Why Nitrox Dive? A Closer Look at The Nitrox Course
Nitrox Dive is a very popular trend among recreational scuba divers.
In fact, the Nitrox Dive specialty course, also known as Enriched Air Nitrox, is the most popular and often first specialty course scuba diver chose to participate in.
What does Nitrox Dive mean?
Nitrox Dive offers a scuba diver to breath an air blend of anything from 21% to 40% of oxygen from our scuba tank. That essentially decreases the Nitrogen level too. Decreasing N2 level reduces the amount of N2 we absorb during the dive, which has many advantages soon to be described.
Why is Nitrox Dive so popular?
Well, to clear things out, let’s start with two common misconceptions:
1. Nitrox Dive isn’t necessarily safer.
Any well-trained scuba diver who follows all dive procedures should be safe. On a Nitrox Dive you follow similar procedures, and even add more elements to look after when you plan your Nitrox Dive. As long as you follow dive procedures you should be safe regardless to the amount of oxygen you’re breathing from your tank.
2. Nitrox Dive can be deeper than a normal air dive
It actually works the other way. On a Nitrox Dive you inhale greater percentage of oxygen, which offers a lot of benefits soon to be described. High O2 partial pressure, achieved when diving deep on high O2 percentage can increase chances of O2 toxicity, and although easily avoided it limits our depth limits.
Why Nitrox Dive than?
1. Nitrox Dive allows extended No Decompression Limits (NDL).
As you’re exposed to less Nitrogen, you can stay down there a lot longer, or increase your safety margin a bit more. The Higher the O2 percentage, the longer the NDL is.
2. Nitrox Dive allows shorter Surface Interval between repetitive dives.
During a Nitrox Dive we absorb less N2, as mentioned previously, in effect, there’s no need for us to wait that long for N2 elimination, which can be a huge advantage when on a short dive trip and wanting to dive as much as possible.
How significant is the difference between a normal scuba dive and a Nitrox Dive?
The most popular Nitrox Dive Oxygen blends contain 32% and 36% O2.
Here are the differences in NDL (Bottom time limits) and Depth limits:
As we can see, Nitrox Dive certainly works out in our favor. Adding up the fact its very easy to learn and master there’s no reason why all divers should consider Nitrox dive on their next dive trip.