Welcome to a new decade!
I hope you had a restful and well-deserved respite over the holidays! Did you manage to fit in some aquatic adventures? Perhaps try something new?
The start of the year is a great time to reflect on personal goals. What are some of the things you’ve accomplished in the last year, or last 10 years, that you’re especially proud of? What would you like to achieve this year and the next 10 years until 2030?
Personally, I’d like to dedicate my aquatic pursuits to freediving this decade, especially in regards to training. So to start off the year, I cover everything a beginner needs to know about the most important piece of freediving equipment: freediving fins! This article captures some of the frustrations I went through to find a good pair of fins that fit my (very small) feet.
To reflect on 2019 I also tallied up Tide Trek’s analytics to rank the top 3 most popular articles I’ve written to date (listed below!) Though it didn’t make the top 3, my Halloween feature on hadal zone animals beat out many of my older articles. It seems folks are keen on deep-sea science! I also really enjoyed writing that article, so another of my goals for 2020 is to write more science-related articles.
So what does that mean for Tide Trek overall? Well…
Freediving + science = freediving science!
Get ready for a lot of cool articles on diving physiology, a subject that happens to be one of my areas of expertise!
Enjoy the tides!
Freediving is the sport of diving down to recreational SCUBA depths on one’s own breath. Recreational freediving has had spurts of increased popularity in recent years, and even PADI (known for SCUBA training) now also offers freediving courses. Experienced snorkelers and SCUBA divers often find themselves drawn to this remarkable sport. That means you likely already have most of the equipment, like a basic mask and snorkel, to start freediving. However, you will need to invest in a new pair of freediving fins suitable for beginners.
As a new freediver (or soon-to-be freediver!) fins are probably the most important piece of equipment you’ll own. So it’s vital that you make a good choice!
Though breath-hold diving beyond a few meters deep is not something you should attempt without proper training, you can still invest in entry-level equipment that’s versatile enough for snorkeling or SCUBA too…
Snorkeling Fins Vs. SCUBA Fins: Key Differences
If you’re in the market for a pair of fins to use on your next snorkeling trip, you might be confused about what kind of fin to buy. You should be buying your snorkeling gear at a dedicated dive shop. However, that means many of the fins you’ll come across will be designed for SCUBA divers, not snorkeling. But isn’t a fin just a fin? Let’s go over the key differences between snorkeling and SCUBA fins!
More New Articles!
Is the fancy glass worth it?
Ultra-clear (low-iron) glass and anti-reflective coatings offer superior visual performance for discerning divers!
Is your special someone a diver?
The holidays are over, so if you missed this handy list of gift ideas, be sure to bookmark it for Valentine’s!
Top 3 Most Popular Articles from 2019
Of all my 2019 posts, this comprehensive article on troubleshooting mask leaks has taken the top spot for both views and search engine impressions! This is such a common issue for beginners and veterans alike, and yet no one (as far as I’m aware) has covered the topic as thoroughly as I have here. So it’s no surprise it took the top spot!
If either you or your friends are having mask issues, this page should be your first stop!
Following close behind in the 2nd spot was my article on low-volume masks. Clearly a lot of people are interested in low-volume, but there’s not a lot of comprehensive information that’s easy to find out there, particularly if you’re not a freediver. These masks offer benefits for all underwater activities, and I’m pleased this article has set the record straight!
2019 was a popular year for masks, apparently! Like the low-volume mask, frameless masks are clearly piquing a lot of divers’ interest. I did my best to clearly lay out all the possible pros and cons of framed vs. frameless masks in this long post, as well as provide a shortlist of top models in case you’re interested in trying one for yourself!
Cool Stuff I’ve Been Reading (and Watching)
Alaskan Salmon Research – Short video (360°). Did you know that sockeye salmon are an ecological keystone species? Watch in VR if possible!
Stealing the Light – These fish glow because of the bioluminescent shrimp in their diet. You are what you eat!
The Risks of Snuba – Though hookah diving doesn’t require certification, many SCUBA risks still apply. Get informed!
Prey-Switching Dolphins – Risso’s dolphins routinely dive over 300 m deep for squid. How do they balance hunting and breathing?
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