How to make your air supply last longer…
At Manta Manta Diving in Bali, we are often asked how to extend bottom times and make your air supply last longer. When diving sites like the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben or if we are out with the manta rays at Nusa Penida, we want our air to last as long as possible so we can explore more of the WW2 shipwreck or spend more time being circled by the manta rays.
Below are 9 easy steps to help you spend more time underwater with Manta Manta Diving Bali.
If you swim through the water like a solid brick wall, you will not be streamline and you will need to use lots of energy and air to get anywhere. However, if you move like a speed boat, designed to cut through the water, you will use less energy and less air. Your body should generally be horizontal, with you legs slowly kicking behind you. So basically, tuck all your gear away so it does not create extra drag that will ultimately slow you down and drain your air supply.
2. Dive correctly weighted
If you have to much lead weight wrapped around your waist, you will need to have more air in your BCD to maintain neutral buoyancy. This creates extra drag and in turn requires more energy and more of your air supply. Always do a weight check the first time you get back in the water.
3. Don’t dive with things you don’t need
Take only what you need to dive safely. Don’t dive like a decorated Christmas tree. Having things hanging off of you just creates extra drag in the water. Keep the essentials like an SMB and a cutting device, but ditch the non-safety items that you never use, like a reef hook on a lake dive!
4. Slow down
The slower you go the more you see, the more energy you save and the more air you save. Diving is not a race, it’s a relaxing activity. Why kick so hard when you can just do one kick cycle then glide through the water. When you stop, kick again. Slow down, see more, stay down longer, easy.
5. Copy your dive guide or marine animals
If you are flapping your arms around whilst diving, you’re doing something wrong! It really doesn’t look cool, and that is one of the main rules of scuba diving! Always look cool!! Next time you dive, take a look at your dive guides style and try to copy it. Look at the other marine life, see how slow and effortless their progress through the water is. If a turtle can do it, so can you!
6. Breathe deeply
Note the difference between deep breaths and big breaths. When you tell people to breathe deeply, many people will forcefully inhale, filling their lungs to the brink. A deep breath should be just that, but it doesn’t have to be a big breath. To learn to breathe deeply, lie down on a firm surface, like a yoga mat or a firm mattress. Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Now breathe, but try to breathe in such a way that only the hand on your stomach moves. This way, you’re filling up the bottom of your lungs, rather than the top, which is what happens when only your chest moves. A deep-belly breath replenishes the air in your entire respiratory system, rather than just part of it, as when you breathe from the top of your lungs.
7. Swim shallow
If you always end up with short dives, try to dive a little shallower. Either let your dive guide know this and he/she will adjust the dive profile or maybe just stay at the same level as your dive guide or slightly shallower. Don’t dive deeper than your guide or you will be compressing the air in your tank more and using your air supply faster.
8. Dive more
The more you dive, the more comfortable it all becomes and the more natural is becomes. Before you know it you will be doing 1 hour dives without even thinking about it!
9. Don’t worry, be happy
Here at Manta Manta Diving Bali, we always just tell our guests and student not to worry too much about their air consumption. If you start to over think these things, maybe you make it worse. Just do your dive, enjoy it and everything will improve the more you dive.
So next time you go diving anywhere in the world, but especially when you go diving in Bali with Manta Manta Diving! Make sure you consider all of the above points to try to extend your bottom time. Don’t worry if you don’t have instant success. It takes practice to make perfect!
So if you need to book more dives to perfect this skill, why not check out our great prices at Manta Manta Diving and our world class dive sites in Bali. And if you want to learn more about air consumption or anything else related to scuba diving, please get in touch with Manta Manta Diving in Bali. [email protected] You can also learn more about this skill by doing our PADI Scuba Diver, PADI Open Water Diver or PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course or just come along for some fun dives and we can explain all of this in our dive briefings if requested.