|Have you been on a dive and felt you had to swim really hard to keep up? How about your feet seem to always be headed for the surface? Maybe you keep hitting the bottom or your buddy with your fins? These are problems associated with your trim. We'll take a look at trim and go over ways to improve it.
Sinking feet is common with most new divers and directly related to kicking and weight. A diver may be over weighted and to compensate they kick downward, a simple weight check at the beginning and end of the dive can fix that. As stated above, kicking from the knees can cause this. I often video students in the pool that do the Peak Performance Buoyancy class so they can see how they kick. Kicking from the hips is important not just for trim but for swim efficiency, it also protects the coral and your buddy.
If you're kicking from the hip and you still find your legs sinking, there are a few other things you can try:
Floaty feet is not as common as sinking feet but it happens. I have seen this with bodybuilders who have well developed torsos (don't skip leg day). Dry suit divers experience this issue when the air from the suit goes to their feet.
Things you can try:
Loose hanging items are not only bad for environment, they cause a lot of drag and the swaying motion of those items affect your body position in the water. A console with a spg, depth gauge and compass is pretty heavy. Unsecured it could cause you to lean to one side. Shifting your body to compensate causes unnecessary movement further affecting your trim. If there is surge the issue is compounded.
Keep items secured close to your body. Store something like a heavy console closer to the center of your body, perhaps tucked in your waist strap. Octos should always be secured in the "triangle". Diving with a camera affects your trim, especially if its in a medium to large size waterproof housing or you are using a Go Pro floaty handle. Placement of things like knives, lights smbs and reels should be taken into account too. They should be distributed evenly, not all on 1 side
|There are many aspects to trim, more than I can cover in this article but I hope now you have a basic understanding of what it is and some common issues. Taking a course like Padi Peak Performance Buoyancy will give you the advantage of working with an instructor and fine tuning your trim and buoyancy to perfection. You can also work on these things on your own as well, if you have access to a pool thats a big plus.|