Scuba Diving Refresher Tips
If you’re feeling a bit rusty on your scuba skills well you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn four scuba diving refresher tips, before your new dive trip.
My name is Nicole Helgason and I have been a scuba diving instructor and worked in the dive industry for over 10 years. I started this blog ReefDivers.io to help divers feel comfortable in the water, and a place they can learn more about coral reefs. That’s where I got the name ReefDivers! This site is all about scuba diving and coral reefs.
Here are 4 easy skills to refresh before your next trip.
1. Brush up on your scuba theory, Boyle’s Law
Remember way back on the first day of your course you learned about pressure and density, and how this affects scuba divers? Well here’s a quick refresher.
As we descend through the water the pressure around us increases. This is caused by the weight of the water pressing down on us, which affects our internal airspaces.
This means we need to equalize the pressure inside our body to the pressure outside. We feel this pressure as a squeeze in our ears so we have to pinch our nose and blow out to compensate.
You might also notice your mask squeezing closer to your face. But this one is easy to fix, just blow air from your nose into your mask!
The pressure or weight of the water pressing on us also affects the density of air in our cylinder. The deeper we go the more compressed and more densely packed the molecules of air become in our scuba cylinder. What this means the deeper you go, that every breath you take from your cylinder, will consume more air that you would at the surface.
Equally, as you ascend the same molecules of air start to expand. We compensate for this by releasing air from our BCD as we ascend and breathing out. This is also why we never hold our breath while scuba diving as the expanding air could cause over expansion injuries in our lungs.
2. Remember How To Assemble Your Gear
If it’s been a while since your last dive chances are you forget how to assemble your gear. This simple step is often enough to give confidence to even the rustiest divers. Before a dive trip ask the divemaster or instructor to run through the gear set up with you.
When setting up your gear remember to stand behind your tank. The air valve opening of the tank should be facing away from you. Put your BCD on the tank so the air valve opening would be facing the back of your head.
Unscrew the dust cap on your regulator and attach the business end (not the screw end) to the front opening of your tank. Tighten the regulator finger tight around the valve, and then attach the low-pressure hose from your regulator to your BCD inflator. From here you are ready to open your tank with the pressure gauge facing away from you.
3. Refresh these three basic skills
4. Review your hand signs
Before starting your dive, a dive master will give you a briefing. This should include the depth and time of your dive, interesting features you will find, and any special consideration for current, directions, and visibility. At the end of the briefing, the guide should include a review of the hand signs to use underwater.
Here are a few common hand signals to refresh your memory.
Once you’ve brushed up on these 4 easy skills you will feel more comfortable and confident for your next dive. If you’re still feeling unsure, and haven’t been diving in a year or longer you can also take a refresher course. During a refresher course, you will learn about Boyle’s law, practice assembling your dive gear, and go to the pool or confined shallow water where you can practice skills.
Some of the skills you will practice is breathing from, clearing, and recovering a regulator. You will also practice clearing water from your mask, and breathing from an alternate air source provided by the instructor or a buddy.
If you have any questions about scuba diving or refreshing your dive skills share them with us in the comments below. Make sure to check out the rest of our website and the training, and skills section for more scuba diving tips.