10 Tips to Decrease Air Consumption and Dive Longer
There are very few more frustrating occurrences in scuba diving as having to abort the dive due to lack of air, while everybody else is still having fun down there.
Being able to save air as you dive is one of the most important steps to become a good diver.
Here are some tips that can help us improve our diving skills:
Carrying extra weight makes a huge difference on air consumption- you have to inflate your BCD more thus increase drag, and your body’s lower part tends to sink down, while upper part rises up- which increases drag furthermore. Removing extra weights is one of the first and easy steps you can take to improve your air consumption and to be able to dive longer.
Simple buoyancy check before diving with a new gear, at a new area, or after along time without diving should do the trick.
Learn more about estimating the right amount of weight needed for scuba diving here
Try to achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy as soon as you reach your desired depth. Simple trick is to try hover : breath normally, add minimal amount of air to the BCD, inhale fully to elevate yourself off the bottom and return to normal breathing. Good buoyancy is a key element in scuba diving. It will boost you confidence level and help you conserve air, dive longer and avoid damage to the environment.
3. Move Slowly
There are numerous reasons why moving slowly when scuba diving. There’s hardly ever a need to dive fast- you use up energy and air a lot quicker, thus increase your air consumption and probably scare marine creatures as you do so.
4. Avoid Using Your Arms
Arm muscles are weaker than those in our legs, plus, arms and hands don’t propel us as much as our legs and fins do.
Use your hands for signaling, snapping photos rather than swimming. It’s estimated that a scuba diver who uses his arms often can consume his air up to 25% faster than when diving properly.
Avoid using your hands and see a huge increase in your bottom time.
Keep all hoses secured, arms tucked, and try to swim as horizontal as possible, thus minimize drag, keep yourself and the equipment off the bottom and avoid damaging the marine environment.
Don’t skip a breath. Breathe at the same tempo, long inhalations and exhalations.
It’s recommended to inhale and exhale as if whistling or sucking air. You can also pick a nice tune to help you breath at the same rhythm.
Find more breathing tips here
7. Use Familiar Scuba Equipment
To be more relaxed and feel in control, buy your own equipment. You’ll also need to make very few changes on estimating weights as mentioned in paragraph 1.
Easy to say, but some newbie diver have a natural fear when diving. The more you dive the more confidence you gain, and the more you realize there’s nothing to it.
It all comes down to it. The more you dive the better you get. Consider participating in a Pick Performance Buoyancy Course that fine tunes you buoyancy skills.
Find out more about scuba courses here
10. Dive Shallow
If you still use up air a lot quicker than your buddies, dive slightly shallower. The deeper we dive the denser the air we breahte . Dive a few feet shallower than your buddy, where the air you breathe is less dense and allows you to dive longer.