How do I control buoyancy while diving in a drysuit?

Controlling buoyancy while diving in a drysuit involves mastering a slightly different technique compared to diving in a wetsuit. Drysuits do not compress with depth like wetsuits do, so you need to manage air inside the suit to achieve neutral buoyancy at different depths. Here's how you can control buoyancy effectively while diving in a drysuit:

  1. Pre-Dive Preparation:

    • Choose the appropriate undergarments for the water temperature. Thicker undergarments provide more insulation in colder water.
    • Make sure your drysuit is properly fitted to avoid excessive air pockets and ensure comfort.
  2. Adding Air:

    • Before the dive, make sure your drysuit inflation valve (often located on the upper chest) is properly connected to your low-pressure inflator hose.
    • During descent, add small amounts of air to your drysuit to compensate for the increased pressure at depth. This prevents squeeze and maintains your suit's insulation.
  3. Buoyancy Check:

    • As you descend, periodically check your buoyancy by venting air from your BCD and adjusting your drysuit's inflation as needed.
    • Pay attention to your depth and adjust your buoyancy control devices (BCD and drysuit) to achieve neutral buoyancy.
  4. Equalizing Air:

    • Equalize the air inside your drysuit as you descend. This helps prevent trapped air pockets and ensures your suit remains comfortable and properly fitted.
  5. Ascend and Descent:

    • As you ascend, the air inside your drysuit will expand due to decreasing pressure. Vent small amounts of air from the suit to prevent over-inflation.
    • During ascent, control your buoyancy using your BCD and drysuit. Gradually release air as you rise to maintain a controlled ascent rate.
  6. Safety Stops:

    • During safety stops, manage your buoyancy carefully to maintain your desired depth. Use both your BCD and drysuit for adjustments.
  7. Post-Dive:

    • Upon reaching the surface, vent excess air from your drysuit to avoid becoming too buoyant.
  8. Practice and Experience:

    • Buoyancy control in a drysuit requires practice and experience. Different suits, undergarments, and weights may require adjustments to your technique.


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