Do you always seem to finish your air before anyone else in your dive group? Sucking down your air is no fun, especially when that means your dive is over while others are still below. Here are a few tips to remember for conserving your air underwater.
There is no silver bullet for conserving air and new divers are notorious for quickly burning through their air supply. For new divers it’s normal you are excited and this results in breathing heavily and sucking back your air.
As with any sport practice makes perfect and this is true for air consumption. The more you dive the more your body gets used to breathing underwater and your air consumption rate will go down. Remember to breathe long steady breathes instead of short and shallow, this will help keep you relaxed and save air throughout the dive.
2. It’s not a race
Diving is supposed to be calm and relaxing. No one likes chasing after a buddy who is swimming up and down the reef. Swimming also used up lots of energy, and the faster you’re kicking the more oxygen your muscles need to work. Slow down while you dive and try swimming at half speed, this will help you save air.
3. Avoid deep dives
Since pressure affects the density of air in our tanks, a lungful of air at 33 feet (two atmospheres) takes twice as much out of your tank as does the same breath at the surface. At 99 feet (four atmospheres) it takes twice as much as at 33 feet.
There is nothing you can do to counteract the increased consumption rate at depth other than ascending to a shallower depth. Staying shallow during a dive will mean more time underwater. If you are passing over a sandy patch before the reef stay shallow and only descend when the reef is in sight.