10 Tips to Improve Your Air Consumption

30th July 2011   |   Jackie Hutchings
  1. Want to make your tank last longer? Then dive, dive, dive. The more you dive, the more you become comfortable under water and this improves your air consumption.
  2. Fidgeting underwater will only make you use more air than needed. Let yourself float and go with the flow. Move your fins only when needed. You’ll last longer underwater doing this.
  3. If you can’t get yourself to relax underwater, look for a strategic spot where you can stop moving and just take in the beauty of the marine habitat surrounding you. As you get enticed by the splendor of the deep sea, you’ll start feeling more relaxed, reducing your air consumption.
  4. When you’re diving, the worst thing you can do is take short, shallow breaths. Think yoga and breathe slowly and deeply on both the inhale and exhale. Practice this at home to get used to this kind of deep breathing. Remember what you learned at scuba school: Never hold your breath and try to lower your air intake!
  5. Learning to be neutrally bouyant is a skill that takes a lot of practice, but the pay off is huge. In the ideal scenario, you are staying level at the safety stop with about 500 psi in your tank and no air in your BC. If you are struggling to stay at the desired depth because you’re not properly weighted — letting air in and out of the BC — you’re obviously not conserving any air.
  6. A simple way to stop air consumption: reduce leaks. Check your o-rings, inflater hose, and connection points.
  7. You can decrease resistance while swimming by making sure you maintain a horizontal position. This allows you to reduce air consumption. The more vertical you are, the more air you will inevitably consume. If you are having difficulty staying horizontal, adjust the position of your weights, tank and BC.
  8. If you’re worried your dive will be short, remember to go shallower. You can always move up a few feet slightly apart from the group to use less air.
  9. This might seem like common sense but, while diving, take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy the experience. Go with the flow, as they say, and avoid darting about.
  10. Don’t let any of your accessories dangling from your gear setup. This create drag and will increase air comsumption.

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