Tried and tested over the years, give these 7 small things that make a big difference in scuba diving a go! They will improve your enjoyment of this amazing sport!
Is your weighting correct? Some divers are far too over-weighted and don’t even realise! Ask your local dive school / instructor to help you work out your correct weighting. It will make the world of difference to your air consumption, comfort and getting into and out of the water. In essence, it’ll make your entire diving experience so much more enjoyable (and longer!).
Another of the 7 small things that make a big difference in scuba diving is to learn how to relax!
I am sure every diver has felt stressed out or slightly panicky at one stage or another. Although you might not like to admit to it, it’s not that unusual. For instance, this might be caused by task overloading, a strong current, cold water, bad visibility, a leaky mask or for no apparent reason. Sometimes it just happens!
If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, or find yourself breathing erratically, take a moment to relax. Indicate to your buddy that you need to stop a moment. Stop and breathe. Breathe in-two-three; out-two-three. You should slow down and take time to fix what might be wrong, or bothering you. Collect your thoughts. Relax.
Once you have your breathing under control, you will feel more relaxed. And if you still feel uncomfortable, abort the dive in a safe manner.
Number 3 of 7 small things that make a big difference in scuba diving is to practice your buoyancy. You might take to this this straight away. Or you might take a little longer. For instance, you might have problems staying off the bottom or keep finding yourself going up to the surface. Or you might even turn turtle… often!
It’s just a small thing, but without a doubt, the more you practice, the easier it will become.
Don’t be frightened to put air in your BCD to give yourself a bit of lift. Additionally, don’t be frightened to dump air if you find yourself ascending when you shouldn’t be. You’ll soon get to know how long (or how short) you need to press the ‘inflate’ button. You’ll also learn how much air to let out. You should definitely buy your own BCD as familiarity makes things so much easier.
Who would have thought that adding a few clips will make a big difference to your scuba diving experience?
Invest in a couple of clips and keep them in the same place on your BCD. Don’t keep swapping them to different places if they work where they are. Clip your gauge so that the hose runs under your left arm and snugly across your body and clips on the right hand side of your BCD.
Moreover, if your BCD does not have an octo pocket, tuck it under your right arm and clip it into an octo holder attached to a D-ring on the right side of your BCD. There is nothing worse than hoses that are flying loose – not only can they damage the environment, this is a sure way to damage your gear and if they’re clipped up, you will know when to find them at all times!
Keep it Simple is one of the most important of our 7 small things that make a big difference in scuba diving ! Try to keep your extras to a minimum and keep your gear neatly tucked against you. For example, attach your torch to a D ring and keep it in your BCD pocket if you aren’t using it. Clip your SMB and reel securely to your BCD so that they don’t get in the way or flap around or unravel whilst you are diving. Invest in a small knife that attaches to your BCD – it won’t get in your way and this is far better than having one strapped to your calf that can get tangled up in kelp. These are just a few small things that make a big difference to your scuba diving experience!
Know Your Limits
This is not a small thing – it’s actually really important. But something that is easy to do… Always dive within your limits. For instance, don’t go diving in conditions you are not used to or in conditions you don’t feel comfortable with, especially when you start out diving. There will be lots of time to dive in big swells and currents when you are more experienced! Equally important is that if you are not comfortable diving with the group of divers you have been invited to go diving with, give it a skip. Some people will push the envelope more than you might feel comfortable with and expect you to do the same. This is when accidents can happen. One of the most important of our 7 small things that make a big difference in scuba diving!
Regularly practicing your mask clearing and regulator retrieval can make a big difference to your scuba diving experience. And practice often. These skills need to become second nature, so that you don’t have to think about clearing your mask when it gets knocked across your face. You need to know how to retrieve and replace your regulator when it gets pulled out of your mouth by another diver who gets too close and hits you with their hand or a fin (yes, it happens!). Practice makes perfect and knowing you can handle minor mishaps like this will also make your diving more enjoyable.
All in all, these are just a few small things that will make a really big difference to your scuba diving experience. They will also set you up for more relaxed and enjoyable diving in the future!
If you need assistance with weighting, or want to do a refresher before you get back into the water, give us a call – we’re here to help!
And Point 7.5….last but not least – make sure you are a member of DAN!!