How to Skin Dive

Skin Diving is a great way to snorkel. Perhaps you want to take a closer look at the colorful fish beneath you. Or maybe you love the feeling of floating in inner space. For another reason, skin diving will take you below the surface of the sea and back up again on one single breath of air. In skin diving you don't have any means of oxygen so you hold your breath and come back up.


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    Repair and don equipment. It's absolutely essential that your equipment fits comfortably. In addition, you may want to wear a weight belt, because you'll be buoyant when underwater holding a breath. A weight belt with a quick release buckle can be released and dropped very quickly if you get into trouble in the water. Thread some lead weights onto the belt and make sure they're secure. Use lead weights that weigh about 5 percent of your overall body weight if wearing just swimwear or a thin shorty. If diving in a full-length or thicker wetsuit, use 10 percent of your weight.
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    Practice the dive. The pike dive is a headfirst surface dive that gets you underwater and heading downwards with the least amount of effort. Float in the face down position, bend forward at the waist and thrust your head straight down. At the same time lift your legs above the surface as if you were doing a handstand. As soon as your *Fins submerge, start to kick.
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    Hyperventilate. This is optional, as there are dangers involved (see Warnings). Generally, hyperventilating lowers your body's carbon dioxide levels and tells your system to resist the urge to breathe. Contrary to popular belief, it does not increase oxygen levels.[1] Take a sharp breath in and exhale slowly, emptying your lungs entirely of air. Do this three times, then finally take a full breath in, and dive.
    • As a safer alternative to hyperventilation, you can exhale fully once and then take a normal breath. You may be better off practicing resisting the instinct to breathe, rather than risking hyperventilation which can lead to drowning.
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    Equalize your ears & mask. Water, as you probably know, is heavy. This causes an increase in pressure underwater that squashes your air spaces. It's vital therefore that you equalize air spaces such as sinuses and ears to avoid discomfort. To equalize as you descend, pinch your nose closed and blow gently against your pinched nostrils - much like you would when "popping" your ears when flying in a plane. Equalize every metre or few feet, before you feel pain or discomfort. You also need to equalise your mask to avoid painful mask squeeze. Simply breathe out through your nose into the mask whenever you feel it tighten around your eyes and nose.
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    Perfect your finning style. The key to getting most out of skin diving is to relax. Finning efficiently and moving slowly will give you longer bottom time. Try not to use your arms while underwater. This only uses more energy and more oxygen. Use the scissors style kick, which is where you kick from the hips with your knees slightly bent.
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    Clear your mask. Mask flooding can be a normal part of skin diving. It can happen at any time. To clear your mask, simply tilt your head back and hold the top of the mask against your forehead. Exhale through your nose into the mask. As you do this, the air pushes out the water through the bottom of the mask.
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    Skin dive. Start off by skin diving in a swimming pool or calm water, perhaps by a busy beach with little or no waves. Stay close to shore so you can get out of the water quickly and easily whenever you need to.


  • Make sure you have the necessary equipment before you go out in the water.


  • Make sure you are a confident swimmer before doing any water-based activity.
  • Skin diving has high odds of injury.
  • Hyperventilating can lead to serious injury caused by hypoxia or shallow water blackout (i.e. drowning).[2]

Things You'll Need

  • 1 mask
  • 1 hood
  • 1 wetsuit
  • 1 weight belt
  • 1 pair of *Swim Fins
  • 1 pair of booties
  • 1 snorkel
  • 1 inflatable snorkeling vest- not always necessary depending on experience

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Categories: Surfing