Everyone wants dives to last as long as possible. After all, the underwater world is amazing, and the more time we can spend down there, the better. But, every body is different, and because of that, every person consumes air at a different rate.
Still, there are a few things you can do to improve your air consumption after your Open Water Diver course. Keep reading for one diver’s tips.
- Want to make your tank last longer? Then dive, dive, dive. The more you dive, the more you become comfortable underwater, and this improves your air consumption.
- Fidgeting underwater will only make you use more air than needed. Let yourself float and go with the flow. Move your fins only when needed. You’ll last longer underwater doing this.
- If you can’t get yourself to relax underwater, look for a strategic spot where you can stop moving and just take in the beauty of the marine habitat surrounding you. As you get enticed by the splendor of the deep sea, you’ll start feeling more relaxed, reducing your air consumption.
- When you’re diving, the worst thing you can do is take short, shallow breaths. Think yoga and breathe slowly and deeply on both the inhale and exhale. Practice this at home to get used to this kind of deep breathing. Remember what you learned on your open water course: Never hold your breath and try to lower your air intake!
- Learning to be neutrally buoyant is a skill that takes a lot of practice, but the pay off is huge. In the ideal scenario, you are staying level at the safety stop with about 50 bar in your tank and no air in your BCD. If you are struggling to stay at the desired depth because you’re not properly weighted — letting air in and out of the BCD — you’re obviously not conserving any air. Consider enrolling in the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course.
- A simple way to stop air consumption: reduce leaks. Check your o-rings, inflater hose, and connection points. Pack a save-a-dive kit in case you find anything faulty while you’re out on a dive trip.
- You can decrease resistance while swimming by making sure you maintain a horizontal position. This allows you to reduce air consumption. The more vertical you are, the more air you will inevitably consume. If you are having difficulty staying horizontal, adjust the position of your weights, tank and BCD.
- If you’re worried your dive will be short, remember to go shallower. You can always move up a few feet to use less air.
- This might seem like common sense, but, while diving, take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy the experience. Go with the flow, as they say, and avoid darting about.
- Don’t let any of your accessories dangle from your gear setup. This create drag and will increase air consumption.