Drift Diving – Just for lazy-bones?

07.01.2017 by ricardo
scuba diver underwater

Like being carried on a flying carpet – this is how some divers describe drift diving. Diving with the current is by no means just for lazy people – on the contrary! Because to be safe with the current you need good preparation and a certain amount of experience. Then this unique experience is really fun. We’ll give you tips on equipment and recommended locations for drift diving.

Where can I do drift diving?

drift diving is also called drift diving or river diving. River diving is called drift diving because drift diving often takes place in rivers or canals. However, you can also practice drift diving in the sea or in lakes. The advantage: In this form it is better suitable for beginners, because in the sea or in lakes the current is much more predictable. In the sea diving with the current is often useful if you want to observe large marine animals such as sharks or whales. This is because they often use the current to move quickly. While the tides and the salinity of the water are the main factors causing currents in the sea, the conditions in rivers are often much less predictable. On the other hand, the current in rivers is stronger, so that the feeling of “flying” is much stronger and the fun factor is higher. If you know what to watch out for, you are sure to get an adrenalin kick.

The right equipment for diving with the current

Drift Diving: Less equipment is often more! Take only the equipment you really need with you on your dive. This way you optimize your streamline shape and offer the current less surface to attack. Especially an underwater camera should be left on the shore, because the coordination of it can be difficult. First concentrate only on yourself. But what you should take more of with you: Dive weights to balance under water! Precisely because the current is not always predictable, you should be prepared for all eventualities. Also you should never dive free on a current, but always on a line with a buoy, so that your boat crew can find you again in an emergency. Whether a single fin apnea fin or split split fins are better suited for drift diving is a matter of opinion. Ask your instructor what he recommends. In case of doubt you have to try out what you can cope with more easily. Since drift diving can be very strenuous, allow for sufficient air reserve. Now you can get started!

The right behaviour for drift diving

The very beginning of drift diving is a challenging task: you have to dive very fast so that you don’t get carried away by the surface current. To do this, many divers use a “negative entry” – in other words, you dive directly into the water as soon as you jump. To do this, empty your buoyancy compensator and take a deep breath before the jump – as soon as you are in the water, breathe out. So you should sink as fast as possible. As soon as you have reached the bottom, let yourself drift with the current. Because swimming against the current would be too exhausting and would consume your air supplies too quickly. If there is a reef, wreck or similar underwater, stay close to it (but not too close!): Here the current is often calmer than in open water. These points are called “current shadows” – ideal for taking a short break. And now: Enjoy the “flight” under water!

The top locations for drift diving

In principle, you can practice drift diving in any water. However, some places are better suited than others. We have here our “Top 5” recommendations for unforgettable rides with the current for you!

Ari Atoll, Maldives:
Here you can observe a wonderful underwater world and the whole thing with a moderate current. Perfect for beginners with little experience in drift diving!

Fakarava, Polynesia:
The location is also known as the “shark wall”, because here you can see many sharks waiting for prey.

Ras Mohamed, Egypt:
Here you can discover all the biodiversity of the Red Sea.

Singer Island, Florida (USA):
Ideal for beginners is the rather slow current around Singer Island. Here you can also discover several shipwrecks in the current.

Clutha, New Zealand:
This river is only suitable for current professionals, because it is considered the location for the fastest drift dive – a must-have for adrenaline junkies!