TRY TO IMAGINE
A world in which 199 out of every 200 persons stumbled around like toddlers or drunks.
NOW YOU KNOW....
...how the aquatic world looks to the less than one half of one percent of divers who have excellent Buoyancy Control Skills.
....WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY? ....YOU THINK WE EXAGGERATE? ....YOU THINK IT ISN'T THAT BAD?
Perhaps that is because you have settled for less?
Perhaps you bought into the myth that; "It's all about your equipment!"
WHY NOT SET YOUR BAR HIGHER?
Better Buoyancy Control Skills
Who needs them?.... Who has them?.... Who wants them?
If you are a typical diver or even a typical instructor_
"YOU NEED THEM!"
"WE KNOW BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING!"
You probably think that your buoyancy skills are_"GOOD ENOUGH!"
BUT....there's no such thing as "GOOD ENOUGH"!
"IF" you are a dive professional who is only pretending to have "Exceptional Buoyancy Skills"__
WE'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER....and it isn't #1.
WE WILL SHOW YOU "WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE"....AND CRITIQUE YOUR EFFORTS TO IMITATE WHAT YOU SEE.
BUT you will have to__MEET US IN: MEXICO
BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER
A picture may be worth a thousand words....BUT....still photos do not do a good job of representing Buoyancy Control
CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHY MOVING IMAGES ARE BETTER
HOW YOU LEARNED TO DIVE
Was it the solution or is it the problem?
Chances are you got certified to dive on your knees. And you probably got certified to dive wearing too much weight because your instructor needed control and the easy way to achieve control was to anchor the students to the bottom of the pool. KNEELING on the bottom is an example of NEGATIVE BUOYANCY. Being a good diver is about understanding NEUTRAL BUOYANCY!
There is a cardinal rule in all of education that states that the student learns best, that which he is shown first. Never show or demonstrate the wrong way to do something and especially never show your students the wrong way first because they will remember the wrong way rather than the right way to perform the skill. That is exactly the way the world learns about diving; by first learning about negative buoyancy. First we learn about how not to dive and about how a diver shouldn't look and we usually learn from an entity that knows the cardinal rule but ignores it in favor of its' own agenda. One of the biggest training agencies in the world continues to introduce skills, while kneeling, even at the level of their instructor development courses and their pseudo technical & wreck diver classes.
& even in their:
"Technical Instructor Courses!" *
"CAN YOU SPELL....Mickey Mouse?"
The spectacle of divers kneeling on the bottom while wearing double tanks and stage bottles would be funny if it were not for the message that this image conveys to the general diving population.
The same agency that promotes this policy and this image offers a two dive buoyancy course that may be taught by an "assistant instructor".
"A Buoyancy Control Certification course".
The key word here is "certification".
Certification:is their promise!
THIS STUDENT DIVER HAS:
TOO MUCH WEIGHT & TOO MUCH AIR IN HER BCD
TOO MANY DANGLIES & TOO MANY HOSE HALOS
& SHE IS SCULLING WITH HER HANDS
"KNEELING IS TOUCHING"
(Touching is Negative Buoyancy!)
FIN TIP PIVOTING
( is touching )
"Fin Pivoting is not a Buoyancy Skill....
....it is an instructor's teaching tool!"
"IF YOU READ WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY"
( you may raise your awareness )
IF you attend our workshop."YOU WILL IMPROVE YOUR DIVING!"
WILL BE OFFERED
We understand that one of the biggest certification agencies on the planet is owned by a hedge fund.
An agency that was hatched by "salesmen" may now be run by "bean counters"!
IF THAT'S TRUE.....who's calling the shots?
We have also seen that the same folks are looking for ways to incorporate their not very worthy buoyancy clinic into their not all that camprehensive open water program.
Perhaps they do not represent the best place to look for fundamental training....much less technical diving, cave diving & sidemount techniques.
They make it "almost" too easy for us to say we offer something better!
Certification: is the kind of perceived status that is found on a resume...There is another type of status and that is "Noticeable Fundamental Skills". A person who actually looks like a diver while underwater! If you seek "REAL FUNDAMENTAL TRAINING" be careful where you $hop! Be certain that your instructor is more than a salesman. Don't buy "only" a plastic card. If your instructor is primarily a salesman or only a salesman you will be unlikely to learn much about real buoyancy control skills. You may finish your training with another plastic card but you will not learn to be an exceptional diver and you will not look like one either.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS TO PAPER STATUS AFTER WATER IS ADDED?
Great Divers don't have to hold a buoyancy specialist certification card. A great diver is better than a certified diver from a two dive clinic who looks like a disaster while diving. Skills define great divers....not expensive toys and not the size of their card collection.
The majority of divers not only lack anything reminiscent of admirable fundamental skills, they lack the ability to identify such skills when they are confronted with them or observe them. Divers who have great buoyancy skills are so rare that they deserve special status. Their skills define them! They are as unique as bicycle riders who have also mastered the unicycle. Being able to recognize and observe divers with exceptional buoyancy skills is the first step toward imitating what you see and becoming one of them.
|BuoyancyQuest's SCUBA SKILLS WORKSHOP is not some other "Mickey Mouse" buoyancy certification class....
IT'S A DIVE TRAVEL VACATION where you bring home more than just photos & t-shirts?
Think about devoting "A DIVE OR TWO" to "MASTERING" your buoyancy skills.
Allow us show you what GOOD BUOYANCY looks like during 13 DIVES in COZUMEL______
____then you can dedicate "EVERY DIVE" to MASTERING YOUR BUOYANCY SKILLS!
SCULLING: is for oars, not arms and hands. There is no sculling in SCUBA! Sculling is the signature of poor buoyancy skills. More than a few professional and famous divers do not know about that. Watch their hands! A lot more than a few open water instructors don't know about that either. Chances a very good that you learned from one of them. You need to stop sculling before you begin to understand about buoyancy. Many divers think that diving often will yield remarkable fundamental skills (as if by magic) and that sculling is either OK or will disappear once buoyancy is mastered. "WRONG!" Do not hold your breath while on SCUBA and do not hold your breath while waiting for that to happen. Ignorance is the issue! Many within the recreational diving community don't even know that sculling is wrong because they see "THE BIG SHOTS" doing it. "NO HANDS" might be mentioned on some obscure page of the text that "they" gave you but that same "they" will never mention it because "they" simply can't live up to that standard of performance. Diving has no shortage of experts who hit a home run (usually and mostly on paper) without ever touching first base. GET UP OFF YOUR KNEES! Hold dive educators to a higher standard and you will be both amazed and embarrassed by what you discover. Begin by observing their hands ( if you can view moving images of them underwater ) and "if they scull even a little or even once in a while" they are not the example that you want to imitate.You can't learn about great buoyancy skills from an instructor who sculls! An instructor who sculls doesn't understand about superior buoyancy skills. An instructor who sculls only sets a poor or bad example!
FIN PIVOT: Fin pivoting is not a skill. Fin tip pivoting is just a method for demonstrating the role that breathing plays in buoyancy control. It is an instructor's teaching tool not a skill. Fin pivoting is not something that a diver continues to use throughout his career. If you always begin your dive with a fin pivot, we hope it is over a sandy spot, but stop doing that anyway! If your instructor planted that seed, your instructor was wrong .... so stop doing it. Fin Pivoting is an example of "NEGATIVE BUOYANCY". Touching is touching! Fin Pivoting was your "potty training" for neutral buoyancy after you were allowed to practice "only" negative buoyancy for too long_ Leave it behind!
FINDING THE BEST BCD: is not the answer. We think that BP&W is the best configuration for both technical and recreational diving. You don't have to like it because we do and we recognize that a real diver (one who really understands buoyancy) could do a dive while hugging a 30 year old stab jacket that is three sizes too big. THAT'S RIGHT_without even wearing it! By just holding it with his hands that diver would look better than most people look in an $800 (DIR Approved) gear package.
What kind of diver you are is about your equipment....
( Only when you have stuff hanging everywhere....aka; "danglies" )
Stop expecting your equipment to make you better!Be suspicious!!!! The dive industry is about creating customers, not divers. SCUBA Retailers want to sell stuff! Here is an example of dive industry marketing that has stood the test of time: SNORKELS don't work at 40 feet below the surface or even at 20 feet yet divers are told they must have one. Snorkels are more than a nuisance if you are diving a long hose and a long hose is more useful to a diver than a snorkel. Snorkels are prohibited in caves! Selling a snorkel to every diver is good for business but is probably only good for the customer if there is snorkeling in his future. Brace yourself for the tap dance the MEGA International Training Agencies will do to defend their positions on snorkels but use common sense and don't forget to follow the money trail. Also notice how many instructors wear snorkels when diving out of sight of their students. Remember that if it walks like a duck and quacks .... it may in fact .... be a duck!
IT'S YOUR BREATHING! We have seen some blogs written by "big credentials" i.e. course directors and other establisment "big shots" from the MEGA International Training Agencies. They obviously understand that using respiration as a tool to fine tune buoyancy control is a huge part of the ultimate goal , as do we, but they do not understand that, SO FAR, there is no evidence that buoyancy has improved by reading a tutorial or by following the guidence of these huge training agencies. If these big agency experts do have any noteable buoyancy skills, and that is a "BIG IF", they don't share them. They keep those skills to themselves in order to maintain their own status and to keep a leg up on__guess who? Few, if any, good divers evolve from a two dive buoyancy clinic or from cyber chatter either!
We maintain that advice without the ability to provide visuals (actual moving examples) of what a good diver should look like .... is just advice. We include videos of ourselves as part of our website, we provide in water visuals, during our workshops and we use videos of the participants as one of the teaching tools to support our mentoring. Being able to recognize what good diving should look like is the key to knowing what to aspire to and what to imitate. Seeing examples of good fundamental skills through the faceplate of your mask....has no equal. The majority of dive leaders within the big agencies are unable to supply an example of anything close to remarkable buoyancy control skills. They , quite simply, fail to live up to their rhetoric and credentials.
MORE WEIGHT MEANS BETTER CONTROL: is another popular myth. You won't find this one in print but we hear this a lot in the Northeastern United States: "When I'm catching bugs I like to be heavy." is a common boast. "BUGS" for those not familar with the term, are lobsters and the people who hunt them are skilled divers, "usually", only in their own imagination. Correct weighting is a very personal matter. Some experts offer a formula for proper weighting such as starting with a percentage of your body weight. Proper weighting is a process not a formula. It is the responsibility of the diver himself. There is no shortcut or magic pill that facilitates proper weighting and great buoyancy. There is no magic number or magic formula and no marvelous piece of gear that makes buoyancy skills a cinch. If there is one piece of gear that makes a difference to buoyancy control it is weights but only when properly selected, distributed and managed by a knowledgable diver. Divers who are unwilling to learn the physics related to buoyancy or who are unwilling to learn about the variables (environment, body composition, collateral equipment, tank values and exposure protection) that determine the amount of weights to be worn .... will never master buoyancy control.
Great Buoyancy is not about conquering an alien world with technology.
GREAT BUOYANCY CONTROL SKILLS
.... come from adapting to nature's rules.
WE DON'T TEACH CAVE DIVING OR TECHNICAL DIVING
"We only teach the FUNDAMENTALS that you need to have before you show up for tech training!"
We leave the actual tech training to the tech and cave instructors.
You should already have "what we offer" before you arrive for cave or tech training.
Especially; if you are an instructor or if "you are" the cave or technical instructor.
Adding insult to injury, our hero has not only become a marker buoy, he has become:
" THE PREFERRED BUOY "
There are 3 states of buoyancy:
POSITIVE, NEUTRAL & NEGATIVE.
How you rank them is your preference but our preference is NEUTRAL BUOYANCY, of course, because we enjoy the experience of weightlessness. We think that bottom dwelling divers and those who go up and down like a roller coaster don't know what they are missing. Positive Buoyancy works well for snorkeling and for waiting to get picked up by the dive boat after the diving is finished. Buoyancy Control is important to all three states of buoyancy. It enables the diver to stay off the bottom, it insures that the diver only makes safe ascents and can maintain a positive state at the surface. The transition that the diver makes between neutral and positive buoyancy can be crucial. Buoyancy skills take on a new dimension once the diver finds himself inside of a BCD as is the case with diving a drysuit. Upside down and unable to vent air from his suit, the diver to the left has just experienced a drysuit diver's worst nightmare. He has transitioned from buoyancy practitioner to marker buoy. While this may seem comical at first glance, it is truly a situation to be avoided. Most drysuit divers prefer to put only enough air in their suits to take away the squeeze and provide warmth while using a BCD to make most adjustments. Uncontrolled ascents pose a real danger to all divers and represent a valid reason to acquire the best buoyancy skills possible.
The first author continued with a "more of the same" essay placing most of the emphasis on tech diving and gear selection including double steel tanks. What is missing, in almost every tutorial on buoyancy control, is any grasp of buoyancy skills without the message that it is "all about your equipment" and about buying the right gadgets. Better buoyancy and more and better divers should be about "selling people on skills" not about "selling them more equipment". Most divers need much better buoyancy skills and contrary to most of the available expert advice; most divers don't realize that and therefore "do not" seek to improve those skills. Also, most divers will never wear double tanks and if they have double tanks in their future, shouldn't they, first, develop some noteable skills in a single tank set up? Let's get the cart back behind the horse!
THE EMPEROR WAS NAKED in the popular fable by Hans Christian Anderson. The weavers went to elaborate lengths to create a nonexistant suit of clothes for their monarch and then led the people of the realm to believe that if anyone couldn't see the fabric it was on account of their own shortcomings. Only one small boy dared to speak the truth. Everyone else gave too much credit to authority.
Recreational SCUBA Diving is not too different from this fairy tale of deception and ignorance. The biggest and most successful entities in diving are about controlling the market and about selling diving and diving equipment to as many people for as big a profit as the market will bear. They are not about creating divers they are about creating customers and the few divers who really look the part after water has been added have learned in spite of the "status quo" not because of them. Nobody wants to take a hard honest look at why fundamental dive skills are so poor, even among leadership level people. The Mega International Training Agencies have proved that they can train a salesman and "successfully but falsely" market him as an exceptional dive instructor to most of the recreational scuba community. Nobody dares to attack an icon. Nobody wants to question authority! The reason for poor buoyancy skills is the same reason that the emperor was naked ....
THE WEAVERS WERE FOCUSED ON THEIR OWN PAYDAY!
THE ENTITIES with the most recognizable 3 & 4 letter acronyms fail to produce divers with good buoyancy skills!
THE DIVE LEADERS with the most impressive resumes of credentials fail to teach Dive Fundamentals!
THE MOST PROLIFIC AUTHORS produce tutorials that boast impressive data and theory but little else.
SOME OF THE SMALLER TECHNICAL DIVING AGENCIES DO ADDRESS POOR BUOYANCY but their message always seems to distill down to more gear and the result is more "EGO" and more over equipped but underskilled divers. They say that they promote technique but the focus, once again, becomes the gadgets: i.e.:
Exceptional Buoyancy Control Skills are not the result of buying "THE RIGHT $TUFF!"
Exceptional Skills are the result of learning natures rules!
"We revisit FIRST BASE!"
& we sell ONLY FUNDAMENTAL SCUBA SKILLS
"IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LEARN....we can't help you!"
YOU CAN BE MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER TOURIST WITH A C-CARD IN YOUR POCKET....
....IF YOU LEARN TO REALLY LOOK LIKE A DIVER WITH ABOVE AVERAGE BUOYANCY SKILLS!STOP....being "only" A CUSTOMER & A CASH COW.
WE ARE RIGHT! SECOND: WE OFFER TO MENTOR ONLY WHAT WE DO BEST AND
TO OFFER YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN TO "FIRST BASE". IF WE GOT
YOU THINKING THEN WE DID SOMETHING TO IMPROVE BUOYANCY CONTROL, EVEN
IF YOU NEVER ATTEND OUR WORKSHOP. WE WILL SACRIFICE A POTENTIAL
ESPECIALLY IF THE RESULT IS A DIVER....IT WILL BE OUR
PLEASURE. LEARN ABOUT BUOYANCY CONTROL WITH US OR LEARN IT
ELSEWHERE BUT DO IT BEFORE EGO
TAKES OVER AND YOU FIND YOURSELF ATTEMPTING GRAND THINGS WITHOUT THE
BENEFIT OF ANY REAL TALENT. DON'T THINK THAT YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT
MASTERY OF BUOYANCY BECAUSE YOU DIVE OFTEN OR SPEND A FORTUNE ON
EQUIPMENT OR BECAUSE SOMEBODY PRESENTED YOU WITH A PLASTIC CARD.
IF YOU DO CHOOSE US, YOU'LL BE PUTTING THE CART BACK BEHIND THE HORSE.
|Here's an example of more politics within the Dive Industry
A publisher of a once popular but long defunct Technical Diving Magazine returns to the sport after an absence of more than a decade and goes right to the front of the line and files a "how to piece" about buoyancy skills with a DIVE SAFETY Publication. He validates the idea that it is OK to wait until being a tech diver to learn about foundation skills. Then he endorses almost all of the usual suspects that are responsible for why buoyancy didn't happen in the first place.
AND SO IT GOES!
* There is a photo on the internet ( you will know it if you see it ) of 3 divers kneeling on a gravel bottom. They are all wearing back mounted double tanks and have a stage bottle clipped to their harness. We can't/won't tell you where to find it or who posted it because that would not be professional. The fact that it was taken during a "technical instructor course" and that the agency ( a big one ) didn't know better than to take credit for this image...is not professional....but not surprizing either!
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