Choose a BC That Fits Your Diving Needs
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Are there different types of buoyancy compensators?
The more you know about your buoyancy compensator, the better control you will have in achieving diving buoyancy or staying at a constant depth.
Choosing a buoyancy compensator that fits snugly and is comfortable to wear is important for an enjoyable dive. You also need to pick the BC that fits your diving needs.
There are three primary types of BCs:
- Wings, which are attached to a back plate. Wings have high buoyancy and often are used in technical diving. Just like a bird's wings, the inflatable bladders are positioned behind and to the side of a diver. Wings are not for everyone. They may float the diver face down, posing a danger in a life-threatening situation.
- Stab jackets, or vest BCs. The inflatable vests are comfortable to wear, fitting around the upper torso. They also serve as a cylinder harness.
- Adjustable buoyancy life jackets. Also known as horsecollar BCs, they are worn around the neck and chest. These older-generation scuba BCDs are inexpensive, but divers sometimes find the straps that secure them uncomfortable.