A scuba diver must learn a variety of techniques in order to safely scuba dive. In fact, it can become overwhelming for a new diver to try to remember everything. This is why we have developed this list of tips to help new divers safely dive. Each of these tips has been developed by one of the top PADI instructors to ensure you will remember the safety checks needed for a successful dive.
Control Air Consumption
Learning to control air consumption is the first thing needed for a successful dive. In the beginning, a new diver will consume more air than an experienced diver. When you go on your first dive, you will be nervous and excited. Both of these will cause you to breathe more. As you gain experience, your breathing will improve and your air consumption will decrease, allowing for longer dives.
Inflate and Deflate Your Buoyancy Control Device
Learning how to properly inflate and deflate your buoyancy control device (BCD) will help you to change your buoyancy safely and correctly. Add a small amount of air to your BCD and take a few breaths to see if you have obtained neutral buoyancy. Adding air in small increments during your dive will help you to improve your dive. Also, remember as you ascend, you will need to release a small amount of air as the pressure decreases as you ascend.
Make Your Own Decisions
If you do not feel comfortable before a dive or during a dive, you have the right to call off the dive. Never let others peer pressure you into doing a dive if something does not feel right as this can be dangerous. Scuba diving should be pleasurable, not scary.
Properly Fitted Mask
Make sure you have a properly fitted mask. Visiting a well established scuba store such as Dive Shop Malaysia or instructor to ensure that your mask fits properly will help ensure that it does not leak or press into your face during a dive. A leaky mask is a distraction and can become dangerous. When a mask leaks, it can distort and impair your ability to see.
Add the Right Weight
Learning how much weight to add is another thing that all new scuba divers struggle with. The amount of weight needed will depend on your gear and the thickness of your wetsuit. When you wear a different wetsuit, you will need to reconfigure the amount of weight added to your weight belt. Being properly weighted will help you remain neutrally buoyant during your dive. Neutral buoyancy protects you from ear injuries as descending too quickly can damage your ears, helps you to control your descent speed, makes diving easier which reduces air consumption and keeps you off the reef. Finally, learning how much weight to use will help you to establish positive buoyancy on the surface. Most instructors recommend doing a weight check at the end of the dive when the air tank is mostly empty.
Track Your Dives in a Log Book
A log book is used to track your dives and your weight belt configurations. When you find the perfect weight for your wetsuit, write it down in your log book. This will allow you to quickly find the amount of weight that should be added to your weight belt based on the thickness of your wetsuit. Although the exact amount of weight can differ slightly, this information will provide you with a starting point for determining how much weight to add to your weight belt.
Clear your ears as you descend to avoid ear injuries. If you descend too quickly, pressure can build up in the ears. Using a descent line and your dive computer can help you gauge how quickly you are descending and make the necessary speed correction. If at any time you feel the pressure building, stop descending and ascend a few meters and clear your ears. Once your ears have been equalised you can begin your descent again.
Continuing education will help you enjoy your new hobby. In addition to the PADI scuba diver course, there are many specialities that will allow you to expand your horizons.