Buoyancy Control Devices (BCD's) - What You Should Know?
BCD is short for buoyancy control device compensator or also called a buoyancy compensator, BC, BCD, stabiliser, or wing. It is a piece of diving equipment containing a bladder which is worn by divers to establish neutral buoyancy underwater and positive buoyancy on the surface when needed.
The right fit
There is a wide range of different types of BCD's that typically have shoulder and waist adjustments to help you custom fit your BCD to your body. It is important to get the right comfort and fit otherwise you don't want to become uncomfortable whilst under the water on a 60minute scuba dive.
It is important that when fitting your BCD the straps aren't tightened all the way up as this may mean you should try the size down. The same goes for having the straps all the way to the end for looseness as this may mean you should try the size up for a more comfortable fit - the BCD should fit with the straps extended to mid range only. This will accommodate for weight loss/ gain, and also if you want to dive with different thickness wetsuits/ dry suit.
How to care for your BCD
To extend the life of your BCD and avoid rips, tears and features not working correctly you should wash your BCD after every dive with fresh water and some sort of BCD conditioner such as Ocean Fresh Wetsuit Wash or B.C Wash to remove bacteria, salt if dived in the Ocean and prolong the life of your BCD.
Tank back plates
Tank back plates are used with wing-style BCD's and help to stabilize the dive tank and hold it in place.