To ensure you have a great day out on the water, it’s critical you know how to prevent sea sickness when you’re spearfishing.
Motion sickness can ruin a perfectly good day on the boat. Not to mention the laughs your friends will have at your expense, over your inability to keep your lunch down. For anyone who is heading out on a boat, or on the water, you need to know how to prevent sea sickness before it happens. Because it’s not fatal, but it sure isn’t fun.
In addition to the nausea, getting sea sick will likely cause you to vomit, and even break out in cold sweats and headaches. Keep reading to understand how you can beat sea sickness before you head out on the water.
Max Spearfishing is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission for purchases using our links. Click here to learn more.
How to Prevent Sea Sickness When You’re Spearfishing
Being sea sick is often described as riding a roller coaster that just doesn’t stop. The motion of the boat on the waves confuses your body, and sea sickness is the result. Because your feet think you’re on solid ground (the boat). But your inner ear feels the movement. Your body knows something’s not right.
Rocking back and forth from the waves confuses your brain, because your senses don’t add up. So your body triggers a natural reaction. Or in other words, starts to freak out. The symptoms you start experiencing are a direct result of this, and you get sea sick.
What’s the secret to not getting seasick?
Now, there are a bunch of studies on sea sickness. In short, pretty much everyone on the planet is susceptible to sea sickness (to a degree). That is, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. In the right conditions, everyone will feel the effects. But some people have a higher sensitivity to it. It’s just the way it is.
The good news, is that you can do things to regain control. To prevent sea sickness, or at least, minimize the symptoms you’re feeling. Keep reading and I’ll spill the beans on how I’ve managed to spend thousands of hours on the water without falling victim to sea sickness myself.
Take meds to prevent sea sickness
One of the most important things you can do to prevent sea sickness, is to take your medication before you hit the water. There are many different types of sea sickness medication, from over the counter meds to prescriptions only your doctor can give out. What’s critical though, is you take your meds beforehand. Usually 12 to 24 hours before you get on the boat. This way the medicine is already in your system, and has the best chance to prevent sea sickness.
Antiemetic drugs are what you’re looking for, as these are designed to prevent nausea. For me, Dramamine is the best. It’s works by blocking sensory-nerve transmission. Or in plain English, stops your inner ear from being able to tell your brain you’re moving. Without the movement, you can prevent sea sickness symptoms from even starting. Bonine is another med you can try, and I’ve even got a friend who swears by Benadryl (the antihistamine). Just make sure you speak to your doctor before taking anything.
No products found.
Prevent sea sickness with medicinal patches
Of course, If you’re not a fan of taking a pill, you have other ways to take sea sickness medication. Many companies produce patches to help prevent sea sickness, that you apply to the hairless skin behind your ear. Typically you need to stick this on 4 hours before heading out on the boat, and leave in place throughout the day. These work much like the medication you can take, and reduce the activity of the nerves in your inner ear. That way, your inner ear is less able to convince your brain something is wrong.
Again, please do consult your doctor before taking any medication to prevent sea sickness. But I’ve had great results with this product:
No products found.
Get a good sleep the night before you go spearfishing
Getting out for a day on the boat is no small feat. We usually get up at the crack of dawn for the best conditions, and you want a good night’s sleep. My biggest piece of advice before you spend the day on the boat spearfishing is to be well rested. That means no hangover, and to have put in at least 4 or 5 hours of solid sleep. Being tired puts added stress on your body, which makes you much more susceptible to sea sickness when you’re on the water. Make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep, so you can enjoy the day on the boat.
Plus, spearfishing while you’re hungover or tired is a recipe for disaster. Stay safe, and don’t do this.
Use acupuncture wristbands to prevent sea sickness
Now, I’ll admit. I was a little skeptical of this technique to prevent sea sickness. But it worked wonders for my wife, who generally gets queasy when we’re on the boat in rough conditions. It’s actually quite good at keeping your mind from the motion sickness that’s creeping up on you. In short, it’s a stretchy bracelet that sits on your wrist. Right where your watch would go. On the band, is a bead that presses into the underside of your wrist. It works, using proven principles of acupuncture and pressure point therapy.
Just make sure you get a FDA approved product, like the Sea-Band. This is the one my wife and I tested, and she wears this now every time we take the boat out. For me, I like the constant pressure and how tight it is on my wrist. It doesn’t move out of place, and tucks in nicely under my wetsuit.
No products found.
Keep your eyes focused on the horizon
One trick that I find helps is to get a clear view of the horizon. This helps your eyes and brain sync together, and balance everything out. If you’re below deck, find a spot in the centre of the boat and facing forward. Then look out over the side towards the horizon. Doing this engages your peripheral vision. You’ll start to see the swell of the waves coming, and your brain will match the motion you’re feeling in your body. This is one of the best ways to prevent sea sickness once you feel it starting to come on.
Being out in the fresh air also has another benefit. I also like the cool air blowing in my face. It helps to freshen me up, and gives me something to focus on instead of the boat’s movement.
Start nibbling to prevent sea sickness
An empty stomach isn’t going to fly when you’re feeling motion sickness, so find something light to eat. The best foods to help prevent sea sickness are light and bland. Think plain food. Like crackers or pretzels, and remember that I said nibble here. You’re not stuffing your face. The goal is to distract yourself with an activity (nibbling on crackers like a mouse). While putting some food into your stomach to stop the feelings of nausea.
Just be careful that you’re not eating too much. Overeating will make you feel worse, and you’re likely going to lose all the food over the side of the boat anyways. Oh, and make sure you’re not eating anything greasy, too heavy, or that’s packed with spices and chili that’ll make your nausea worse.
For drinks, water is best. You don’t want to be dehydrated. Dehydration and an empty stomach will make your sea sickness symptoms feel worse. If you’re already feeling sea sick, try drinking either a ginger ale or a coke. Ginger is known for calming the stomach, while the high sugar levels and phosphoric acid in a can of coke are present also in Emetrol, an over-the-counter nausea drug.
No products found.
Chew an anti-nausea chewing gum
Another thing that helps me when I’m feeling sea sick is chewing gum. It gives me something to focus on, without being too much food that I’m eating. Plus, it’s something that I can bring with me in the boat, and if I start feeling the effects or need immediate motion sickness relief, this chewing gum is perfect. And unlike a few of the other brands I’ve tried, the ginger taste is great and it starts working immediately to prevent sea sickness.
No products found.
Don’t make your sea sickness symptoms worse
It goes without saying that if you’re at all susceptible to sea sickness, you’re also going to want to avoid any additional triggers.
Personally, I’d recommend staying away from all of these:
- Exhaust fumes. The burnt petrol and diesel coming from the boats exhaust will amplify any sea sickness you’re feeling.
- Other sea sick people. They’ll only serve to remind you of how sick you’re feeling, so focus on getting yourself better.
- The wrong foods. Anything that is likely to upset your stomach, like greasy, spicy or acidic foods. And remember to eat small portions.
- The wrong drinks. Coffee and alcohol are diuretic, and speeds up dehydration which makes you more susceptible to sea sickness.
- Books or your phone. While it can distract you, focusing your eyes on a target that appears “stationary” amplifies the feeling of sea sickness.
Of course, most of this also comes down to the feelings in your own head. The more you’re focused on feelings of nausea, the more motion sickness you’ll feel. I’ve actually talked to a few people who believe they can prevent sea sickness by sheer force of will. And you know, sometimes they’re right. Because you can distract yourself from the feelings. Talking to someone else on the boat, or even listening to music can often offset the effects. So take a minute to relax, and try to think about something else.
Tell yourself that you’re stronger than the motion sickness, and spend your energy instead on enjoying your day on the water. What I’ve found is that just keeping your mind on something else is one of the best ways to prevent sea sickness.
I’m still seasick. Now what?
If all else fails, the best thing you can do with seasickness is to get it all out as fast as you can. You’ll feel much better almost immediately.
Just don’t do it in a bucket in the boat. It will get messy, and no one want’s to be around that smell. So if you feel like you’re about to lose your lunch, head to the side (or back) of the boat where the wind is at your back. Don’t be too embarrassed, sea sickness has happened to many people before you. Let it all out, and then
And after an hour or two, you’re probably going to start to feel better. At worst, you may not feel 100 percent for the next couple of days, but there won’t be any long-term effects.
Getting sea sick is rather common, but managing it is rather easy too. The key is to plan ahead, take the right meds and to avoid pushing yourself while you’re on the water, especially if you’re susceptible to motion sickness. That way, you can focus on enjoying your day on the water, and catching some truly awesome fish.
Don’t let sea sickness ruin a day’s spearfishing
With these tips I hope you can find a way to prevent sea sickness, so you can enjoy a nice day out on the water. Just remember that we’re all different, and we are all susceptible to motion sickness at different levels. If you find that you suffer from motion sickness when you’re in a boat, try the remedies above in order to prevent sea sickness. It can take some time and effort to discover what works best for you, but once you do. You’ll be able to enjoy a day on the water, without feeling sea sick at all.