1. KNOW YOUR SHARKS
Spend enough time in the ocean and you’re going to meet a shark. Here’s the thing
though, while they can be aggressive, nine times out of ten they’re either just curious
about you, or flat out don’t care about you. Much like a dog, read the body language of
the Noah. You wouldn’t pat a German Shepherd that has its hackles raised and is
snarling, so don’t swim near sharks that are exhibiting aggressive behaviour either.
Sharp, fast movements, a hunched position or lowered pectoral fins are classic signs
they’re ready to attack, and there’s plenty more ocean to dive in, so relocate if there are
aggressive bullies, tigers, whites, makos or hammerheads around.
2. LEARN TO BREATHE
Speak to some old-time divers and they’ll tell you that hyperventilating before a dive is a great way to expand your lungs. Buh-bow. Wrong.
The correct way to get a good freedive is to first learn to relax in the water. Most divers will tell you they get their longest breath-holds about 20 minutes after they hop in. It’s because they’ve relaxed and have grown comfortable. Three long, slow breaths while on the surface right before a dive is a good way to get a bunch of oxygen in the blood and slow your heart rate before a dive. Spending a few minutes on the surface between dives is always good policy too.
3. GOOD GEAR IS A WASTE!
I’ve heard this a lot over the years. “Nah mate, a K-Mart snorkel kit and a pair of
boardies is all you need!”
Well, kind of true I guess, but having the right gear will keep you more comfortable, safer and you’ll have a lot more fun too. Take fins for example: the DiveR fins pictured are a few hundred dollars. Seems steep doesn’t it, but once you use them it’s unlikely you’ll ever wear cheapies again.
Start off with a good wetsuit, mask and fins then tailor your kit to your needs from there. Personally, I keep losing knives so I only ever have cheap ones. Ditto weight belts, I see no point in spending money on something I may be forced to ditch one day. I’ve had the same float for about five years now and am thinking of spending the coin on a good hard-float – it’s just like a 4WD, spend the money as you need to.