Looking To Join The Sub Culture..??
Are you thinking becoming an open water diver? Do you want to get ahead of the game? Here are a few tips and tricks for you, which will allow you to maximise your first scuba experience, giving you a head start for when you arrive in Koh Tao and take the plunge.
Grab Some Socks!
When using fins for the first time, they can sometimes create a little friction on your foot. This can cause blisters and is sometimes slightly painful when kicking. Blisters crop up due to the skin on your feet being soft and not used to constant rubbing which occurs as you swim around.
To prevent this you can buy underwater socks before you travel and create a buffer between your feet and the fin rubber.
If you forget, you can always just wear normal socks if you have remembered to pack them for your travels. In my experience this affects around 1 in 10 new scuba divers.
You should be drinking plenty of water during any type of scuba diving experience. This is especially so in a hot and humid place like Koh Tao. Sometimes people tend to forget Scuba diving is an active sport and they don’t drink enough water. You must remember the air you will breathe on scuba is quite dry. This also has an effect on your dehydration.
During any courses that I teach at Crystal Dive, I recommend to my students that they should have a large bottle of water with them at all times. If taking a beginner course in SE Asia you should be looking to drink at least 3L a day.
And no, Coca Cola or Chang doesn’t count..!!
You should look to choose a dive school that offers you the chance to use dive computers as part of your course. Using dive computers makes dive planning easier and is more accurate. As a result your dive profile – as long as you follow it – is safer.
Traditional dive tables are an excellent back up tool – as dive computers have been known to fail usually due to an old battery but as the world moves forward with technology, scuba diving is no exception and dive computers are more and more becoming part of our daily lives as scuba divers.
Here at Crystal we have integrated dive computers fixed into our SPG console. A dive computer will track every second of the dive, along with recalculating your nitrogen levels, whenever your depth changes, often by as little as 10cm!
Dive computers will also incorporate a safety stop when you end the dive. The dive computer is an essential part of your scuba equipment.
This shouldn’t be overlooked when looking for the right dive shop to begin your scuba diving adventures with and this is why we teach the ‘Diving with Computers’ modules of the PADI Open Water course to all students.
Utilise Your Snorkel
When you are on the surface, swimming to/from your decent line/point use your snorkel instead of your regulator. This will enable you to protect your airways from water – if the sea is a little choppy – as well as save air from your cylinder which you will need for your dive.
Using a snorkel at the surface is a good skill to have for these reasons plus as you swim to your decent line you can pop your head into the water and have a look underneath the water easily.
Practice In A Pool
Taking your confined water sessions in a swimming pool will give you the best training conditions possible when taking your first breaths from scuba. A lot of dive schools will offer your confined sessions off the beach which can be fine on a perfect day, but weather can change quickly, bringing waves and bad visibility neither of which are ideal – especially so if you are a feeling a little nervous.
Practicing in a calm and clear environment will mean you will be able to see your Instructor at all times, be more relaxed, and ultimately enjoy your first breaths underwater.
Swim With Your Legs
When we swim normally we use both our legs and arms in combination but when scuba diving we wear fins, meaning the most efficient way of travelling is just too simply kick. Using your hands will cause you to expel more energy and use your air supply quicker. Try to tuck your arms away or hold them by your side to create a more streamlined figure. Have a look at how your instructor positions them self during a dive and copy.
Author: Crystal Dive