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APR

08

How to Avoid 5 Common Diving Problems

Posted by Dive Zone Tauranga

We all strive to be the best divers we can be.  But, let’s face it, we’re not perfect!

The good news is that with a little knowledge & practice, the following common mistakes can be easily avoided:

DISREGARDING HEALTH & FITNESS

Few people enjoy perfect health for their entire lives, but adopting a healthy lifestyle when you’re young, can help postpone ailments associated with aging.

Prior to diving, it’s important to take an honest assessment of whether you are medically fit to dive.  Be vigilant for signs of acute illness (like congestion) & familiarize yourself with the risks & essential precautions associated with any chronic diseases.

NEGLECTING PROPER GEAR MAINTENANCE

Dive equipment is your life-support system.  Each time you dive, you are venturing into a fascinating, but also unforgiving environment, so make sure you are diving with a set of properly functioning equipment.

Rinse your equipment after every dive & clean it after each trip before storage.  Allow it to dry completely in a cool, shady & well-ventilated area, & ensure it is stored away from extreme temperatures, dust & dirt.  Regularly monitor your equipment for signs of wear, & check the hoses for leaks & cracking.

LACK OF BUOYANCY CONTROL

It’s not surprising that the most common injuries among divers are related to buoyancy issues ... barotraumas, uncontrolled ascents, marine life injuries & more could all be prevented with some practice & attention to detail.

Inefficient buoyancy control can result in descending deeper than planned, altering the intended dive profile & increasing air consumption. Constant adjustments to your buoyancy control device can also affect air consumption.

Most marine life injuries result from unintentional contact between a diver & the marine life.  Proper buoyancy control is essential to protect yourself & the environment.
 

INSUFFICIENT DIVE PLANNING

One of the most important pre-dive steps is dive planning.  Dive plans don’t have to be complicated or inflexible, but they are essential to prevent and manage diving incidents.  Learn as much as possible in advance about any dive site you plan to dive including depths, currents, surfacing techniques, boat traffic etc, & remember to inform someone who is not coming on your trip about your dive plan, & when you expect to be back.

Prior to your dive, make sure you & your buddy are familiar with the dive plan. Discuss contingencies should conditions change during your dive.  Establish the maximum depth, maximum bottom time & minimum air supply to terminate the dive.

DIVING BEYOND YOUR TRAINING

Never stop developing your diving abilities.  There is always more to learn — how to dive new environments, further refinement of your skills, how to use new types of equipment etc.  No matter where your diving adventures take you, make sure you are equipped with the proper training.

Remember that your certification only qualifies you for the same diving conditions & environment in which you were trained, so take it easy.  And, if you’re not having fun, or you don’t feel good about the dive, don’t do it.  This is especially important when diving in new conditions such as cold water or limited visibility, or when using new equipment.

There’s always something new to learn & ways to improve your technique, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned diver or a complete novice.  All of our three Dive Zone stores have passionate, professional Instructors who can guide you on your journey to becoming a better, more confident diver.

FEB

11

Summer Fun

Posted by Kelly @ Dive Zone BOI

While many around NZ have been complaining of poor weather over the summer the three Dive Zone sites have been blessed!!

Long, hot summer days week after week have meant countless opportunities to get out and in the water. All three stores have had record busy seasons with full Padi dive courses and Padi Freedive training growing fast too. The summer looks like being a long one so get out an enjoy it and if you have been toying with the idea of learning to dive or improve your freedive skills - now is the time! The water tends to be considerably warmer during February and March than at any other time.

I recently put a couple of our staff through a Padi Freedive course. Tess and Serena were both keen spearfisher persons but wanted to improve their breathold time and increase their chance of landing bigger fish

There are three levels - Freediver, Advanced Freediver and Master Freediver. Tess and Serena completed the first level. The Freediver course comprised two days of pool and ocean sessions. On the second day both were able to comfortably reach the max depth of 16m. More importantly than the depth was their confidence they could comfortably reach that depth and stay there. Previously they were hovering around the 8-10m mark and were unable to stay long. Big improvement!!

 

If you or friends have considered freediving or want to improve contact the Dive Zone stores and get into it! 

Below are some images of the team while out having a bit of fun the week after the course - proof is in the results!!

   

AUG

27

Winter Diving

Posted by Dive Zone Tauranga

As the temperature drops and the ocean cools, a lot of New Zealand divers pack away their dive gear and head to the slopes for some alternative winter activities.  But have you ever been tempted to brave the cold to explore the underwater world during winter months?

The water may be cold, but the ocean is alive with all kinds of sea creatures, some of which only appear during winter.  Visibility can be excellent, and if it’s raining, well you’re going to get wet anyway.  

After the initial shock of cold when entering the water, the temperature becomes unimportant as you immerse yourself in the hive of activity surrounding you.

One way to compensate for the cold is by using a drysuit.  This is quite different from diving in the more common wetsuit, but it opens up a range of new and exciting dives.  Drysuits can be made of various materials - the most common types are trilaminate, crushed or compressed neoprene.  The suit acts as a barrier from the water, and the air inside becomes a layer of insulation.  Base layers worn under the drysuit enable the diver to stay warm even in near freezing conditions.

The staunch wetsuit diver is not without options though.  Adding additional thermal layers under their suit can be an effective way to battle the cold.  There are some awesome products on the market like Sharkskin, Smartskin and neoprene hooded vests. 

The thickness and the fit of your wetsuit are equally important.  The suit needs to be thick enough to provide adequate protection, and most kiwi divers find that a 7mm suit does the job during winter.  The suit should fit snugly to prevent heat loss, as a loosely fitting suit will allow water to flush through, taking your much needed body heat with it. 

Don’t forget that we lose an incredible amount of heat through our head, so be sure to include a hood as a winter diving gear essential.

We have some awesome diving in the upcoming months, so make sure you check out our trip schedule and join the Dive Zone crew for some wicked winter diving. 

Additional trips are arranged through each individual store, which you can check out here:

Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Whitianga

 

JUL

06

PADI Freediving Training is Available at Dive Zone

Posted by Ryan Hansen

When people come to us to learn to scuba dive, one of the most common responses to the question “what made you decide to learn to dive?” is often “I’ve done a bit of freediving or snorkeling and love the sea”.  It was the same for me.  I remember my first time freediving off the Wairarapa south coast, in the middle of winter in a cheap 2mm wetsuit, staying in for as long as I could handle the cold, long enough to collect a few paua and catch a glimpse of a crayfish.   After excitedly yelling to my buddy “there’s crayfish down here” I dived back down to collect my prize which by now was of course nowhere to be seen and a thorough search turned up nothing.  By this time, the weight of the paua in my catchbag was starting to make it hard for me to stay on the surface.  I needed a float.  I headed for shore and climbed up the beach.  I was shivering cold and exhausted but already I couldn’t wait for tomorrow when I could do it all again.  I was hooked.                                                                                                             

10 years later I am still just as excited to go diving and have made a career from passing on that passion. This year PADI have launched their Freediver programme.  I jumped at the chance to go to their instructor training course, for PADI scuba instructors who had suitable freediving experience.  The course consisted of an online theory section and a 3-day practical course taught by Adam Stern, one of the world’s top freedivers.  Everyone on the course was an experienced freediver and still we learned tons.  Yes, we learned to dive deeper and hold our breath longer which, when asked is what people will tell you they want to do.  But what often gets overlooked is diving safer and easier, more relaxed and confident rather that pushing our bodies to their limits.  Basically we learnt to dive better not just harder.  And if it all goes wrong we learnt rescue techniques so that if “it” does hit the fan we have a better chance of bringing our buddies home safe.

This week I got to put my new found teaching skills to use with Dive Zone Whitianga’s first ever PADI Freediver course.  A couple of our tertiary student got to be the lucky guinea pigs and the Coromandel put on its finest conditions for us, blue skies and flat clear seas.  Check out the video on this link.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W882xhUGh9M   Once we have finished off all the red tape required these days to add activities to our repertoire we will be advising of dates to start our Freediver courses.  Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing info@divethecoromandel.co.nz to be the first to know. 

Dive Zone Bay of Islands are underway with their Freediving training.  Check out their link here http://www.divezone.co.nz/bay-of-islands/free-diving-and-spearfishing

JUL

18

Whats your favorite SCUBA Diving innovation ?

Posted by Underwater Blogger

We asked PADI Staff to name the biggest “game changing” innovation for scuba in the past 20 years. Their responses are below. Please leave your favorite scuba innovations in the comments section below.

Alan Jan – Supervisor, Instructor Development
The tank-banger. I would no teach without it! This is the best way to attract the attention of your students U/W.

Nancy Fisher – Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Warmth and love to my new generation drysuit!

Mary Kaye Hester – PADI Training
The affordability and instant gratification of digital underwater photography. Now anyone can take pictures underwater and share the wonders of our sport immediately.

LeRoy Wickham – Southwest and Central U.S. Regional Manager
The plethora of good, inexpensive dive computers. Tables are soo old school and no one who dives for any length of time uses them to plan and execute their dives. Dive computers make diving more enjoyable, better able to follow a safe dive profile and keep yourself relatively free from DCS.