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TAH 73
07-19-2007, 19:06
Fiancee and I are just finishing up OW, her as a first timer and myself as a refresher after 10 years.
Any skills besides what are in the book that you feel important that you have came across. Little tips/tricks that get picked up along the way.
I know with being a ski instructor for 10 years+ most of the little tips and teachings came from mistakes and "ah-ha"moments. Little things like this...
1.Inflate BC when entering exiting the water, lest you fall in/trip/fall when getting in/out.

mwhities
07-20-2007, 10:25
Dive as much as possible. Start out on the Bunny slope and work your way the the Black Diamond.

Michael

thesmoothdome
07-20-2007, 12:40
Like mwhitie said, dive, dive, dive. The most important skill you can develop is solid buoyancy. It's the skill most used and least focused on in a lot of OW classes. Sure, they ask you todo fin pivots and hover for a second, but everyone is always more worried about mask removals, weight belt replacement etc.

tc_rain
07-20-2007, 13:51
I would suggest that you continue to practice the skills you did in O/W. You never know when you will need them. They are taught for a reason. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

TAH 73
07-20-2007, 14:55
I agree that the skills covered in the OW course are important, and need to be practiced, what I am looking for are the little hint's that aren't possibly in the manual.

The shop started my Fiancee "Lead Poisoned", tried to do it withme as well, gave me 22lbs of lead with my 3mil on the first dive in the pool, I went in with10 lbs.

I think she is down to 14lbs with a 7mil now.

the gooch
07-20-2007, 21:42
Get used to being able to take your mask off under water and be comfortable breathing the reg without your mask and w/o holding your nose. Never panic, panic kills.

TommyB
07-20-2007, 23:37
New also,

My main that I'm in the process of working on is buoyancy, buoyancy, buoyancy. That and motionless hovering, be it horizonal, vertical or upside-down.
Once I get that down, I figure the rest should be a breeze..
Well, once I figure out why my finning s%cks :)

Judestudio
07-21-2007, 07:23
My sister and I did our OW a few months back, just got our own gear. It's winter now and we don't dive dry, but we'll be joining our LDS in a regular fortnightly dive at a local pool and practice our skills....practice practice and practice!!smileys/smiley1.gif

tc_rain
07-21-2007, 11:51
The shop started my Fiancee "Lead Poisoned", tried to do it withme as well, gave me 22lbs of lead with my 3mil on the first dive in the pool, I went in with10 lbs.
I think she is down to 14lbs with a 7mil now.

I have heard in the past that instructors will intentionally over-weight you in the O/W class as a safety practice so you don’t accidentally rocket to the surface. (Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong). After I was certified, I worked on dropping the extra lead. Then when I took my AOW with the PPB elective, I was able to drop a couple more. Now I think I have it just right.

JahJahwarrior
07-21-2007, 13:59
Work on bouyancy. Fin pivots are actually a good place to start---diving at a new place to me, at 110 feet, at the bottom of the line, we hit the AOW class platform. Never been that deep (40 feet deeper than previous experience) and my bouyancy was WAY off! I litereally slammed into the deck :) So, I added air until I started to do a normal fin pivot, then pushed off the deck and was fine from there on out. They can help you establish your bouyancy. Once you get decent at it, try to descend slowly near the bottom, and do a....body float? Basically, try to add air until you are not descending, with your lungs half full/half empty, so you don't actually touch the bottom. Some places you will dive are VERY easily silted out, all it takes is a few people to hit the bottom. If you can avoid it by getting your bouyancy sorted out without touching, that's great!

I still can't figure out how people hover motionlessly. When I breathe, I think my bouyancy changes by atleast a pound or two....but I'm working on it! And, I'm working on dropping lead. In class, I had 11 pounds. Got a thicker wetsuit and went to 20. Now I've got 18, but I'm going to take off a 4# and put on a 2# sometime, to try out 16. If I didn't have on this gosh-awful-thick wetsuit (5mil two piece) I could really dive with 5-10 pounds....if warm water diving, I think I'm perfectly set to go, with my gear on, I wouldn't need any weight at all.

Also, dive, dive dive!!! Set up your gear! Clean your gear! Dive! Watch videos on the internet--some DIR guys have some videos on some website, showing differnt kicks, how to inflate a bag, etc.

And pratice some skills as often as possible, such as mask clearing and/or removal. I even try to practice BC removal t the bottom sometimes. Sharing air is good too! (not when you have to, but when you can practice it.)

Ajuva
07-23-2007, 14:59
As everyone else has said on here, the ultimate black art is bouyancy and trim.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Realising you are going to be learning something new on every dive from now on is also quite intrinsic.</DIV>

Rascal1933
07-23-2007, 22:48
Yes to all above !
<DIV>You can maybe sign-up withyour Fiancee for a Peak Preformance Buoyancyclass at your localDive Center.</DIV>
<DIV>PADI,SSI offer it.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>It will be Money that is well spent.</DIV>

Dive-aholic
07-24-2007, 04:18
I have heard in the past that instructors will intentionally over-weight you in the O/W class as a safety practice so you donít accidentally rocket to the surface. (Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong). After I was certified, I worked on dropping the extra lead. Then when I took my AOW with the PPB elective, I was able to drop a couple more. Now I think I have it just right. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><O:P></O:P>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Some do, but not all. My wife and I work on getting our students properly weighted and trimmed during every confined watersession and every dive. By the end of the course, they are usually right where they need to be with their weight. But we also don't teach our students how to kneel on the bottom...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>The big thing is buoyancy, as has already been mentioned here a few times. Practice in shallow fresh water. If you can perfect your buoyancy in 15-20' of fresh water, you'll be able to control it at any depth and any type of water. Unfortunately, no one told me this when I first started diving. I focused on getting deeper to build up that experience. Fortunately, the lakes I was diving in didn't offer much to see deeper, so I was stuck doing 15-20' dives. When I started diving doubles, I did lots of dives in 15-20' fresh water to get my buoyancy worked out. I still do lots of dives in that range to keep working on my buoyancy. Any diver who tells you they have perfect buoyancy is lying to you. You will always work on your buoyancy.</DIV>

georoc01
07-24-2007, 08:48
I agree on the bouyancy thing, and as part of that your breathing comes into play as well. being able to control your depth with your breathing rather than using your bcd is a skill I continue to keep working on. It seems like I get my bouyancy good, but then do to my breathing I slowly begin working upward, eventually have to dump some air and reset.

cummings66
07-24-2007, 10:47
Here's a tip that it seems some don't know. JahJahwarrior (http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/member_profile.asp?PF=26&FID=32) didn't know it based on his slamming into the platform. As you descend add air to the BC the entire time, i.e. every so often add a squirt so you maintain a slow descent rate. Don't wait until you see the bottom, you'll run into it if you do.

Equalize at the surface and then very often as you descend. Buoyancy is not something you can work on with fin pivots, work on it during the dive itself. Watch the bottom, watch the wall, watch the foreign matter in the water. Kick and glide, note what you do and adjust the air in the BC as needed. The glide phase is what tells you if you're negative or positive. If I see you sculling with your hands I'm going to tie them up on you, hands aren't needed for diving control. Learn how to use those fins and lungs. Hands are a last resort IMO, use them only if you're going to lose control and crash if you don't use them. Then learn why that happened and don't do it again.

There is absolutely no need from now on to touch anything to establish buoyancy, use your senses and adjust on the fly as you dive. Use your lungs for small momentary excursions from the neutral depth, breath less or more as needed to do it. Don't add air if you're just dropping down 5 feet to look at a fish, try to not add and remove air often from the BC. At depth that adds up quickly to a higher air consumption. Another reason new divers have high air consumption rates.</DIV>

The biggest tip, learn what your RMV is and start using it to plan the dives. knowing that consumption rate is important for the future. Don't just dive and assume you can come up when you start getting low on air, remember that air is also your buddies air. Plan for it. RMV is respitory minute volume measured in cf for me, SCR is surface consumption rate, SAC is Surface air consumption measured in PSI. Both give you the tools needed to "plan" dives. The volume measurement is useful because you can apply it to any size tank out there, PSI is only good for the one size tank. For me and some of my buddies we plan on coming back up from 100 feet with 25 cf of air. I dive a HP120, he dives an AL80. PSI numbers are way different on those two tanks for 25 cf. We base it on the AL80 because it's the smallest tank, so when he hits the turn pressure we go up. That means with him I usually have a LOT of air left, but planning tells me we need to come up when his tank gets to the low point not mine. That's because if my tank lost pressure then we're now using the smaller of the two to breathe from.

Inflate the BC AFTER the dive and keep the mask and reg on/in afterwards until you're safely on shore. Same as you do entering the water. Once in and safely under control you can remove or adjust as needed, but not during the entry and exit phases.

Do a search on rock bottom and learn how to plan dives properly, you won't find this taught in most scuba classes and it's very important.

Judestudio
07-24-2007, 16:20
Great tips! Thanks Matt.

TAH 73
07-24-2007, 18:57
Awesome Matt, definately the type of stuffI was looking for.

Rascal1933
07-24-2007, 21:24
Matt~Gotta agree, Great job on your dive tips posting.http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley20.gif

JahJahwarrior
07-24-2007, 21:34
JahJahwarrior does know that tip, he just wasn't being very smart. Fast descent (was following another diver down) and guesstimated how much air to add and when wrong.....I didn't think I'd need as much air as I did need. I don't usually dive at 110 feet, it was a little different than 60 feet :) Also, the water was very dark and viz was only 40 feet maybe? I had done better on the dive before and wasn't concentrating on it as much.

The moral of that is, even if you know something, don't forget to think about it during a dive :)

The other tip I actually came in here to offer is, keep yoour mask on. If you ever see the term "MOF" or "NMOF," it stands for Mask on Face and No Mask on Face. Only "strokes" (divers who don't know what they are doing) put the mask on their forehead. It'll fall off sooner or later.

Either drop it around the neck or leave it on. No one will make fun of you (I mean take it off before going to the mall or dinner....) and you will find it much harder to lose a mask. This is very important for shore diving, but a wave can take a mask on a boat dive too.

cummings66
07-24-2007, 22:00
What do you mean only 40 feet? That's probably better than I've ever seen in my life, 40 feet? Man, that's like seeing from here to eternity...
Wow, I didn't know places had it so good.http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif

ertechsg
07-25-2007, 09:09
HAVE FUN!

medic001918
07-25-2007, 21:03
What do you mean only 40 feet? That's probably better than I've ever seen in my life, 40 feet? Man, that's like seeing from here to eternity...
<DIV>Wow, I didn't know places had it so good.http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I agree....40 ft is a dream. And your post earlier was well written and some good advice that every new diver should talk to heart.

Shane</DIV>

cummings66
07-26-2007, 07:38
There's a lot of stuff not taught in OW thata diver should know, it does appear scubatoys might teach it because they reference the ideas on their page. Good for them.

There's a whole lot more out there though.

JahJahwarrior
07-26-2007, 07:55
The 40 feet viz wasn't bad (dropped to 2 feet if you touched the bottom, really light silty stuff that hung around for a while....) the fact that it was as close to literal blackness was the hard part to deal with. So I could only see the platform for 40 feet above it, and if I was descending 4 feet a second, that gives me 10 seconds to shine a light on it, seehow close I am to it, and add enough air to my BC to hover perfectly horizontally picometers above it :) I wasn't descending quite that fast, but close, like I said, I was following an SB member down, and he descends freaking fast! It was all I could do to equalize, look at depth, equalize, look at depth, equalize..........

Another tip: discuss descent and ascent rates with your buddies. This guy liked to descend fast, then ascend at the "limit" until about 40 feet, then ascned at half of the "limit" (reccomended ascent rate).

comet24
07-26-2007, 09:25
Dive, Dive, Dive and have fun.

DiverBry
07-26-2007, 23:16
Try to take the Peak Performance Bouyancy Specialty as soon as you can after you get your Open Water.

You'll develop some better habits right away before your new habits have had a chance to cure permanently :)

paintballindivr
07-27-2007, 04:03
i dont know if it has been said but you will hear about people being tired from 3 dives a day, I have noticed if i make a three minute stop no matter how deep or the tables or whatever as long as I make that stop I dont feel AS narc'd try that it will help....


also to have your air last almost 4 times as long.. make sure to exhale as much as possible and slowly inhale think more of a yoga breath and exhale all the way and breath in SLOWLY and just kinda meditate as u do... if u consintrate on always doing that on 3 dives it will become natural and it will make ur air last longer

cummings66
07-27-2007, 07:29
much as possible and slowly inhale think more of a yoga breath and exhale all the way and breath in SLOWLY and just kinda meditate as u do...

I tried that and got headaches from doing it. I practiced it enough and gave it enough of a try that I was able to take 3 breaths a minute, no skip breathing at all. However I think that there is a point at which the CO2 builds up enough that you get a headache. Right now I'm doing about 6 breaths a minute without doing anything different and feel good.

I'd also suggest one other tip, incorporate deep stops. Spend 1 minute at half your deepest depth or around 50 feet and then come up and do a normal safety stop at 15.

Splitlip
07-28-2007, 07:32
Typically, new divers come out of their open water training over weighted. Often instructors overweight students to keep them securely on the bottom for skills training.
Carry the minimum weight needed and your dives will be considerably more pleasurable.

ertechsg
07-28-2007, 08:44
ask and ye shall receive

cummings66
07-28-2007, 11:18
Receive what?

Dive-aholic
07-31-2007, 01:50
I tried that and got headaches from doing it. I practiced it enough and gave it enough of a try that I was able to take 3 breaths a minute, no skip breathing at all.

That sounds like skip breathing to me. That's not very many breaths, even on the surface. Even 6 isn't that great. Breathing less times will not conserve your air. I breathe slower than my wife (it's very evident when we each do video), yet she breathes less than me most of the time.

cummings66
08-01-2007, 20:28
No, it's not skip breathing, you're breathing all the time with absolutely no pauses anywhere. You're very far from skip breathing, but you are breathing like a Yoga might which IMO is not fast enough. I think if you inhale too long or exhale too long you build up CO2.

Try it, it's easy to maintain 3 breaths a minute, I can do it for hours on land but not in the water. It's not exchanging enough air to provide the O2 needed to move about is what I think happens.

I would rate that breathing style up there with skip breathing however, it's just as dangerous because I'm sure you're building up CO2, of course you're not holding your breath so it's not as likely to cause an air embolism. I think you could still pass out and drown however. I think the best advice is to breathe deeply and fully and forget all this nonsense about trying to get a better SCR by modifying your breathing style.

I have timed mine however after listening to a dive video I took. I breathe 6 times a minute, my SCR is anywhere from .3 to .6 depending on dive type. I know what I'll have on a given dive based on experience.

Dive-aholic
08-03-2007, 01:20
I actually have tried it. I play victim during the Rescue class my wife and I teach. I go down and try to slow my breathing down so it's harder to see my bubbles. It's hard, though. Maybe I need to take Yoga!