A Guide to Hookah Diving
Hookah Diving is a fantastic, alternative way to explore the depths of the ocean, without needing to take a cumbersome scuba tank around with you.
The fact of the matter is that many people are not even aware of the existence of Hookah diving, despite its many advantages over its more traditional cousin. The benefits of Hookah are manifold, and the people that do know of it look to Hookah for a much more freeing, unabashed experience of diving under the depths of the sea. If that’s something that interests you too, read on.
The Primary Differences Between Scuba and Hookah
Two air systems are utilized for sea diving exercises. One of these, known as Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), includes using pressurized metal tanks which are worn on the back while underwater.
Equipment utilized as a part of SCUBA jumping is very specialized in nature, and such equipment shouldn’t be handled by those who have not qualified in diving via the appropriate training. Without accreditation card, you aren’t able to get your hands on compressed air.
The SCUBA system does have its good points too. Divers using SCUBA equipment can go anyplace they pick, totally free from the world above, carrying his own air supply.
There are some occasions when a diver doesn’t need ultimate freedom given by scuba gear – it is especially in these cases where the diver is submerged in a smaller area for a lengthy time.
The Purpose of Hookah Diving
This is precisely why the Hookah (Surface Air Supply) was created. The Hookah system does away with high pressure air tanks that are usually worn on the back. Rather, it utilizes a small air compressor that stays at the surface.
It is usually powered by a small fuel motor or electric engine, and air is transferred to the diver by means of a free-floating air hose.
With a Hookah, divers have an everlasting air supply which will stop only when the motor or engine that powers the diver’s compressor stops working. This makes for a really conservative system, and rapidly pays for itself when in comparison with the cost of refilling a SCUBA tank each hour.
The main cost of keeping a Hookah unit is fuel, since most Hookah units are controlled by gas. It isn’t uncommon to get two hours underwater time on just one gallon of gas, which shows exactly how conservative the Hookah is diving purposes.
Most Hookah users will have someone working ‘topside’ to ensure their safety, and he can refill the gas tank as it runs low. This will give the diver the ability to remain submerged as long as he needs.
Diving Tips to Help With Diving
First things first, relaxation really does matter. There is a very strong correlation between the relaxation that you start your dive with and the level of relaxation that you can carry on through that dive.
When you’re diving, your level of relaxation affects everything. It will determine how much tension you hold in your body and in your muscles. It will also determine how much stress you hold in your mind.
If you’re stressed when you hold your breath, it will cause you to burn through your oxygen faster, which will then cause you to build more carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide, which is what gives you that urge to breathe. So here’s a great tip for avoiding that.
Lead With The Body
It’s not so easy to control your mind. Our brains don’t always want to cooperate with us when we’re holding our breath and diving, but it is much easier to control your body.
If you force relaxation into your body and into your muscles, it will send the signals to your brain that you are relaxed, that you are safe, that you are not stressed, and then your brain will reciprocate that and start to relax.
Conserve Your Energy
The next tip is that if you want to spend more time on the bottom, use less energy to get down. A good duck dive can get you down three to five meters. Then all you need to do is fin a few times until you become negatively buoyant and start to sink.
Time spent working on your duck dive and finning is always time well spent. And all you need to do is spend five minutes working on your technique every time you go for a dive and you’ll be a duck diving, deep diving professional in no time.
Level Yourself Out
Number three is that you should make sure you equalize often – more often than you think you need to. You should never feel pressure in your ears.
You should have equalized before that pressure had time to even build up. On a dive to ten meters, you should have equalized at least five to ten times and the equalization that we’re aiming for, those are full pops. Those little crackles or half-equalizations, they’re just never enough to allow us to continue descending comfortably.
Don’t Rush To Improve
The Next tip is that you should progress your diving slowly. I know that we all want to spend more time at the bottom. More time underwater. Maybe even dive deeper.
But these are things that really do come naturally with time. Your body adapts very naturally to free-diving as the years go on, so don’t rush. This is a sport or activity that you can do well into your older years: 50, 60, 70 years old, and can still do this at a high level.
But you know what stops a person from progressing and getting better? Progressing too quickly and having bad experiences. Every time you have a bad dive or you have a bad breath hold, it will scar your mind and every single scar will slow your progression.
These old negative experiences, they cause plenty of stress. They make us tense when we dive and we don’t even really know what’s going on. The subconscious is powerful. So much more powerful than I think any of us really realize.
Streamline Your Body
The final tip is that you should swim streamlined. This one just makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? If your body is nice and straight, you’ll move through the water faster and with less effort. The easiest way to ensure this is to descend, or swim to the water, with your chin tucked in.
The rest of your body will always follow the shape, or take the lead from, the position of your head. And if your neck is stretched out and you’re having a look where you’re going, what’s going to happen is your back will banana and curve. And that’s a really inefficient way to be swimming through the water.
Now I this can be incredibly weird if you’re not used to it. You do need to be able to see where you’re going because you might get hurt underwater.
So realistically, this is what we suggest you to do: tuck your chin in and swim streamlined for the first five or ten meters where you are the most positively buoyant. And then once you have cut through all that buoyancy and you start to become neutral or negatively buoyant, that’s where you can open up and start to look around and see where you’re going.
We promise you will feel so much fresher when you arrive at the bottom, which really ties back into that whole thing of using less energy to get down.
The Benefits of Hookah Diving
As you can see Hookah Diving is a great way to explore the depths of the ocean with a less constricting way of being, encouraging freedom, and also allowing for much less required training than its more formal counterpart. If you’ve ever wanted to go Hookah diving, take our advice and go on an adventure.
As long as you do your due diligence and get the right amount of practice (especially your diving techniques), Hookah can be a phenomenal way to foray into diving – so good, that you may wonder how you went without it for so long!
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