We’ve all been there, ending a dive because we ran out of air.
It’s not exactly a good feeling. There’s still so much to see but we suddenly had to cut it short. Is it because you’re not as physically fit or skilled as the next guy? Is it because you’re bigger than the rest?
There are a lot of factors to consider here. What we can teach you are tips to help you use less air when underwater. Let’s get started.
- Breathe deeply and slowly
You are working with limited air when diving. That’s why learning how to utilize the air you have is key to sustaining your stay underwater.
“Slow, deep breaths is key to conserving air,” says Kell Levendorf, dive accident investigator for Dive & Marine Consultants International. “Pause for just a second after inhalation. Do not hold your breath, but pause; keep the throat open. Deep breathing brings more fresh oxygen into the lungs and promotes better gas exchange. Shallow breathing — the bane of novice divers trying to conserve air — carries more CO2 from the dead-air spaces.”
- Swim slowly
There’s no need to hurry when you’re diving. However, it’s a common mistake divers continue to make. This is one of the reasons why you run out of air too soon.
“Doubling your speed takes four times the energy, and that boils down to using more air,” PADI’s Shreeves explains. Levendorf further shares, “A hand-over-hand descent without finning conserves energy and air.”
- Remain calm
The number one reason why you run of air to quickly is anxiety. Plenty of novice divers panic and end up using far too much air than they should. Liz Parkinson, of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas explains: “Divers who haven’t been diving for a while, have had a bad experience or not a lot of experience tend to breathe down their tanks quicker than others.”
The trick? Stay calm, find a breathing pattern and stick to it. This way, you have more time to enjoy the beauty of the deep blue sea.
Image source: sportdiver.com