HINTS AND ADVICE

In­tro­duc­ing a new series for 2017 which aims to of­fer tips and tricks to im­prove your div­ing tech­niques and get you div­ing like a pro

Sport Diver - - Contents - Photographs by MARK EVANS

A new series for 2017, Hints and Advice will of­fer divers of all lev­els prac­ti­cal tips on how to dive like a pro.

When you first start div­ing, you can only marvel at the ease with which your in­struc­tor glides through the wa­ter, ef­fort­lessly main­tain­ing their buoy­ancy, and seem­ingly sip­ping their gas sup­ply. Over time, skills de­velop and ad­vance, but in this new series, we aim to bring you some hints and tips from div­ing pro­fes­sion­als which will dra­mat­i­cally im­prove your div­ing, help you mas­ter some of those skill sets, and have you in the wa­ter as one of those peo­ple others want to em­u­late in no time at all. Each month, we will fo­cus on par­tic­u­lar as­pects of div­ing, be that buoy­ancy, trim, finning tech­niques, mask clear­ing, equal­i­sa­tion, gear set-up, etc, as well as de­liv­er­ing up some top tips that you can also add to your reper­toire. To kick things off, Richard Som­er­set, Ter­ri­tory Di­rec­tor for PADI EMEA, of­fers the fol­low­ing gen­eral advice: “Make sure your equip­ment fits prop­erly and is well main­tained - baggy wet­suits, leaky masks and ragged BCDS don’t cut it! Good qual­ity kit looks great, but it will also make your div­ing ex­pe­ri­ence much more en­joy­able. For ex­am­ple: you’ll find that you are much more sta­ble in the wa­ter if you have a BCD that fits you cor­rectly, and that good qual­ity fins make mov­ing through the wa­ter eas­ier and more ef­fi­cient. “Car­ry­ing a torch - even on day time dives - will en­able you to bring out the colour on a dive site, whilst a proper kit box to keep it all in at the end of the day makes you look or­gan­ised and pro­fes­sional (and avoids damp kit all over the back­seat of your car). “Go slow and steady - you’ll see more, find it eas­ier to con­trol your buoy­ancy and your air will last longer. Try us­ing frog kicks rather than ‘flut­ter’ kicks. They’ll re­duce the speed at which you are mov­ing, and make you more bal­anced in the wa­ter. You’ll prob­a­bly no­tice that vir­tu­ally every PADI Pro you see swims like this! “Don’t forget to tuck your arms away - ei­ther fold them, or clasp your hands to­gether in front of you. Un­less you are Michael Phelps, swim­ming with your hands won’t help - you also risk dam­ag­ing aquatic life around you and punch­ing your buddy: not cool.”

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