To perform a buoyancy check at the surface, get all the air out of your BC by leaning back slightly while upright in the water, holding your inflator hose as high above you as possible, cross your fins, and hold a normal breath. While doing this, you should float at eye level, so that only when you exhale all the air from your lungs do you sink. If you sink while holding a normal breath of air, you are wearing too much weight.
David K. Black
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Slow down. Just about everyone goes too fast underwater. To most aquatic life, divers are big scary goofballs who make a ton of racket. When you slow down and relax, animals come out and you’ll see some amazing life. You'll also maximize your air supply and you'll be able to get your buoyancy dialed in better.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor
LA Dive & Ride
Los Angeles, California
Bring a Sharpie to mark your water bottles or cups in the community cooler.
Plan your dive; don’t just rely on your divemaster, or on your computer, which is powered by a battery that has limited life. I’m old school — my plastic tables are always at my side.
Walter Demian Syrek
San Rafael Mendoza, Argentina
Standard 80 aluminum cylinders are 4.4 pounds more buoyant than neutral/compact 80s. The best way to tell which you are using is by checking the working pressure inscribed on the neck of the cylinder: Standard 80s are 3000 psi, while others are 3300. Avoids the, "The dive was great, but I started to float away halfway through," syndrome.