How To Improve Your Spearfishing Duck Dive Technique
In the last Back to Basics we covered the essential techniques to spearfishing breath hold. But correct breath hold technique is not going to give you an effective dive by itself, it's what you do after your last breath that will determine how good your dive will be.
You now start to get into the physical part of a dive and this is where efficiency is. Every step you can achieve with the least amount of effort and maximum performance is going to determine how well you use your precious oxygen.
This article will cover the 'duck dive'. This may seem a bit trivial, but this is the starting point of your dive and if done incorrectly will see you flapping around like a wounded seagull on the surface, making your dive very ineffective and you will only chase fish away.
The idea is to dive down as clean, quiet and as smooth as possible, with as much downward momentum as possible. Now this can get really technical and most of the top guys have their own approach. This is where you are going to have to try a few different things. The whole time, be very conscious of what you are doing in the water. In this way you will find your own technique that suits you. You probably think it's not something that can be practiced, but if you practice over and over, eventually muscle memory will set your duck dives into autopilot even when in a rush.
During your final breath up, get yourself in position for the dive. Make sure you are horizontal to the surface. This will mean you don't have to do a total 'U' turn to get vertical. It will also help to have your gun hanging down. Many guys hold their guns mid barrel, parallel to their bodies. This makes it difficult to let your arms lead you down and is also not very streamlined. With your gun hanging vertically down, you will be able to lead with your arms easier.
As you take your last breath, raise your hands up in front of you with your gun still hanging vertically down. This will not only help extend your rib cage and ease the last breath in, but you will have a good high starting point for your dive. The idea is to get as much weight all going in a vertical direction as possible, especially if you are diving with lightweights. Some guys slightly raise their head and even their shoulders as well.