Dynamic training tends to be pool based, for obvious reasons. Its safe, controlled, warm and familiar.
What happens if we take those familiar exercises in to the sea? All of a sudden we have currents, deeper water, waves, no pool edge and variable visibility. Doesn’t sound that good at face value does it?
But think on….
Here is a checklist for finding your perfect open water dynamic training location. Finding a good location is your first challenge. Here in Newquay we have lots of beautiful beaches with flat white sand sea beds, so its not all that hard. I tend to drop in the water at Fistral beach or the Gannel estuary, both are quite shallow and both have stunning, seamless white sand substrate.
- Somewhere you will always have a buddy diving with you.
- Near to shore to avoid boat traffic and be within rescue range.
- Shallow enough to be safe…. deep enough keep out of the surf zone. 2-4m is good.
- Flat uninterrupted seabed (hitting your head on a random spot of reef is not a good move)
- Long enough to be able to do some decent uninterrupted swims.
- No crazy strong or unusual currents or downwellings.
- Ensuring you have a surface float for recovery and safety marker.
Always take a buddy and run a session just like you would at the pool, with one buddying from the surface at all times. Remember there is no pool edge to grab on to at the end, so the buddy will have to step up here and become a surrogate pool side! Make sure that the buddy is dragging a dive float to warn boats of your presence and as a support if you get tired.
TIP: Anchor a (non-floating) rope to the sea bed at at least the 2 ends (maybe more if its really long), running along the seabed, and use it as a guide. It can be hard to keep your bearings when swimming along the seabed, so a submerged rope will really help!
Open water dynamic sessions are always fun and are often better exercise than conventional pool based dynamic sessions. Plus, you may be able to pick up some dinner on the way in the form of a crab or couple of scallops! Now that’s a reward worth training for.
Remember always have emergency procedures in place when conducting open water training. Think safety first.