When you shark dive you will find yourself immersed in an unfamiliar environment with little other than your equipment and skills keeping you out of harm’s way. Thanks to an incline in adventure tourism, more people are taking to shark diving than ever before. Regardless of your diving aspirations, you have to start with the basics, taking your time to learn the ropes before exploring the great unknown. As a novice diver, it is of utmost importance to not only be physically fit, but mentally strong as well. The following guidelines will help you become a more proficient shark diver while exploring the lively waters along the south coast of KZN.
Get physically fit
If you aren’t fit, chances are you will never progress as a diver. Physical fitness does not only allow you to effectually navigate the turbulent currents of the KZN south coast, but also has a direct impact on your state of mind during a dive. The fitter you are the better your air consumption and stamina. A fit diver will also be able to maximize his dive time better and be able to engage in more shark dives than someone is relatively unfit. Knowing you are physically fit will, in turn, give you more confidence in your abilities which will result in an overall improvement of your diving skills.
Improve your water confidence
Regardless of how good a shark diver you think you are, you can always improve on your water confidence to take your diving to the next level. The more time you spend in the water, the more confident you will become in your surroundings. While scuba diving will obviously benefit you most, you are in no way restricted to it. Snorkelling, free-diving, swimming laps in a pool and spending time frolicking in the waves will all help you become more confident in the water which, in turn, will make you a stronger, safer diver.
Be relaxed and comfortable
One of the worst things you can do while shark diving is panic. While it is understandable that a novice diver might lose his nerve during a dive, it is expected of a more experienced diver to remain calm and relaxed at all times. There are a number of reasons why you may become panicked during a dive. These include being completely overwhelmed by a shark encounter, fatigue, being cold and being uncomfortable. In order to prevent panic from setting in, you need to ensure your suit is in a good condition so that you keep warm underwater, refrain from consuming alcohol before a dive and get enough sleep the night before a dive. Remaining calm underwater will not only keep you safe but will also make your dive a lot more enjoyable. Mental strength is undeniably as important in shark diving as physical strength is. By taking heed of the guidelines above and combining it with your shark diving training you will soon find yourself progressing up the ranks towards becoming an expert diver.
By Jennifer Dawson