a leak in the hire dry suit and really really feet heavy I probably looked like I was messing with an electric eel with all the shaking and twisting, trying to get a dribble of air to dislodge all the water in my feet to try and make them not feel like to lead weights.
    Dry suit diving is going to be interesting lol.
     
  17. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Sidemount is good. Often hear grumbles from non sidemounters on boats, but it's just their way of showing their jealousy. It's a big faff at first then it's really easy thereafter. Need your core skills -- buoyancy, trim and finning -- sorted first. Makes kit transition so much easier.
     
  18. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I dive sidemount but only when either (a) I have no choice or (b) I’m testing kit.

    There’s no good reason for sidemounting
    in the sea unless you’CE some sort of health problem.
     
    timmyg likes this.

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