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Top tips for drift diving

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

Here around Nusa Penida we often do drift dives, meaning that we go from A to B by following the current. Maybe this is something you are not familiar with, but not to worry! Our team of PADI Instructors and Divemasters are here to give you the advice you need to enjoy your first drift dives.

Drift diving in Nusa Penida
Gently drifting along the reefs of Nusa Penida

Here are below a few drift diving techniques that might also help you:

Carry an SMB

A Surface Marker Buoy is an inflatalable tube that you can use to signal to the boat your position on the surface. If for any reason you surface too far or separated, this is the time when you want to use it! Here at Purple Dive there is one in every BCD so that you have that safety device in your pocket!

Follow your guide’s instructions

When diving in currents there might be specific safety procedures or techniques you need to be aware of. Drift dives can vary from one place to another, so listen carefully to the dive briefing and stick to your Divemaster recommendations.

Check your equipment

Of course, you should do that before every single dive as a certified diver or even a diver in training. During your Open Water course you have learnt that each diver is responsible for checking that everything is working properly. A lot of equipment trouble can be fixed underwater, but in a current this could be a factor of stress, so double check everything!

Work with the current

Here around Nusa Penida, you will find that usually the closer you are to the reefs, the less the current. If the current is too strong to swim against, do not waste energy and air trying to do that. If you need to stop or rest, it is better to find a big coral head to hide behind, where the current will slow down. Watch your dive guide and see how they position themselves in the water, you will learn a lot that way!

Learn new skills

Another great way to feel more comfortable while drift diving is to take the PADI Drift Diver specialty course. Over one day and two dives you will learn a lot about current, safety procedures, SMB use and more, so you feel like a confident diver in currents!


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