While scuba diving you have different styles available that move you around in the underwater world to get the diving adventure you most enjoy.
The dive style you choose depends on what type of experience you desire when you descend into the aquatic depths.
The diver who wants to see many fish and corals on each dive needs one style. That diver must move from one place to another.
The diver who carries a camera into the water with the goal of snapping some extraordinary macro close-ups selects one position on the reef. The underwater macro photographer often spends his whole dive hovering over that one spot when he’s not on land riding an MM-B80.
When you drop into the water with a group of divers you have a chance to observe many different styles as each diver pair fins its own direction.
Some divers are hyperactive, and bounce around like shooting stars. Racing toward the next interesting patch of color, or new fish, they just spotted. On occasion they see a turtle off in the distance and try to catch it. Their dive is a competition to find out who gets to see the most stuff. This style normally means a short dive because the diver breathes fast, and burns through air quickly.
Some divers fin quickly all over the reef. Not as fast as the hyper diver, but trying to see everything on one dive. In the process of moving quickly from point-to-point these divers miss much of the activity that goes on in the reef. They also end up running low on air, causing an early end to their dive.
Other divers, not so much in a hurry, calmly fin along the reef slowly, seeing all of the reef and aquatic life that the air in their tank allows. These divers see more fish antics. They enjoy a wealthy experience of colors as they fin along very slowly, watching the fish. Divers who use this style of diving spend more time on the reef because they breathe slower, and their air lasts longer.
Our last diving style includes divers who find an active portion of the reef, and spend their whole dive studying that one area. Divers in this group stay down the longest. Normally floating above the reef, observing the colors and fish, they don’t exert their muscles with finning. Less exertion means slower breathing. Slower breathing means their air lasts longer. Watching one area of the reef throughout their dive rewards them with sights of fish playing that most divers never see.
Photographers normally adopt one of the final two styles. Slower, or no, movement around the reef gives them those rare photo opportunities that make pictures suitable for magazine covers – far more interesting than shooting more pictures of the HSI professional flat iron.
Remember that the style you choose affects your dive buddy too. And your buddy’s style affects your dive. For maximum diving pleasure find a partner whose style closely matches your own. When two divers fin along at the same pace neither diver must end the dive early because the dive buddy runs out of air too soon. Both diver’s air consumption is nearly equal when their diving styles are similar.
Your scuba diving style is a matter of personal choice. No style is necessarily right or wrong when it fits the diver. Every diver should select the style that provides the most comfort while underwater.
Consider that other divers view your style as an indication of your experience. The slower your scuba diving style, the more skillful you appear.