16 Mar How to reduce your air consumption!
Are you always the first diver who signals low on air, while the rest still has a 100 bar while surfacing. Are you watching your dive guide carefully to see if he breaths at all or has gills. How would it otherwise explain the full tank after surfacing.
Or do you always suspect that your tank is leaking. If this sounds a lot like you, then we have a few simple tips for you in this blog to become just as sufficient with air as all the divers you envy.
#1 Relax Probably one of the biggest factor when it comes to reducing your air consumption. Start with just enjoying your dive from now and stop thing about breathing to much or checking your air gauge every 5 minutes. The moment you start to relax you will notice you air- consumption reducing immensely.
#2 Move slow and no hands. Make sure your movements are slow under water. You can compare your movements with when you would be jogging. You breath a lot more when you jog than when you would just be walking. So swim slow and only use your legs to swim. Using your hands will only overexert you and it has hardly any effect. Another benefit of moving slow is that you will spot a lot more marine life. Try to stay out of the currents, closer to the reef or bottom the current is usually weaker.
#3 Good buoyancy and proper weighting One way to waste a lot of air is by constantly putting air in and out of your BCD during the dive. To solve this problem you need to be properly weighted and master good neutral buoyancy. If you find you have some difficulties with your buoyancy you might consider doing the Peak performance buoyancy specialty. During this course you will notice your skill will improve a lot.
#4 Be streamlined. reduce drag by minimizing and securing your hoses. Carry only what you need and use accessories which are designed for pocket storage. For example it is unnecessary to bring your fish slates if your are doing wreck penetration. Also important is that your equipment is the right size. All this will make you more streamlined and causes less drag. Less drag means less exertion during your dive.
#5 Don’t get cold. As you have learned during your Open Water you lose heat from your body around 20 times faster in water than in air. So avoid getting cold by wearing an adequate exposure suite. If your cold your body uses more energy to stay warm, which will make you use more air.
#6 Take deep breaths. Some divers think that they save air by taking shallow breaths, just sipping from their tank, but the opposite happens, you just waste more air. With every first breath you take you breath in dead air that was left behind after your last breath in your throat and trachea. This death air as a high concentration of carbon dioxide and less oxygen. Carbon dioxide triggers you to take another breath, before you even need more oxygen. If you take a deep breath, you will inhale more fresh air and more oxygen is being delivered to the lungs. Which delays the urge to take another breath. That way your tank will last longer, as ]you need fewer breaths. Breath slow, to give your lungs more time to uptake oxygen, take a pause after inhaling and exhale completely.
#7 Keep diving As they say practice makes perfect. So just keep diving and you will get more relax and more comfortable under water.
Keep in mind though that everyone is different. some people just simple use more air. Man use in general more air then women. They have large lungs en therefore use more air. So when you are diving compare your air consumption only with divers of similar gender and size. Apply these tips during your future dives and you will become better, just don’t pressure yourself in becoming the best.