Just breathe


One of the most common concerns new divers have is their air consumption. Usually new divers use their air quicker than the more experienced divers, which can cause them to fret. They worry that dives will have to finish early because of them. They worry that other divers will not want to buddy them. Maybe they’ll run out of air and no one will notice, especially their buddy who didn’t want them as a buddy anyway. They love scuba but, maybe, scuba doesn’t love them?

If you’re new to scuba and worried about your air consumption, you shouldn’t be and here’s why:


In most activities, the more seasoned a participant, usually the better they are at the given activity. They’re generally more comfortable, more capable and, therefore, more relaxed. It is generally expected that your air consumption will be faster than more experienced divers.

Let’s use football as an example:

A young, and very talented player breaks through in to the first team for a football club, he’s the next Zidane, Pele, Best. He not only gets picked to play for his club’s first team but also gets called up to play for his national team … where the original Zidane, Pele, or Best, completely owns him. The original Zidane, Pele or Best are not faster than him, don’t have as much raw talent as him (for arguments sake), but they completely own him, he hardly gets a touch of the ball. Why? Because they’ve played more games than him; they’ve seen it all and are not overawed by the occasion; they’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. Their experience and temperament, rather than their skill or speed, carries the day.

It’s the same with diving. When you start, no matter how comfortable you feel in the water, how relaxed you are, you’re going to meet, and dive, with people who simply have more experience than you, are more comfortable in the water than you, more relaxed than you and, therefore, will use less air than you.

Trying to make comparisons between yourself and other divers, when you’re just starting your diving adventures, is a futile exercise. In fact it is worse than futile. It is self-defeating. If you’re stressed, you use more air. If you stress about using more air, you’ll use more air. It’s a Catch 22 situation.

For the immediate future, log some dives, enjoy your diving and just breathe.

Just Breathe