A stable platform is the most important skill in diving at any level and in any piece of dive equipment. It is probably the skill that takes the longest to learn, in the early days of learning to dive the most frustrating, particularly, if in a Drysuit. It is a skill that we relearn the most often.
Every time we change our equipment configuration, or the diving environment, or the skills we are learning and mastering, in fact, sometimes buoyancy control just needs a little fine-tuning, but when you change a lot of things, it can take a lot of time to perfect.
So, whether you are still getting it right for the first time or fine tuning your skills you should PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE
Compensating for poor buoyancy by wafting your arms or hands around, kicking your legs, constantly swimming to stay buoyant doesn’t hide that you are not in control, it just wastes air, takes effort and remember diving should be relaxing!
So practice and be brave. Keep trying to be still or moving slowly while controlling your position in the water. Make a mess of it, who cares, you are at least trying to do something about it and practise makes perfect after all.
So how to improve buoyancy, remember back to your open water dives, where you had to hover for a period of time, or if you did your Drysuit speciality you had to hover, while you were probably looking at some object. This is a visual reference, pick a spot, look at it and concentrate on not moving, trying to stay level with that spot
Then become less reliant on that reference and start to feel neutral / natural buoyancy. Take your eyes of the spot and continue to try and maintain position. Use your ears as a guide, they give you lots of clues, but more than that you can feel the water buoying you up and when you breath in and out you will feel the gentle rise and fall, once truly cracked there will be no movement at all!
Complete a Peak Performance Course - it does not matter if you have done one before! or have a Boost 121 session with a diving professional
Then is the time to practise with other pieces of equipment, such as a DSMB
Now importantly do not forget about balance. If your kit is well setup and your buoyancy is good, you should be able to move fairly easily even if in bulky technical kit.
Good buoyancy control allows you to pivot on your balance point, which is generally somewhere around your midpoint. This balance allows you to dive in a flat / skydiving position, but easily allow you to adjust your position if entering caves or caverns (subject to be qualified to do so).
Make adjustments slowly and methodically. So, if you do need to adjust your kit, make a note of what you are doing and what effect it has in the water. Don’t forget it can take a little time to relax into a new kit configuration and what felt difficult on the first dive may improve with time. Take baby steps. Add new equipment a little at a time.
IF you are changing to twins for the first time, it’s easier if the rest of your kit (Drysuit, baselayer etc.) is the same as normal and also if the environment you are diving in is familiar.
A new suit, new cylinder configuration plus DSMB’s, Reels, torches etc. maybe one step to far and always learn new skills with qualified professionals.
I remember the first time on my twinset, it was not a comfortable experience and until 2019 was one that I only did when I truly had to, but then I found an instructor and a buddy who wanted to learn more about the technical world and we spent time working together to resolve the issues, practising (as well as changing equipment!). but in the end we had a great week diving Scapa Flow, it was comfortable diving.
It just shows you need to keep practising and finding the RIGHT instructor is also part of the package and we are still on our technical journey - watch our social media.
As with buoyancy you need to practice and not just by swimming around. Practise skills, drills and using your new equipment until it is easy. Usually the skills you like the least are the ones you need to practise the most.
Take it slowly at first. The first step when doing a new skill, or a skill in new kit, is to think through and plan each step. Visualise what it is you are going to do.
Once underwater, TAKE YOUR TIME when practising new skills and work with your instructor to achieve if doing for the very first time. Check / correct your buoyancy and depth between each step. Once you have done it a few times you will find that you move much easier and the skill completion will be much quicker.
New equipment or new combinations of equipment can take time to master. Auxiliary equipment such as an DSMB you will not necessarily use on every dive, so always when possible take time to practise.
The NEW Suunto EON Steel Black is on its way and now available for pre-order
The Suunto EON Steel Black comes with Suunto Fused™ RGBM 2 and Buhlmann 16 GF algorithms. This gives technical divers the possibility to choose their dive algorithm: Suunto Fused™ RGBM 2 or Suunto version of Bühlmann ZHL-16C with Gradient Factors, allowing them to match dive profiles with other dive team members’ devices
The new Suunto Fused™ RGBM 2 (Software update already available for “existing” Eon Steel devices) dive algorithm provides better possibility to deep air diving and repetitive diving
Gives divers an option to choose from continuous or stepped ascent mode in both algorithms – Suunto is the only dive computer manufacturer who gives continuous ascent mode for Bühlmann.
Wireless connectivity with Suunto App and Suunto Tank Pods. Suunto App is the digital logbook for divers. Dives can easily be transferred via Bluetooth to your mobile where the user enrich the dive data by adding comments, pictures and dive location.
The Suunto EON Steel Black now comes in a hard case. This allows the user to store their unit safely when not using. The outer sleeve has also been updated, with the EON Steel Black standing out against the white background, catching the consumers eye. On the sleeve side, it's features are clearly marked.
What's in the case?
Anyone who knows us here at Dive Rutland will be aware that we are 100% Project Aware. We have embedded the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra fully into everything that we and occasionally it slows down some of our activities as we beg, borrow and steal (ok steal - not literally).
It also slowed down our application to become a PADI Green Star dive centre as we did not want to just tick a box, we wanted the entire ethos and philosophy to be truly embedded from policy to procedure, from idea inception to full delivery of any project no matter how small or big. Our training and teachings to not only 'talk the talk' but to 'walk the walk'
But we are please to be announce that TODAY we have been awarded the PADI Green Star Award.
What is the PADI Green Star Award?
The PADI Green Star™ Dive Center Award is granted to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts that demonstrate a dedication to conservation across a wide range of business functions, including water conservation, energy use, environmentally friendly transportation practices, use of sustainable materials, conservation leadership and a donation to conservation through Project AWARE. The Green Star Award identifies dive businesses that care about the environment and are acting to protect it.
Here at Dive Rutland we are constantly looking at the way we run our business and the impact that we have on the planet and that is why we actively run a Reduce, Recycle, Reuse policy.
We have been developing our Dive Professional training and wanted to give all of our attendees something to remember their time with us, so went through all the normal things like:-
T-Shirt / Polo Shirts - decided no due to the impact of microfibres on our environment - you have seen our blog on that subject yes?
Water Bottles - we have these in store for those who do not have but we actively engage everyone owning these so you might already have one and we wanted something more - something unique
Hats - as cold water divers most of us have enough warm hats, we looked at baseball type caps but if you have ever seen me in one of those you know why that got taken off the table!
We ask all of our students who are being invited back into training, to read and be fully aware of the following procedures and processes that have been put into place in line with all of our relevant agencies and government advise and with the primary objective to keep us all safe and well.
This blog post supersedes all previously published policies and procedures and moving forward will be updated to stay in line with any changes that occur. Can we kindly ask everyone to keep checking back in and ensuring they are up to speed with them, prior to attending for training.
Before attending for Training
If you are displaying any symptoms as defined by the NHS for Coronavirus (COVID) then we kindly ask you to be responsible and follow the latest government guidelines for isolation and testing.
Not sure what the symptoms and guidelines are then please refer to the NHS webpage at Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
At the Dive Centre
All arrivals for training are to sanitise their hands on entry to the dive centre and PRIOR to moving around the dive centre and classroom areas.
Stock is not to be touched unless you are considering purchasing an item - due to the ongoing isolation requirements.
Face Masks are as per government guidelines no longer mandatory to be worn, however we ask everyone to be respectful of each other and if you want to wear a mask then please do.
You will be met by your instructor or support team member who will then guide you to your setup / training area.
During the briefing at the shop all students will be taken through the in water procedures required to meet the latest COVID diving guidelines but as a minimum everyone who is in the water on diving equipment will have a snorkel in their mouths at all times - which is good in water practise. If you need to talk to your instructor, please make it known and they will place their snorkel or regulator in their mouth and position themselves accordingly - please give them time to do this.
Parents, can we please ask you to drop your children at the Dive Centre for their pre-pool session activity and then wait outside or come back and pick them up to transport to the pool? This is to ensure that we keep safe operating limits in the dive centre and classroom.
Oakham School Swimming Pool
EVERYONE is to be swim ready (swimming costumes underneath clothing) as changing rooms are NOT available on the way in
Entry to Oakham School Sports Centre pool for your diving session is via the Main Sports Centre Reception entrance - The door code will be provided to you by a member of the Dive Rutland professional team
The address for the Swimming pool is Oakham School Sports Centre, Kilburn Road, Oakham, LE145 6QN
Everyone is to sanitise their hands on entry and exit from the Oakham School Sports centre.
Face masks/coverings are actively encouraged to be worn upon entry and exit unless exempt under the government guidance.
Members are encouraged to arrive bather ready (swimming costumes underneath clothing) to reduce time in changing rooms or use the changing rooms to change on arrival
When arriving “bather ready” please enter the swimming pool using the main entrance to the swimming pool, change and leave belongings on top bench. Changing rooms can then be used on exit.
If using changing rooms prior to pool use, please use allocations provided in changing rooms and then enter swimming pool using main door.
No hairdryers or showers are to be used at the Sports Centre.
Please adhere to all directional signage around the Sports Centre.
Please only arrive 5 minutes before the start time of your session. If you arrive early, please wait outside the Sports Centre main doors.
The Dive equipment will be taken to the pool side by the Dive Rutland Staff members, whilst this is happening, please prepare for the pool session and put wetsuits on
Parents / Guardian
Parents are welcome to stay and watch
At the end of the pool session can we please ask you to leave the pool area and wait outside
Dive Centre diving masks and snorkels are only available for use by Bubblemakers / Discover Scuba Sessions / Seals and Master Seals, this is due to the isolation and cleaning process that has to occur, also all divers should invest in this basic equipment to ensure proper fit for the best diving experience
We have a large selection in stock, which we are happy to fit you for.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
v3.00 July 2021
When you imagine yourself, diving do you imagine clearing your mask whilst kneeling on the bottom, or taking a photograph of a beautiful coral reef whilst lying on the coral reef? I doubt it, you imagine yourself swimming effortlessly whilst observing the beautiful environment you are in.
From your first pool session with you will notice we are different. You will start by diving, swimming underwater in the pool in your SCUBA equipment. After all this is what you signed up to learn. You didn’t sign up to spend 10 hours kneeling at the bottom of a swimming pool learning skill after skill.
Don’t get me wrong, you will have to complete the skills required for certification, but you will accomplish these whilst actually diving.
Confined Water Dives
For each skill you will talk to your Instructor about what you will be learning, how you are going to accomplish it and how you will let them know you are happy with that skill. Once you descend into the pool your Instructor will demonstrate the skill for you and then ask you to repeat the skill, whilst swimming. After you complete the skill a few times and you are confident you will move on to the next one. We should warn you, there is a lot of happy acknowledgement, the Dive Rutland dance and laughter in these sessions.
Open Water Dives
When you are diving in one of our open water sites you may notice that we use our blob (surface marker buoy with a line attached to something solid at the bottom) for you to use during your descents and early ascents. Once you have descended and you are comfortable you begin your dive, you will swim around exploring the underwater world and your Instructor will ask you to complete the required skills, whilst swimming throughout the dive. At no point in your training will you be asked to kneel on the bottom, this is all practice for when you go out and dive on the wonderful coral reefs of the world, the UK included.
For you to be the best diver you can be
So, why do we teach how we teach? It’s because of you our students, we want you to have the best Instruction, with the most modern teaching techniques out there so you can be the best divers you can be. It may take a little longer, but the end result is well worth the additional effort. It takes time to make a good diver
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE