The benefits of a shakedown dive are numerous. Before I partake in any sort of technical dive, a dive in a new environment, or a dive with a new dive buddy or piece of gear I go to a local site and do a shakedown dive. This helps me to get comfortable and practice any skills that may be rusty. Since I am a certified technical diver I always begin my dives by descending and performing a safety drill. This involves using my isolator manifold to shut one tank valve, breath the regulator to the last breath, switch to my alternate, pen the first valve that I shut, then close the other valve that I am breathing on until the last breath. I then switch back and verify I can reach the isolator valve. This training ensures that in the event of an emergency I know what an out of air situation will feel like and that I can act accordingly. Once that is complete I either shoot a bag to practice or just enjoy the dive. The below video is of two new dive buddies and I all doing a shakedown dive at Edmonds Underwater Park. The sunset itself is worth it.
How do you perform shakedown dives?