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Course Outline

Objective: Correctly weight yourself in order to offset the buoyancy of your body, your exposure suit, and your scuba equipment. With an empty BCD and while holding a full breath, you should float with only the top of your head on the surface.

Value: Correct weighting will allow you to dive comfortably. Diving overweighted will force you to overinflate your BCD to offset the negative buoyancy. Diving underweighted will force you to swim while underwater. Diving overweighted or underweighted can lead to serious injury.

How It’s Done:

  • To get your weighting correct:
    1. While breathing from your regulator, take a full breath and do not exhale.
    2. Deflate your BCD.
    3. Adjust your weight until you are properly weighted and are floating with the top of your head on the surface.
    4. Once you are weighted correctly, exhale and you will gently descend. Remember to equalize.
  • As you relax more, your total lung volume will reduce.
    • Your buoyancy should be checked each time you start a confined water session.
    • It is worthwhile to complete a buoyancy check again at the end of the dive to ensure that you can sink with reduced pressure in your cylinder.
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