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 Post subject: SCUBAMART INDO Air Consumption Control
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:54 pm
Posts: 126
SCUBAMART INDONESIA MANGGA DUA

Dear divers,

I'm Mike here to share some experience about air consumption, please feel free to leave any comment.

How to improve your air Consumption?!

Anyone got out of the water at the end of the dive and sneakily checked how much air you had left compared to your buddy? Haha, I believe everybody does it. It’s probably the one and only area of recreational diving in which everyone gets competitive.

Having more air left in your tank at the end of the dive is somehow, misguidedly, translated into bragging rights on the boat as to who’s the better diver. It doesn’t mean that at all. It just means you’ve breathed a bit more or less that your peers.

Why do you want to improve your air consumption?

Firstly, why do you want to improve your air consumption? Aside from bragging rights back on the boat, reduced air consumption can either a) potentially extend your dive subject to no-decompression limits or, b) at the very least give you more of a safety margin to complete your dive. If you’re recreational diving in a group it’s always wise be back on the safety stop and surfacing with around 50bar/700psi. It leaves you with a margin for error and while not quite the ‘rule of thirds’ employed by Tekkie divers it does at least leave you a little buffer in case you have to deal with any problems you or your buddy may encounter on that final portion of the ascent or at the surface.

Also, if you’re diving in a group at a marine park it’s often the case that the local guide has to accompany the whole group from entering the water to being safely back on the dive deck. This means that often the guide will ask for the first person in the group who reaches 70bar/1000psi to let him/her know so they can bring the group to a safe ascent point for the safety stop on a drift dive – or a 100bar/1500psi turn point on a conventional dive. No-one wants to be that person who effectively ‘calls’ the dive. This can lead to all manner of problems for guides as people lie about their air consumption to save face, rather than admit they’ve consumed more that they might like to. This is a very dangerous case.

What factors determine your Air consumption?

Improve your fitness

I know that a worrying amount of dive guides appear to smoke, which is silly, but they usually aren’t carrying too much extra weight. If your fitness is better you’re less likely to get out of breath putting your kit on.

Get Equipment that fits you

If you’re wearing uncomfortable, restrictive or, alternatively, over large equipment – you’re at a disadvantage. Women always try to squeeze into equipment a size too small (I must be smaller and slimmer! I must!). Guys, on the other hand, convince themselves that they’re so ‘buff’ that they couldn’t possibly use a M or L BCD with their chest – they need an XL. Don’t be an idiot, be honest. Take advice from an experienced instructor. If you wear equipment that fits correctly you’ll be more comfortable and more streamlined in the water.



Wear the right equipment for the environment
If you’re about to dive at a site where there’s likely to be a proportion of the dive you have to deal with current – don’t wear your little pink full-foot fins. You may look great but you’ll be finning like h**l against that current sweeping around the pinnacle at Richelieu Rock. Forget style and wear something fit for purpose. I know you don’t like wearing those chunky black Mares fins – but they’re the fins for the job. Conversely, there’s no point being kitted up like a Christmas tree with hardcore gear and enough gadgets to make James Bond jealous if you’re doing a gentle 15m drift along a reef. It’s excess baggage.

Don’t forget the basics
Be streamlined. Don’t forget to tuck in your gauges and octopus. And wear a snorkel! There’s some unwritten rule that when you initially qualify it’s then time to ditch the snorkel. It’s ‘uncool’. What a load of horse manure. That snorkel will save you 20bar/300psi when you’re surface swimming to the descent point in surf and surge – as opposed to putting your regulator in. You know what’s really ‘uncool’? calling the dive 10 minutes early for you and your buddy as you’ve used that 20bar/300psi more than the rest of the group – and missing the manta ray everyone was talking about on the last part of the dive.


Improve your skills

This is absolutely key. Your descents should be controlled. You should be releasing air in small amounts and not fighting to maintain your position in the water column. If you’re kicking like h**l on your descents and ascents it’s time you should be letting the equipment and the laws of physics do the work.

Moving around beneath the surface should be gentle fin strokes the majority of the time – and no hands! Make sure your buoyancy and positioning is good too. If you stop finning and find you begin to drop, it’s time to train hard for your skill.

If you’re sinking when you stop finning it means you’re wrongly positioned, over-weighted and having to fin (and therefore use energy and air) to maintain your place in the water column. Are you paranoid about leaky masks and therefore getting anxious and breathing more?


Think about your depth

Relax

Breathing shouldn’t be a conscious thing, going for a gentle dive should be like going for a walk in the park. Breathe in slowly and deeply. Relax. Turn down the venturi on your Second Stage a fraction. And when you breathe out you shouldn’t do it consciously either, let the air trickle out just like you breathing right now. But don’t hold your breath or skip-breathe – that way leads to the dark side. Wahahahahaha

Plan your dive,dive your plan

Anxiety before and during the dive plays a part too. If your pulse rate goes up a notch as stress builds about the dive your breathing will often follow. Plan the dive and dive the plan. Buddy check so you know for sure where your buddy’s octopus is and how it works.

Double check your air is on for peace of mind and know where you’re going. Wear a computer or depth gauge and watch. Be sure you’d know what route to take and what to do if it all goes pear-shaped and you find yourself separated from the group. Carry a compass and know how to use it. Carry an SMB and know how to use it. Stick with your buddy.

I hope this simple information can help more diver to understand about air consumption, make the divers feel safe and fun while diving.

Plan your dive,dive your plan. Have a nice day

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D'X Mike Ooi
PADI Divemaster #323232


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 Post subject: Re: SCUBAMART INDO Air Consumption Control
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 1571
Location: Jakarta
Excellent post Mike!

Keep posting!

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BBeXplorers - Indonesia's Center for Diving Excellence | GUE Affiliate | We provide: Diver Training, EFR Training, Halcyon Dive Systems | Need info on joining DAN? E-mail me: rendra [at] banyubiru.org | Join our group on facebook: Banyu Biru Explorers


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 Post subject: Re: SCUBAMART INDO Air Consumption Control
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:54 pm
Posts: 126
rendra wrote:
Excellent post Mike!

Keep posting!



Thanks guys,

I hope that by posting diving article in forum selam can help divers in Indonesia to increase awareness and knowledge of diving . Have a nice day guys.

< Plan your dive,Dive your plan >

Cheers

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D'X Mike Ooi
PADI Divemaster #323232


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