5 TIPS FOR MAK­ING A NEG­A­TIVE EN­TRY

Scuba Diving - - Training - BY TRAVIS MARSHALL

Whether it’s a live-boat drift dive or just bad sur­face con­di­tions, some dives re­quire that you get in the wa­ter and get down fast — re­ally fast. In these sit­u­a­tions, a neg­a­tive en­try is not only the best way to avoid time on the sur­face, but it also can look pretty cool. Do­ing a neg­a­tive en­try re­quires con­fi­dence and com­fort in the wa­ter, since you’re im­me­di­ately go­ing un­der rather than tak­ing time at the sur­face to dou­ble-check ev­ery­thing as you usu­ally would.

1 Dial in your lead. You can’t hang out be­hind the boat do­ing a weight check and ask­ing for more lead, so you should know your ideal weight be­fore at­tempt­ing a neg­a­tive en­try. When in doubt, add a cou­ple of ex­tra pounds to help you get down.

2 Get ready to jump. Both the stan­dard gi­ant stride and back roll work fine for neg­a­tive en­tries. But be­cause you’re go­ing straight down, empty all the air from your BC ahead of time rather than adding any. And hold your mask and reg­u­la­tor in place so they don’t get knocked askew when you jump.

3 Hit the wa­ter like a pro. As you en­ter the wa­ter, blow all the air from your lungs with one long ex­hale to re­move any ex­tra buoy­ancy. At the same time, keep your body straight with your arms in so the mo­men­tum from your jump can carry you un­der­wa­ter. Once you’re a few feet down, start breath­ing nor­mally and ei­ther de­scend in a head-up po­si­tion or flip head down so you can kick down.

4 Equal­ize early and

of­ten. Pay at­ten­tion to the pres­sure in your ears, and con­trol your de­scent so you have time to equal­ize. Many neg­a­tive-en­try dives are done with­out a ref­er­ence line, so you should be com­fort­able de­scend­ing and equal­iz­ing in mid­wa­ter us­ing your depth gauge as a ref­er­ence.

5 Don’t for­get your buddy.

In­stead of gath­er­ing with your dive buddy or group at the sur­face and de­scend­ing to­gether, you should drop to 15 or 20 feet, get neu­trally buoy­ant, and wait for your group there. Do a quick check to con­firm that ev­ery­body is OK be­fore con­tin­u­ing your de­scent to­gether.

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