When you’re learning the basics, it’s natural to pay attention to the big stuff — how to breathe, how to submerge without ear pain and how to come back to the surface safely.
However, in between all the “big stuff,” your instructor may also be passing along little pearls of wisdom that will come in handy throughout your diving lifetime. So how well did you pay attention during your initial dive classes? See if you’re already following these dive tips that instructors like to pass along to students.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on a handful of dive trips or a thousand — keeping a divers log lets you preserve your experiences and helps you keep track of all those important numbers, like your weighting, type of wetsuit, and gas consumption. By knowing what to expect based on your experiences, you’ll be able to gauge what to plan for in your future dives.For example, diving in a skin or thin wetsuit in the warm Caribbean may require less weight than a thick 7mm suit in California.
Having trouble descending? Try focusing on the area beneath you, breathing out slowly and envisioning that your weight is getting heavier with every breath that leaves your lungs. This technique also helps if you feel like you’re floating too much during a dive.
Also, clear your ears early and often — don’t wait until you feel the pressure. If you feel pain, ascend a few feet until it subsides, then clear. Never keep descending, assuming your ears will “figure it out.”
Your pressure gauge reading might read “full tank,” but are you sure it’s accurate? It’s something you don’t want to second-guess, so do a test before you dive. While all of your gear is on, take three big breaths off your regulator while paying attention to your gauge.
If the needle does not move at all, then your air is on. If it drops down for a second, but then dips back up again, your air is not fully on. If it drops, and then keeps dropping repeatedly, your air was on but is now off.
Your mask is one of the most important pieces of equipment you have in your diving arsenal, and there’s nothing more distracting than a leaky mask! Not to mention the entire point of diving is to explore the world around you, and how can you do that if you can’t see? If your mask is old, get a replacement, and if it’s your first time diving, start out with a mask that a professional fits for you.
Scuba Toys has a wide selection of full face masks and traditional masks – we can help you choose the right mask for your face!
Also, consider replacing the factory strap with a more comfortable neoprene one that doesn’t catch in your hair.
Taking your time and staying relaxed is one of the most important things a new diver can do. It’s completely normal to feel excited and maybe a little nervous about your dive. You also may feel embarrassed if you’re holding other divers up — don’t be. We’ve all been beginner divers at some point.
Also, take your time with your buoyancy adjustments — avoid blasting or releasing large volumes of air from your BCD and making fast changes. Instead, add air to your BCD in small amounts, and then wait a few seconds to see how it changes your buoyancy. Take a few breaths and a few fin kicks, then reassess. When you return to the surface, make sure to use your fins instead of your BCD, and kick slow to ascend.
Panicking is clearly the worst thing you can do, so remember that you’re under the water to have fun — not submerge in a life threatening situation. By keeping this at the forefront of your mind, you’re sure to have a great dive trip, whether it’s your first time underwater or your thousandth time.
Consider taking a refresher or advanced course if you feel you need more diving tips! Scuba Toys offers year-round courses. Visit our shop in Carrollton, Texas or visit us online!
Have any diving pearls of wisdom to share? Let us know in the comments section below!