Scuba Diving BCD Choosing the Right One
This marvelous piece of equipment called BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) or Stabilizing Jacket that helps us so in diving was only introduced to us just approximately thirty years ago.
A scuba BCD helps us a lot in buoyancy control as in comparison to our diving forefathers that where always bobbing up and down trying to regain buoyancy control.
Choosing the right scuba BCD all depends on you. I´ll give you some advice here as you read along, but you have to be honest with yourself as to what sort of diving you are more inclined in doing. If you are in the market for a scuba BCD just for that one holiday occasion a year on that paradise island is one thing.
If you know that you want to take scuba diving a bit further than just any scuba BCD that you end up choosing will not do.
- Is it Comfortable?
You have to be comfortable with the scuba BDC you end up choosing. You do not want to be fiddling with it every time you’re diving, trying to adjust it here and a bit there…Oh darn, the tank is off to one side!
Try it on and make sure it’s not loose or too tight. Not only when it’s deflated but also inflated to its maximum. Move your arms around and neck and see if you have a free movement.
- Lift Capacity
- Air Release Valves
Scuba BCD´s usually have three release valves plus another one next to the inflator valve. One is positioned on the lower back usually on the right hand side, the other on the top right hand side and the third on the top left hand side and this one you can pull with your inflator valve hose.
- Weight Integration and pros / cons
These scuba BCD´s that come with integrated weights are a marvel but sometimes they can as well burden you.
If you opt to get one of these you will not need to worry about your weight belt. But then, in my opinion, if you have to walk a bit to the boat with a scuba BCD that has weight integration it could be a bit of a load. I would prefer to have the weights as a belt around my waist.
No doubt that in case of an emergency you can drop off your weights fast but then again if you need to submerge again for whatever reason, you can´t because your positively buoyant.Getting your scuba BCD with integrated weights into a boat after surfacing can as well be a bit of a task. I´ve seen buddies of mine using this system and after a dive they remove the weights from the BCD before climbing into the boat and sometimes…Oops, there goes a weight!
The size of the pockets of your scuba BCD should allow you to fit some extra gear in, like a slate or small light, safety sausage and so on.
Rings in the shape of a “D” are excellent to clip on extra gear. Make sure your BCD has at least two of them. You can always add more on if necessary.
Do it safely and enjoy diving!
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