How To Master Your Buoyancy: With UW Frisbee

How To Master Your Buoyancy: With UW Frisbee
Rich Carey

Fun with the underwater Frisbee

A great way of becoming a better diver is by mastering your buoyancy to perfection. It makes you stir up less bottom silt, gives you better air consumption, and generally gives you a greater control of yourself underwater.

There are a lot of ways you can enhance your buoyancy skills. For example you can enroll in a PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Course. Or have your dive instructor give you pointers before or after dives.

Playing with your Frisbee

I found, teaching a peak performance course, that the best and a really fun way of learning buoyancy is through play. This way you stop thinking about controlling everything and instead start playing. Try it out, it works.

Make sure you have a sand bottom so you don’t injure yourself or the corals.

For the underwater play I used an underwater Frisbee, but you can also use other throwing items like squids, torpedoes or balls. Just make sure they are negative/neutral buoyant so they’ll stay on the bottom.

Go down with your buddy or bring more divers to play with, throw between each other like when you were playing catch as a child.

Only change: in this version of “catch” you are not allowed to touch the bottom or especially the surface.

Watch how these divers play catch using an underwater frisbee.


In the throwing game you focus on the Frisbee and therefore you tend to stay near the Frisbee. In the beginning you have to add small amounts of air to the BCD to adapt to the depth. Afterward your buoyancy should be good. You then go through the game, fine tune the buoyancy to perfection, as you know from a regular dive.

There are a lot of advantages in learning by playing. First of all you learn while having fun and isn’t that what scuba diving is all about?  Second, playing takes away your focus from the buoyancy, which makes you more natural in the water.

You will master this skill without even knowing it by playing and having fun.


Another fun way to play is doing it head down, fins up. Floating in middle-water head down while playing catch underwater is a cool, and even more fun experience than the “head up” version. This way you still have a main focus on the game and on your position in the water.

This way you really learn to control your buoyancy using only your breath, you will learn that this way you won’t find either your arms or fins to be very much help.

Here’s how to Stay Longer Underwater: Learning to Breathe.

This is definitely the best way to learn buoyancy on your own, remember to continue playing underwater Frisbee while in reversed possession.

A diver doing the ‘head up’ version
A diver doing the ‘head up’ version
Photo by: Gerardo Borbolla

Quick pointers

If you find yourself ascending too much, exhale all air from your lungs, this will make you go down again. And if you are too close to the bottom, then inhale a bit. Controlling the buoyancy only using your breath is a good way to becoming perfect.

Remember always to breathe, never hold your breath. This way expanding air can escape your lungs so you don’t get a lung overexpansion injury. And watch out that you don’t pop up to the surface.


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