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Air hog

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by jeangadbois, May 31, 2013.

  1. tday01

    tday01 Angel Fish

    I too was an air hog. What did it for me was getting an air integrated computer. By seeing how many minutes of air I had left, I could then concentrate on slowing down, and seeing the number go up.

    (This approach will also satisfy your need to spend more on equipment :)

  2. 3william56

    3william56 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Perth WA
    I used to be a terrible air hog - 25-35 mins max on a normal 20-30m tropical dive, even being a decently relaxed diver, with 50 dives under my belt, until I was given one magic piece of advice from an instructor friend.

    Tuck your hands behind your back under your tank when not actually using them to hold something.

    Look at any pro diver, and they hardly move anything except their fins, and those they move slowly.

    This is not some drag thing (though that helps a little bit), it's all about metabolism. Like most newbies, I used to be a hand diver - always flapping hands about, using for maneuvering, stability etc. You wouldn't think that a bit of hand waving would make you breathe significantly harder (I didn't, and I'm a subsea engineer BTW, so not big on wishy washy solutions). But it does. As far as I can work out, using arms even a little bit just keeps your metabolism ticking over that little bit faster, which can be enough to up your air intake by a surprising degree - we're not talking gasping here, just breathing a little deeper, a little faster on what to you will feel like controlled, relaxed slow breathing. It probably also helps the relaxing a bit too. It might be most relevant if you're fit - I'm also a mountain biker, so have a fairly large lung capacity which you don't want to use underwater.

    I got an immediate 20 min boost the next dive I tried it, and was well past the hour mark and annoying the hell out of the zodiac crew by the end of the week. It's worked similarly for everyone I've got to try it. Before you hit the doubles, might be worth a go.

    Other stuff you can do is make sure you're warm, have a good fitting flexible wetsuit (a bad / stiff suit can up the effort required to fin a lot), and get efficient fins. Think about your breathing (control it but don't hold it), and do the minimum effort/activity as you dive. Minimise your weights, and practice bouyancy control - use breathing for vertical manouvers instead of finning or endlessly adjusting your BC (a good diver also hardly adjusts bouyancy once at target depth).

    (The alternative someone recommended was to take up heavy smoking and cut your lung capacity by half. My wife lost 10-20mins per tank since she gave up the coffin nails.. )
  3. sfunk

    sfunk Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: CANADA
    With regards to doubles, if you are just looking for more air I would probably not go this route, twins most likely will lead to specialized diving(tec, deep, etc).
    There is also a significant cost with this equipment and yes you would require a new bc(one with 40+ lb lift) two first and second stages, a manifold and training to go with all of this as it is completely different from diving a single tank.
    Get dives in and more comfortable in the water prior to going this route
    Hope this helps
  4. Tortuga68

    Tortuga68 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines
    There are different types of doubles setups you know, other than dual outlet manifolded back mount, your comments don't necessarily apply
    nimoh and shoredivr like this.
  5. Garth Jensen

    Garth Jensen Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canyon Lake Ca.
    Tortuga, i was thinking along your lines. Is training needed to have two independent twins mounted together.
    I to am a fat overweight novice air hog diver. 6-1 280 (I dropped 30 lbs to get into 3x wetsuit from my lds It was good motivation). I am going to work on the next 30 this summer.

    I did my OW in March. in carribean. My first dive in socal in 7mm suit had me lugging 36 lbs of weight. I just bought a steel 72 as it came with some regs. for cheap cheap. getting hydro right now. I was thinking if it weighs 31 lbs for the tank. if i had two, i could drop most of the weight i am required to carry. Also at $50 (a pop. if im lucky again) its cheaper than buying weight. Just a big pony bottle lol.
    I also purchased a back inflation bc that can be adjusted for doubles i was told by sber that sold it to me.
    not sure about how much lift it has.
    Do the manifolds need to be on both? I was just thinking using both regs i got one on each bottle.

    Or is it not enough experience to monitor two gauges? I was thinking i would just use the other when it got to 750 psi... and then begin to surface if the other got to 750.

    I dont want to always be the one that is the first to make us stop the dive, *or was that just the rule in training/carribean diving? Tough finding air hog buddies im guessing right?

    I will work on my buoyancy and shallow diving. Thats why i bought cheap stuff so i can practice. FOr me its the skill of diving right now, over checking out cool stuff. If i get to see stuff, thats a bonus in my oppinion.

    Thanks in advance to all who respond and either guide me or tell me i have a Gross conceptual error.
  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Garth, you do have a conceptual error, and that has to do with weighting. Although your tank weighs 31 lbs, it is not 31 lbs NEGATIVE. Most 72s are only a pound or two negative when they are empty. If you double them up, you drop one or two pounds off your belt for the second tank, and about five pounds for the bands and manifold, and maybe another pound for the second reg, at most. So you will add 31 pounds of tank and six or seven pounds of paraphernalia, to drop maybe 10. Doubles are not a way to make diving easier!

    But for someone your size, 72 cf tanks are really small. I don't even dive them, and I'm little and have good gas consumption. I would much prefer to see someone your size in a 95, 100, or even a 130 cf tank. You're big enough to carry the water heaters, and even when your technique is as refined as possible, it's likely you're still going to use a significant amount of gas, just because you're a big guy.
  7. Tortuga68

    Tortuga68 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines
    I dunno, I've seen some pretty big guys with great air consumption... I remember one guy I asked him if he was inhaling or exhaling, seemed to come back with more gas than he started out with! But that does seemt o be the exception, usually it's the small women who are best.

    Well, kinda but pretty minimal. Obviously you have to switch from tank to tank which will involve switching regs, but any certified diver should be able to do that. Then there's some hose management required, and the switching protocol (see below). You might need some guidance to get your trim and weighting set up right too. Not sure what you mean by 'mounted together' if they're manifolded they're not independant, if they're independant they don't have to be together.

    Manifolded doubles with a single outlet/single reg would be functionally the same as diving a single tank, so no training required. Manifolded doubles with twinoutlets/regs and/or an isolation manifold required training in valve shutdown procedures and diagnosis.


    A manifold connects the two tanks together. Independant tanks aren't manifolded. You only need to monitor one SPG at a time. Most people breath the tanks evenly e.g breathe one down by 500 psi, then swtich to the other for 500 psi, switch back etc. This keeps the tanks roughly even which helps with trim and means you have the most gas left should you have a failure on one. They can be back- or side-mounted.

    Frankly you don't seem to have a clear idea about twins so I would suggest you find someone who can mentor you if you're going that way, or do a sidemount or twinset course.


    Correct weighting, good buoyancy/trim and minimal exertion/movement will improve your consumption eventually. Initially you put a lot of effort into those things and your consumption can actually increase. The most important thing IMO is being relaxed and not thinking about it. When you can be relaxed and maintin trim and buoyancy effortlessly, your consumption ahould be at it's lowest
  8. stevenkimbell

    stevenkimbell Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    I too was an airhog when I first started to dive. Over the years I have improved a lot! My most significant improvement however was when I started to practice Yoga. My Yoga sessions taught me to be aware of my breathing, to be intentional about each breath. Now, I breathe more efficiently; deeper, slower breaths that meet the physical demands while using less air.
  9. REVAN

    REVAN Manta Ray

    Learn proper breathing and you will make a big dent in your air consumption. For some reason scuba training courses rarely teach breathing technique, which is actually very important for divers to know.

    Practice this training exercise. Lay on your back, flat on the floor, with a pillow to elevate your head just enough that you can see down your chest. Place a 3 to 5 pound dive weight centered on your chest between your nipples. Now practice breathing such that the weight does not go up and down with your respiration. If the dive weight does not move, you are achieving efficient diaphragmatic ventilation which uses the lower 1/3 or your lungs where all the gas exchange happens. Practice this until it feels natural enough that you can do it during a dive. You will see your gas consumption drop significantly.

    The other big mistake (which someone has already hit upon), don't dive over-weighted. This is a common rookie mistake that about 2/3 of divers never really grow out of.
  10. Gaynor

    Gaynor Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lescala, Catalunia, Costa Brava, Spain
    A lot of new divers join us as volunteers as it´s a cheap way to gain a lot of underwater experience. After a few weeks of mentoring whilst helping the project with data gathering their technique and air consumption improve no end. Before long they are enjoying hour long dives and not even thinking about breathing. You can´t beat gaining practice with an experienced and patient buddy.

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