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SCUBA BCDs


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Buoyancy Compensators - Master Your Buoyancy with a top brand Buoyancy Compensator from Divers Direct

The Essentials about the Buoyancy Compensator and it's importance!

The Buoyancy Compensator Device (aka: Scuba BC or Scuba BCD) is an essential part of the scuba gear package due to it's role as part of the diver's life support equipment. The primary functions of a Scuba BCD are to control buoyancy and to hold the tank during diving. BCs come in a variety of styles, but generally fall into two categories: Jacket Style Scuba BCDs and Back Inflate Scuba BCDs.

A Jacket Style Scuba BCD has a bladder (the compartment that holds air) that surrounds your torso like a jacket. Jacket Style Scuba BCDs are best suited for divers who need to maintain a vertical orientation or spend a lot of time on the surface (ie: shore divers).

Back Inflate Scuba BCDs place the bladder behind the diver. Many divers find this more comfortable, as it allows for easier movement of the arms and feels less restrictive. A rear inflation BC also helps divers maintain proper horizontal attitude while underwater.

Snorkelers often appreciate a third kind of BCD, the Snorkel Vest, which provides much needed buoyancy when snorkeling on the surface.

Four components you must know when buying your scuba bcd!

Choosing the right BCD can be overwhelming for first time scuba divers. There are four main components in searching for the correct BC. Safety should always be the first concern in all scuba diving equipment purchases. It is no different in searching for a BCD. A diver should look for one that has strong retention of air. A good buoyancy compensator device will retain air in all conditions and after harsh treatments. A high lift capacity is beneficial because it holds the diver high out of the water on the surface, helps maintain neutral buoyancy at depth, and allows the diver to help assist a buddy in need. Another important safety feature is a single-handed, quick release weight system.

The second main component in searching for the correct BC is comfort. Divers need to be comfortable in any BCD that they choose. Divers should choose one that provides air cell inflation without squeeze. It must be designed to fit properly. There are BCDs that are specifically designed for women such as the Aqua Lung Pearl Women's BCD, Aqua Lung Libra Women's Scuba BCD, and Mares Kaila Women's BCD. These will be much more comfortable for women than a standard buoyancy compensator device as they are contoured for female shape, size, and style.

The third main component in searching for the correct BC is durability. Scuba diving can be a rugged sport, and a diver needs equipment that can stand up to all different conditions. Divers should look for double stitching and the highest quality threads and bindings. Major manufacturers of buoyancy compensator such as Mares, Oceanic, Aeris, and Aqua Lung have done extensive UV, abrasion, salt water and chlorinated water testing so divers know they are purchasing durable gear.

The fourth main component in searching for the correct BC is based on the individual diver's needs. There are traveling divers, recreational divers, and technical divers. There are divers who dive often and those who dive once or twice a year. Each diver is different, but the good thing is there is a buoyancy control device designed for every diver. Ideal BCDs for the avid traveler would be the Aqua Lung Zuma BCD, Mares Journey Elite Scuba BCD, or Aqua Lung Balance BCD. They pack up small and lightweight yet are still comfortable and rugged for the the toughest conditions.

There are many choices and features of a BC that can make the decision seem overwhelming. Divers Direct has trained individuals to assist you in making a confident gear purchase. Make Divers Direct your #1 stop for all of your scuba gear.


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