When someone asks me – how do you stay underwater for so long – I immediately feel the need to go into a lengthy conversation regarding air conservation logistics, because like them, I hate ending a dive because I’m low on air.
Although I may be a pretty seasoned diver, I’m still an absolute pig on air. No matter how hard I try, I always find myself needing to surface way sooner than my dive buddy.
So what is the golden secret to extending your air supply? Breathing from a hidden pony bottle? Stealing air from your dive buddies regulator when they’re not looking?
Not all divers breath equally, and though many things play a role in how fast you consume the gas in your tank, there are small things you can do to conserve one of the most precious resources you have underwater.
Proper positioning in the water column will significantly help your air consumption.
This includes keeping your body horizontal instead of vertical and positioning yourself to swim with the current as opposed to fighting against it.
Fighting with your buoyancy and continuously inflating and deflating your BCD will quickly use up your air supply especially when you are at depth.
By mastering neutral buoyancy and getting your trim down to perfection, you can ensure that you are not wasting precious reserves lugging around extra weight.
Too much stuff will without a doubt drag you down – all while doing a number on your air supply.
Streamline is the way to be when underwater. Tuck in your hoses and gauges, don’t swim with your arms and minimize your scuba accessories to keep your dive profile slim and trim.
Overall fitness has a significant role in reducing your air consumption while scuba diving.
I’m not going to get into the science, but the gist of it is; by working your muscles and heart, your body will require less oxygen and therefore less air to keep itself moving.
Good cross training exercises for scuba diving include endurance sports such as swimming, running, biking or anything that gets your heart pumping and works the cardiovascular system.
Water 800 times more dense than air. Therefore it takes more effort to move through it.
Instead of huffing and puffing your way around a shipwreck at race speed, calm, slow and relaxed movements can you get to where you want to go all while keeping your breathing rate down. If you’re heading down for a deep dive try using the guideline hand over hand to pull yourself down instead of wasting energy (and air) finning.
Slow is the way to go!
If you’re cold, you suck back more air. That’s because your body wastes energy trying to stay warm and therefore consumes more oxygen in the process.
By making sure you have adequate thermal protection during a dive, you are not only making your time underwater more enjoyable, but you are also conserving your air.
Are you someone who gets chilled easily? Consider diving with a neoprene hood. They may not look the greatest but statistics say that close to 40% of body heat is lost from your head.
Conserving your air while scuba diving is an important skill to master. The more you can optimize your air intake the longer you will be able to stay underwater. Not only will this enable you to extend your dive time but you will also get more from your diving experience.
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Black scuba diving turtle fins