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Sinking feet
jimlimper - 9/05/2014 9:30 AM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 22

I’ve been trying different things so that I take longer to run out of air.
I went to a full-body wet suit thinking I was getting cold and using more air.
Still I run out of air before other divers.
My latest theory is that I’m kicking more than I should because I tend to always end up feet down.
I’m taking a pool class this weekend and wanted to try some things out to see if I can get myself in a horizontal position without kicking.
I cut out pieces of styrofoam to fit in the toes of my fins to see if that will help.
I’ve also heard that using 7mm dive boots would help.
Or cutting pieces of a 7mm suit and putting them on your ankles would help.
Looking for other things to try.
Any suggestions?
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/05/2014 10:11 AM
Most divers vertical in the water are carrying too much lead or you are not dumping all of their air from the BC, is it a Zeagle?
jimlimper - 9/05/2014 10:40 AM
I have an aqualung BC.
Usually dive with 4-6lbs on the tank, so I have to empty my BC to get underwater.
I think I just have heavy legs from working out a lot.
Holty54 - 9/05/2014 1:58 PM
Hi I saw your post it might be more to do with where your weights are located rather the amount of weight do you are carrying. Do you use a weight belt or or just weights on your tank or in your BCD. or a combination of all three
jimlimper - 9/05/2014 2:03 PM
I usually put a 2 or 3lb weight on either side of the tank.
I did read about people putting weights around their wrist to move the weight higher.
Maybe I will try that too.
Holty54 - 9/05/2014 2:09 PM
Maybe try putting you weights in your BCD which would have the effect putting more weight on your upper body, as for the Air issue every starts off using the air quite quickly on a dive as you get more dives under your belt you will improve your technique and relax more.
Eric_R - 9/05/2014 6:02 PM
My son was having the same issue and it came down to his BC being under inflated and he would be constantly flutter kicking at about a 30 degree angle keeping his depth constant. Try going back to the basics in buoyancy and make sure you are neutral then swim and breathe easy. This will allow you to check your orientation and make adjustments as needed.
daz88 - 9/05/2014 7:34 PM
you need to move you weights around and/or move your tank up or down to balance the weight you are carrying if you cannot get level. But being level and buoyancy are two different things. You can still be at an angle and maintain your buoyancy. Just coz your at an angle doesn’t make you sink. (or float up)
Using less air comes with being relaxed in the water. If you’re always angles up or down and/or always not being relaxed. Get you weights adjusted so you can have a level trim and then work on your buoyancy. Then all you have to do is keep diving until you are relaxed moving through the water. The more time you spend under the water the better you’ll get on your air. Work on the other things first, then work on breathing nice and slow. it all comes in time.
diverray - 9/06/2014 7:14 AM
How about hiring an instructor to do a dive with you. He/she may be able to tell what the problem is by watching you during the dive. Good luck.
SKubaSteve - 9/06/2014 8:04 AM
It sounds to me like you’re not quite neutral to begin with. The first thing I would do is go over the standard weight check test on the surface when you get in the pool. That should get you in the ball-park on weight and really won’t matter where it’s located. Once that’s done then you can shift the weight around and see where it is most comfortable when you are about horizontal in the water (20 deg or so). Most BCDs now have pockets for weights and I would recommend that or a weight belt as a starting point rather than on your tank but everyone’s different.

Your doing the right thing - get in the water and figure out what works so good job on that.

Best of luck!
SKuba Steve
Shaz789 - 12/31/2014 4:29 AM
The more you dive and the more comfortable you get, the more streamlined your equipment, the more calm you are all will help the air consumption. Take a peak buoyancy class to help with your weight, and this ultimately will help give you an amazing dive.
Shaz789 - 12/31/2014 4:31 AM
and NICE, SLOW, Inhaling and Exhaling - deep, long breathe in, and deep ing slow breathe out.
MJ_Kiss - 2/25/2015 12:28 PM
I, too, have had air issues almost all of my diving history (14 years now), and the following do work for me:

1. Exercise including relaxation with (of all things) yoga. Cardio swimming as FtMyersTom describes, and then routine yoga as well. I find that when I roll off the boat I am ready to be calm and breath slowly as practiced in yoga, in a meditative state of mind, reducing air consumption. However, if I find the surface choppy, a long swim back on a shore dive, or some other cardio demand, it is available to me. I am locating snorkle spots that allow me to test equipment and get some serious swimming in - I find regular pools confining.

For deeper dives than 50 ft:
2. Consider diving with a 100 cu. ft. tank. If steel, be certain to adjust your weight. Call around to the shops to find one that has them, you may need to reserve well in advance.
3. Do get a Nitrox certification as well. There are dive you will appreciate the additional O2, but it is not for every dive.
jimlimper - 2/25/2015 12:41 PM
Thanks for all the replies.
Lot’s of good suggestions.
I’m headed to Mexico in April to dive.
I’ve been doing Tabata training since the beginning of the year and it’s really improved my cardio fitness.
I’ll give you a report on how improved fitness helps.
On my last trip in December, I tried a few things, but didn’t have much of a change.
I still hate having my feet straight down. Makes it hard to get close to the reef.
I noticed two guys on my last trip that were always feet-down, but they took the approach of staying well above the reef and just drifting.
I’m thinking some of my issue is that I like to get close and take pictures, so I have to kick a bit to stay horizontal and not have my fins touching things.
Pixel - 3/31/2015 1:28 PM
I add a kg or two to my waist in front. By my belly button. Was told to do that by an instructor to help level me off. Turns out I have heavy legs as well.
Fldivebum - 6/09/2015 11:08 AM
It sounds like you are getting tired early and sucking more air, like a fighter in the late rounds. RELAX..Breath slowly and evenly. Play with the weights so you are not tiring yourself out, or work out more to get in better shape and improve cardio.
jimlimper - 6/09/2015 12:02 PM
Ironically on my last trip in April, my camera case leaked and I lost my camera.
On subsequent dives I always had plenty of air when it was time to come up.
Guess I was swimming around too much looking for my next photo opportunity.
I still end up vertical in the water when I’m not swimming, but I found the reason I was running out of air quickly.

I wen’t on the last trip on the best shape of my life. Had been doing hard-code Tabata workouts for 3 months prior. Fitness might have helped a little. But not having the camera seemed to show the way.
OleCrab - 6/12/2015 6:29 PM
Is your regulator an adjustable air flow? Both my old regulator and my new are have adjustable air settings. My old one was dialed to where I used .6-.8 cuft a min and my new I still have to set, but my last dive, I used .9-1 cuft min.
Hy - 7/17/2015 10:08 PM
I am working through exactly the same problem. Here is what has helped for me.
1. Move my tank higher.
2. Move 1/2 my weight to the top tank straps.
3. 7mm dive boots.
4. Fins that were not so negatively buoyant.

I’m lucky that I have a friendly exercise place that lets me practice in the pool. I’m finally getting trim under control after 10 pool sessions. I’m a slow learner.
CharlesGraves - 6/22/2018 12:08 AM

1) move tank higher
2) put weight higher up closer to head/shoulders
3) in severe cases, put small weights on hands or buoyancy tubes around your ankles, whichever is easier for you.
4) use less weight in general and maintain proper trim and neutral buoyancy
5) kick forward in a horizontal position... and don’t kick down to propel yourself up