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Not the best swimmer...

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by Normal_life_is_just_SI, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Normal_life_is_just_SI

    Normal_life_is_just_SI Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida Keys
    8
    16
    3
    So I am in the middle of my Divemaster training (PADI) and just completed the 400m swim, 800m fin, and water tread. Of these, the only that I feel I did really well was the water tread, in which I scored a 5. Both the 400m swim and 800m event I only scored a 2. While I am very comfortable in the water, I am just not a fast swimmer. I know I still have two water skills exercises to complete. Just looking for any advice on the diver tow or underwater gear exchange to ensure I can complete this section of training. Thanks!
     
  2. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
    1,869
    128
    63
    Completing the tow in a continuous straight line is easiest - with no turns... Most people prefer the push method too, as it's streamlined, rather than a tank valve tow.

    Good luck !
     
    Graeme Fraser likes this.
  3. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    484
    619
    93
    Practice kit exchange a couple of times with a mate first. A few tips I'd give would be a) settle into a comfortable buddy breathing rythm first, usually two breaths then pass reg to buddy, repeat; b) start the exercise in your buddy's kit as you will then be changing back into your own, c) discuss and agree your exchange order beforehand (it may sound obvious but I've seen DMT's passing a mask and receiving a fin in return). Also, don't rush it. Once your breathing system is sorted it's a piece of cake. Make it look controlled and organised and a 5 is perfectly achievable.

    Regarding tired diver tow, again practice and use which method you're most comfortable with. Agree with Bubble Junky that continuous straight line is easier. I prefer tank valve tow, but again it's all about personal preference.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
     
  4. Normal_life_is_just_SI

    Normal_life_is_just_SI Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida Keys
    8
    16
    3
    Good news! Was somewhat faster one the tow, even though my instructor was *nice* enough to have us go into the current. And equipment exchange was a breeze! All done with water skills, although towards the end of the course I may do the swims again after some work to see if I can score better.
     
  5. JackOfDiamonds

    JackOfDiamonds ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Israel
    318
    187
    43
    I wouldnt take into consideration how fast you are swimming as its not a race, personally endurance matters more to me .

    The big question is - can you swim against some ripping currents should you come across them?
    I've personally seen people battle the currents in the Red sea and lose miserably, swept away to the open ocean by the current having to be picked up by the zodiac a mile or two from the planned surfacing point.

    Can you tow your passed out buddy of your equal body weight or higher in rough waters back to the shore/boat ?

    There will be no one standing with a stopwatch once you finish your DM to measure your times but people will have to rely on your endurance should something happen.

    If you think you need to improve on that i would take some swimming lessons.
     
  6. rvojr

    rvojr ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Williamstown, NJ
    106
    60
    28
    Do you have examples of places people could learn to swim better? The local YMCA has private swim classes along with a local college. Is there something that has worked for people in the past? I learned quickly that freestyle isn't the best in a wet suit or at least mine. Other than swimming faster and conditioning, I'm not really sure what to ask or focus on.


    and slowly improve technique.
     
  7. JackOfDiamonds

    JackOfDiamonds ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Israel
    318
    187
    43
    Im not familiar with the local geography in your area but if you are located near an ocean or lake it would be better practice than a closed pool.

    What is your freestyle? I would put emphasis on the tugging swim (On your side, one hand both legs) as that is what you would be required to use in a situation that you have to tug somebody.

    Frog kicks and back kicks are also essential.
     
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,034
    2,554
    113
    Tips I can think of:
    400 swim-- Dig your arms deep and close to your body. You get most of your power when your arms are at their deepest. Arms not too high when out of water (no gain there). Head out just enough to breath. No head "side to side" with each arm stroke. Don't kick too fast--you get 75% of your forward motion from your arms. These are tips my 2 competitive swimming brothers gave me in order to get my "3". But I was only able to do lap training once weekly due to my location.
    The 400 IS a race!--You need enough points on these 5 tests to pass!

    Tired Diver Tow--- Just push FAST. Yes, a straight line with no turns is best for speed. The more turns the slower your time will be. I assume you will not be able to CHOOSE where you'll do this....! IMHO, time allotments should vary according to where you have to do the test regarding turns. That's in a perfect world.

    Equipment Exchange---This didn't used to be the 5th test, it was pass/fail. Ideally, get with a partner of similar size to yourself. Again, doubtful you get to choose. How one can get a grade as an individual when it's a team game escapes me, but that's the way it is now.
    2 points. One is the obvious, that most people I've heard of do--start out wearing the other person's gear. This makes it much easier and is perfectly "legal" (don't let anyone tell you it's not). I did the drill twice (2nd time assisting in another DMC course). 1st time we aced it. 2nd time got through it OK, but we were way different in body size. How would I have been graded that time?
    Other point is during buddy breathing- You or your buddy may be able to do considerably more than one thing after you take your 2 breaths. Maybe put your fins AND mask on, then get more air.
    Oh, also, have a set plan beforehand of course. Well beforehand, as unless it's changed, the instructor can announce the tests on the spur of the moment.
    Somewhere on Going Pro is the list of the (then) 4 skills and my own ideas on how to improve them to make them more practical for what you'll actually be doing as a DM. Not important to you now, but perhaps interesting.
    Good luck with the whole thing!
     
    Graeme Fraser likes this.
  9. MEmersonC

    MEmersonC Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia
    19
    22
    3
    Thought I would chime in after just completing my divemaster course. I am 39 and a good 30lbs over my ideal weight. I've had one torn rotator cuff surgery and three left knee surgery's just to put things into perspective. I scored a 1 on the 400m and a 2 on the 800m. As long as you can finish the 400m and 800m you shouldn't have an issue completing the course. Don't sike yourself out. The tired diver push is where I made up the difference, which is where I got a 4. Put your head down, grab those tired diver ankles, and kick like hell. Its only going to suck for 6 minutes at max. You'll at least get a 3. All you have to do then is max out the equipment exchange and tread which shouldn't be an issue. Good luck buddy!
     
    zhaddock likes this.
  10. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,222
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    Sorry, that's just wrong. You want to pull as close to straight line as you can. "Elbow up and out" is how you keep your arm from going deep and wasting effort on pushing downward to get there. True of all styles, too, although in backstroke it's not going "deep", it's the "semi-circle" that's the waste of effort.
     

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