The ultimate goal when diving, is to be able to float effortlessly like a fish and to freely explore the marine scenery. Yes, nothing compares to the beauty that lies underneath water, but diving for longer periods can be quite exhausting, so you’ll certainly want to take a break and rise up at a certain point. The BCD is your best ally in these cases!
The Buoyancy Control Device is part of the life-support diving equipment. It makes your air tank easy to carry and allows you to sink down by deflating, or rise up by inflating. Without a quality BCD diving would feel more like a demanding work rather than an enjoyable activity. But what does a good BCD consist of? It all depends on the type of diving you plan on doing. Let’s get to the bottom of this.
The basic type of BCD and most suitable for recreational diving. The jacket BCD has a bladder wrapped around the diver’s torso inflating both the front, the back and the side. It’s designed with comfort in mind and has pockets for storage. This type of BCD is suitable for beginners who spend a lot of time on the surface learning the basics of diving.
Back Plate and Wing
This is considered the most versatile type of BCD. It is very customisable and can be used for a lot of technical purposes like cave or wreck diving. Its adjustable design allows the diver to easily squeeze into tight places.
Also called a travelling BCD, this one is made of a light material and is compact enough to easily carry it around with you. There are air compartments only on the back, leaving the diver’s chest area uncluttered. These can be sometimes inconvenient for newbie divers because they tend to push the diver horizontally on his back, therefore, they need to practice a lot in order to get used to this kind of BCD diving.
Besides the style, the BCD also needs to be suitable for your gender. Men have longer torsos and women have shorter ones. This means one BCD cannot fit both, so there are specifically male and female types of BCDs available on the market.
Don’t forget to constantly check and take care of your BCD. Rinse it thoroughly with water both on the inside and the outside after every use. Let it dry out without leaving it on direct sunlight as to not damage the rubber. Partially inflate it and put it away in a dark and dry place.