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Wetsuits and Free Diving

Wetsuits and free diving go hand in hand. It gets quite cold the further down you dive and not only that but wetsuits are great for your buoyancy.

Reasons for Wearing a Wetsuit

Temperature

As I’ve shared in a previous post when it comes to holding your breath being relaxed is the secret. If you are freezing cold, tense and clenching your jaw because the water is cold, your breath isn’t going to last long. This is the main reason I wear a wetsuit while free diving, I prefer to be quite warm and toasty and it does wonders for my breath holding.

Read – The Best Snorkel Gear For Beginners – A Complete Buyers Guide

Buoyancy

The second aspect that is quite important to think about is controlling your buoyancy. The thicker your wetsuit the more buoyant you will be on the surface but the opposite is true at the bottom. The wetsuit compresses as a result of increased water pressure. So as a free diver you will determine ahead of time which depth you hope to achieve or where you become negatively buoyant and won’t need to swim down which is where you start to freefall.

The thinner your wetsuit the less buoyancy change there is but it does make it difficult to find the freefall point. If you are into deep diving then this your wetsuit thickness plays a huge part! For me personally I would say my free dive depth is around the 20m mark. Because of this I prefer to use thin wetsuits that offer me enough warmth to stay relaxed. The hydrodynamics of the suit don’t weigh me down too much.

How To Put on a Freediving Wetsuit

If you have tried to wear a wetsuit before you’ll understand the difficulties of putting on a suit. Well it’s a little more difficult to put on a well fitting free diving wetsuit.

Take Care

Open cell neoprene is super comfortable and super flexible but is actually quite fragile. Tearing the neoprene is a heart braking ordeal so be sure to take care when sliding into your suit.

Slide into it in the Water

For some putting it on or taking it off in the water is the best way to do it. Definitely not if the water is cold but if you like do so in the shower. Personally, I put it on and struggle on dry land but like to take it off in the water when I’m done. Much easier to slide out of!

Plastic Bags

This is kinda frowned upon because hey plastic and the ocean but put a plastic bag over your foot and sliding down into the leg of the wetsuit becomes a whole lot easier!

Soapy Water

A soapy water mix can make it exceptionally easy to slide into your wetsuit. Very little soap is needed but if you like then prepare a bottle and store it with your suit so you don’t forget! Make sure the soap is environmentally friendly!

 

Free Diving for Beginners

So chances are if you have found my blog that you are interested in free diving yourself- yay, I’m stoked for you and the journey you are about to embark on! The following post will highlight a few key things to remember that helped me when training began.

Free Diving Tips

1. Never Dive Alone

This is critical even if you are the most competent diver around never dive alone! There is a reason for the buddy system and you should never ever risk it – you are essentially risking your life.

2. Relax & Enjoy it!

Another key skill to master. If you are relaxed your heart rate isn’t elevated and your body isn’t going to burn through oxygen overly fast. While it can be a hard skill to master, with time you will gain more confidence. Take deep, slow, calm breaths which works to keep your heart rate low and thus not burn through your oxygen. If you are scared or nervous your body also tenses up and you  again burn through your energy. Taking a breath work course outside of diving is also a great idea to help this.

3. Visualization

I do this with a lot of things in life but it is a great contributor to a successful free dive. Try visualizing a peaceful, fun dive to help relax your body. Picture yourself swimming with a school of fish or pod of dolphins. I like to run through how my dive will go before I get into the water.

4. Equipment

When starting out don’t get too caught up in all the gear there is to choose from. As a beginner I recommend a pair of the best snorkeling fins. In addition to this I highly recommend the best low volume dive mask.  Why? Because it is so much easier to equalize with a low volume mask. There are many more gadgets and cool things you can buy but to start off I recommend those two! I will try to share my current free diving equipment in another post!

5. Take a Course

There are a number of courses you can take to learn all about free diving. If you don’t have someone else interested in free diving then a course is also a great way to meet like minded people.

6. Learn from Everyone!

Watch other divers, find inspirational divers and talk to them! Ask them questions about everything you’re curious about! Pay attention to course instructors and ask as many questions as you can! Research and watch documentaries but make sure it is coming from a certifiable source. Your life depends on it!

 

Bottom Line

Free diving is a fun and great sport that just about anyone can get into! You don’t need to be an athlete or super human, just have the drive to train and get out there! The key thing is to be able to relax the mind and body to lower the heart rate and conserve your breath. If you can do that then your free diving adventures are going to be fun. I hope you enjoyed my tips! Please leave a comment if you have any others.

Daydreaming of the Sea

Today the weather is glooming and I have been struck down with a cold of sorts. I have called in sick to work and will take the day recuperating and recovering in bed snuggled up with my pup. It’s days like today that have me daydreaming like mad. Why is it always when you’re sick that you get an overwhelming urge to get outside and do something?! I’ll have to make do with watching videos and old footage to try satiate the desire! Todays post is going to centre around the Great Barrier Reef, Australia! I went on a dive trip there many years ago and loved every minute of it.

Here are a few fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef taken from google:

  • It is the largest coral reef system in the whole World and you can see it from Space!
  • It is also the Worlds largest living structure.
  • Comprised of around 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.
  • Roughly 1,616 miles (2,600kms) long.
  • Home to over 1,500 different species of fish.
  • Climate change and rising temperatures are killing the reef.

 

What Can You Do to Help Protect the Reef?

This is for coral reefs all over the world not just the Great Barrier Reef. Let’s look at 8 ways we can help!

  1. Save Water – All water runs to the sea so the less we use and the less runoff there is the less wastewater there is polluting the sea.
  2. Reduce emissions – If possible, walk, cycle, car pool or take the bus or train. If we can reduce the amount of bad emissions we can reduce the negative effect on the climate.
  3. Consider the type of fertilizers you may use – the water table directly under your lawn leads to where else but the sea, even if you live in the middle of the country, everything is connected. Be picky when choosing a fertiliser.
  4. Dispose of your trash correctly – Never leave your trash behind, pick up litter and be mindful of recyclable products. There is a great initiative called take 3 for the sea which means whenever you visit the beach try to take 3 pieces of trash away with you.
  5. Use reef friendly sunscreens and products – Ironically many people lather up in sunscreen that runs off of wears off and is actually quite toxic to the coral. There are many reef safe brands out there these days.
  6. Plant a tree – More trees, more life
  7. Dive/snorkel in a safe and responsible manner – Do not stand/touch or anchor on the reef, this is one of the leading causes of destruction.
  8. Volunteer – There are many organisations that are working hard to protect our reefs around the world. Get on board and see about the ways you can help out!

I hope these tips have inspired you to do what you can for the environment and save our delicate reefs! After 3 days on a liveaboard out on the Great Barrier Reef to say I was inspired is an understatement. We need to work together and try to preserve these delicate organisms for future generations to enjoy.

Welcome to my blog

Aloha world!

My name is Emily and I am an avid free diver and scuba diver. To be honest I love all water based activities and being out on the ocean is my absolute favourite thing to do. I started this blog to share my free diving adventures, things I’ve learned along the way as well as other cool stuff like new gear I purchase and try out.

A bit more about me – I grew up in Hawaii, the climate and sea temperatures are consistently the same- perfect in my eyes!! I have snorkelled for as long as I’ve been able to swim (from a very very young age!). I got my scuba dive license at the age of 12 but I have always been more of a hold my breath and free dive kinda gal.

Both my father and mother are sea addicts too so it comes as no surprise that myself and my sister are as well! So thanks mom and dad!

I must also give a big thanks to the support I’ve received from Sam over at Scuba Compare. Scuba Compare is a website that compares the best scuba and snorkelling products on the market! I have had the opportunity to contribute to many posts and give my honest opinion on scuba products. They review snorkel masks, scuba masks, fins, dive watches, wetsuits, gloves, dive computers, BCDs and so much more! They truly are the best place to visit if you are in need of up to date information and reliable, honest product reviews!

Mahalo xxx