Surfacing is a Freediving Technique that very often gets overlooked
Yes, surfacing from a dive can be very messy sometimes!
There can be a number of obstacles on the surface such as ropes, people, noodles and other floating devices, fins and other equipment hanging on the buoy, which can make your recovery hard if you don’t pay attention.
For this reason at the end of your dive, always look up in the last few meters to see where you are surfacing.
When you don’t do so, you increase your chances to hit your head against the buoy, or against one of your buddies or their fins (this one can be very painful!), or get tangled in one of the surface ropes. Many times freedivers “expect” that as they come up everyone will be running around making space for them and removing all obstacles from their way, but this is very rarely the case, especially when there are more than 2 freedivers sharing the same buoy. In fact, as one freediver is in charge for your safety as you are diving, the third one will be on the surface preparing himself, very likely with his eyes closed, or with his head out of the water and not wearing a mask at all.
Not looking up is a mistake that not only beginners do; also experienced freedivers often do the same, and if they are surfacing from a deep demanding dive this will increases the chances of a LMC or a Black Out.
Remember that surfacing is also a part of your dive and that it is your responsibility and no one else’s to make sure you do it right. Even in competition it is your job to ensure that you are surfacing on the right side of the boat or counterballast.
Looking up to find your surfacing space doesn’t use any extra oxygen, but can save you from a difficult surfacing and will ensure that you can start your recovery breathing as soon as you are back in the air.