10 Amazing Tips You Didn’t Know about Drift Diving

You, as a diver, must travel around the world to experience the most amazing diving spots. You will also get to see sharks, whales and other fascinating underwater creatures first hand but you will often encounter very strong currents in your dives. Drift diving requires the same skill set like diving in poor visibility or in extreme cold, some dive skills and routine has to be followed to properly stay under water and enjoy drift diving.


I often meet rookie divers in my dive sessions who take drift diving lightly. Divers who do not really extensively deal with the issue of drift diving, commit completely unnecessary serious mistakes under water. Therefore, these 15 tips will help you become a better diver and also allow you to enjoy drift diving right in future.

We start here with a few basic tips on proper preparation for drift diving to preempt serious errors. 

drift diving

1. Dive only when you feel good

This principle of course applies to any of your dives, but just when it comes to challenging diving conditions some divers feel forced to keep up with others or have to prove something to themselves.

However, you should use this principle particularly in drift dives to not put yourself at risk or have a bad “diving experience”

2. It’s OK cancel your dive

This should apply for each dive. Especially with drift dives, it may happen that the dive is different than planned, you’re missing an interesting point or simply overwhelmed by the conditions under water.

The most important on every dive – Have fun and enjoy every second of it.

3. More lead when drift diving

When drift diving you often need to quickly dismount. In addition, the underwater current not always horizontal – but can also be vertical or driven by “turbulence” and you have to therefore sometimes quickly adjust your buoyancy. With a little more lead you can easily avoid an uncontrolled ascent when drift diving.

4. Watch your Gear

Sure, this point is not only important for drift diving – but you have to take special care that your equipment is fixed tightly on the body and you have a good horizontal posture, so that you offer as little resistance as possible to the flow.

Based on the previous tip you should mainly focus only the equipment to take to drift diving, which you really need and can use. This includes in particular your underwater camera – if you use one. When you are well versed with drift diving and have sufficient experience with the different types of flows, only then can you really make sure to get good images underwater.

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5. Use a buoy with Rope

The greatest danger when drift diving in the open sea is to get lost, to the extent that your crew may no longer be found. The more remote the dive site, the higher the risk is of getting lost.

Therefore you should drift dive only a buoy with a 5 to 8 meters long rope. Every diver should have a buoy with rope ready at hand!

The MARES buoy has a “gooseneck valve” so that the charged air can not escape from the buoy – moreover it is also inflate by mouth and very high quality.

6. Choose the correct fin

In cold regions, split dive fins are very popular among divers, but for the drift diving split fins some serious disadvantages. The split fin blade reduces the water resistance and ensures that the diver is less strained when kicking. In case of heavy current, are unstable due to swirling water and offers barely any propulsion.

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Choosing the right fin can be an advantage when drift diving!

7. Quick Clean & Get down

In flow-rich waters, flow prevails not only in the depth of the ocean but also on the surface and it can run even in a different direction. Therefore, it is very important in drift diving that you get down quickly and swiftly go to depth without forgetting pressure equalization. 

8. Use the flow

Whenever possible you should dive with the current flowto swim against the current. For example, if you want to achieve a particular point on the reef But Make no competition it! We see on our dive trips rookie divers repeatedly who consider themselves to be “tough” because they always dive against the forward current. A “wise diver” assesses the conditions under water and uses them to his advantage.

9. Do not panic

In drift diving you can quickly get a “queasy” feeling when you receive the water current. The key in such a situation, but especially that you remained calm and only once “analyze” what is really happening.

Stay calm even in strong currents and do not panic.

Currents are never constant, but rather “pulsating” – say in a moment they are stronger and only a few seconds later they are again slightly weaker.

So if you realize that the flow starts against you, then you should first of all try to hold the position and not rush. 

10. Never go out of breath

You must always make sure that you do not run out of breath come. By faster breathing you produce more carbon dioxide that accumulates in your body and can not be sufficiently “exhaled” – by the higher pressure underwater. You can get headaches, dizziness or worse.

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