Scuba diving should be fun and enjoyable. To help feel confident and relaxed, avoid these four common mistakes that new divers often make.
Missing your pre-dive safety check
It only takes a minute, but missing your pre-dive safety check could end up costing you more time before the dive. You want to pay close attention that your tank is open and that you have a full tank of air before you start the dive.
There is nothing worse than starting a dive and realizing a few minutes in that you started with a less than a full tank. Or jumping into the water and having to ask your buddy to open your tank. It is important to get in the habit of doing a pre-dive safety before every dive.
Butt First Descent
You want to be in control of your descent, not a butt first free fall. Before you start going down make sure you are looking facedown into the water. Wait for the signal to descend and then pick a spot on the reef to focus on as your go down.
You want to avoid ‘falling’ through the water. This will make it more difficult to equalize and you are more likely to get disoriented. Don’t forget about your body in the water! Move yourself into the correct position, deflate your BCD, and then look down, think down and go down.
You should be kicking from your hips and using the top of your fins for propulsion. We often see new divers, and even experienced diver doing the ‘bicycle kick’.
When you’re underwater, try locking your knees when you swim instead of bending your knees and ukicking your legs from your hip. You want to use the surface area of the top and bottom of your fins, this will save you energy, saving you air and make diving easier.
Swimming too much and too fast
It’s not a race! Slow down, no really slooow down, and take a second look, you will save energy, consume less air and are more likely to find small interesting critters. If you find your dive-master or dive guide is going too fast give them a signal to slow down so you can stop and catch your breathe if you need to.