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Edition 12

We are going to change the day for the tailgate dive this week from Tuesday to Thursday the 25th. Jim "Hoover" Granger has a conflict on Tuesday night. We are planning on diving at Long Lake west of the airport in Detroit Lakes. We will leave the dive center at 6:00 and meet at the public access at 6:15. Bring a friend along and enjoy the dive and cookout. Some of you regulars from last year we haven't seen yet this year and hope you can also join us.

Friday the 26th will be the Rescue Diver Classroom so give us a call if you need any information about the class.

Just a reminder that we are an authorized Sherwood Scuba dealer and can take care of all your service needs. We still have some excellent closeouts and consignments items left in stock. We still have one Al 80cf tank and a number of 72 steels left for sale.

We still have about 35+ medallions left in the area lakes that have not been found yet so start searching and win some nice prizes. The big medallion is still out there so stop in and get the latest clues.  

Following is the next in a series of articles on free diving by Fred Johnson.

Breath Hold Training

Being able to hold your breath for long periods of time has more to do with carbon dioxide tolerance than lack of oxygen. You can build CO2 tolerance easily and quickly with training. Like climbing a tall ladder to paint for the first time... at first you're holding on for dear life, and soon you're at the top bouncing the ladder over to the side to reach a little farther. A quick way to experience a build up of C02 is to
exhale all of your breath and then hold it. The urge to breath will come quickly. Doing this often is a quick way to build up CO2 tolerance and will also give you an idea of just what your body can take while you are under the water. Being as comfortable as possible with that urge to breath will have great impacts on the lengths of time you can spend at depth. I'll have more technical information on breath holding techniques in my next article.

Last of Equipment Updates:

1st Piece of Updated Equipment: Mask 

2nd Piece of Updated Equipment: Fins

3rd Piece of Updated Equipment: Wetsuit

Following: One of the secrets to a deep dive without expelling a lot of energy.

For a long time I used 2 styles of wetsuits for freediving. One was your basic water-ski, jet ski wetsuit and the other an older 7mm scuba diving suit for when the water was very cold. Both, I thought, were very good.  They kept me warm enough, allowed me to spend a lot of time in the water each diving session and didn't seem too restrictive in filling my lungs and movement. I was very wrong on the amount of restriction and I also did not realize how much resistance an exterior lined wetsuit created while trying to dive.

I first used a freediving specific wetsuit while in Vancouver with world record freediving trainer Kirk Krack. I found out on my first dive what a difference a wetsuit makes. This style of suit is the ultimate in stretchabilty and low resistance. I was like a greased pig out of water with a professional apnea wetsuit on and knew then that one of these was going to be needed in the near future.

Apnea suits come in many different styles and thicknesses, just as scuba suits do and are made up of varying qualities of neoprene, just as scuba suits are. It's the quality of the neoprene and the lack of a lining whether outside or inside that makes for a good apnea suit. You also hear some of the same terms: open cell, closed cell, gold lining, lycra, jersey, nylon, farmer john, jacket and pants, etc. Most of the serious
freediving suits are a closed cell neoprene outside and open cell neoprene inside. This makes for a difficult suit to get into as you have to lube it with a mix of cream rinse and water in order for it to slide on, and you may well have to lube it with at least water to remove it.

The wetsuit without a lining of any kind has to be treated with care as fingernails, toenails, and other snags can tear a suit easily. Fortunately, I have found my 5mm apnea suit to be fairly tough compared to the 3mm suit I have and the 3mm I wore in Vancouver. I have worn the 5mm suit scuba diving with no problem. In fact, my 5mm apnea suit is now my choice of suit for scuba diving, it has no zippers, an integrated
hood, and would be what you might call a semi-dry suit as it lets in almost no water. I would be very hesitant to wear my 3mm suit scuba diving as you can just sense the fragility of it.

I've been discussing unlined suits as the ultimate in freediving suits but I cannot discount the newly developed linings that are on the market. Lined suits are nice in that they do not require lubrication to put on. Superstretch interior linings such as I have in my 3mm suit are, except possibly by the professionals, indistinguishable as far as stretchability from the unlined suit and with a closed cell exterior just as "greased". The lined suit does let in a little more water then the unlined suit but is still extremely warm with the lack of zipper and integrated hood. Apnea suit manufacturers have different make up of suits to choose from, some even have a lining sandwiched between the neoprene to add to the strength. You would have to weigh your style of diving and the abuse you think you might be giving the suit as you consider a suit.

One thing is for sure, combined with streamlined weights and a rubber weight belt, it's amazing how you glide through the water with a completely closed cell exterior wetsuit and how much less restrictive good quality neoprene is when taking a deep breath or finning down to the depths.

Fred Johnson