At Ozzy Nautilus we stock a large selection of buoyancy compensators within our collection of scuba gear.
Buoyancy compensation devices (otherwise known as BCDs or a buoyancy control device) are highly essential pieces of equipment that allow a diver to offset any negative buoyancy they have. This is done by adding air from their tank into the BCD whilst still underwater. BCDs are also valuable upon the surface as they also help maintain positive buoyancy.
Modern-day BCDs are now more comfortable, diver-friendly and stylish.
When purchasing a BCD there are a few variables to look out for
Type of BCD - there are three main BCD types:
Jacket BCDs - also known as vests these are the most common BCDs used in recreational diving. They act as an inflatable waist jacket and have air bladders that stay behind and under the diver’s arms. These are a great option for entry-level divers
Wing and Backplate - This BCD involves a backplate made from solid material such as metal or carbon fibre. The backplate is then placed on top of a wing bladder. This setup is preferred by more technical divers and cave divers as it allows for more customization.
Back-Inflate BCDs - these BCDs have bladders that when inflated are solely on the back of the diver on either side of the diver’s tank. This is a newer style that is more streamlined and induces less drag relative to the traditional BCD jacked. A warning though is that new divers may struggle with them whilst on the surface as all their buoyancy will be at the rear pushing the diver forward.
Also, make sure you know what your capacity/lifting capability is. This is the amount of lift you will need will be directly related to the size and volume of the air bladders you will be diving with, your bodyweight, your diving weight, the exposure suit you are wearing and the number of tanks you will be carrying.