Getting back to the Basics

April 02, 2018 7:01 PM | Tom Stenger

     As we prepare for our busy local and overseas dive season, it is always a good ideal to refresh our basic dive skills. The basic skill you learned in your Open Water Class are important every time you dive, even if you don't have to use them. 

     I can't tell you how many times my mask has flooded or my tank came loose as I bankrolled off of a friend's boat. Although considered a unusual issue, it was easily handles with little issue because of the confidence I had in my basic skills.

     So what should I focus on and how can I practice. When ever I get new gear or items back from service, I love to jump into my community pool and test it out. I also use this time to practice some basic skills like mask flooding , regulator recovery, and locating my alternate air source. 

     What if you don't have a pool? Well, next time you are on a club dive at the end of the dive practice your skills. Just remember to brief your dive buddy first, so they know.

Here are some tips to start the season: 

1. Do you ABC’s

Take your time to go through your kit, and make sure all is in order, and that you’re being extra thorough in assembling the elements.

Haste makes waste. So take your time.

2. Practice your basic water skills

Go through the basic dive skills.

Do a hover (if you struggle, start with the fin pivot), remove and replace regulator, remove and replace mask.

If you’re really ambitious, you can also remove and replace BCD and weight belt at the surface.

And if your buoyancy is top notch, take it up a level and try inverted hovers, trim, etc.

If you have the opportunity, also practice a few water entry strategies, such as giant stride.

2. Practice your basic water skills

Go through the basic dive skills.

Do a hover (if you struggle, start with the fin pivot), remove and replace regulator, remove and replace mask.

If you’re really ambitious, you can also remove and replace BCD and weight belt at the surface.

And if your buoyancy is top notch, take it up a level and try inverted hovers, trim, etc.

If you have the opportunity, also practice a few water entry strategies, such as giant stride.


3. Practice emergency skills

Next, move to the more advanced skills, and consider repeating these from time to time, in-season.

These include deploying an SMB, out-of-air scenario, and re-surfacing of an unconscious or injured diver.

If you dive with doubles, also practice your basic shut-down drills.

4. Work your communication skills

Agree with your buddy that at some point during the dive, you both need to communicate something on the dive, preferably rather complex, to the other. Make it scenario based, and make sure you have a sign to communicate that this is in fact just a scenario.

Bring two writing slates or wetnote books. You or your buddy then communicates a message to the other, who then writes down what he or she believes is communicated. Then you switch. Afterwards, you've compare notes and see how efficiently you've communicated the messages.

3. Practice emergency skills

Next, move to the more advanced skills, and consider repeating these from time to time, in-season.

These include deploying an SMB, out-of-air scenario, and re-surfacing of an unconscious or injured diver.

If you dive with doubles, also practice your basic shut-down drills.

4. Work your communication skills

Agree with your buddy that at some point during the dive, you both need to communicate something on the dive, preferably rather complex, to the other. Make it scenario based, and make sure you have a sign to communicate that this is in fact just a scenario.

Bring two writing slates or wetnote books. You or your buddy then communicates a message to the other, who then writes down what he or she believes is communicated. Then you switch. Afterwards, you've compare notes and see how efficiently you've communicated the messages.

Enjoy, 

Tom

3. Practice emergency skills

Next, move to the more advanced skills, and consider repeating these from time to time, in-season.

These include deploying an SMB, out-of-air scenario, and re-surfacing of an unconscious or injured diver.

If you dive with doubles, also practice your basic shut-down drills.

4. Work your communication skills

Agree with your buddy that at some point during the dive, you both need to communicate something on the dive, preferably rather complex, to the other. Make it scenario based, and make sure you have a sign to communicate that this is in fact just a scenario.

Bring two writing slates or wetnote books. You or your buddy then communicates a message to the other, who then writes down what he or she believes is communicated. Then you switch. Afterwards, you've compare notes and see how efficiently you've communicated the messages.

2. Practice your basic water skills

Go through the basic dive skills.

Do a hover (if you struggle, start with the fin pivot), remove and replace regulator, remove and replace mask.

If you’re really ambitious, you can also remove and replace BCD and weight belt at the surface.

And if your buoyancy is top notch, take it up a level and try inverted hovers, trim, etc.

If you have the opportunity, also practice a few water entry strategies, such as giant stride.

1. Do you ABC’s

Take your time to go through your kit, and make sure all is in order, and that you’re being extra thorough in assembling the elements.

Haste makes waste. So take your time.

1. Do you ABC’s

Take your time to go through your kit, and make sure all is in order, and that you’re being extra thorough in assembling the elements.

Haste makes waste. So take your time.

Scuba skills include kit checks<img class="size-full wp-image-7249" src="//images.divein.com/img/scuba-skills-train-pool.jpg" alt="Scuba skills include kit checks" width="800" height="533" />

A diver taking time going through her kit - Credit: PhotoSky 4t com

2. Practice your basic water skills

Go through the basic dive skills.

Do a hover (if you struggle, start with the fin pivot), remove and replace regulator, remove and replace mask.

If you’re really ambitious, you can also remove and replace BCD and weight belt at the surface.

And if your buoyancy is top notch, take it up a level and try inverted hovers, trim, etc.

If you have the opportunity, also practice a few water entry strategies, such as giant stride.

Buoyancy scuba skills practice<img class="wp-image-7252 size-full" src="//images.divein.com/img/scuba-skills-pool-buoyancy.jpg" alt="Buoyancy scuba skills practice" width="800" height="531" />

A scuba diver practicing buoyancy in a pool - Credit: Royster

3. Practice emergency skills

Next, move to the more advanced skills, and consider repeating these from time to time, in-season.

These include deploying an SMB, out-of-air scenario, and re-surfacing of an unconscious or injured diver.

If you dive with doubles, also practice your basic shut-down drills.

4. Work your communication skills

Agree with your buddy that at some point during the dive, you both need to communicate something on the dive, preferably rather complex, to the other. Make it scenario based, and make sure you have a sign to communicate that this is in fact just a scenario.

Bring two writing slates or wetnote books. You or your buddy then communicates a message to the other, who then writes down what he or she believes is communicated. Then you switch. Afterwards, you've compare notes and see how efficiently you've communicated the messages.

Scuba skills underwater communication <img class="size-full wp-image-7256" src="//images.divein.com/img/scuba-skills-underwater-com.jpg" alt="Scuba skills underwater communication " width="680" height="510" />

Underwater communication using a slate - Credit: Globalreset

All of these skills are of course necessary for all scuba divers.. So a beginning of season run-through is valuable, and elements of it should be repeated during the season, preferably on easy dives at well-known sites.

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