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Unlock the Secrets of Skin Diving

Oct 31, 2007
Since man first began scratching pictures upon the walls of his cave to depict his daily life, there has been a continuous record of his attempt to explore and exploit the sea. We find references to man's propensities as a diver from the time of early historic man down to the present day. Man's culture has, of course, been influenced strongly by his adventures above and below the surface of the sea.

First it is necessary that you learn the basic equipment and the reasons behind its use. It is axiomatic to say that a mastery of the skills utilized in skin diving is fundamental. The basic equipment used by the skin & Scuba diver consists primarily of three items; Mask, Fins, and Snorkel. Let us deal with each of these in turn.

MASK - Purpose

The mask is used to provide an air space between the eyeball and the water. Man's eye is a very imperfect organ when exposed directly to the water. However, when an air space is introduced between the eye and the water, the eye functions normally. Due to the refraction of the water, objects viewed through the mask under water will be magnified by approximately 25 percent.

MASK - Fit

The mask should fit snugly, but not so tightly that it is uncomfortable. A good method of checking the fit of the mask is to put it in place, not using the head band, inhale slightly through the nostrils, and remove your hand. If the mask fits properly, the mask will remain in place until the slight vacuum you have created is released. If the mask leaks air around the face, it will also leak water. Selection of the proper mask is purely an individual affair, due to different facial contours, and taste.

FINS - Purpose

The purpose of the fins is to increase the surface or propelling area of the foot, thereby enabling the diver to greatly increase his thrusting force without an equal increase in effort.

FINS - Use

When the fin is put on the foot both it and the foot should be wet. The foot should be thrust well forward, and then the heel or strap (depending upon which type of fin is being used.) stretched up over the heel, much in the same manner one dons a pair of rubbers.

SNORKEL - Purpose

The snorkel has two primary purposes, both of prime importance to the skin diver. The purpose of the snorkel is to enable the diver to breathe without necessitating his holding his head up above the surface. This has tremendous import for the diver. The skin diver is thus enabled to lie prone in the water, his face fastened below the surface, scanning the bottom.

The second primary purpose of the snorkel is as a piece of emergency equipment. Obviously, if a diver is able to lie in a prone position without the necessity of raising his head for air, he is much more relaxed and rested. His endurance in emergency situations is greatly extended by the use of the snorkel.


As mentioned above, the snorkel's purpose is to enable the diver to breathe while his face remains underwater. Therefore, the mouthpiece is held in the diver's mouth while the straight "stem" of the J is placed between the headband of the divers mask and his head. Upon submerging, the diver's breath is held against the snorkel.

Upon surfacing, the divers head returns to the horizontal with the open end of the snorkel projecting above the surface. The diver exhales through the snorkel with a short, sharp blast, much as though he were using a bean shooter, thereby voiding the snorkel of water and enabling him to begin breathing normally through the mouth. The optimum length of the snorkel is in the vicinity of 13 inches from the mouthpiece to the open end of the J.

Once you have this basic equipment, it is time to begin skin diving.
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