Do you think you suck through your air too quickly on a dive?
Here are 6 reasons you burn through
your tank and tips to help you conserve your air…
In general woman have a smaller lung capacity than men. Sorry guys, nothing we can do about
If you’re new to scuba diving, or inexperienced, you may feel nervous. Nerves can cause your
breath rate to increase, consequently you burn through your gas quickly. The simplest way to calm
your nerves is to start with easy diving conditions; shallow water dives, no currents, easy entry and
exit points, and dive with a professional who can assist when needed. Allow yourself to get
comfortable in the water before you increase your underwater workload.
Are you familiar with your dive kit? Do you know exactly where your SPG, inflator button and dump
valves are? Being unable to quickly locate these features underwater can lead to stress, which
affects your breathing rate. If you’re changing your dive kit or dive configuration, I’d suggest doing
it gradually or practising in a controlled environment first. Make sure your mask is properly fitted
and there’s no hair caught in the skirt; you can use a lot of air by having to clear your mask
In general divers should be fairly fit; able to carry their own equipment, and easily perform short
surface swims. Saying that, few divers are Olympic athletes, but are you physically fit enough for
the diving environment? ‘Dive fit’ also refers to your daily well-being; are you well rested, are you
hydrated enough, are you still under the influence of last nights cocktails?
We all know the number one rule of scuba diving: never hold your breath. So please don’t be
tempted to skip breaths in order to make your tank last longer, it can lead to CO2 build up in your
blood. Divers should have a controlled breath with slow and relaxed inhales and exhales. Awaken
your inner yogi. For experienced divers, four or five breaths a minute is considered good. I find that
my breathing rate underwater is much slower than above water.
If you have good buoyancy you’ll find your gas consumption will decrease. Do a weight check at
the start of a dive, and again at the end of the dive when your cylinder is low. A lot of divers like to
wear ‘comfort weight’, causing them to be heavier and work harder than necessary. Neutral
buoyancy usually means minimal effort to move through the water, reducing your air consumption.
Take the time to practise.
It’s good to be aware of the factors that can influence our gas consumption, such as; kit changes,
unfamiliar diving conditions and our health status, therefore we should plan accordingly.
If your sitting at home and want to know more about taking a class or do a online session with me just shoot us a email. www.silverthatchwatersports.com