Almost every student I have starts the class with the habit of looking where they are going while diving. It seems perfectly logical, not looking where you are going seems completely illogical. Let me point some things out you may not be aware of.
When I say looking where you are going, I mean you are looking at the bottom on the way down. Imagine sitting in a chair and looking at ceiling directly above you (bad) now look at the T.V. in front of you which is head in neutral position (good).
#1 Looking where you are going increases risk of tracheal and lung squeezes. When you raise your chin like that you are increasing the length of your trachea. Your trachea is not very flexible. When you increase the length of something that is not very flexible you are making it even less flexible. As you continue to dive deeper and have your head cranked like that, you are increasing your risk of lung and trachea squeezes which is just as bad as it sounds.
#2 If you want to increase your bottom time, start diving down straight as opposed to a 30% angle. Once of the reasons people dive down at an angle is from looking where they are going.
When you look where you are going, it tends to rotate your pelvis which then puts more of the kick behind you, Kicking behind you makes you go down at an angle and is exacerbated by bad head position.
#3 Most divers are limited in depth by their ability to equalize. You’ve probably noticed it gets harder to equalize the deeper you go. Looking where you are going makes it harder to equalize. Make it easer not harder.
#5 Looking where you are going increases the surface area you have to push through the water. This reduces your streamlining and increases drag. This means it takes more work and energy to get the bottom. If you had proper head position the same dive would take less time and energy to get to the same depth.
Now the question is how does this work when you are spearfishing. When you are hunting in the shallows say 20ft, you are likely spotting the fish from the surface. Then you dive on the fish keeping it in view (ie look where you are going) which is the opposite of what I just said do. If you have to look where you are going try it this way.
Again you are sitting in chair in good head position looking at the tv in front of you. Now keep your head and neck in that position, while slowly leaning back and now you can see the ceiling. This allows you to see where you are going without increasing risk for lung and tracheal squeezes. I call this peeking.
Now if you are hunting deeper lets say 50-60ft you are likely not spotting the fish from the surface. You are probably planning to get a good breathe up and get down to depth with as much bottom time as possible. So here you would descend with good head position. You could have your depth alarm on your computer set it to beep at halfway point or just know by feel, and at that point “peek.” Once you peek you can readjust if need kick a bit more and then plane out and start your hunt. Jeremy Gamble says he does 8 kicks (4 kick cycles) then peeks.
A majority of spearfisherman look where they are going on decent. Understand so many bad things happen to you as a freediver when you are looking where you are going. Instead of using that technique 100% of the time, only use if you have to and when you must peek (ie lean back) instead of cranking your head.
Dive safe out there is not even that hard!
#ItsReallySimple #TooMuchLeadMakesYouDead #OneUpOneDown #BeCloseEnoughToGrab