Diving for Women – a few tips!

Scubapro Jet Sport Fins blue

Guest Post by Neela – We got hold of Neela to share some tips for all the ladies out there. Neela, is India’s first female Sidemount Instructor and also the first PADI female Tec50 diver in the country. She loves to teach and is always keen to share a helpful pointer or two. 

Diving in India is getting bigger and better all the time. These days, there’s almost as many women who join in and enjoy the sport (and obviously excel at it) as there are men! And we at Temple Adventures invite more women to join us all the time!

However, all over the world, women face several problems in adventure sport activities most of which our exclusive to their gender. Therefore, we thought that it was time to create a blog post where there are some tips that we picked up from our lady divers, that help them dive so much better!

• The weight belt story. Everyone HATES weight belts. They’re annoying, they hurt, and they sometimes fall off. For women, weight belts can sometimes be painful, as the weights cut into the hips and make them sore. A few small changes in your gear can make you perfectly weighted without having to suffer with hurting hips and back. For one, if you need only 1 kilo, instead of attaching it to your weight belt, you can simply attach it to your tank band (the strap that connects the BCD to the tank). That helps a lot! Similarly, if you need 2-4 kilos, you can put 1 in the tank band as mentioned above (and it does wonders to your trim too, so that’s a plus!)  and put the rest of the weights on the belt, but have them rest on your back instead of on your sides. That helps too. However, the best thing you could do would be to get yourself a weight integrated BCD – there are plenty of light-weighted ones for those of you who love dive travel, and it never hurts to get a BCD that is made just for you! We highly recommend the Scubapro Equator – cost-efficient, super light, extremely good looking (who doesn’t love a good, happy red BCD?) and with tons of D-rings, clips and straps that help you attach all your accessories as you require. The equator, though a recreational BCD, works really well for Dive Professionals too! The weights too are easy to detach and re-attach, and the Equator comes in so many varieties that we’re sure to find the perfect fit for you!

• Floating legs. We would be very surprised to meet a woman who doesn’t complain that her legs float up while she dives, thus ruining her trim. These days, there are several ways to overcome it, and the old-fashion ankle weights method doesn’t have to be the only solution. Getting yourself a pair of slightly heavier fins does wonders to your finning and leg-position underwater, and full-foot fins work too (as remember, dive boots are made of neoprene, and neoprene floats, thus making the problem worse.) We recommend the Scubapro Jet Fins, which now come in several different colours, as they are much heavier than normal fins. Sometimes, they are not preferred due to the weight, but the power of the kick is fantastic, and the look is great. For those girls who love vintage, the Scubapro Jet Fins are perhaps the equipment of their kind that have stayed longest in the market due to their versatility. No attempts have been made to change the original design done in the 60s, but several have been made by other gear companies to replicate it! And – the Jet Fins happen to be the cheapest ones available in the Scubapro line! They’re a favourite of Tec Divers and Cave Divers, and we’re sure there’s enough girl power out there to handle those heavy ones!

However, for those of you who do have the issue of the fins being too heavy, we recommend the Seawing Nova Gorillas instead, which are a little heavier than just the Seawing Novas, and give you extra kicking power and propulsion. Not to mention, they look great!

• Periods. That horrible time of the month is something that women can do absolutely nothing about, except to wait until it’s over. We’ve heard several stories of women having to cancel their dives because of feeling terrible at that time of the month. However, we’ve come up with a lot of helpful tips that might help change your mind the next the bomb drops. For one, all women divers must keep tampons in handy – they work much better, and you don’t have to worry about soiling yourself on the boat ride to or back, or returning to a nasty surprise when the day is done and you take your wetsuit off. Good tampons last in for 5-7 hours, and that should be enough for you! Some women have cramps too, which creates a bad mood, and aggravates the pain that’s already being experience during those fateful days. While you can visit your local doctor for ways to overcome the pain, we have some natural solutions that sometimes work just as well. We know that Temple Adventures is famous for an array of snacks on the dive boat and an excellent South Indian breakfast early in the morning, but the best you can do is to avoid the oily stuff. You’ll feel great when it’s time for the dive, and great in general. We know that diets suck, but you know as well as we do that it will be worth it when you finally spot that damned whale shark that’s been hiding around Temple for a while now! (And we know even more that if you cancel your dive and your male counterparts spot something awesome, you ain’t gonna be happy!) Sometimes, wetsuits can be really uncomfortable during your period, because the fact is that some women do bloat, and that makes the already tight wetsuit even more a squeeze to bear. We suggest that if you decide to keep your wetsuit, don’t put the zippers on until you are about to enter the water.

The fact is, due to unknown or little-known reasons, bleeding is very little underwater, so don’t worry too much! Not to mention, the pain definitely reduces underwater, as you’re surrounded by the cool and peaceful environment of the ocean where no one can disturb you!

Bad diving-hair days. We all love our long hair in all it’s colours and styles. However, we all know that our hair suffers immensely after a long day of diving and staying out in the sun. Here are the best ways we have found to overcome that –

  • Coconut oil – This is your new best friend. Some people don’t like the smell, agreed, but hey! Guess what! We can’t smell underwater so who cares? 🙂 Just be generous with applying it before the dive, and your hair will be protected against the sun and the salty water! You’ll come out of your dive looking like you just went in the salon, guaranteed!
  • Happy hoods – this, along with the coconut oil, is a magical combination. Scuba pro offers you a range of diving hoods made of neoprene, which not only keeps your head and ears warm, but keep every hair in place during the dive. Very often, we love taking pictures underwater, but find we resemble Medusa more than ourselves. Well, the hood will definitely solve those problems. Just don’t wear them backwards by mistake, or then you’ll look like Scubatman’s weird adversary!

Wetsuit mistakes – They say that there are two kinds of divers – ones who pee in their wetsuit, and the others that lie about it. So girls, we know what you’re upto when you get a bit cold underwater! Of course, there is nothing to be embarrassed about, as wetsuit peeing is a happy, undetected affair underwater, but dirty wetsuits can lead to our least favourite thing on the planet – fungal skin infections. To prevent these, make sure you wash your wetsuit in Dettol or Savlon after every 10-15 dives, and keep it hanging right so that it dries evenly. What’s more, we now sell a wetsuit cleaner at our shop for a mere 600 rupees that you can add to your cleaning tub. Give us a call for more details!

Tan-lines. We love diving, but sometimes, no matter how much we try, we end up with the strangest of tan lines during our boat rides and surface intervals. The best solution we have found to eliminating these is our Scubapro rash guard range, which provides UV ray protection on the surface and thermal protection underwater, to keep you warm yet not burning once your dive is done! They come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and some come with hoods as well! You need only visit us and try a few on before you’re hooked on to your favourite solution to odd tanning!

We hope that this helps and makes your dives much more pleasant, especially when the dives are done. We love encouraging more and more women to dive as the industry grows bigger in India, and we looks forward to seeing you girls on our boat soon!