There are several different methods used to dive underwater quickly and easily. These techniques are known as the tuck dive, the pike dive, and the feet first or “kelp dive.” Collectively, all three methods are used when you are in the water, on the surface, and are appropriately called “surface dives.” They are all easy to do and you will be able to perform them with a small amount of practice.
The duck dive is done when you are just lying on the surface, watching the bottom, looking for fish to photograph. You see a small, bright yellow fish dart out from a coral head and decide to dive down to it. To start the dive, you simply bend at the waist and throw your legs straight up into the air. The weight of your legs in the air will drive your body underwater.
Diving underwater is something that has to practiced only for people who are courageous at heart and a tremendous amount of willpower to take the plunge into the depths of the ocean and the experts of swimming take it up as a challenge and come out with flying colors, the result of which they now consider the sea as their second home and the aquatic animals as their extended family members and all they require is the best scuba diving kit to make things work for them.
Once your legs are completely underwater, start kicking and swim towards the bottom. Don’t kick until your legs are underwater, however, as you will gain no propulsion from kicking in the air. In addition, if you kick while your fins are still on the surface, you will splash a great deal of water and noise will scare away the fish you want to photograph.
One of your goals as a skin diver is to make as little noise as possible. The more effectively you can dive without making noise, the more marine life you will see.
The forward momentum dive, also known as the pike dive, is another effective way to dive beneath the surface. It’s done the same way as the tuck dive except that rather than being motionless at the start of the dive, you swim to gain forward momentum, which will help propel you underwater even more efficiently. When you have reached the point where you want to dive, you throw your legs up into the air and the weight of your legs drives you toward the bottom.
The feet first dive, also known as the kelp dive, is used, as you might guess, when you are diving in thick kelp. Although kelp is usually thickly matted on the surface, you can swim between the individual stalks underwater.
To perform the dive, you start by resting vertically in the water. With your hands, you push the kelp away from your body, while turning in a circle, making an opening where you will descend.
Once you have created an opening, with your arms outstretched, you push down with your arms, bringing them in towards the side of your body, and keeping your arms in this position until submerged. At the same time you spread your legs and bring them together in a scissors kick. This combined action will drive your body up out of the water, where the weight of your body will make it sink below the surface.
As your body becomes submerged, you can drive yourself deeper by raising your arms out to the side and lifting them over your head. When you are clear of the kelp mat you then rotate your body and turn head down to continue your dive.
Serious free divers will let the snorkel drop out of their mouth prior to descent. This allows the snorkel to fill completely with water at the very start of their dive, so that bubbles which might scare fish away do not vent from the snorkel while they are underwater.