Managing Your Air Consumption: Practical Tips

Managing Your Air Consumption: Practical Tips

Pre dive safety check

Let's get more dive time - Sergiy Zavgorodny

Nothing is more disappointing than prematurely ending your dive because you have used too much air. 

In situations like these, you, along with your dive buddy, surface, and sees the rest of the dive group diving on.

If you are a new diver, chances are you may experience this incident a few times.

The best way to get more dive time is by gaining more experience. You'll slowly learn the small factors that helps you to conserve air and efficiently manage your air consumption.

You can also improve your dive time by Knowing Your Air Consumption on Land

Here are some practical pointers that will help you increase your understanding of managing your air consumption and make your dive time a little longer.

Managing Your Air: Pre-Dive

If you are diving at a new dive spot, using a new set of equipment, or simply returning to diving after a long time, it pays to quick-check your buoyancy before descending. If you have been out of the water for more than a year, tuning up first in the pool is strongly recommended.

Before making the dive, do a weight check while on the surface and see that you are properly weighted.

Over weight will only increase drag and give you a bad possession in the water. When you inflate your BCD too much, the drag further increases and consequently escalates your air consumption.

IN many cases it's better to have your own equipment. If you use your own, you will naturally become more familiar with it each time you dive, making yourself more comfortable in the water and thereby have a better feeling of control.

Be fit, eat healthy and work out. Cardio exercises significantly improve your breathing and use of oxygen.

Here's How to Train For Diving

diver offering air to an out of air emergency

Don't go running out before you surface - Credit: Mark Doherty

Managing Your Air Underwater

When you reach the depth that you aimed for, always maintain good neutral buoyancy, as it prevents you from using too much effort underwater.

Breathe slowly in a controlled and regular tempo even when the marine life sights excite you. Remember not to hold your breath, as it will make you breathe harder and cause you to gasp for more air when you try to return to your normal breathing. Note: It's dangerous to hold your breath while diving.

Move around slowly on your dive. You will use more energy and air when you swim around hastily.

Minimize the use of your arms! Instead, keep your arms tucked in the side or crossed on your breasts and use your legs and fins to propel your body. This effectively minimizes drag.

It is also important to note that each type of kick may work differently on certain types of dive fins. Choose a scuba fin that fits your needs with and which has a well-engineered design that can provide enough blade flexibility and good push while using less energy.

Keep It Slow To Save Air

Diver sitting on the bottom with turtle fins

Learn to relax while diving - Elisei Shafer

Learn to relax on your dive. Diving should be fun and relaxing not stressful and demanding.

Relaxing will make your breathing lighter, you won't be tired out as easy and you'll definitely enjoy the dive even more.

The best way to relax on your dive is by maintaining neutral buoyancy, and focusing on your possession in the water. Keep with the group, behind your guide and close to your buddy this will give you peace of mind and help you relax.

Your dive instructor can also provide you with a few good tips and some guidance to advance your air consumption.

Remember that to master these simple techniques , you'll have to put them into practice to being 100% comfortable and feeling fully “in control” on your dive.

It may take some time to become adept at these techniques but as they say, “Practice makes perfect!”

How's your buoyancy?

How well are you maintaining our Buoyancy? Do you have a few tips to share to other divers?

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVE.in you can always catch him here [email protected]

3 Comments

  1. jimmy cottrill

    as a new diver i found your comments very useful ,to which i will be trying to make use of them.

    Reply
    • Torben Lonne

      Sounds great. Try it out while diving, and you will most likely see a small improvement.

  2. David Tombs

    Good information as always. I am interested as to what people find most effective in improving their SAC. Is it weight loss,strength training or aerobic training. For me its strength training.

    Reply

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