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How to Use Less Air While Scuba Diving

by Arjan Ligtermoet
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Are you ready for longer dives, using less air and seeing more marine life? Are you a gas guzzler which always has to return to the boat first? Worry no more, with these top tips you’ll be using less air in no time and know how to use less air while scuba diving!

How to use less air while scuba diving? Well there is actually a lot you can do to lower your air consumption and it is quite easy to implement into your dive. With these simple tips you likely will get great benefits not only on your air consumption but also in your overall diving pleasure.

How to Use Less Air While Scuba Diving

1. Get your gear right

  • By getting your gear right I do not mean go out and buy the most expensive gear you can find. What you should do is make sure you are weighted properly. When you are over-weighted you need to compensate this with valuable gas and most likely your trim will be off a bit. If you are under-weighted you will most likely struggle at the end of the dive to stay down or you may not be able to decent at all. We have made a video before on how to weight yourself properly and you can find it right here.
  • Another major thing which you can do ,which makes a lot of difference, is streamlining yourself. Make sure everything is packed away neatly so drag is reduced to a minimum. This also reduces the chance of your alternate air dragging through the mud or snaring your SPG behind some coral.
  • Fins are a big part of your air consumption. The right fins will give you enough propulsion without taking a lot of effort. Preferably you should be able to do the frog kick with them once you have mastered it. Therefore split fins wouldn’t be my fin of choice since they take a lot of movement to get any momentum. The only time you should get split fins is when you have a injury or medical condition whereby you have trouble exerting power through your legs.

2. Take your time before you start your decent.

You are almost ready to dive. Only thing you need to do is put your gear on, help your buddy into his or her gear. Do a buddy check in 100 degrees, wait your turn to jump off the boat and maybe even do a surface swim out to the spot. The things you need to do before the actual dive begins can be very demanding. Therefore it is important that before your actual decent begins you are calm and have catched your breath. In this way your breathing pattern is nice and calm and you save a lot of air right from the get go. Also you decent will go a lot smoother and the start of your dive will be a lot more pleasant.

3. Buoyancy is king

Being able to control your buoyancy during your dive is monumental for your air consumption. It will make you calmer, less likely to be overexerted underwater and your overall dive more pleasant. Doing a buoyancy course will definitely make a huge difference or at least give you the tools to work on your buoyancy in every following dive. Better buoyancy equals better air consumption.

Something which is related to this is your position in the water. You want to be as horizontal as possible during your whole dive. This reduces drag and will make it easier to swim while you save some air in the proces. Switching type of BCD can make this proces easier. Read more about different types of BCDs here.

4. Concentrate on checking one thing at a time

One of the biggest pitfalls for a lot of divers is trying to do everything at once. First they will check their SPG and this reminds them to look at the dive computer for their no-deco limit. This reminds them to check the compass to make sure the heading is right, oh where is my buddy by the way. Through a camera in the mix and the mayhem is complete.

How to use less air while scuba diving | 50ftbelow.com

Most more experienced divers do one thing at the time and they do it calmly and well. They check their air gauge and get on with the dive, they check their depth and get on with the dive.  Doing this ensures they always stay in full control of their buoyancy and overall dive. By the way, this doesn’t mean most experienced divers aren’t capable of checking everything at once but they choose not to.

Especially new divers when they are occupied with a task they tend to inhale and ascent. By concentrating on just one task and than back on your buoyancy and dive you prevent this.

Do you have any tips on how to use less air while scuba diving?

If you have a useful tip which we failed to mention, please let everybody know in the comments!

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