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Review: Bare Velocity Wetsuit

Bare Velocity wetsuit
Multi-ethnic women wearing wetsuits and goggles

If you are a surfer or someone who enjoys or needs to be in the water even when temperatures may not be on the warm side, then you probably have at one time worn a wetsuit. A wetsuit gives your body an extra layer of protection against cold water. They are great to use for surfing, diving and other water activities during times when the water temperatures are cool or in areas with naturally cold waters.

If you use a wetsuit often, then you should really purchase your own. This will allow you to get the best fit and to find the suit you like the best. There are many options on the market. You have your choice of brands. You also have different options from each of the brands. It can be difficult to figure out which one is the best since it isn't likely that you'll be able to test every option personally.

We want to make things easier. We have reviewed the Bare Velocity wetsuit for you. We took a look at both the men's and women's versions of the suit. We have compiled data about Bare and this particular line to give you some background. We also look at the specifications and compare Bare wetsuits to competitors. We round things out with a look at the pros and cons of the Velocity wetsuit.

An Overview of Wetsuits

A wetsuit is designed to keep you warm. Some people mistakenly believe it is designed to keep you dry, but this isn't its purpose. This suit is usually made of materials that insulate your body. Wetsuits are made from layers. Layers keep you warmer because each layer has air between it and the next layer, which lets heat get trapped. The suit should help make colder water more comfortable. Most people wear a wetsuit when they will be in cold water for an extended time. It helps to keep your body temperature from lowering.

Neoprene is the most commonly used material. It is a synthetic rubber that is foam-like in texture. It has trapped nitrogen gas bubbles within it that work very well to insulate the suit. Some suits may have an inner layer that is designed to reflect your own body heat back at you to add another layer of warmth.

As mentioned, a wetsuit won't keep you dry. In fact, water will get into the suit, but that is good because your body will warm that up and it becomes another layer of insulation. The outermost layer does repel water so that your suit does not absorb too much and add weight that can hinder your movement.

It is important that the suit be well made to help capture air and water without taking on too much or letting too much escape. Seams should be waterproofed. Stitching needs to be tight and also protected so extra water cannot get in. In addition, the legs, arms and the area around the neck should be tight fitting.

When choosing a suit, the fit is very important. You cannot get a suit that is too big or it will not function as it should. Special features designed to keep out water will fail if the suit does not fit properly. A wetsuit should fit like a second skin. It needs to be tight, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation or chaffs the skin. You want a good fit that allows you to move without gaps. Some suits may not be made as well as others and may make it very difficult to get one that conforms to your body, so keep that in mind. If you cannot get a good fit, then it is time to look at a different style or brand.

You also should make sure that you initially test the suit in normal conditions. You want to be sure it will hold up before the time has passed where you can return it. So, get in the water as soon as possible after buying it to give the suit a test. Make sure you are in the right temperature water and that you are doing the activities you would normally do when wearing the suit. Consider all the aspects before deciding the suit is good to go. This will help you to ensure that the suit you end up with is one you can use and be comfortable with for quite some time.

About Bare

Bare has been designing wetsuits and other related products for over 40 years. The company prides itself on being an expert in the field. By paying attention to everything from the patterns used to make the suits to new technology to improve the suits, the company works hard to provide high-quality products that exceed expectations. This brand is a higher-end option known for superior-quality products.

Bare Velocity Wetsuits

https://www.amazon.com

The Velocity wetsuits from Bare use three fabrics to create the best experience yet. These fabrics offer great stretch and insulation while also being light and well fitting. This is the first line of suits to use a stretch material to provide the ultimate fit. Having fabric that moves with you allows you to be more functional in the water. The suits in this line come in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm options with color choices of black, red, blue and pink. The Bare Velocity line of wetsuits come in both men's and women's styles. Let's take a look at each.

First up is the 3mm Velocity wetsuit for women. It features neoprene fabric with 100 percent super-stretch for fit and flexibility. Flatlock seams add to the durability, and comfort is enhanced thanks to seamless underarms and an adjustable collar. Additional features include the anti-flush guard and heavy duty back zipper. This wetsuit is rated for water temps starting at 60 degrees.

Next is the men's 3mm velocity wetsuit. Featuring the progressive full-stretch fabric to allow for a better fit and more flexibility, this wetsuit is designed to allow you to move better and get more from your experience. It is made from full-stretch nylon II neoprene with special stretch panels in important areas, such as the knees, for even more movement, comfort and flexibility. It has heavy-duty back zippers, flat-seam construction and a Glide-Skin collar. Velcro adjustments make fitting easy. The seamless underarms add to the overall feel of the suit and the rolled Glide-Skin feature at the wrists and ankles help create the right seal.

Pricing

The Bare brand is on the higher-end when it comes to pricing. These wetsuits are designed for serious use and made with high-quality materials, which is reflected in the pricing. While the Velocity line is not the most expensive, the prices are a bit higher than the average for suits like this. For the women's style, you will pay around $250. The men's retails for around $260.

How it compare

Another important aspect of smart shopping is comparing the item you are considering with similar items. We went ahead and did that for you. Here we will compare both the men's and women's options with two other brands to see how they stack up.

Bare Velocity Men's

https://www.amazon.com

Customers seem to really enjoy the overall quality of this suit, saying that it is very durable even in rougher use situations. It is comfortable to wear and easy to get on and off, which is a huge issue with some suits. Overall, the reviews were very positive, and customers seem incredibly happy with the purchase due to it being a very well-made suit.

Bare Men's 5mm Velocity Ultra Progressive Full-Stretch Wetsuit Full...
  • Velcro adjustment on collar features a booklet style SUIT SAVER to stop snags and catches
  • Seamless underarms for superior comfort when worn on its own, with an additional wet layer or with a BC
  • PROTEKT knee protection provides the next generation of abrasion and wear resistance

Roka Men's Maverick Comp II

https://www.amazon.com

The Roka suit also gets high ratings. Customers enjoy the overall quality feel of the suit, saying it has strong areas in the shoulders along with great flexibility that makes it feel better when wearing in the water. Customers also thought it was much better made than lower-priced suits, especially in the area of fit.

ROKA Maverick Pro Thermal Men's Wetsuit for Swimming and Triathlons -...
  • NO SHOULDER RESTRICTION: Patented ARMS-UP construction for zero shoulder restriction in our Maverick men's longsleeve...
  • CENTERLINE BUOYANCY: Patented RS2 Centerline Buoyancy for the smoothest, most natural rotation
  • Premium liners optimized for mechanics, stretch, support, comfort, and low absorption

Speedo Male Comp C-16

https://www.speedousa.com

This wetsuit from Speedo gets great reviews as well. Customers liked the quality of the material and the fit. They also praised the overall look saying it was sleek and stylish.

Speedo Men's Triathlon Wetsuit Full Sleeve Neoprene Proton
  • Y38 (Yamamoto cell neoprene rubber) - Our all rounder foam for entry level triathletes, providing flexibility and...
  • Body Positioning Regulator - Thicker panels strategically placed for more buoyancy and perfect adjustment of your swim...
  • Fuse Neck - Double sided SCS collar construction for a water tight neck and extreme comfort.

Bare Velocity Women's

https://www.amazon.com

Customers said many great things about how well made this wetsuit is. The only downside was the fit. While it fits great, the sizing runs small, which could be an issue. It is easy to get on and allows for great movement.

Bare 7mm Velocity Full Suit Women's Wetsuit Blue, 10
  • 100% Super-Stretch throughout the entire suit will stretch 200% more than standard neoprene
  • Better fit and mobility, due to its super stretch capabilities
  • Adjustable Velcro collar - helps keep cold out

O'Neill O'Riginal Fuze Women's

https://us.oneill.com

Customers liked that this suit fit well and felt it was comfortable. Its quality and material exceeded expectations. The price was also good, and customers thought the suit measures up well to higher-priced options. It also was praised for how well it repelled water and kept water out of the suit.

Roxy Syncro Series Women's

https://www.amazon.com

The Roxy wetsuit is praised for how well it keeps customers comfortable in colder waters. It has a good fit, but some feel it is a little snug. It does not fit the best for those who are curvy. It is also easy to put on, and customers enjoyed the color blocking design.

Roxy Women's Syncro Series 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit - Black - 4
  • 100% Stretch
  • Sealed
  • Full length back zipper w/ anti-flush gasket

Pros and Cons

The best way to really learn about a product is to see what others are saying. Learning the pros and cons of the Bare Velocity wetsuit can help you to know if this the right product for your needs. We took consumer reviews, expert opinions and our own research into consideration when creating the following list.

Overall

Pros

  • Comes in tall sizes
  • Comfortable stitching locations
  • Very thin and conforming
  • Keeps out water
  • Maintains body heat well
  • Very comfortable overall fit

Cons

  • Back zipper only goes part way down

Men's

Pros

  • Easy to get on and off
  • Very good at maintaining body temperature
  • Great flexibility

Cons

  • May be tight on larger chests

Women's

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to get into

Cons

  • Sizing runs small

Conclusion

Bare Velocity wetsuits area great whether you get a men's or women's style. They get top reviews from customers and have little to no complaints. This is why we gave it a 4.5/5 star rating.

When you are shopping for a wetsuit that is comfortable, you really cannot go wrong with choosing a Velocity from Bare. These suits are made with comfort in mind. The seams are carefully placed to allow for no chaffing or rubbing and to keep the suit water-tight. The fabric was chosen carefully to allow for the most movement. Plus, the suit fits like a second skin with an excellent design that hugs the body.

These suits also perform well. They stand up to rough diving conditions without excessive wear. They do an amazing job of keeping water out, so when you leave the water, you do not have water pouring out of the arms and legs. They help you to maintain your body heat within cold waters and help when you later get onto land since they stay fairly dry.

These suits are made to make it simple to move about. Regardless of what you are doing in the water, you should be able to do it comfortably when wearing a Bare Velocity wetsuit. Whatever activity you are focusing on will get all your attention because the suit will not bind, pull, rub or take on too much water. It really is conforming and well made.

If you have had issues with wetsuits in the past, then get ready for total satisfaction. You should take care when choosing the right size to ensure fit, but other than that, Bare has handled everything for you by creating a very well-made suit that functions exactly as you need it to. We highly recommend this suit to anyone who needs protection in cold water and wants the best possible dive experience with a suit that won't weigh them down or get in the way.

Rating: 4.5/5

A Travel Guide To The World’s Deepest Pools

world's deepest pools

The world has many natural wonders that are beautiful and unique, and some of them even appear dangerous. For any adventurous traveler, deep freshwater pools are enticing and fun to explore. The sheer depth of these pools can be hard to imagine, but with this travel guide, you can learn about five of the deepest natural pools around the world.

How This Guide Works

Not many people have heard of these amazing springs and natural pools, so this guide serves as an informational guide. In this article, you’ll learn about each pool, where they are located, and why they are so unique. This guide also includes specific details that can assist travelers when they visit the pools.

Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

diving in the Blue Hole

On the east side of Albuquerque lies a hidden gem called Blue Hole. This natural pool was created thousands of years ago with the help of a natural phenomenon called the Santa Rosa Sink. The main lake goes down 80 feet in depth, but it also has a series of cave passages that go as low as 194 feet. This body of water may be the world’s deepest pool that we know of. The clear, blue water contrasts the dry land around it and was sought after by all types of people in the past.

Distinctive Features

This lake is abnormally clear. This is due to the constant inflow of underground water, which completely renews the water every 6 hours. This keeps the water pure and clean and allows observers to see as far down as 100 feet. A few more features include the following:

  • The water has a constant temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It is one of Seven Sister Lakes that are connected by a series of underwater caves and passages.
  • It’s within a two-hour drive for 80 percent of New Mexico residents.

Useful Information

woman texting
Although Blue Hole was officially declared a national fish hatchery in 1932, the oasis soon became a recreation area. Recently, it has expanded and flourished into the Blue Hole Dive and Conference Center. People come from all over the world to cliff jump and scuba dive in the water. If you have scuba gear and a license, you can explore the depths of the water. If you don’t have any equipment but enjoy thrilling adventures, there are many beautiful rocks and cliffs around the hole that you can jump from.


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There is typically a $5 parking fee, but the hole is free to explore. However, it’s important to be careful because the water is so deep. Some scuba divers have gotten injured exploring the underground caves, and many of the dangerous passageways have been filled in or blocked. If you stay safe and aware, this can be an exciting adventure. The diving center has bathrooms. There is an official website with more details and information.

Cenote Ik Kil, Tinum Municipality, Yucatán, Mexico

diving in Cenote Ik Kil

This breathtaking area was once a cave, but the limestone ceiling collapsed due to constant erosion. Now it’s a beautiful, open pool that resides 85 feet below ground level. The entire ceiling is exposed to the sky and has a carved stairway that leads to the water. The pool is about 130 feet deep and is known to be one of the top ten most incredible pools in the world.

Distinctive Features

Delicate vines hang from the opening and give way to the crystal blue waters below. Cenote Ik Kil is a unique natural pool that is known for its incredible beauty. Along with trickling waterfalls and vegetation along the edges of the pool, black catfish swim in the clear water. This lake has a lot of history, as well. Archaeologists have determined that Mayans used this cenote for both ritual services and enjoyment.

Useful Information

woman reading magazine in the middle of the street

The water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. There is a small restaurant nearby as well as palapa homes for tourists. The cenote is open to the public and invites all visitors to come and enjoy the water. This area is often one of the many bus destinations of tourist trips, mostly because it is only three miles away from the famous Chichen Itza, which is a spectacular pyramid-built centuries ago.

Jacob’s Well, Wimberley, Texas

swimming in Jacob’s Well

This pool can be easily missed, but it is certainly worth a traveler’s time and effort. Jacob’s Well reaches depths of more than 120 feet and stretches for almost a mile. It was first officially discovered in the 1850’s, although native dwellers knew about it long before then.

Distinctive Features

This body of water is gigantic. However, the 12-feet wide mouth of this spring seems too small for a pool of this enormous size. Once you enter the mouth of the water, it drops down vertically for about 30 feet before slanting downwards through hundreds of limestone passageways. It’s the main source of water for Cypress Creek, although people love exploring the water.

Useful Information

hands using ipad

There are many jump-off points and places to swim and dive. There have been several scuba diving fatalities in the past, so only research professionals can explore the many underground cavities and tunnels. People can visit the area and swim or wade from May 1st through October 1st, and reservations are recommended. You can pay right at the location for a two-hour slot.

Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman

swimming in Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman

For years, locals thought that this natural wonder was created by a meteorite. Its Arabic name, Hawaiyat Najm, translates to “The Falling Star,” which adds to the magic and beauty of this place. Thousands of years of erosion caused the limestone surface to dissolve and collapse, creating this 86-foot-deep pool of water.

Distinctive Features

The lake caused a depression in the flat land, making it an interesting sight to behold. Many people are amazed by the spectacular view. The pool is also only a third of a mile away from the sea, which explains why the turquoise water is a combination of both fresh and salt water. Diving and swimming are both allowed in the sinkhole.

Useful Information

travel map plan

Because so many people like to explore this location, concrete steps were created to make the descent easier and safer. You can choose to swim or dive in the pool. Bathrooms are also available at the entrance of the surrounding park.

More Noteworthy Pools

Not every natural pool is as deep as the ones above. Although these amazing bodies of water aren’t all known for their depth, these honorable mentions have some amazing features that are worth recognizing.

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Probang, North Central Laos

Hamilton Pool, Austin, Texas

Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Grotta Della Poesia, Roca Vecchia, Italy

Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas

Final Thoughts

There are many breathtaking bodies of water to choose from. Each is beautiful in its own way and has many distinctive features. Although you might have to travel far, natural pools are great destinations for the following two reasons.

  • Natural pools are stunning. Just think about it. These locations were created by erosion, which took thousands and thousands of years to form. Viewing and exploring the natural waterfalls, sinkholes, and collapsed caverns often give travelers a sense of awe and wonder. If you’re looking to explore somewhere that is completely natural and breathtaking, these pools are great options.
  • Swimming pools are interactive. Not only can you enjoy the scenic views of the natural body of water, but you can swim and play in it too. The deepest pools can be thrilling to swim in and are great choices for those who like exploring the outdoors.

If you choose to travel to one or more of the pools in this guide, you will likely enjoy the beauty and fun of your destination.

Brand Buying Guide: Mares Scuba Reviewed And Compared

mares scuba

Scuba is an exciting athletic pursuit. For a dynamic dive, you must have the right combination of education, training, experience and equipment. Whether you are looking for your first set of gear or replacing an old, damaged or ineffective component, you may be thinking about purchasing equipment from Mares Scuba.

In this brand buying guide, we take an in-depth look at Mares. Our goal is to provide you with honest, reliable and useful information to help you make a smart buying decision. Continue reading for answers to some common questions about Mares.

Who Is Mares Scuba?

Mares is a manufacturer of scuba equipment. Founded in 1949, the company initially produced diving masks and spearguns. Today, however, the company makes a complete line of underwater equipment. After merging with Dacor, Mares is one of the largest manufacturers of scuba equipment on the planet. The company’s website is www.mares.com.

What Products Does Mares Scuba Sell?

As mentioned, Mares has a complete line of scuba equipment. The list of products includes regulators, computers, instruments, BCs, suits, fins, masks, snorkels and accessories. We discuss specific products in each of these categories in greater detail below. You should know, however, that the focus of this brand buying guide is scuba gear. If you want, you can purchase Mares-branded freediving and spearfishing equipment.

Mares Scuba Regulators

Mares Scuba Regulators

https://www.amazon.com

Mares sells first-stage, second-stage and auxiliary scuba regulators. The company’s collection of regulators is extensive. With a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and materials, Mares has something for every type of diver. The most popular regulators feature a compact design and technopolymer construction. Even though Mares regulators get the job done, they don’t cost a fortune. Unlike other equipment from popular brands, such as SCUBAPRO and Atomic Aquatics, Mares gear is moderately priced.

Mares MV Octopus Diving Regulator
  • Lightweight with a minimalist compact design
  • Ambidextrous design for ease of use
  • Reliable 2nd stage downstream demand valve

Mares Scuba Dive Computers

Mares Scuba Dive Computers

https://www.amazon.com

To dive safely and accurately, you need access to essential information. A dive computer automatically tracks your dives and alerts you to decompression limits. Mares sells several types of dive computers. Depending on your diving style, you choose either a watch-style or console-style computer. These devices are available at a variety of price points. They feature modern algorithms and ergonomic designs to help you dive with confidence.

Mares Scuba Instruments

Mares Scuba Instruments

https://www.amazon.com

Pressure gauges, compasses and other instruments are critical for underwater divers to stay informed during dives. Mares instruments rely on both technology and durable construction. Analog styling is easy to read, which resilient casings protect instruments from punishment during extreme conditions. Most Mares instruments integrate seamlessly with your existing gear. As such, you may want to upgrade your instruments to better ones from Mares. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase a comprehensive interface from the company.

Sale
Mares Mission 1 Compact Pressure Gauge Imperial (PSI)
  • Brand NEW with full Manufactures Warranty!
  • -1

BCs

mares bcd

https://www.amazon.com

Divers wear buoyancy compensators to establish neutral buoyancy underwater. They also use these pieces of equipment for positive buoyancy on the surface. Interestingly, many manufacturers of scuba equipment don’t make BCs. Mares does. The company’s stabilizer line includes nine BCs. You can also choose accessories to improve your existing BC. These include weights, attachment kits, air trim and other necessary products.

Mares Prime Bc Weight Integrated BCD
  • Comfort and Style in a Amazing BCD
  • 1-Aluminum and 2-Heavy-Duty Techno-Polymer D-Rings for Accessory Attachment
  • Torso Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Adjustable Chest Strap, Waist Strap with Adjustable Cummerbund

Suits

https://www.amazon.com

While all pieces of scuba equipment are important, you must have a suit that fits well and keeps you comfortable during your dive. Mares has you covered. The brand has several innovative suits on the market today. They also sell hoods and boots. If you want something to wear under your suit, the company has a full line of well-made products. Finally, if you simply want to rep the brand, you can choose from jackets, hoodies, t-shirts or polos and show off your passion for all things scuba.

No products found.

Fins

Mares fins

https://www.amazon.com

To move around underwater, you need a good set of fins. Mares makes some full-footed and open-heeled ones. The designers at Mares have clearly put a lot of thought into fin construction. As such, regardless of your mobility style, you can likely find the perfect pair of fins to get the most out of your dive. If you are worried about ankle or leg strain, you can opt for Mares fins with hinge technology or vented webbing. Moreover, if you need to buy a heel strap or another fin component, Mares likely makes the right pieces for you.

Mares Superchannel Full Foot Scuba Fins, 8/9, Red
  • Three-Channel "Super-Channel" Blade
  • Tecralene/Thermoplastic Rubber for Superior Performance
  • Rugged, Durable Construction

Masks and Snorkels

mares Masks and Snorkels

https://www.amazon.com

Finally, Mares has an impressive collection of masks and snorkels. These products come in a variety of styles, materials, shapes and fits, allowing you to choose the right mask or snorkel for meeting your underwater goals. Impressively, Mares doesn’t limit its masks, snorkels or other products to a single color. On the contrary, the company makes products in a variety of shades, allowing you to pick the components that best match your existing gear.

Mares Calypso Mask Snorkel Combo, Lime
  • Low volume mask construction for great comfort and fit
  • Single lens mask for a wide field of vision
  • Tempered safety glass lens has exceptional clarity

Where Can You Buy Mares Scuba Equipment?

scuba equipment store

If you have decided to buy Mares gear, you are in for a treat. The company’s products are innovative, high-quality and affordable. Before you purchase your new gear, though, you need to have a plan. Mares does not offer its products for sale directly, so you shouldn’t try to order gear off the company’s website. Instead, you must find an official Mares dealer.

To locate an official Mares dealer, you must use the company’s website. In a simple drop-down menu, you can see which scuba retailers are authorized to sell Mares products. We recommend looking there first to be sure you have full access to licensed merchandise and warranties. Fortunately, there are dozens of authorized Mares dealers. There is a good chance your local scuba center or dive shop sells the company’s products.

You can also purchase Mares gear from a third-party online seller, such as Amazon. If you choose to go that route, be careful to research the vendor. You must be sure the seller is authorized to sell Mares products. If it isn’t, you may not be able to seek protection under the company’s warranty. You may also not have a ready place to service your Mares equipment. We discuss warranty information in greater detail later in the brand buying guide.

How Is Mares Scuba Customer Support?

scuba divers forming a circle

Unlike many other athletic pursuits, scuba diving requires exact fit and specific equipment. Fortunately, Mares does a good job of educating consumers on what they need to buy. The company’s website has a variety of size charts, product specification and other information to help you make a smart purchase. If you choose to buy your Mares gear from an authorized dealer, there is a good chance the store will have the same information in-house. If not, check the Mares website before you complete your purchase.

Those who need to interact with Mares customer service generally have a positive experience. The company has a toll-free number to put you in touch with responsive representatives. If you prefer to seek information through a virtual platform, you can submit a ticket on the company’s website. Response times tend to be short, and information is usually comprehensive.

Does Mares Scuba Have a Warranty Policy?

guarantee tag

Few things are more frustrating than purchasing scuba gear only to have it wear out or break completely after just a couple dives. If you decide to invest in products from Mares, you benefit from the company’s limited two-year warranty. As long as you buy your gear from an official Mares dealer, the company pledges to repair or replace any defective products. To take advantage of the warranty, you can’t misuse anything you buy. You must also be sure you stick to recommended service intervals if you want the peace of mind that comes from the Mares warranty.

The company asks customers not to contact customer service representatives directly. Rather, if you have a problem with your gear, you must return it to the authorized dealer where you purchased it. The dealer then corresponds with Mares to fulfill the warranty. While we would rather the company had representatives standing by to assist you with product needs, we don’t think this process is overly burdensome. We certainly are impressed with the term and conditions of the warranty.

The Verdict: Mares Scuba Makes Some Excellent Diving Gear

We know scuba equipment can be unbelievably expensive. When you are buying the gear you need to meet your underwater objectives, you must consider the price. Fortunately, products from Mares tend to have competitive price tags. While the gear at Mares isn’t necessarily budget-friendly, you can be certain you are getting high-quality products.

Perhaps the best aspect of Mares is its extensive inventory of scuba gear. If you want all your equipment to have the same brand, you can achieve that goal by purchasing Mares products. From wetsuits to regulators, the company has everything you need to dive safely, confidently and fashionably.

Mares is a dominant brand for a good reason. The company pays special attention to the interests of its customers. With a limited two-year warranty and responsive customer service, Mares also takes care of divers after they purchase products. While you may find equipment from other manufacturers you like better, we don’t think you are likely to discover a more complete collection of top-notch components. Simply put, Mares Scuba makes some excellent diving gear.

The Ultimate Travel Guide To Green Lake, Austria

green lake austria

The world is full of stunning natural wonders. You can travel miles to see the unbelievable size of the Grand Canyon, or you can go to the other side of the world to walk across the Great Wall of China. But have you ever heard of the world-famous disappearing lake?

Green Lake, Austria is a beautiful area that seems almost magical. In the winter, the shimmering lake shrinks and reveals a grassy park with a great view of the mountains. However, everything changes in the spring when ice from the towering peaks begins to melt. The runoff fills the park and completely submerges it. The water can get as deep as 30 feet and can completely cover what was once a dry landscape. As the end of the hot season nears, the water shrinks and stays that way for the entire winter. The cycle repeats itself each year.

This strange yet beautiful area is a great place to explore any time of the year. This travel guide can give you a general idea of what Green Lake, Austria, is, how to get there, and what you can do in the area.

How It Works

The lake sits at the bottom of the Hochschwab Mountains, which encircle the valley. In the winter, the clear, green water is only 3-7 feet deep. This reveals a beautiful park with benches, bridges, and plenty of hiking trails. However, when the temperature rises, snow and ice from the mountains begin to melt. In the hottest parts of the year, fresh water floods the valley. The lake becomes much larger, although the depth of the water can change due to the ranging amount of snowmelt.

What Makes Green Lake so Awesome

green lake

If you love the vibrant colors that nature can offer, you’ll love Green Lake, Austria. Also called Grüner See, this place is surrounded by forests and mountains. It’s a peaceful, serene location. However, many people think the lake is the prettiest part because of its turquoise-green color. The beautiful hue appears so green because of the mineral deposits in the water. The grassy bottom of the lake also adds to its vibrant color.

Many people have even said that Grüner See is the prettiest lake in the world. However, there is so much more to this natural wonder. From May to June, the park is completely submerged. Under the water, you can find park benches, bridges, and trees that are normally dry for most of the year. This underwater park is a surreal experience, with fish swimming through branches and leaves.

Although green, the water is very clear. This allows visitors to look into the lake and distinctly see the submerged park. It seems almost unreal to look into the clear body of water and see fish swimming in between the park benches.

Why People Love It

sunset at lake

One of the biggest perks of this destination is that it is a great place to visit any time of the year. In the summer, people enjoy seeing the lake and the submerged trees. The water is very clear, and you can see everything that is in the water from above. It’s a phenomenon that is very rare and unique. If you plan on visiting during this time of year, consider going up to see the sunrise or sunset. The reflecting colors on the water and the beautiful sky above won’t disappoint travelers.


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In the winter, you can grab your hiking boots and travel through the valley that is now dry. Although there still is a small portion of the lake still there, you can go and see the trees, benches, and grass that are no longer submerged in water. Along with exploring the valley, the forests and mountains have many trails that are well marked and fun to explore.

How To Get There

This disappearing lake is in Austria southwest of Vienna. It’s basically in the center of the country, near a town called Tragoess. This resort town is only five miles from the lake. Hostels, inns, and guest cottages are available in the town for visitors and tourists.

Once you arrive in Tragoess, getting to the lake isn’t complicated. Buses can take tourists up to the lake, or you can rent a car and leave it in one of the car parks around the valley. From here, you can walk directly to the lake. There are also many trails around the area that lead to the outskirts of the water.

Other Activities Nearby

trail biking

This area of the world is also known as the “green heart” of Austria, due to the many green landscapes and natural beauty. Because the area around Grüner See is so versatile, Tragoess has many recreational outlets that allow you to enjoy the outdoors. In the wintertime, there are various resorts open that allow you to ski, snowshoe, and dog sled along the trails. A few specific attractions in or near Tragoess include the following:

  • Erzberg Adventure Park
  • Lurgrotte Cave
  • Teichalm
  • Planneralm Ski resort

Although camping is not allowed in the Green Lake area, you can find campsites nearby in Tragoess. There are also many viewing sights around that let you see exotic plants, animals, and rock formations.

Trails and Hikes

If you want a vacation full of outdoorsy events and exercise, the “green heart” of Austria is a great location. With great scenery, trails, and plenty of activity, this area is a hidden gem. Some of the most popular hikes near Green Lake include the following:

Green Lake Trail

Bodenbauer-Sackwiesensee Trail

Grüner See to the Leobner Hütte Trail

Reviews of Green Lake

green lake daytime

Those who have explored this magical area agree that it is beautiful, serene, and almost ethereal. The combination of forests, towering mountains, and the green lake make it a beautiful destination. Some people recommend walking along the shoreline and taking a walk around the lake for the best views.

Because the lake is so different in the summer months compared to the winter months, it’s important to note that there are some distinct differences depending on the season you choose to go during. In the summer, you’ll have great views of the green lake. The water level will be high, and the temperature will be nice.

On the other hand, the lake will be very small in the winter. Instead, you’ll be able to see parts of the park that are normally under water. People who have gone during the winter have complimented the beauty of the landscape during this season. They also have said that there aren’t as many tourists, which can result in a quieter and more serene visit.

A Note About Scuba Diving

scuba diving

One important thing to keep in mind about Grüner See is that water activity is strictly prohibited. In 2016, Austria banned scuba diving, boating, and dogs from entering the lake. Before this time, scuba diving was one of the main reasons why people visited the lake. However, Tragoess residents were afraid that algae from these water activities would make the lake lose its clear and green qualities. Now, visitors can’t enter the water, but they can walk along the shore.


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If you were wanting to explore the waters of Green Lake, you’ll have to wait until they remove the ban. There has been speculation that this might occur. In the winter months, most algae are killed off because the temperature is so cold. Still, for the moment, Grüner See cannot be touched. Luckily there are many pictures on the internet of the surreal underwater park.

Final Thoughts

Green Lake, Austria may be the perfect travel destination for you. Along with stunning alpine and forest views, this naturally clear lake is worth being admired. The green hues of the water are wonderful to look at, too. You can spend hours hiking along the lake, sitting on the shore, or exploring other parts of Austria’s green heart.

Taking time to see the disappearing lake can be a great decision on your part. Approximately 100,000 people visit the lake each year and enjoy the scenic views that define this magical location. And hopefully, the water ban will be lifted soon so that people can play in the waters and explore the underwater park.

Although Green Lake isn’t in a high-traffic area, there are places, such as Tragoess, that can accommodate you and your fellow travelers. With plenty of places to stay along with resorts and other activities, you can make your trip to Grüner See worthwhile.

How To Hold Your Breath Longer: Tips And Tricks

how to hold your breath longer
free diving or apnea diving emerged from the depths of the sea with fish in the foreground

Being an avid swimmer and diver, you know how to hold your breath. There is a part of you that would like to be able to do better and go longer without having to surface for a breath. You've been scuba diving for a little while, but freediving is starting to catch your eye. You always enjoy the freedom and independence snorkeling affords. You can't imagine what that would be like on a much larger and deeper scale.

You realize to be able to free dive, you will have to get a lot better at holding your breath for a lot longer time. Some free divers can go minutes, some upwards of five minutes, before having to take a breath. Imagine being able to stay submerged for minutes, taking in the sites of the ocean around you, not having to surface before catching a glimpse of an elusive puffer fish you believe is lurking just a little deeper.


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Learning how to hold your breath longer is a skill that can be achieved through patience, diligence and exercise. How is it possible for a human to maintain a single breath for minutes without passing out? What kind of practice, aside from the obvious, can you expect to do to be able to hold your breath longer? In order to learn the safe and proper way to keep a single breath for a more extended period, it is first necessary to go over some of the science behind it.

How Can a Human Hold a Breath for So Long Without Causing Damage?

Since you were young, you've heard about all the harmful effects not being able to breathe has on the body. Aside from the obvious – death – there are some injuries the body suffers when oxygen has been cut off for too long. You often hear about these things concerning accidents, such as drownings, suffocation and traumatic events. What exactly happens when the body is cut off from oxygen for too long?

Generalized Hypoxia

diver under the water

Ironically, you may have heard the term hypoxic gases when you first learned how to scuba dive. Hypoxia is the effect of oxygen deprivation on the brain. It usually occurs in high altitudes where the ratio of oxygen is limited. In scuba diving, it may happen when the ratio of oxygen delivery isn't up to par. This can occur when you suffer a malfunction with your rebreather. The effects of hypoxia are quick-acting and hard to recognize unless you are trained to do so.

Some of the general symptoms are:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Nausea

All of these things occur because the brain puts the body in essential survival mode. Once it detects oxygen has ceased flowing with regularity, and in healthy levels, it starts to shut down blood flow to non-essential organs. This shut down first occurs to the extremities, hence, the reason for the tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

The next thing that starts to occur is typically an onset of fatigue. This happens because the heart rate is slowed, natural breathing isn't happening, and the brain is fighting to divert every bit of oxygen in the blood to keep it and the heart pumping. Even people who survive oxygen deprivation may lose consciousness at some point. If you pass out while in a precarious situation, such as being underwater, this could have deadly consequences.

Hallucinations and lightheadedness occur when the brain is, essentially, struggling to stay alive and it too starts to reduce its function. You, therefore, can't think straight. Things that made sense don't, and you may begin to have visions. Sometimes, as in the case of high-altitudes, you may start to feel capable of doing things you would typically know you can't do. In the water, this might manifest as the belief that you can breathe underwater. If you aren't trained in the signs and symptoms of hypoxia, holding your breath may have deadly consequences.

How Can You Train Yourself to Hold Your Breath Longer?

woman snorkeling

If you are serious about wanting to free dive, one of the first things you should do is go to some training classes. Even if you are an experienced scuba diver, it is essential to learn some of the skills necessary to ensure a safe and successful freediving experience. Scuba and freediving are not the same things. You would not expect a free diver to know how to scuba dive automatically. The opposite is also true.

Always remember, never dive without a trained partner; don't hyperventilate (not good at any time, let alone underwater); and, Make slow and steady progress. Freediving takes time, and there is no reason to push yourself too fast too soon. Doing so can result in catastrophic and permanent damage.

In your basic class, your instructor will give you some tips and tricks to try in order to build up your ability to hold your breath for more extended periods of time.

Other than these basic principles, there are other techniques to practice.

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath on Dry Land?

woman breathing

One of the first things you should do is assess how long you can initially hold your breath. These findings will help you develop a good baseline, and it may also help predict how long it will take you to reach your ultimate goal.

To take your first measurement:

If you were able to hold your breath for a minute, you might be able to train yourself to hold it for three minutes in a month's time. If you could already hold your breath for two minutes, you can expect to be able to hold it for five minutes or higher within a month.

Develop Your Technique

woman having yoga in nature lake

One of the hardest things to learn is how to hold your breath effectively.

Relaxation: In preparing for your session, concentrate on relaxation techniques. Practicing yoga and meditation are essential in successfully holding your breath longer. All of your muscles must be completely relaxed and disengaged. They will use oxygen if they are active in any way. Your mind must also be relaxed. Find something to focus on that calms you.

Breathing: Breathing must be regular and then move at a slower pace. The more relaxed you get, the more comfortable your breathing is. Concentrate on your breath. Many meditation sessions will have you focus on your breath. Do that now.

Final Breaths: It is important to work up to the lengthier breath holds. This should be a three-breath process. The first breath should be held at 75% lung capacity. The second breath should be the same but include a 100% expulsion of the air. The third breath is your hold breath and will be at maximum lung capacity.

Keep your mind free of stress. It is a good idea to find something soothing you can concentrate on. The most effective way to learn how to hold your breath longer is to practice how to relax mentally and physically.

Interval Exercise

man holding breath underwater

After you've got your breathing rhythm and your relaxation practice down pat, it's a good idea to start trying to train your body how to handle oxygen deprivation. One of the critical elements is teaching your muscles what to do. When muscles are deprived of oxygen, they start to burn glycogen and phosphates, thus preserving any oxygen already in the body. Pushing yourself through interval training with short bursts of high energy cardio can help train your muscles to repeat this process. Some people prefer to do these short bursts while holding their breath. While not required, you can understand the motivation behind it.

Practice Makes Perfect

man staying under the water

It's a good idea to get on a training schedule. You don't want to cause harm by doing too much too quickly. Remember, slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to all things dive-related. Put yourself on a manageable schedule of breath holding, relaxation techniques and exercise. Notice all these things are done on land. While it may be mentally harder to hold your breath longer on land because you know you can breathe at any time, it is much safer. Don't push yourself to dive into the pool to try your techniques until you have mastered the relaxation portion.

One super important thing to remember is after you've been holding your breath, don't attempt to exhale unless you can immediately inhale. Meaning, don't practice slowly exhaling underwater because your body's immediate reaction is going to be to inhale. On land, this is one thing, but underwater, it will have dire consequences. Learning how to hold your breath longer, like many things, hinges on technique, practice and diligence.

 

It’s a good idea to get on a training schedule. You don’t want to cause harm by doing too much too quickly. Remember, slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to all things dive-related. Put yourself on a manageable schedule of breath holding, relaxation techniques and exercise. Notice all these things are done on land. While it may be mentally harder to hold your breath longer on land because you know you can breathe at any time, it is much safer. Don’t push yourself to dive into the pool to try your techniques until you have mastered the relaxation portion.

One super important thing to remember is after you’ve been holding your breath, don’t attempt to exhale unless you can immediately inhale. Meaning, don’t practice slowly exhaling underwater because your body’s immediate reaction is going to be to inhale. On land, this is one thing, but underwater, it will have dire consequences. Learning how to hold your breath longer, like many things, hinges on technique, practice and diligence.