We get so many divers coming through our door saying how to improve their diving as they do not feel comfortable etc.. Well we have added some back to basics tips below which many divers forget about.. Some of this some of you would have not remembered from your Open Water courses and some of you will but this should be a good reminder for everyone.
1. Keep hydrated, especially in hot weather, at some point in your dive there will be strenuous activity, normally donning the equipment, with an exposure suit on it will cause a sweat (even in cold places) so its very important to keep drinking.
2. Equalize often- The first thing you are taught is about equalization, but with everything else going on (turtles above your head etc) many divers forget and realize too late, they then feel they can’t ascend back up to equalize when the rest of the group is going down. Often people give up quickly without giving it another try, if you have problems go up, signal to your buddy (Rattle or tank banger will help in these situations) and try to equalize again, don’t force it and descend slowly, if you are wearing a hood pull it away from your ears – keep equalizing whilst descending. The most important is to not feel pressurized to carry on the dive if you are having equalization problems.. There will be another day and another dive which is better that the alternative.
3. Breathe – Again one of the first things we all learn but over time good breathing techniques can be lost, and we may skip breathe, or breathe shallower, this can lead to an increase build up in carbon dioxide which leads to headaches and could even cause blackouts. There are better ways of conserving air such as, improving your fitness, staying shallower, taking notice of your breathing, improving your weights and trim, keeping warm, breathe deeply & slowly from the diaphragm and exhale fully.
4. Take it Easy – We don’t scuba dive to try and get somewhere
quickly, there is no underwater race, we are all there to enjoy what we see underwater. There is no point in rushing, take your time, look under the rocks, enjoy what is there – don’t just swim past and wonder why you are exhausted at the end of the dive. A good sign of you finning too fast is if after the dive you are wondering why you didn’t see that Arrow head crab, that cuttlefish hiding next to the rock etc.. If this is you, think about it next time you dive and you will find it is a better experience for you and your buddy.
5. Trim – Having your weights and cylinder in the wrong place can make a dive very uncomfortable, it just doesn’t feel right, everything is an effort and you use a lot more air trying to get it right underwater. This is where spending time in the pool adjusting your weights come in handy, in fact, PADI has picked up on this and built trim into the revision of the open water course as it is so important. Perfecting trim comes with experience, but the best thing to do is to get your buddy to look at you or even take a picture, you will then be able to see what is wrong. The PADI PPB course is all about looking at Buoyancy and Trim so its a great course for helping and getting tips to getting it right.
There are lots of other tips available to improve your diving, these are just some of the main ones and what we believe helps a lot of our divers..
Happy Diving and enjoy the underwater world.!