It’s great that everyone is diving again on their holidays. We have missed that so much in recent years and how nice it is to see mother nature again. As a guide, I am of course extra happy to see you in the tropical waters again. Great diving together, although for most it takes some getting used to. Suits shrunk a bit, and quite the job to set it all up again and then that first dive. Still need more weights than the last time on vacation a few years ago and the air consumption, oops goes sky-high again. Well that’s part of it for a while, but after the first few dives almost everyone is enjoying themselves again and they don’t worry about weight and air any more.
One of the most frequently asked questions is how to manage your air better. Better than having enough air with you to just dive for an hour. I often hear comments about skip breathing and can only hope no one tries that during the dive. The key to better air consumption? As far as I’m concerned, relax and enjoy and you can manage your air. I’ll explain that in a moment, but the most important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Making a nice dive is not only more important than a long one, but especially relaxing physically and mentally, not thinking too much and chilling in the water, is very important. Because the better you can do that, the less air you use and the more you enjoy it, how beautiful is that? I know it’s easier said than done but don’t think too hard really helps.
For me a dive is like a meditation, no worries, there is no world above water for a while and chit-chat while I enjoy all that natural beauty. I am well aware that people with high air consumption often think about this during the dive: ‘as long as I do this’ or ‘hope I make it this time’ or ‘I don’t want to be the limiting factor’ and you name it. A little thought like one of these increases your breathing and there you go, so you consume more air. Now I also know from experience that simply saying that you have to relax doesn’t help much either, you keep worrying and saying not to do it just isn’t that easy. And so what I do is take them on a dive. And then the assignment for that person is very simple. The question is what to do during the dive., well just let me know when you have 150, 100 and 50 bar. Stay on the same level as me and especially enjoy yourself, I’ll take care of the rest. Then once we dive I manage the dive based on the air consumption and I can tell you it’s pretty easy. I start the dive to the planned maximum depth, regardless of whether it is all the way to 40 meters. As soon as I get the hand signal that we have 150 bar I ascend to 15 meters and then don’t go any deeper. At 100 bar that is 10 meters and at 50 we start the safety stop. During the dive itself I ask my buddy to stay with me at my level and show them fun things to distract the brain. And then experience shows that almost everyone can dive for an hour on a 12 liter tank. Of course there are exceptions, but they are very rare. People with 7 liters of lung capacity, for example, or divers who naturally not pauze in their breathing cycle. But the majority can do it well.
Are you someone who uses a lot of air and would like to improve it? Then I can advise you to enter the water with an experienced diver and ask him or her to do air management for you. It is important that someone else helps you with this a few times, because otherwise you will think a lot about it yourself underwater and probably have doubts about it the first time and therefore your air will shoot up again. Then it fails and only adds to further uncertainty, quickly draining the tank and all kinds of stress that we divers do not want to be confronted with.
Love life… blow bubbles…