Buddy diving is the use of the buddy system by scuba divers and is aimed at improving your chances of survival if something unexpected happens or your equipment malfunctions. When buddy diving you dive as a pair and stay close to your partner whilst monitoring them regularly. This can be a relaxed check if diving with someone experience or may require stict observation with a newbie.
Often in UK diving visibility is extremely limited and can be down to one metre or less. This is when a bussy line comes in handy. A buddy line is effectivley a rope that is used to tie each other together so that you don't loose each other.
A buddy line is also useful on a drift dive. During a drift dive you drift with the current and can travel several miles in the course of a dive (generally you attach a marker buoy to yourself and drag it along the surface so that a boat can follow you). During a drift it's easy to get separated from your buddy and a buddy line is used to keep you together.
Personally I don't really like the use of a buddy line for bad visibility, but generally use one on a drift dive and may use one when teaching a student in order to keep them close to me at all times.
Another use is during decompression stops. This is when you stop at a certain depth when ascending to let the nitrogen bubbles that build up in your body under pressure disperse from your tissues. A buddy line can secure you to a shot line or anchor line (used to mark an entry route) so that you don;t move about too much. During decompression it is important that you stay below a certain depth or you can suffer from decompression sickness (the bends).
===The AP Valves Buddy line===
As from my previous review of the AP valves Buddy commando jacket you can probably tell that I am a fan of AP valves/ They are a british manufacturer and make high quality, durable and reliable equipment.
The buddy line made by AP valves is a 125cm long 25mm wide strip of bright yellow webbing. It has a brass spring clip at one end that can be clipped to a divers jacket and a loop of webbing at the other which can be tied to a diver or held with your hand.
A pouch is built into the line that the webbing can be rolled up and stored in, rolling down to about 8cm in length. This pouch has a drawstring for sealing the pocket.
As mentioned above AP valves make very good kit and this is reflected here. The stiching is durable and the webbing is strong and robust. The brass clip doesn't corrode in seawater (due to being brass) annd operate smoothly and easily.
£14 might seem like an expensive piece of rope, but it is a well made item and has lasted well and compares well with other makes of buddy line.
It's a simple product (think bit of rope) but this item is well made, useful and comparable to other makes.