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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm soon to be taking my BSAC PIE and one of the potential lessons on the list is "Buoyancy". This is also on the list of the three most failed lessons. So, my question is, what do I teach for this lesson - bearing in mind it has to be about 20 mins?

Looking in the instuctor manual there is, in ocean diver lesson 2, a section "Buoyancy control - mid water hover", which is detailed as being:

From a kneeling position inflate dry suit in short bursts to lift clear of the bottom. Vent/re-inflate in short bursts to achieve a hover in mid water (ie completely clear of the bottom and below the surface), adjust dry suit inflation so that no further inflation/deflation is required while gently ascending/descending with breathing cycle, remain clear of the bottom and the surface throughout breathing cycle.

That's all well and good, and I could break that down into two steps (inflate clear of the bottom, adjust inflation so you float nicely) and combine it with a fin pivot and a bit of a horizontal hover, but it doesn't really strike me as a full lesson. Any ideas?

Cheers,

Chris
 

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Cake Monitor
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it doesn't really strike me as a full lesson. Any ideas?
Bit of a cheek for me to be posting in here, as I've only just passed my OW. Don't know how long ago you learned to dive, but I thought I'd chip in and say that from a student's point of view, achieving neutral buoyancy is not something that I got right first time.

I appreciated being given time to get the hang of it, and to do it all over again. You could repeat the whole thing, or if slightly overweighting a student for the purpose of an exercise isn't considered an automatic fail, how about getting them neutrally buoyant then adding a weight to their bcd pocket to make them start all over again?

20 minutes might sound a lot but again from a student's point of view the time just disappears.
 

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5 min brief, 5 min REAP. That leaves 10 mins for the lesson.......

You don't need to teach lots...you need to teach safely and correctly.

After re-reading your post I see it is one of the most failed lessons. I presume this is because the potential instructor was not in control of the student allowing the possibility of a runaway ascent to the surface....so stay in close contact, with a hand on a spare dump valve while the student inflates BC etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
5 min brief, 5 min REAP. That leaves 10 mins for the lesson.......

You don't need to teach lots...you need to teach safely and correctly.

After re-reading your post I see it is one of the most failed lessons. I presume this is because the potential instructor was not in control of the student allowing the possibility of a runaway ascent to the surface....so stay in close contact, with a hand on a spare dump valve while the student inflates BC etc.
Thanks, its actually 45 mins for the whole thing, so 20 mins of actual in water time (after taking out brief, reap, getting in and out, surface swim kitting up etc)

I was thinking of minimising the danger element by doing it in shallow water - a couple of meters - this would also allow me to talk about that we're doing it in the hardest depth to master it in etc, but thats a very good point of staying extra close when they're inflating etc.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bit of a cheek for me to be posting in here, as I've only just passed my OW. Don't know how long ago you learned to dive, but I thought I'd chip in and say that from a student's point of view, achieving neutral buoyancy is not something that I got right first time.

I appreciated being given time to get the hang of it, and to do it all over again. You could repeat the whole thing, or if slightly overweighting a student for the purpose of an exercise isn't considered an automatic fail, how about getting them neutrally buoyant then adding a weight to their bcd pocket to make them start all over again?

20 minutes might sound a lot but again from a student's point of view the time just disappears.
Thanks a lot, good to have the view point of someone who's just been through it :)

I'll certainly have extra weight near by - I might put them on a mini-shot line to have them to hand. And I see what you mean about the time - I just don't want it to be too short a lesson :)

Thanks a lot,

Chris
 

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When I was doing my lesson plans for my PIE I started with:

1) Crude buoyancy on surface (inflate/deflate BC)
2) Fine buoyancy on surface (Deflate until eyes level with surface then Breathe In & Out)

HTH


G
 

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bulging sweaty dirty putrescent member
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Fin pivots are one of the fundamental things to master when starting diving so I often take my students thru the cycle whether Ocean or Sports, especially as it can be done in minutes
a) it reinforces good teaching
b) puts em back on the right path

It's always Monkey see Monkey do
1) achieve neutral buoyancy reinforcing the need for very small ins and outs from the inflater/dump
2) just lifting chest off ground by breathing in and dropping down by breathing out - this also tests the neutral buoyancy
3) lift to maybe 30cm and drop
4) lift to 60cm - still pivoting on fins
5) lift off to 1mtr, hold and drop

You can also demo rising over rocks using lung volume whilst finning

Precise buoyancy control is lacking in many divers and is something that is usually evidenced when task loading such as firing DSMB's. The recent BSAC initiative is on the right track.

hth, Charlie
 

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How about stealing some ideas from the buoyancy and trim workshop if your studants are in open water this can be adapted for all levels

Set up a shot or use one already there go down it stopping at 6 or 3 m then stop 1m from the bottom go for a bit if a dive keeping 1m from the bottom then come back up the shot stopping at given marks for 3 mins


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Cake Monitor
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Fin pivots are one of the fundamental things to master when starting diving
Really? It's never been explained to me what the point is of fin pivots as a skill in itself, though I realise they're one of the ways you can practice and demonstrate ability in another skill i.e. buoyancy adjustment through breathing.

I don't think fin pivots themselves are fundamental to diving, in fact I really really hope they're not because I confess that I never did master them. Hopefully I wouldn't fail sports diver because of it if I take that route.

What I DO realise is fundamental is being able to use your breathing to control your position in the water and what my instructor did a great job of teaching me is how to use my breathing to raise or lower myself in the water, swim over coral, drop down to look at something interesting etc.

If my instructor held onto my fins then yes I could pivot up and down using my breathing, but it's the balancing on the fins part that I found hard, and to be honest while I can fully understand how useful it is to be able to fine tune your buoyancy with breathing, I totally fail to see the need to be able to master the skill of fin pivots as a skill in their own right.

Perfectly happy to admit that there may well be something I'm missing about this skill.

Perhaps I'd find it easier in a pool where there's no swell to push you off balance?
 

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Although I've retired from the ITS circuit and examining on PIE you might find the following useful;

Don't be surprised if you don't have fully twenty minutes to teach your lesson; your fellow candidates will usually have some unintentional issue that eats into the time (often the inability to actually achieve the skill you're trying to teach them) and don't forget you'll need to control the class and deploy a datum. So pare the lesson right down to the bone. Fin pivots, although not the most exciting or useful of buoyancy drills, will fill the time nicely by the time you break it down into its component parts and demo/mimic each stage. Don't forget to demonstrate fault correction too, pick on even the slightest error and correct it.
 

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The thing to remember on the PIE is to visibly teach. Just as you'd ensure that a driving test examiner noticed you doing mirror-signal-maouevre, so let your diving examiner see you teaching. e.g., use of inflate/ deflate controls, visibly breathing in & out & showing impact on buoyancy.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Don't be surprised if you don't have fully twenty minutes to teach your lesson; your fellow candidates will usually have some unintentional issue that eats into the time (often the inability to actually achieve the skill you're trying to teach them) and don't forget you'll need to control the class and deploy a datum. So pare the lesson right down to the bone. Fin pivots, although not the most exciting or useful of buoyancy drills, will fill the time nicely by the time you break it down into its component parts and demo/mimic each stage. Don't forget to demonstrate fault correction too, pick on even the slightest error and correct it.
Thank you for this, very interesting. I'm not sure how I'll manage to break down fin pivots - they seem pretty atomic to me, but I'll have a go. Thanks.

Chris
 

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You could repeat the whole thing, or if slightly overweighting a student for the purpose of an exercise isn't considered an automatic fail, how about getting them neutrally buoyant then adding a weight to their bcd pocket to make them start all over again?
One of the most useful exercises we did in the pool session for my PPB course was to establish neutral buoyancy and then start passing weights back and forth -- 1kg, then 2kg, then 3kg... I discovered what "perfectly neutral" really means and also that the maximum amount I can compensate using my lungs alone is about 2-3kg! I had to get the amount of air in BCD just right and then either breathe out all the way (when I passed off the weight) or in all the way (when I got it back). Great exercise for breath-controlled buoyancy IMHO...

I don't think fin pivots themselves are fundamental to diving, in fact I really really hope they're not because I confess that I never did master them. Hopefully I wouldn't fail sports diver because of it if I take that route.

If my instructor held onto my fins then yes I could pivot up and down using my breathing, but it's the balancing on the fins part that I found hard, and to be honest while I can fully understand how useful it is to be able to fine tune your buoyancy with breathing, I totally fail to see the need to be able to master the skill of fin pivots as a skill in their own right.

Perfectly happy to admit that there may well be something I'm missing about this skill.

Perhaps I'd find it easier in a pool where there's no swell to push you off balance?
I 'got' the buoyancy skills very easily on the initial training courses, but I'm struggling with the fin pivot skill to demo standard for my DM course because in the pool, with pool fins on, I have really floaty feet and tend to 'travel' while pivoting because my feet aren't securely anchored to the bottom. (Weirdly enough, I have much less trouble in a drysuit... maybe because I can move the air around so that my feet are less buoyant than the rest of me?) I think ankle weights may be the answer, much as I'm reluctant to use them... But I agree, fin pivots are less about overall buoyancy control than trim and the relative buoyancy of various parts of the body in different circumstances.
 

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I 'got' the buoyancy skills very easily on the initial training courses, but I'm struggling with the fin pivot skill to demo standard for my DM course because in the pool, with pool fins on, I have really floaty feet and tend to 'travel' while pivoting because my feet aren't securely anchored to the bottom. (Weirdly enough, I have much less trouble in a drysuit... maybe because I can move the air around so that my feet are less buoyant than the rest of me?) I think ankle weights may be the answer, much as I'm reluctant to use them... But I agree, fin pivots are less about overall buoyancy control than trim and the relative buoyancy of various parts of the body in different circumstances.
spread your legs as far apart as they will go. If you have genuinely floaty feet, this will help.
 

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spread your legs as far apart as they will go. If you have genuinely floaty feet, this will help.
:eek: ;)

Um, thanks... I'll give it a go! thankfully we wear wetsuits in the pool, this should preserve other divers from embarrassment (me, I am immune from such problems...)!
 

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Really? It's never been explained to me what the point is of fin pivots as a skill in itself, though I realise they're one of the ways you can practice and demonstrate ability in another skill i.e. buoyancy adjustment through breathing.

I don't think fin pivots themselves are fundamental to diving, in fact I really really hope they're not because I confess that I never did master them. Hopefully I wouldn't fail sports diver because of it if I take that route.


If my instructor held onto my fins then yes I could pivot up and down using my breathing, but it's the balancing on the fins part that I found hard, and to be honest while I can fully understand how useful it is to be able to fine tune your buoyancy with breathing, I totally fail to see the need to be able to master the skill of fin pivots as a skill in their own right.
:eek: Haylo, I hope you did master them, otherwise your instructor has failed standards by passing you as an Open water diver.

Fin pivots are a means to an end. they allow a diver to achieve neutral buoyancy whilst still maintianing contact with something. I have to say that I rarely use the, ' as a fin pivot', but they are the first step to buoyancy control. The gentle and controlled rise and fall is essential. If your instructor didn't get that point across, then he failed you there too. Part of all PADI dive briefings is explaining the practical application and necessity for being able to master a skill. The reason you would achieve that with both LP inflator and oral inflate is so that in the case of BCD failure, you can still see it is fairly simple to be neutral. (having said that, I think I finpivoted for 2 hours last night!)

To the OP:
If keeping control of the studen is a problem that causes the failures, you could try to keep control of the student by keeping close, then either slipping a finger through one of the plastic loops on the end of a BCD strap, or on their guage hose. I'll negatively weight so that I can pretty much stick myself on a platform, which gives them a fixed reference.

:)
 

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:eek: Haylo, I hope you did master them, otherwise your instructor has failed standards by passing you as an Open water diver.
Is it a necessary component of the skill that students be able to fin pivot without the instructor helping to hold their fins down because of floaty feet problems (rather than having to hold the student down because of buoyancy problems)? On the training sessions I've been on where a fin pivot has been required (my OW, PPB, drysuit and watching others do PPB/drysuit), it seems to be common practice for the instructor to say that if the student is having problems keeping their feet down, he/she (or DM) will gently hold on to the student's fin tips to assist.
 

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Nobody's mentioned a weight check yet. Surely that's the fundamental of fundamentals when it comes to buoyancy control?
 

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Nobody's mentioned a weight check yet. Surely that's the fundamental of fundamentals when it comes to buoyancy control?
I was toying with suggesting it, but thought it might be too basic. Ideally a weight check is done with 30bar in the cylinder, but if they have full cylinders it could be an opportunity to reitterate the weight of air. Extra points for removing things you might drop before the weight check (camera, dSMB).

The freaky thing I learned about correct weighting is the massive difference a hood and gloves can make.

What would a good open water weight check look like? I guess you need a 3m or 4m wall ideally with ladders. Suck the BC dry, vent the dry suit, remove weights until they float.
When I did a CCR try dive the instructor had weights with dog clips on. We got me in the water light then could clip weights on to drings to get the weight right.

Not sure I could make a 45 minute lesson out of it though, unless you then took then to 3m or 4m and got them to hold a stop, do fin pivots.
 

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One of the most useful exercises we did in the pool session for my PPB course was to establish neutral buoyancy and then start passing weights back and forth -- 1kg, then 2kg, then 3kg... I discovered what "perfectly neutral" really means and also that the maximum amount I can compensate using my lungs alone is about 2-3kg!
Sounds like a very useful exercise, and how interesting to know that your lungs can compensate for 2-3 kg. :)

:eek: Haylo, I hope you did master them, otherwise your instructor has failed standards by passing you as an Open water diver.
I mastered fin pivots with my fins held down, which I understand is common practice and one that I am perfectly happy about. If I do have to do this skill for any continuing training maybe I'll borrow some ankle weights, though I have no doubt at all that it would be very easy in a pool, where I was far less buoyant.

The gentle and controlled rise and fall is essential. If your instructor didn't get that point across, then he failed you there too.
Where do you get the idea that he didn't get that across? I thought my last post was pretty clear about it. I already said "my instructor did a great job of teaching me is how to use my breathing to raise or lower myself in the water, swim over coral, drop down to look at something interesting etc."

I don't consider that my instructor failed me at all, he got that point across very well, and had me rising and falling both by both large and small amounts until I'd got the hang of it. To be honest it was hardly rocket science, and on the open water dives we kept swimming above coral so we could practice "lifting" over it by using our breathing - there was a lot of emphasis on the importance of buoyancy control, though please don't read that as boasting; I'm very aware that I still have a lot to learn.
 
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