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Beach Dives (Fins on or off)

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Tim R Alcoser JR, May 14, 2012.

  1. Diver_Jan

    Diver_Jan Contributor

    771
    3
    Generally I enter with fins OFF, unless I am doing a rocky entry, then fins on for sure.

    You will learn to watch and observe the sets. it's funny, for I always see instructors take their students into the surf when it really needn't be that way at all. Timing is everything. Look to see WHERE the waves are breaking. Once there is a lull, run like hell past the surf zone, inflate your BC and don your fins.

    PS. Make sure you have your fins far enough up your ARM (not in your hands) so you don't loose them in case you do get hit by a way.

    I tripple the idea of spring straps. they are the best!
     
  2. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    485
    One thing I noticed about Socal as opposed to Norcal is in Norcal (like Bob pointed out) we have these beaches with steep slopes into the water and the surf zone many times is dug out with a steep bank. You'll be in a foot of water then the next step you're in over your head.
    When I go down to Socal to visit a buddy and we do shore dives around Malibu I see breaking waves way out and think Oh man we're going to get rag dolled. But my buddy insists it's not that bad so I take his word for it. Sure enough, the beach is sloped so gradually that by the time we are chest deep we are no longer in breaking waves and we are way out there still standing up. So the typography of the beach and sand have a lot to do with it.
     
  3. arthurmnev

    arthurmnev Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warm Water !
    68
    9
    He likes the challenge!
     
  4. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    22,171
    2,774
    I do not find it challenging to breath hold under a series of swells, but it does lessen some significant risks. We all make trade offs of skills against concomitant risks in everything we do to attempt to minimize risk. When the breath hold is trivial the risk of embolism becomes the primary consideration, when the breath hold is a problem or is too frightening then it is not an option and being sure that you never clamp down on your epiglottis when taking a maytag e-ticket ride floats to the top.
     
  5. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    485
    I wonder what the percentage of total diving related accidents involve shore entries/exits - all conditions and combinations combined.
    That would include everything from a twisted ankle trying to get in at Gerstle, to drowning in the surf zone at Monastery.
    I'll bet the stats are pretty high as opposed to boat related incidents or getting bent.
     
  6. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    22,171
    2,774
    I'd bet that it is far more dangerous, statistically, to be a newbie diver going off of a boat at a tropical resort (or a one trip a year diver, doing said same) than it is to be an experienced north coast diver on a big day at Monestary, Gristle, Ocean Cover, Jade Cove or Three-Two-Five.
     
  7. Tim R Alcoser JR

    Tim R Alcoser JR Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Upland, California, United States
    67
    11
    I kept hearing "it depends", but you gave an excellent reason that I could understand. Thank you!
     
  8. Diver_Jan

    Diver_Jan Contributor

    771
    3
    I am an 'Active' Dive Master and have been for 8 years now in addition to having 100's of beach dives under my belt here in SoCal and elsewhere. There are far more 'incidents' (however low) on boats than there are during beach dives.Here in SoCal, we have quite a few local scuba clubs and meet ups where everyone is welcome to participate in the group dives that are led free of charge, by an experienced diver and/ or group effort. Sometimes conditions do not allow us to dive, but allows us to educate the divers in 'reading' the surf, swells, tides, rips, currents, and undertows as in yesterday's conditions. I had never seen the water move like I witnessed yesterday, nor break at the outer reef. Bad day for diving, but GREAT educational opportunity. If I had made the decision to have dove yesterday, it would have been one of those RARE days where I would have put my fins ON, prior to entering.There is a science to beach diving, but once you learn, the experience and cost (free) is so worth it!Dive Safe
     
    Mark Derail and undrwater like this.
  9. undrwater

    undrwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cerritos, CA
    2,791
    1,340
    Agreed Jan! Though I vacillate between science and art. Either way, with experience, one figures out their way through surf, or when to call.
     
  10. Tim R Alcoser JR

    Tim R Alcoser JR Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Upland, California, United States
    67
    11
    A good tip actually. On my first beach dive at Shaw's Cove, I actually got knocked over face first and lost one of my fins in the surf. We thought our dive was over, but luckily the missing fin floated and was found about 40 feet to the side of the beach floating around.

    Dive was saved! (and even if I had lost it, I would have probably bought a new pair at the dive shop up the street).
     

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