Skin Diving 101: What is Skin Diving?

Basic information about skin diving. Differences between skin diving and scuba diving.

When there is a body of water, you can expect that there will be life...life that you can see firsthand. Skin diving is a wonderful way for all the nature lovers, especially those who love the water, to experience being one with nature. There is truly a difference between simply seeing things on television and actually being there to witness it. Nature shows featuring the sights of the water world is no match to seeing the different underwater creatures, underwater. Don’t limit yourself to just watching the world from a screen or a sheet of glass, if you are able and healthy, try a recreational sport like skin diving to explore the world. Here are a few facts about this recreational sport. 

The first thing that you need to know is that skin diving is not scuba diving. They are similar, yes, but there are also glaring differences between them. Even the definitions show such relationship. Scuba diving is described as swimming underwater with the use of a portable air tank in order to breathe underwater. The word ‘scuba’ is actually an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Skin diving, on the other hand, is a sport that involves swimming underwater but with no apparatus used for breathing. Instead, skin divers simply hold their breaths and sustain it during the entire duration that they swim underwater.

The differences between scuba and skin diving are in the domains of equipment used and the skills required to perform the act of diving underwater.

EQUIPMENT USED

Skin divers only need three basic equipment in order to dive: a mask, a snorkel, and a pair of fins. All of these equipment come in different styles and sizes to fit a diver’s preferences. The mask is used to let the diver see clearly underwater. The snorkel is a long j-shaped tube that is extends over the head to ensure that breathing is maintained even though the diver’s face is submerged in the water. It is important that the end of the snorkel breaks the surface so that water won’t be able to enter the tube, causing the swimmer to have difficulty in breathing through the mouth. Lastly, fins are worn by the diver to ensure the ease of movement while in the water. The fins magnify the power the legs, so a few kicks underwater can certainly go a long way. Other accessories can also be added, such as a weight belt to help the diver sink into the water easier, or a wetsuit or rashguard to protect the diver from both stings and the cold temperature of the water. 

Scuba divers also have these three basic equipment in their arsenal of diving gear, plus a thing or two more. Aside from the mask, the snorkel and the fins, scuba divers also need a scuba tank to breathe, regulators, buoyancy cells, wetsuits, weight belts and other accessories.

SKILLS REQUIRED

To be able to skin dive, you will need to learn the different ways of diving as well as the different kinds of kicks. All of these kinds of dives serve a certain purpose and may be used for different situations. Because skin diving does not depend on a portable supply of oxygen to breathe, it is necessary to develop some breath holding techniques in order to maximize the time underwater. In Scuba, where you are able to carry a tank of oxygen on your back, breathing techniques are not that mandatory when learning the recreational sport.

To be able to enjoy skin diving to its fullest and safest, it is advisable to learn how to swim first and to be comfortable with the idea of being fully submerged in water. Safety first!

So the next time you head to the beach for some fun in the sun, always remember that there is more to see other than surf and sand. In my opinion, the best part of the beach isn't what you can see on the surface, but what you can see beneath it. What better way to experience the underwater world than to dive in, head first! And what better way to be one with nature than to skin dive!

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