The Scuba BCD

A scuba bcd makes you float.

I had a friend who wanted to do the open water certification with me years ago. During the swim test the guy sank like a rock. But when he was asked to dive to the bottom he couldn't get off the surface. His butt stayed above the water like a duck who couldn't dive

I had a friend who wanted to do the open water certification with me years ago. During the swim test the guy sank like a rock. But when he was asked to dive to the bottom he couldn't get off the surface. His butt stayed above the water like a duck who couldn't dive.

If you don't have the right buoyancy compensator device(bcd) you can end up like my buddy and spend your dive constantly fighting your bcd. You want to float and it's dragging you down, you want to dive and it's keeping you up.

For the most part this is fixed by actually knowing how to use your bcd properly, but choosing the right bcd for your diving needs and diving ability make learning how to use it a lot easier.

Types of Scuba Diving BCD

There three basic types of Scuba Buoyancy Compensators.

  • Vest or Jacket
  • Wing
  • Horse Collar

Only two of these are really used in scuba diving today.

Follow this link to learn more about each type of bcd.

BCD Features

Buoyancy compensators can have a ton of features or very few. Options are almost limitless.

The more features it has usually the more expensive it is. But what do you need and what is just fluff?

Follow this link to learn more about the features available on a bcd.

Maintenance And Care

Scuba bcds are expensive. Practicing good post dive care and general maintenance will give your equipment a long life and save you from having to spend money on a new one.

Follow this link to learn more about bcd care and maintenance.

Putting It All Together

There's a lot to consider before buying a bcd.

On the surface a scuba bcd should fit like a snug jacket. Not too tight under the arms or across the torso. Women should choose a model designed for them.

But like everything else when it comes to diving it's about more than just fit and style

You need to consider what type of diving you are doing and what gear you'll need to carry with you to do it. A bcd is not just an airbag. A good one is like Batmans utility belt.

Consider what features are essential to you and find the one that most closely fits that profile.

Start reading reviews and manufacturers materials, read forums and ask other divers for their opinions.

Be honest with yourself about the type of diving you'll be doing, make a checklist of everything you need in a scuba bcd,do your homework and you should end up with the right scuba bcd for you.


Return to Home From Scuba BCD