Learn to orally inflate your BC

Everyone can press a button but not everyone is comfortable to inflate a buoyancy compensator orally in the water. It is a good skill to have and it cannot hurt to really master it. It is taught in all entry level diving course as a mean to attain positive buoyancy in the case of an emergency. It is also part of a proper buddy check.

Before the appearance of the power inflator or low-pressure inflator BCs were always orally inflated. Having an on-demand inflator has just made it easier.

Be it on the boat at buddy check, just after the entry to make yourself float, underwater to adjust buoyancy or back to the surface after the dive, there are many occasions divers can practice.

Just make sure you are comfortable and that the conditions are good before practicing. Do not hesitate to use the button in doubt or if you feel you are not positively buoyant enough.

Another reason outside safety is to save a little bit of air every time. Not much but if added to all the other little things can make a difference.


A wing is an air cell used for buoyancy control. It is normally composed of a bladder protected by a nylon outer shell. A wing can have a horseshoe shape or a donut shape. It is attached to the plate of a diving harness. Some brands of scuba gear started to offer one piece wing style or hybrid jacket to the main market.

BCD – Buoyancy Control Device

A BCD or Buoyancy Control Device is an air cell that can be inflated or deflated. It is nowadays used by all divers to control buoyancy and help stay comfortably afloat at the surface. Most are in a jacket style of BCD but they can also be what is called wing BCD or even an hybrid of the two. In technical diving it is normally a wing attached to the backplate which can have a double internal bladder for added redundancy.