Top 15 Cave Diving Equipment That You Must Have!

03/19/2019

Are you planning to glide into a huge underwater cavern? In that crystal clear water around where you hang down on majestic stalactites from the ceiling like icicles. Wait are you dreaming all these things. Do not imagine that you can explore the inner sanctum under the water because such diving is possible for experts who are having advanced training in cave diving.

Without proper cave diving equipment and training, you cannot explore cavern while there can be some places where the divers can experience cavern diving without even specialised training. But not without diving equipment it is impossible.

Caves

There is much difference between cave diving and lake or ocean diving. Caves like shipwrecks are said to be overhead environments because physical barriers exist between a diver and the surface. Such a barrier will prevent the diver from getting direct ascent with the surface, and that is the reason why they must have the right equipment for diving.

Types of Caves

  • Sea Caves: Usually, sea caves are made from wave actions which are not extensive. They are like chamber generally in shape, mostly found along coastal areas.
  • Coral Caves: Coral Caves are where the corals grow together and form arches creating tunnels and passageways.
  • Lava Tubes: They are made from volcanic action like how the lava flows from the volcano in the sea. Its surface under the sea cools and makes a hard surface. The molten inner core will keep flowing creating a tube-like structure.

Equipment for Caving Diving

The amenities and condition of cave diving vary from location to location. In some areas, there will be a dive centre that offers equipment and air fills with guided tours. The most important diving equipment used is the reel. It is used to lay down the guideline from the entrance of the cavern. This guideline marks an entry or exit point. The diver is meant to find the way when visibility reduces through the guideline. Without it, drivers can get lost and drown. Here are the top 15 equipment required for cave diving:

1. Drysuit

A drysuit is needed to dive in cold water. This suit itself is made with laminated waterproof material and watertight latex seals given on its neck and writs. There are pockets to carry safety equipment. You can wear undergarments to get thermal protection under water.

2. Mask

Like all masks, you can combine any streamlined designs with volume and great vision. Most of the cave divers prefer mask made of black silicone skirts. The overall weight is less and helps your pupils to dilate. This is commonly followed practice by cave divers.

3. Fins

No split or hinged fins are allowed. You need something powerful and flat-bladed fins that are less potential for entanglement and facilitate frog kicking also with other specialized techniques.

4. Timer

Every diver will carry a depth gauge with time. It allows divers to calculate the amount of decompression that stops while ascending during the end of the dive and uses standard decompression table. All other information may be combined this dive computer which shows time, depth and other decompression stops.

5. Tanks

The heart of any cave diver is this equipment. There will be two tanks held together securely by steel bands and connected by the manifold. This manifold will have two outlets; each one can be turned off or on independently in case of any problem.

6. Regulators

The primary cylinder need two different first-stage balanced regulators, which means two first stages with a one-second stage. The first stage configuration of port needs proper hose routing to mount side or back.

7. Deco bottles

If you are going to take a full cave diving course, you must deco bottles with oxygen. The students should have 11 litres or 80 cubics/foot of stage bottle at least. An unbalanced piston model deco regs are also good, but it is being rated by oxygen service. Stem SPG or button is okay for the regs.

8. Wing

A wing or buoyancy compensation will be attached to the tank. It is an airtight bag that can be inflated to get buoyancy. Its valves will allow the air to inject out from the tank or diver’s mouth for increasing buoyancy or to reduce buoyancy.

9. Backplate and Harness

The harness bolt and backplate on the tanks hold the wings in position. This harness is normally made of webbing threads through the backplate, and it helps to hold the equipment firmly into one place for the diver.

10. Primary Light

You will need a LED primary light of 1000+- lumen otherwise 2000 lumen or more is better. You can buy it from anywhere. The light must include a hand mount or good-man style. All the primary lights used in cave diving will have separate battery canister that connects to a light head through a cord.

11. Backup lights

Today, a self-contained primary light which can be kept on your back of the hand is necessary. You will need two LED backup lights. Please do not buy any cheap lights made of plastic bodies. Try to buy back up lights that are specifically designed for a cave or technical diving.

12. Sharp knife

A short and sharp knife has to be attached to the harness. It helps you in cutting himself free from the entanglement in the guidelines or other equipment. This is common for any cave divers always to keep one sharp knife handy and one attached to the light head handle.

13. Reels and pools

You should have two safety reels at least at a total length of 150ft or 45m or higher the line between them. But spools offer a convenience to manage the short length of guidelines. Most of the drivers feel that the reels provide them better managing 30ft or 75m of line or more.

With two safety reels per diver, the whole team will need one primary reel with an adequate line that starts from the cave entrance to the starting of next permanent line of 250ft or 75m sufficient.

14. Slate or wet notes

Wrist slates are the best option for tech diving but not good for a cave diving. Their wet notes are the better alternative. You should keep it in your thigh pocket because it will not be needed at most case unless you get screwed up.

15. Surface marker buoy

Surface marker buoy

Via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4pViyX_u2Y

If you are learning cave diving, technically you will need an SMB. It should be the type that can inflate into the water using exhaust from the regulator you have.

Understand this list of cave diving equipment you will need. Maybe some issues come regarding mounting and configuration that is best for you with your instructor. Therefore, be prepared to buy some additional equipment items generally something minor like clips and snaps, when you start taking driving lessons.

Moreover, do not need to make some heavy equipment purchases even without discussing with your instructor. You can ask your instructor regarding the items that are needed for you. One important thing you should not forget is no equipment can compensate without adequate skill, and experience. Also without the right equipment, you cannot be safe.

Top 10 Common Freestyle Mistakes In Swimming You Must Avoid!

03/16/2019

Swimming is not an everyday activity for humans. They learn this activity through practical practice after understanding the technicalities. Some learn unacceptable techniques by bad adaption of water. These poor habits are there in freshers and seasoned swimmers. It is true that we learn basic strokes and keep afloat in water by propelling oneself. This is not seasoned swimming.

You must have watched lane swimming on mass media or at the local pool. What you witnessed is freestyle stroke. Through this stroke, you can escalate speed and adaptability, and it is for a reason it is included in competitions at national and international level. Flip turns, kick rhythm, entry stroke, exit stroke, arm angles etc. are some of the techniques which are overwhelming.

Prevalent Freestyle Mistakes!

The characteristic freestyle stroke is undertaken in a prone position in the water. The swimmer is faced down in water — the arms alternate in movement in overhead position propelling towards the rear hip and moving you forward. The legs move up and down to keep the toes pointed. Doing all this breath has to be taken at the most appropriate time which is also the recovery phase. The swimmer should inhale when the mouth is cleared of water during recovery recoup. Breathe during the alternate stroke.

Swimming needs plenty of practice, long hours in water, and repetition of strokes to get flawless swimming skill. Hips are vital in swimming. Hip rotation correlates with shoulder rotation to get a perfect stroke and movement. The beginners at the pronunciation of freestyle swimming assume it is easy to master. This is the first method of swimming when we first jump into the water. However, freestyle is difficult to master.

Timely breathing is not easily learnt. Freestyle breathing is of paramount importance so learning the stroke is a must. If breathing rhythm is not established and it is laboured, stroke will not be readily learnt. For all swimming strokes, the body position is vital. For instance, if arms are rotated while not doing so with a body, it can cause shoulder injuries. Kicking errors lead to resistance and drag.

1. Wrong use of Symmetry Line

Symmetry line is an assumed line running through the centre of the body. A large percentage of the swimmers are unaware of this line. So, they use the stroke in the wrong way. Hands invade the water at the onset of every stroke to make sure that it does not cross the imaginary midline; otherwise, shoulders will be strained, and drag will be enhanced.

2. Before palm elbow touches the water

Several swimmers extend their hands without keeping in mind the flexibility level. The beginners make this mistake. Some pull with the straight arm. Their elbow encounters water first, then slips down and drags thus missing the stroke leading to sinking. The neck and shoulders get strained. Elbow must stay high but fingertips down. Such mistakes direct the swimmer down.

3. Erroneous breathing

The breathing takes place at the wrong time of the stroke. Breathing rhythm should be correctly established; otherwise, water will enter the lungs. A common error is breathing early. If you breathe when your arm comes out of the water the arm will be next to your face, and you will swallow water. Breathe once your hand enters the water. This is the pull of stroke. Stop breathing when your hand comes out of the water. Remember to rotate and breathe.

4. Raising of palm correctly

A large percentage of swimmers hold up their palm making a stop sign after every glide. The shoulder and arching lower back and experience stress and strain. The legs sink. To come out of the situation, a lot of oxygen is needed. The swimmer feels very tired.

5. Improper head position

The learners stretch their arm and direct it upward, and then they forcefully hit the water with the hand. The head moves up and down. The back also wobbles up and down. This leads to pressure. The swimmer moves with every stroke, but speed is retarded. Stiff neck angle drops the body down in water.

6. More strokes for swimming

Swimming technique, efficiency, and flotation decide the number of strokes required to cross the pool. In case stretch of the body is extremely hard, the plexus region is affected, and stroke is shortened. Higher strokes are needed to cross the pool leaving you very tired.

7. Swimming Flat

It is very common to swim with belly looking towards the bottom of the pool. It is swimming flat. The wrong is not in alignment of your body but the way you move through the water. It is the right thing to roll to the side with each arm stroke. Once a stroke ends, your navel should look at the side of the pool. You should undertake rotation, and you are correct if armpit faces down.

8. Bend knees

The thought the process of learning swimmers is to kick hard and propel is faster. This is not true. Kicking in the front crawl stroke gives you some thrust. However, its role is to regulate straight position when in water. The huge error is to bend your knees when kicking. By this movement, resistance builds up. Kick from your hips and not legs. Keep angles loose. Keep kicks powerful but restrained. Over-kicking will tire you. There will be no gain in speed.

9. Stroke

Keep your strokes as effective as possible. Maintain your stroke with efficiency. If your stroke is short, the forward motion is restrained. You will need more strokes that will tire you. The short stroke will not propel you forward. With a short stroke, hand movement is not correct.

10. The kick

The common freestyle mistakes in swimming regarding kick are that it can be weak-kick or over-kick. A potent kick is one that has ankle flexibility. It has exceptional amplitude but not big width so as not to upset body position. With a weak kick, the swimmer kicks a lot with the hope of doing well. Here he fails miserably to get the right flow. The kick is good if it has rhythm, well timed with stroke and breathing. Over kicking will tire you. Training to learn swimming is a must.

Your legs can aid or retard swimming. The contention with kicking includes bend knees or a lot of kicking. The twosome makes for resistance and drag. Flat swimming or long-axis rotation makes the swimmer not rotate sideways. This disadvantage shortens the pull. An initial hand entry at the beginning of every stroke makes the swimmer drive downwards with arm rather than move forward. Here the straight-arm pull creates little power.

The best way to swim is to put the hand entry in front of the skull to keep the arm outstretched. The hand leaves the water and almost total extension on the back by the hips. Common freestyle mistakes in swimming can be prevented and relearnt with conscious effort and training.

How to Surf: Common Surf Etiquettes You Need to Know

03/13/2019

Surfing is not just all about mastering the technical skills so that you can ride the waves like a pro. It is also important that you learn the basic etiquette, including those that will be mentioned below. As a beginner, you will most probably break many of them. To avoid being seen by other surfers as rude, be sure to know these things by heart and apply them the next time you are out surfing.

Do Not Drop In

Dropping in is one of the first things that you should learn when it comes to surfing etiquette. It should be avoided. Simply put, dropping in refers to taking off or engaging in a wave that already belongs to another surfer. Meaning, when someone has already gained right of way to the wave, you should be patient enough to wait for your turn. A lot of novices act all excited to ride the wave, and hence, they end up dropping in or snaking.

There are many reasons why people tend to drop in. The most common is that they did not see or hear the person who already has right of way. To prevent this from happening, it is important to be attentive all the time, making it possible to see if you will be interrupting a fellow surfer.

Dropping in should be avoided not only because it is rude but also because it can be a danger. You can hit other surfers and your board can be damaged when you are not careful. For a surfer who is just starting out, these things can be frustrating. So, if you want to avoid them from happening, follow one simple rule – never drop in.

As a new surfer, you will be dropping in on another surfer a couple of times. All that you have to do is to say sorry, learn from it, and avoid doing it again. Do not be discouraged. The experienced surfers will be understanding of your situation, especially if they can see that you are apologetic.

Never Throw your Board

As someone who is inexperienced in surfing, you may end up throwing and leaving your board in the water when you accidentally fall from it. Especially if you are surfing in a spot that is crowded, letting go of the board can seriously injure another surfer. Even if it is tempting to dive underneath, be sure to avoid it and keep a close hold of your board. For sure, when you are a beginner, your board is big and heavy. This makes it more of a risk to others, so do not throw it out in the open.

To avoid leaving or throwing your board, it is important that you know the art of control, which will help to propel the board in the right direction, preventing the possibility of losing it. Another good thing to do is to make sure that you are always tied to a leash, which will be helpful in keeping you close to your board during wipeouts.

Start Out in Small Waves

If you are just a novice, you should learn how to gauge your skills truthfully. Obviously, you are inexperienced, and hence, the best thing that you can do is to start riding small waves. You should choose the perfect location, which is a place where you can practice until you master the basic skills. Also, make sure that you master the fundamentals first before you go to the more advanced tricks.

Study Before you Go

As a new surfer, it is also important to be as observant as possible. Before you head out of the shore and paddle on the way to the waves, you should ask yourself if you can do it. As mentioned above, you need to have a truthful assessment of your skills. Are the waves too big? Is the bottom too rocky? Is it too crowded? If the answer to these questions is YES, these are indications that you should not go. It can be too risky for you since you are a newbie.

In line with this, you should know how to stay safe. For instance, it will be good to talk to the lifeguards on duty to be sure that there are no rip currents on where you will be heading. It will also be a good idea to interact with locals as they know better. They can provide valuable tips on how to ride and catch the best waves. They will give you advice that is valuable for safety when surfing in unfamiliar territory.

Be Friendly

In theory, surfing can be a lonely sport when you are in the water. You are alone in your surfboard, unlike other sports where you are with a team. However, this does not mean that you cannot make a new friend. Sometimes, all that it takes is a smile to the person next to you while waiting for your turn to ride the wave. This can make an instant connection. If you are on the shore, do not hesitate to strike a conversation with other surfers. You might even learn a thing or two if you talk to someone who has vast experience in surfing.

Build your Confidence

This is perhaps the most important thing that you should learn when it comes to surfing etiquette. There are many ways to be confident. A good way to start is to keep watching videos online and read articles that provide an extensive guide on how to become a better surfer. You should keep on visiting places with small waves. Find a mentor. Go out with a friend who is experienced in surfing. Be part of a community. Practice until you make it.

If you are not yet confident that you can ride the big waves, do not do it just yet. You are just going to be a distraction to other surfers, and you will be at risk of suffering from an injury.

How to Repair Inflatable SUP Board: Here’s How to save It!

03/10/2019

When you go out on an adventure, it is inevitable that you come across new environments or territories that are unknown to you. These new places may have rocks and other sharp objects that can potentially damage your SUP board, even those that are inflatable. While your SUP boards may be vulnerable to damage, you can certainly prevent small leaks from getting in the way of your adventure.

In this post, we will be discussing everything that you need to learn about how to repair an inflatable SUP board. Hopefully, you get to apply this new knowledge for when the need arises. This article contains very easy to follow and comprehend step-by-step instructions so that you would not have a difficult time repairing your SUP board. Read on if you want to know more.

Materials for Repairing an Inflatable SUP Board

To be able to repair your SUP board right the first time, you would need the following tools:

  • Patches
  • Brushes
  • Tool Pen
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Soap
  • Piece of cloth

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Repair an Inflatable SUP Board

Inflatable SUP boards are tough. However, it is deemed important that you know how to repair one if you do get a tear or hole on it. For SUP boards that are made of urethane-coated material or PVC, there are certain glues that you can use as a patch. Oftentimes, the damages take the form of abrasion, especially in the coating. If that’s the case, you can easily fix this damage by painting a coating of urethane adhesive or any kind of abrasion-resistant and flexible urethane material. Here are the steps that you should follow:

  • Find the hole simply by listening to the sound of escaping air. You may also try spraying on a soapy-water solution, then look for bubbles.
  • Make the patch a couple of inches away from the said hole, in all directions. It should be noted that oval patches are the best ones for this scenario. You also should avoid using sharp corners, as they tend to peel over time.
  • Gently buff the surface using fine sandpaper.
  • Clean the surface using a solvent. You may opt using methyl ethyl ketone, along with alcohol or acetone.
  • Ensure that loose drop-stitch strings have been pushed down below its surface before you begin applying the patch.
  • It is very important to note that if the SUP board catches water inside, you need to get rid of it. To do this, simply remove the valve but be very careful not to lose the inner valve portion. When you see liquid, pour it out and as a preventive measure, dry it using a blow dryer to be sure that you have dried the remaining moisture.
  • All solvents and adhesives contain toxic and flammable components. Therefore, it would be wise for you to wear eye and hand protection. It is also essential that you work in a well-ventilated area. In addition, we do recommend that you wear an organic solvents respirator.
  • Apply about three thin coats of the urethane adhesive.
  • Wait for at least three to five minutes between coating. This is to make sure that the solvents have evaporated before you apply another coating.
  • Carefully roll the patch on the SUP board’s hole.
  • Using a roller, thoroughly press the surfaces.
  • You can also use a coating of the urethane adhesive to protect a scuffed or abraded area on your SUP board.
  • Buff the area using fine sandpaper and clean it using acetone, alcohol or methyl ethyl ketone.
  • Outline the area using masking tape.
  • Paint a thin coating of the urethane adhesive.
  • Apply a cure accelerator to make it easier for you to spread, as well as shorten the amount of cure time.
  • Remove the masking tape after you have applied the urethane adhesive.

You may also follow these steps to repair your SUP board:

repair your SUP board

Via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k53MvOMMzak

  • Once you have gathered all the necessary materials for repairing your SUP board, clean the surface of the leak.
  • As mentioned earlier, you can find the leak just by applying water to the area and noticing where bubbles seem to appear.
  • Cut one piece of the patch that you can find in your repair kit if you have one.
  • Depending on the area of the leak, it would be attractive and less noticeable if you match the color.
  • Use scissors to cut the patch, which should be big enough for you to cover the leak entirely.
  • Once you have cut it, you may clean it once again using a dry piece of cloth.
  • When you have the patch ready, then it is time to apply the glue.
  • Using your brush, apply glue to it and then to the patch, as well as the surface of your SUP board.
  • It is advisable that you work your way from the center of the patch and then to the edges.
  • Ensure that you have applied enough glue to the patch, as well as on the surface of the SUP board.
  • Once you have applied enough glue, you can now attach the patch onto the SUP board’s surface.
  • Make sure that you press the repair patch as firmly as possible on the SUP board. This is to ensure that all unevenness has been removed.
  • When you have successfully glued the patch onto your SUP board, you may need to clean the entire area once more.
  • Be sure to remove any kind of remainders coming from the glue.
  • If you find it challenging to remove the excess glue, you may opt using acetone for that.

This is the part where you have successfully repaired your inflatable SUP board. However, it should be noted that you need to wait for at least 24 hours, to get the best results. We understand the excitement that you need to get it out of to the water as soon as possible but while the waiting time may be the hardest part in this process, we do recommend that you make sure that the glue has completely dried.

Conclusion

Now that we have discussed everything there is to know about repairing an inflatable SUP board, we trust that you will now be able to apply what you have learned here, in case you are dealing with a leak or a hole on your SUP. Just take note of the materials that you will need to be able to start the process as soon as possible.

How To Prepare Yourself For Cold Water Swimming?

03/07/2019

Cold water swimming is often performed during winter, and you swim in a pool or lake when the water remains colder less than 5 degree Celsius. Swimming in icy-cold water provides amazing health benefits such as boosting up your immune system, burning out extra calories, reducing stress and enhancing blood circulation.

You will find regular cold water swimmers because it increases your life expectancy. Apart from all health benefits, swimming in chilled water can be occasionally dangerous if not taken proper precaution. Some may find it difficult to cope with the frigid condition. So it is essential to prepare for cold water swimming to avoid putting your health into risk.

To make sure you are splashing in cool water safely, you must dress in with the proper essential gears.

  • Put on two swim caps – When water remains chill, you may face difficulty in breathing. You will lose heat through your head. So the better option remains wearing two swim caps to block heat escaping from your head.
  • Go for neoprene clothing’s – However, the material neoprene adds insulation keeping your body warm than any other stuff. Cold water swimmers prefer picking up neoprene swimming trunk, booties, gloves and socks because they allow you to swim faster and it won’t lessen haul.
  • Earplugs are must-have – Live swimming caps remain essential, earplugs are must-have. When the water remains cool, ear plugs work effectively keeping your body temperature up. They are good enough to absorb heat.
  • Shop the right wetsuit – For safety reason, make sure you wear a full covered wetsuit when splashing in chilled water. Choose neoprene material since it has added insulation that can keep your body warm in cold water. Neoprene enhances buoyancy, keeping your body positioned high in water and by helping you to swim faster. You need to buy a wetsuit that’s 5 or 6 mm sturdy, also sealed to preserve body heat in water. Broad and hefty wetsuit may lack flexibility so go for one which has in-built panels in it support your body while swimming. The wetsuit should snug fit around your neck, wrist, torso, and ankles.
  • For extra protection wear gloves and socks – If the water freezes from 9 degree Celsius to 16 degree Celsius or lower, you must put on extra accessories. Neoprene gloves and socks are the best alternatives to keep your hand and leg from going numb.

Steps to get prepared for cold water swimming!

1. Have cold showers regularly

You may not take the bit of advice genuine, but the easy thing you can follow is to take cold showers daily as a part of preparing your body for cold showers. You can try this a few weeks before you swim. Taking a cold bath can acquaint yourself with the feeling.

2. Warm up and perform stretching for 15-20 minutes to reduce the impact

It is very important to perform stretching exercise, preparing your body for strenuous activity. You can do jumping jacks repeatedly or go for brisk walking. Stretch out your muscles and allow your heart your pump before you leap into the frozen water. Warming up is vital especially for cold water splashing. It could minimize the impact of inevitable shock you may experience when leaping into chilled water.

3. Plunge into water

Initially, when you get in contact with cold water, your body may experience shock which may lead to shortness of breath. So never dive into icy-cold water. Go slowly to waist-deep, keeping your head above the water surface. This would avert gulping water into your lungs. At a slow pace, move into the water, and once water touches your hip level, you may dip your face into the chilled water by blowing air out through the mouth.

Panting or puffing can make you anxious but keep calm and relax for a while; you will be normal within a minute. However, raise your head when you need to breathe again and repeat this step a few times.

4. Strengthen yourself slowly

You should never dive straight into freezing water because it may put you into trauma. Diving in cold water remains risky, and this may even lead to hypothermia. So once your body responds normally to the chilled water, you should slowly start building up your strength. You should be able to swim a few kilometres in the pool easefully. Swimming in chilled water demands enough energy so you must swiftly deplete your strength.

Frozen water induce heat away from the body faster than the cold breeze, so when your body tries to recuperate that heat, it forces your heart to beat harder. Further, this may cause you to get exhausted quickly. At that time, you shouldn’t push further hard to swim to cover up more distance. Take a break a few minutes and increase the duration slowly.

5. Recognize your limit

Outdoor swimming includes high-risk regardless of how robust and experienced you are. So make sure you are aware of the signs of hypothermia. Initially, you may feel cold, but within a few minutes of swimming, your body will adapt to the chillness. However, if you still feel frigid while swimming and if your muscles get fatigued, you feel shivery, tired and finds difficulty in breathing, get out of the water instantly. Make sure you spot the signs and take action quickly.

6. Get trained regularly to keep acclimating

You should train consistently, three to four times per week. You must follow the thirty-minute session at least four times per week. Gradually get into the water for a short period. Later, once you are acclimated to the temperature, you must try swimming for twenty minutes. You must be able to swim in water under 21 degrees Celsius for a few minutes. Slowly increase the amount of time you swim. If you struggle to breathe, hop out of the water.

7. Go for an ice bath

If you are not comfy to cold water sources, you should go for an ice bath. Put lots of ice into the water and check the temperature. Take ice bath four times per week. Swimming outdoors likes lake and oceans also provide great training for cold water swimming.

8. Warm up and recover

Once you are out of the water, the body temperature will start declining. Get dried and cloth perfectly in warm layers. Have a hot drink or soup and keep moving to regain your regular body temperature. Remember, don’t take hot bath or shower once you are out from the cold water as this can cause a sudden drop of blood pressure, resulting in fainting or poor circulation to major organs.

As a part of preparing yourself for cold water swimming, you can start the training sessions during summer. Keep it up until the weather changes and gradually gets colder. This would make you feel chilled water amiable.

How to Use Dive Computer: Learn the Basics in this Guide

03/04/2019

A dive computer is a handy and vital piece of equipment divers should have. If you’re a diver, you wouldn’t know whether it’s safe to dive or not if you don’t have one of these. Before you buy one, it is essential that you know what kind of diving activity you are likely to do. That way, you would know which type of dive computer would be best for you.

The dive computer also serves as a safety device, as it allows you to manage your dive, as well as inform you if it would be safe to go a bit deeper or if you need to quickly return to the surface. In this post, we will be discussing everything you need to know about how to use a dive computer. Hopefully, you’ll be able to apply what you learn when you set out for a diving trip.

Advantages of Dive Computers over Dive Tables

  • Having a dive table has been proven to be more complicated, as you are going to need to remember how to read the columns and rows.
  • While both the computer and table are deemed useful for noting the nitrogen amount, the advantage of the dive computer is that you can get ahold of this information while you are diving.
  • While both the computer and table are deemed useful for noting the nitrogen amount, the advantage of the dive computer is that you can get ahold of this information while you are diving.
  • Lastly, dive computers record how fast you are ascending. It also can trigger an alarm, especially if you’re coming up a little fast.

Common User Mistakes

Dive computers may seem a bit complicated to use at first. However, through practice, we believe that you will be able to fully utilize it in your dives. Here are some of the common user mistakes often made by divers:

  • When knowing how to use dive computers, you should be aware that each unit is set for an individual diver. This would ultimately mean that you can not and should not allow others to use your own dive computer.
  • Avoid turning off your dive computer in between dives. You may risk losing all your previous dive data that are stored in your unit. Most importantly, you may lose all the information about the nitrogen amount that it left in your body.
  • In case the previous scenario happens, you may need to wait for all the nitrogen to exit before you may even start using your dive computer again.

How to Use Dive Computers

Display

Two of the most crucial information that you need to be able to see in the dive computer clearly are the depth of your dive and the remaining bottom time. The display should be concise and well lit, and anything less would mean that you’ll be troubled reading very important information while you are underwater. In addition, the lighting is a very important factor, especially if you plan to dive during the nighttime or in low light conditions.

Menu

Probably the most important factor in learning how to use a dive computer lies on how easy and convenient it is to navigate its menu. With this, you never should have any kind of difficulty accessing the settings even when you are underwater. If you feel the need to consult the manual every time you use your dive computer, there is a possibility that you are using a complicated one.

Alarm

Alarms are also very important, as they alert you on maximum depth, expiring dive time, as well as your rate of ascent and other significant warnings. With a reliable alarm system, you would not need to refer to your dive computer’s screen, allowing you to enjoy your dive more.

Gas mix

In case you don’t know, learning how to use a dive computer equates to learning about the various possible gas mixes. There is one that calculates dive around 21% oxygen. There is also one that does the same but has the capability to go up 40% nitrox mix, which is suitable for recreational divers. However, for gas mixes that are more than 40%, a more sophisticated unit might be more helpful, especially because it helps with decompression. In fact, higher end dive computers have features allowing you to switch among the gas mixes.

Air integration

Dive computers that are air-integrated come in two types. There is one that uses high-pressure hose connections, which measures tank pressure. There is also the wireless type, which uses a sensor to deliver data directly into the computer. Either air-integrated dive computers give you the capability to know how much breathing time is left, depending on the amount of gas that you already used.

There are also other extraordinary features that make dive computers worth getting. These would include changeable batteries, an electronic compass that can help you navigate your dives, and software upgrades that allow you for an advanced diving experience.

The Algorithm

Using your dive computer might seem a bit more complicated, especially when you add in the algorithms that essentially guides your dive equipment. However, it doesn’t have to be. Algorithms are the calculations that may prevent decompression sickness. It is vital to help you prevent “bends”.

If you are not yet familiar, these algorithms were based on experiments that were done by JBS Haldane during the 20th century. These experiments have proven that the different areas in a diver’s body have the capability to absorb, as well as release nitrogen, and at varying rates. However, not all of them indicate the same thing.

If you would notice, there are notable differences in terms of the decompression and the no-stop times among divers who participate in that exact same dive. There are also varying differences among divers, even though they share similar dive profiles. It should be noted that these algorithms are sometimes dependent on the model and type of dive computers they are using. Lastly, these handy and useful devices are often innovated to make way for allowances for liberal, as well as conservative decompression algorithms, which can be programmed into their units.

Conclusion

Knowing how to use a dive computer may seem very complicated at first, especially if you are just a beginner. However, repetitive use of its navigation, settings, as well as readings can help you realize that it’s very easy to use. You just need to take note of the common user mistakes, as well as the features, for you to be able to fully utilize your dive computer. In addition, these dive computers can keep you safe, especially if you have reached your ascension speed. Hopefully, this article has been of great help to you in using your dive computer.