Exploring the Benefits of Diving Enriched Air Nitrox

is there a better gas you could be diving with?

At Aotearoa Dive, we have long been advocates for diving with Enriched Air Nitrox and over the years have introduced and trained many divers in its safe use and the many benefits it can bring. In this blog we will explore the range of benefits that diving with enriched air nitrox offers to divers. Are you ready to begin diving the voodoo gas?


Scuba diving is a thrilling and captivating activity that allows individuals to explore the beauty of the underwater world. One of the many advancements in scuba diving is the use of enriched air nitrox (EANx) as a breathing gas. EANx, also known as enriched air or nitrox, is a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen with a higher oxygen content than normal air.

  • Extended Bottom Time:

One of the most significant advantages of diving with EANx is the ability to extend bottom time. Unlike traditional diving with compressed air, which consists of approximately 21% oxygen, recreational EANx can have oxygen concentrations ranging from 22% to 40%. The reduced nitrogen content in EANx decreases the risk of nitrogen narcosis and allows divers to spend more time underwater without reaching their no-decompression limit by utilising enriched air nitrox, divers can plan longer dives, explore more extensive areas, and have a greater opportunity to witness marine life and other underwater wonders. The extended bottom time enhances the overall diving experience and satisfaction for both recreational and professional divers.

  • Reduced Surface Interval Times:

Another advantage of diving with enriched air nitrox is the reduced surface interval times required between repetitive dives. The reduced nitrogen absorption during a dive with EANx means that less time is needed for off-gassing compared to dives with compressed air. This allows divers to spend less time waiting on the surface between dives, making diving with enriched air nitrox more efficient and time-effective. As a result, divers can potentially fit in more dives during a single day (of course, always plan all of your dives for the day to ensure you are not reaching you NDL limit), further maximising their time underwater.

  • Enhanced Safety:

We are all about safety and if there is one way to make your dives safer (especially on deeper dives or days of multiple dives), then enriched air nitrox is essential. 

Diving with EANx offers enhanced safety benefits. Nitrogen narcosis, also known as "the rapture of the deep," is a condition that affects divers at increased depths due to the elevated partial pressure of nitrogen in the breathing gas. Enriched air nitrox reduces the percentage of nitrogen in the gas mixture, thereby minimizing the risk of nitrogen narcosis. This allows divers to maintain clearer thinking and make sound judgments at greater depths.

Additionally, enriched air nitrox can reduce the risk of decompression sickness (DCS). By reducing the nitrogen absorption, divers have a decreased chance of exceeding their no-decompression limits and can make multi-level dives more safely.

  • Faster Nitrogen Off-gassing:

When diving with EANx, divers experience faster nitrogen off-gassing compared to regular air diving. This faster off-gassing helps reduce the risk of decompression sickness, allowing divers to ascend without the need for lengthy decompression safety stops. The ability to ascend efficiently and safely improves divers' overall comfort and minimizes the time spent decompressing after a dive.

  • Reduced Fatigue and Longer Bottom Times:

Enriched air nitrox can also contribute to reduced fatigue during and after a dive. By breathing a gas mixture with a higher oxygen content, divers may experience less fatigue, as their bodies do not have to work as hard to eliminate excess nitrogen from their system. This reduced fatigue allows divers to fully enjoy their underwater adventures and increases overall diving satisfaction.

  • Advance you understanding of diving and dive theory

You don't know what you don't know. By completing the SSI enriched air nitrox training program your personnal understanding of diving and dive theory will be taken up to a whole new level resulting in you becoming a much better and safer diver.

Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself!


Diving with enriched air nitrox offers numerous benefits that enhance the diving experience and increase safety. The extended bottom time, reduced surface interval times, enhanced safety, faster nitrogen off-gassing, reduced fatigue, and longer bottom times are just some of the advantages divers can enjoy by utilizing enriched air nitrox.

Whether you are a recreational diver or a seasoned professional, embracing enriched air nitrox can undoubtedly elevate your diving endeavors and open up a whole new world of underwater exploration.

Why is it still sometimes referred to as "Voodoo Gas"?

In its early days when Enriched Air Nitrox was first introduced to a larger global audience of divers, many were sceptical and even the major training agencies banned its use due to believing it could result in an increase of diving related accidents. It therefor became known by detractors using less complimentary terms, such as "devil gas" or "voodoo gas" 

As more and more divers began using enriched air nitrox, the anticipated increase in diving accidents did not happen, in fact the opposite did and diving related accidents (especially cases of decompression sickness) actually began to decrease. It did not take too long for the training agencies to recognise this and one by one they buckled, introducing enriched air nitrox training to their curriculum of training programs being offered. 

To date the enriched air nitrox program is most training agencies biggest selling specialty training program...

If you would like to learn more about enriched air nitrox click HERE & HERE

If you would like to get certified to safely use enriched air nitrox CLICK HERE


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