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Monsoon season has ended and the beach is once again the place to be if you want to get away from the heat. But instead of settling under an umbrella, why not be adventurous and go skin diving?

Skin diving, also known as free diving, involves swimming at moderate depths of around 10 metres without using oxygen tanks or compressed air to breathe. Instead, divers practise holding their breath and use other swimming aids such as ‘swimfins’ to push themselves around and wetsuits to keep themselves warm.

Here is a list of gear that you should invest in before going skin diving:

Swimfins: Flat, spade shaped attachments, swimfins can propel you much further and faster in the water than by simply using your feet. They make swimming much easier too; simply moving your feet back and forth is enough to keep you moving around. A durable pair of swimfins by Speedo will set you back approximately Rs 2,500-4,500.

Snorkel: These bridge the gap between skin diving and snorkelling; the latter is referred to swimming just below the surface while breathing out of the snorkel as one end pokes out of the water. They also allow you to swim for longer periods than you would be able to if you were just holding your breath; also the ability to breathe in and out regularly leaves you a lot less tired. Snorkels by Brouchard or Cessir come attached to diving masks and are recommended by divers. They cost approximately Rs 7,500.

Wetsuits: These aren’t entirely necessary here, especially since the waters in Pakistan are warmer than in other regions. Still they can help keep divers warmer and also help ‘complete the look’. A typical wetsuit from Brouchard or Cessi costs approximately Rs 10,000-15,000.

Once you have your gear ready, head over to the French Beach, Mubarak Village or Churna Island where cleaner waters prevail. The Karachi Scuba Diving Centre also offers classes with course fees ranging from Rs 2,500 and up. That you will find a whole new way to enjoy a day at the beach is guaranteed.

– Shayan Shakeel