The Essential Series is priced at only £35, this is a limited time introductory offer as it is the 1st of 6 whiteboard courses we will release.
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The Essentials of diving are the fundamental skills we need as a base for all diver skills. We talk about what they are and how we explain the ideas and concepts using the whiteboard format. We break down the key parts of buoyancy, trim, position and propulsion and show how to achieve each of them.
Special offer to all our current sidemount course subscribers, we are giving you the chance to get this new whiteboard course free of charge, to qualify all you need to do is drop us an email and request access. We will ask two conditions, one is you need to share our social media advertisement of this course and the other will be within 3 months you need to write us a review, which will we add to our site.
You can find details of our other whiteboard courses – coming soon on this page.
Whiteboard – The Essential Series
The Essential Series
Part 1 : Buoyancy
What are Weights for | 4 min
As we begin to look at weighting we start with the reason for carrying weights and what it means to say we have the correct weight.
What is a BCD For | 5 min
Understanding the changes on a diver due to pressure and why is it that we need to compensate for volume changes while descending as well as ascending.
Correct Weighting and its Importance – Part 1 | 10 min
We begin to look at what changes occur to a diver as the dive progresses and how that impacts their weight and therefore the amount of lift required to maintain neutral buoyancy
Correct Weighting and its Importance – Part 2 | 7.5 min
Taking the idea of correct weighting further, we look at the benefits of having the correct weight and compare that to the drawbacks of having more weight than we need.
Why Being Calm and Breathing Correctly is Important | 8 min
Here we break down the effect that breathing has on the buoyancy of an open circuit diver and what are the things that can influence it. We also discuss what to do when you find your breathing is causing too much impact on your buoyancy.
How do you get Precision Buoyancy – Part 1 | 6.5 min
We now look at how it is possible to hold a specific depth and not have any visible changes in depth despite the fact that you are breathing in and out which could affect your buoyancy.
How do you get Precision Buoyancy – Part 2 | 6.5 min
Extending the idea about how breathing affects buoyancy, we show how the lungs can work for us rather than against us. By adjusting the volume of gas in our lungs, we can maintain normal breathing while handling planned or unexpected buoyancy changes.
What Changes Occur at Depth vs in the Shallows – Part 1 | 6 min
How is neoprene affected by pressure and what are the consequences of pressure on the material. We then look at how the amount of squeeze does not increase directly with depth, but instead has more effect in the shallower part of a dive.
What Changes Occur at Depth vs in the Shallows – Part 2 | 7 min
We explain how the end of dive weight check needs to be modified when wearing a neoprene exposure suit – wetsuit or drysuit – and how neoprene impacts the gas we need to have in the BCD during descents and ascents.
Why Do Visual References Work And What Ones Are Best | 7 min
Now we look at how a diver can tell they are rising or falling and how it it is the visual references that are the most significant. We look at how picking the right references have more benefit and how your body posture can also help.
Explanation of Buoyant Force | 8 min
Here we go into a little bit more of the maths to show that the depth and shape of an object are not important, only the weight of the fluid moved out of the way by the object.
General Advice & Tips | 16 min
Here are some practical tips and advice for adjusting your buoyancy. We cover BCD usage, things to be aware of with depth changes and also review some changes required when diving with neoprene exposure suits.
Moving Between Steel and Aluminium Cylinders | 11 min
We look at the differences between Aluminium and Steel cylinders and how they would influence the amount of weight you need to carry. We look at when it might make sense to switch from one to the other and when it is a bad idea to do so.
Drysuits – Are they for Buoyancy? | 11 min
Since a dry suit contains gas it contributes to your buoyancy, but should we only use the suit for buoyancy? We talk about the design intentions of a BCD and Drysuit and why it might not be a good idea to rely only on the suit for buoyancy.
Drysuits – Usage for Descents and Ascents | 5.5 min
When there are depth changes during the dive, we explain why you need to maintain a gas volume in the suit and when to do that for descending and ascending. We also explain the relative jobs of the BCD and suit during these depth changes.
Drysuits – Gas Migration Problems | 6 min
When diving in a dry suit you will always get gas migration and we show why that is, but crucially what you can do about that and how you can plan for gas migration and avoid it becoming a problem.
Drysuits – Gas Migration Difficulties | 5.5 min
As you change your equipment you may have thicker or thinner garments under your suit and additionally you may have excess material making the job of managing gas migration and expansion harder. We talk about how to solve these problems and what you can do to avoid them to begin with.
Drysuits – Dump Valve Positions | 6 min
When looking at dry suits, there are common locations for gas exhaust valves and we talk about which ones are more likely to work for well balanced divers who dive in good trim.
Drysuits – Dump Valve Usage | 10.5 min
Drysuit exhaust dumps can be operated in an automatic or manual way by partially or fully opening them as well as using a push button – we explain what the options for usage are and what the pros and cons of each are during your dives.
Part 2 : Trim
What We Really Mean By Trim Is Balance | 5 min
In this first lesson about trim, we talk about what it means to be “in trim” and what the purpose of it is. We also discuss how and why being “in trim” does not mean that you must be horizontal at all times.
What Do We Need For Trim – Part 1 | 7 min
Here we break down the reason why things can be balanced and what it means when we find a balancing point. We also begin to look at how weight on the diver can affect this balancing point.
What Do We Need For Trim – Part 2 | 6 min
We now look at the second thing that contributes to your balance – the buoyant force or “upthrust”. We show that this has to be in a certain position relative to your weight in order that, on average, you stay balanced.
What Do We Need To Adjust To Improve Trim | 7.5 min
Once we are in the water, we get to see the relative positions of the forces on us that can make us balanced or unbalanced. We explain how the trim check does this and what we would do once we see the results of the check.
What Trim Changes Can We Expect On Dives – Part 1 | 8.5 min
During the dive we are going to breath the gas in the cylinders, and this is going to have an impact on our trim. We talk about why that is and explain the consequence of it.
What Trim Changes Can We Expect On Dives – Part 2 | 7 min
As we go further into the impact the cylinders getting lighter will have on the body, we can look at how best to position weights on the body so that we optimise the trim for the majority of the dive.
Why A Cylinder Rotates, Not Lifts | 14 min
Here we take a look at what it means when we see cylinders lifting up on a diver. We investigate why this happens and if it causes a buoyancy issue, a trim issue or both.
How Can A Diver Alter Trim & Compensate For Problems | 13 min
We look at what we need to do with our bodies to be able to hold trim. We then look at strategies to handle heavy legs or light legs and compare those techniques between wetsuit and drysuit divers.
Lateral Trim Consideration | 3.5 min
So far we have looked at the “head to toe” trim that runs across the full length of the diver. However, there is a also a “left to right” or lateral trim that we should be aware of – particularly in sidemount diving when cylinders can have different pressures and one side can become heavier than the other.
Cylinder Impact on a Diver | 19 min
Here we look more closely at the behaviour of cylinders as they get lighter and the impact they will have on a diver. We go into more detail about the lifting force on a cylinder and how the lower attachment to the diver ipmacts their trim as the dive progresses.
Upright Diver | 6 min
We go into some more details about other factors that can influence your trim. We look at what is comfortable and “normal” for a diver and how the feeling of being in trim can be re-calibrated with some simple exercises.
Neck Limits | 4 min
Looking at the physical differences between cylinder valve positions of twinset and sidemount configuration, we see how this can impact the range of motion of the neck and head and how this can lead to having to make an overall body trim compromise.
Drysuits | Trim Check | 8.5 min
For drysuit divers, there can be gas in the suit that gives an incorrect trim assessment with the trim check. We look at why that is and what you need to do to make an accurate trim check when using a dry suit.
Stability – BM vs SM | 9 min
We look at how stability is best achieved when considering the relative positions of the weight of a diver and the lifting point. We explain why some configurations are more stable and how problems with trim can be identified.
Stability – Proprioception | 9.5 min
The body has an internal mechanism to determine balance, but also a sense of stability and the position and orientation of each part of the body. We look at what this means for divers and how we can train ourselves to feel stable without moving.
Part 3 : Position
Examples of Team Positioning | 6 min
When we dive with a buddy or larger team, it is important that we position ourselves so that we can be seen and also get attention when needed. We look at examples of good positioning as well as what to watch out for.
Staying with Your Team while Swimming | 6 min
Here we look at specific examples of problems that can occur when swimming with a buddy or team mate. We look at the reasons for these problems, how to notice them and also what we can do to solve them and prevent them to begin with.
How to Stay with Team on Descents | 14.5 min
Descents need to be a co-ordinated team effort and the positioning of team members becomes even more important. We look at ideal positions and how you can move yourself as needed. We also look at typical problems, how to spot them and how to correct for them.
How to Stay with Team on Ascents | 14.5 min
Making well executed ascents are a crucial dive skill, especially is there are larger teams or we have tasks to perform such as gas switching or SMB deployment. We look at how to position yourself as well as what to watch out for – especially as the expanding gas during ascents can pose more of a problem compared with a descent.
Examples of Positioning in Cave Diving | 14 min
Cave diving places more emphasis on positioning and we look at why that is with some examples of typical cave scenarios. We explain why we maintain certain diver orders, distances from the line and also the purpose of divers not being side by side.
Part 4 : Action
Awareness of the Steps | 7.5 min
We start with a review of the Essential Skills and how they are really a sequence of steps building up to an action. We look at why the steps are important and the drawbacks of not paying enough attention to them.
Control Line Benefit and Hidden Purpose | 15.5 min
Control Lines are an important tool for our training courses and here we talk about their benefits and how they build a diver’s essential skills. We “lit the lid” on what the lines are doing without you even noticing and how they develop habits early on in training that will make you a better diver.
Training your Eyes and Arms | 9 min
While we are diving, there are some unconscious habits we might have that can work against us. We look at how to make performing tasks easier by using our direction of view and how our torso and arms can help with buoyancy, trim and control.
Why the Frog Kick is the Predominant Kick | 10 min
Many recreational divers use the frog kick and flutter kick, but why is the the frog kick the favoured kick for technical and cave divers? We look at the pros and cons of the kicks and show you why we choose the frog kick for the majority of our dives.
Why and When to Use other Propulsion Techniques | 25 min
There are various techniques for moving effectively through the water depending on the environment and amount of space you have around you. We look at when you would use a modified flutter or shuffle kick as well as the options to use your hands or even go sideways.
How to Make Better Back Kicks | 11.5 min
We look at the mechanics of the back kick and what makes it work. We then expand on each of the major problems we see and what that causes – we then show you some of our training methods to solve them.
Making Smaller Turning Circles with Helicopter Turns | 12 min
The Helicopter Turn allows a diver to make direction changes in a small turning circle rather than making bigger swims around in a circle. It uses a combination of the frog kick and the back kick and we show how to maximise the effectiveness of the kicks to make the tightest turning circle.
Part 5 : Diving Strategies
Descent & Ascent – Shot Line | 12.5 min
When making boat dives you may use a shot line to act a supporting reference to allow a safe descent and ascent. We look at how to manage positions on the line during descents, arriving on the bottom and ascending. We show positioning in larger teams and also when there are currents.
Descent & Ascent – Shore Dives to Depths | 12 min
For shore dives requiring a swim out to a wreck or target feature, there are some different ways to make the swim safe and effective. We look at how to decide what strategy to use for descents and ascents as well as gas consumption and decompression considerations for the topography of the site.
Wrecks, Current, Depth | 15.5 min
Wrecks, current and depths can be a major concern for all divers. We show you what you need to know, what you need to plan and what skills you need to develop to stay safe when conducting dives with these variables. We also look at more things to be aware of when making dives using shot lines.