How to improve your air consumption in scuba diving?
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
This is one of the questions that students ask us the most. Granted, when we are comparing our gauges, we are comparing air consumption of a brand new diver versus someone who has thousands of dives, so it is normal to see a gap!
New divers tend to use more air while diving for several reasons. There is for sure a physical factor in your air consumption, depending on your size. But there are also a few things that can help. Here are our top 5 tips to reduce your air consumption.
Be weighted properly:
Any weight that you don’t need is extra weight you have to drag around in the water. If you are properly weighted, you should sink slowly when you descend and exhale, and at the end of the dive you should have enough weight to be able to hold your safety stop while being low on air (50 bars).
Work on your buoyancy:
Being in trim, having a good position in the water, using your BCD properly, all of these things will contribute to your air consumption. For example, by using your BCD properly and only adding small amounts of air to it will help you reduce the air used to adjust your buoyancy. Check out our specific post about buoyancy.
Slow down and relax:
It sounds like an obvious one, but moving slowly and deliberately in the water is going to help. Of course, as a new diver, some aspects of the dive might be a bit stressful, but the more relaxed you are, the less air you will use. Avoid kicking a lot, using your hands, or generally overexerting yourself in the water.
If you are cold during the dive, your body will need to fight the cold. In order to do that, your breathing rate will increase so that your body has more energy to fight the cold. So it is good to always wear the appropriate exposure protection for the local environment. And of course, a dive when you are cold all the time can also be unpleasant!
Practice makes it perfect:
Dive, dive, dive. When you look at your PADI instructor and you think they are like buoyancy Jedis, it is because they have experience. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, just like a lot of other things!