How Pros Use their Freediving Computer
As a new freediver, you would think that using a freediving computer is very straightforward business: you wear it, put it in freedive more and off you go, it will tell you the depth and the time, and that’s all you need.
Yes, but also no!
For most freedivers the main function of a freediving computer is to tell the depth. However, if you ask any deep freediver, they will tell you differently: for most deep divers it is the alarm function that is the most important. In fact when you do deep training, you set your rope at the target depth that you chose in advance, so you will know what depth you reached (this if you got to the end of the rope of course – and if not, it doesn’t matter anyways, because if you turned earlier then the dive was a failed attempt).
But why then alarms are even more important than the depth function?
Why do we use alarms?
We use alarms for different reasons, depending on which kind of dives and training we are doing and what are the main challenges for each individual freediver.
The most common reasons:
– to know when to fill your mouthfill
– to know when to start freefalling
– to know when to prepare for your turn instead of crashing head first into the bottom plate (not a nice feeling!!)
– to know where we are (for example sometimes on a very long freefall having an alarm half way can help you from thinking too much about where you are… or it might also have the opposite effect and make things worse!)
– to know the time elapsed since the start of the dive, especially for long hangs, or to decide the time to stop your descent and turn based on dive time and not on depth
Where to wear your freediving computer, with pros and cons
-pros: easy to check depth/time, after each dive.
-cons: very hard to hear alarms.
-pros: alarms sound loud and clear.
-cons: 1- you need to unclip the neckweight after each dive if you want to check depth and time. 2- higher chances for loss if neckweight unclips, especially when being rescued from a black out.
Under the hood
– pros: 1- alarms sound loud and clear. 2- fewer chances of losing or dropping it
– cons: it’s a nightmare to take out of the hood after each dive to check depth/time, especially for girls with long hair! 2- some warm water freedivers have wetsuits without hoods.
Fixed on the mask or goggles strap
– pros: 1- alarms loud and clear. 2- much easier to check depth/time after each dive.
– cons: 1- higher chance for loss, especially when being rescued from a black out. 2- most deep freedivers dont use mask or goggles during their deepest dives.
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