You are neutrally buoyant when you neither float nor sink. When the buoyant force is equal to the weight of your body, you can stay underwater horizontally with no effort and without floating to the surface or sinking to the bottom. When in neutral buoyancy, it is easy to change your depth through small movements of your body such as stretching out your hand. This makes freediving easier and more efficient, but can cause you to descend quickly without warning.
It is not safe practice to overweight yourself when planning to freedive horizontally, for example, along a coral reef. Overweighting in this situation is dangerous as you may constantly struggle against your weight to maintain your position in the water, and even more so in an emergency situation: although it is easier to start your descent by carrying more weight, the ascent is more difficult and you use more energy.
If you want to learn more about boyancy and selecting the right amount of extra weight, contact us!
Photo: Sandy Orka