Scuba diving can be thrilling and addictive, but how often can you dive safely?
Many beginner and recreational divers are spellbound with the rush that comes with diving, wanting them to practice as many times as possible.
To find out what happens if you dive more than the recommended daily limit, keep reading.
How Often Can You Scuba Dive?
How many dives you can do in a day depends on the duration and depth of each of your dives. For novice divers, the general limit is said to be around 4-5 dives per day. Having said that, it is essential to note that doing 6 dives per day is tough, even for an expert diver.
To ensure safety, you must keep track of your dives using a computer or dive tables. This will help you narrow down the number of dives that you will be able to undertake safely, along with the length of each dive.
Can You Scuba Dive Every Day?
The simple answer is yes. You can indeed scuba dive on a daily basis. However, you must take certain precautions such as using a dive computer or dive watch to remain within the safety limits.
You’d be required to monitor and record the depths and time taken in all your dives. Generally, 18-24 hours is more than enough to recover and proceed to your next dive.
Your daily dive count is based on the amount of nitrogen your body has taken in with every dive. Excess of this nitrogen is harmful and can lead to decompression sickness, which may prove fatal if left unattended.
What Happens if You Dive More Than Your Daily Capacity
While scuba diving with compressed air, your body will consume a greater amount of oxygen and nitrogen.
Though the body makes use of the extra oxygen, nitrogen creates a problem. It gets dissolved in your bloodstream and stays there till the dive ends.
Next, when the diver ascends at a quick pace, especially towards the end of their dive, bubbles form in their blood. These nitrogen bubbles also get collected in one’s muscles, causing painful joints and body aches in general. Such a condition is known as the bends.
Factors That Determine Your Daily Dive Capacity
As mentioned above, the nitrogen accumulated during scuba diving can cause adverse conditions like decompression sickness amongst divers. How much nitrogen is taken in by your body and how quickly it recovers from it would determine the number of dives you can practice daily.
You can use a dive table or computer to keep track of the following determinants:
1. Maximum Depth of Your Dive
The deeper you dive, the more nitrogen and oxygen your body consumes. In case the dive depth is greater than 131 feet, you run a high risk of developing decompression sickness. Moreover, it is much harder to undertake multiple dives at deeper depths.
2. The Duration Spent at This Maximum Depth and The Total Dive Duration
The longer you stay underwater, and that too at a greater depth, the higher your nitrogen intake. Consequently, your body will require more time to recover and come to its optimum functionality.
Shallower dives of shorter duration allow you to go on repetitive dives within a single day.
3. Time Gap Between Two Dives
There should be a sufficient gap between the two dives. This is because your body needs time to recover and remove the extra nitrogen. In the case of back-to-back dives, you risk over-exerting yourself not only physically but mentally too.
4. The Total Amount of Dives Performed in The Past Days
Your energy levels and your body’s recovery rates significantly depend on the number of dives undertaken in the previous day(s). If you went on a single, shallow dive yesterday, your body would be able to cope with 2-3 shallow dives today.
5. Speed of Ascent
What prevents you from undertaking several dives in a day is the risk of developing decompression sickness. You can minimize its possibility by controlling your ascent speed, especially when you reach closer to the surface.
Divers must stage and plan their ascent well to avoid decompression sickness. Failing to do so will prevent them from performing multiple dives a day.
Diving computers or tables prove beneficial in helping you chalk down your daily dive capacity.
Nitrogen plays a primary role in determining the number of dives you can safely undertake within a single day. This is because, while diving, the water pressure compels your body to accumulate excess harmful nitrogen, which in turn causes decompression sickness.
You can do around 4-5 dives in a day, given that you monitor your dive lengths, depth, ascent speed and take sufficient gaps between the dives. Additionally, you mustn’t overexert yourself and hydrate and eat well for better efficiency.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.