Blog posts from Gareth, Imogen and Neil
Firstly, let’s clarify a few issues. The name. GUE calls it a “valve drill”. I have heard instructors from other agencies call them the same, but divers from all other agencies refer to it as a “shutdown”. There is a reason behind the alternative wording, but for simplicity's sake I am going to ignore the semantics and use the terms interchangeably.
In the past I have written extensively about buoyancy control, but on re-reading those articles it appears that the focus was on the “macro” elements of buoyancy control and not the “micro”. It is the micro changes that make real savings in terms of gas usage and efficiency, so I thought I would put some ideas down on fine tuning buoyancy control. This will hopefully be of interest to anyone interested in mastering buoyancy control.
So, thanks to everyone who emailed me with feedback about their attempts on week one's skill. Keep the feedback coming! Onwards to week 2. For this you are going to need a dive timer, ideally with a second hand, and you are also going to need an SMB.
I had an incredible amount of feedback on last week’s article on fine tuning buoyancy control, and a lot of people asked me for some drills that could be used to help in the process of achieving fine control. So, I've written a series of articles detailing drills that I use when coaching to fine tune buoyancy control.
There are many cues to buoyancy control, but most of them are tied into our need for a visual reference. It's incredibly comforting and reassuring to look at something and know that you are stable in the water. Watching something move also provides instantaneous feedback about whether you are moving in the water column. This week's article, and indeed the exercise at the end of it, is focused on the use of these visual references.
A while back I wrote an article on the importance of buoyancy control, for which I received some awesome feedback. A lot of people asked me that if it was so important, were there any useful tips and tricks I can use to further explain the concept. Well, of course there are :)