When you first start scuba diving everything feels different. You may feel big and bulky with all that extra equipment, wetsuit and weight you are wearing, but sooner or later once you get the hang of it, you’ll be looking for a way to streamline your gear. Streamlining your gear is the key to improving your technique by reducing drag underwater, and make your diving experience more enjoyable.
There are several benefits to streamlining your gear, and you will find that diving becomes effortless when you are streamlined. Your air consumption rate will improve. giving you more time underwater on each dive, it will become easier to kick and move around underwater and you will have more fine control of your buoyancy.
Here are a few tips to streamline your gear while diving
1. Secure loose hoses: It’s important to make sure all your regulator hoses are secured to your BCD. Make sure your octopus is clipped in and secured to your BCD, you can also tuck your submersible pressure gauge under you BCD waist belt so it is easy to find and read. Or lose the pressure gauge all together by using a dive computer with remote air sensor.
2. Optimize your weight: Making sure you have just the right amount of weight underwater will help you with you buoyancy control and streamline yourself underwater. Part of streamlining is also looking at your body position underwater and making sure you are in a straight streamline position while you swim. Being overweighted can drag down your waist and legs causing you to swim in a vertical position rather than streamlined and horizontal.
3. Bring only what you need: There are lots of gizmos and gadgets made especially for divers. Instead of bringing ever toy you own plan accordingly for the dive. Shallow reef dive leave the big flashlight on the boat and opt for a smaller torch that can tuck inside your BCD when you dont need it. Diving in a strong current? Opt for a smaller action camera instead of a large DSLR. Most importantly bring only what accessories you need.
4. Invest in a foldable snorkel: A snorkel is a good piece of dive equipment to own, but wearing one during a dive can be cumbersome and cause unnecessary drag. Instead invest in a small foldable snorkel which you can stow inside your BCD pockets. That way if you end a dive and still have a ways to swim back to shore or the boat you can pull it out and attach it to your mask after a dive.
5. Make sure you gear fits: Well fitting gear is important for streamlining yourself during a dive. If you dont own gear make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before a dive and call ahead to make sure they have your size. I like to wear my BCD nice and snug and one size small that I would my everyday attire. The most important is that your BCD fits and you feel comfortable. You also want to make sure you wetsuit fits tight, but is not too tight around your neck.