Scuba diving is one of the most exciting underwater activities that allows you to get a closer look at just what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.
If you’re looking to get into scuba diving but don’t know how to, read on to find out just what you need and how to get started.
The Ins and Outs of Scuba Diving
Scuba is great for all ages and sees children as young as eight explore shallow pools and bodies of water. While the oceans or lakes are only for those above the age of ten, scuba diving has no weight or age limit, and the equipment needed is available in all sizes.
With more than 3000 dive sites to choose from worldwide, there is no doubt that scuba diving is a popular pastime that needs little more than a certification and some good quality equipment to enjoy.
Before you decide to dive straight in and take up scuba diving, you need to be sure that you are sure you can handle it. This is where a “try dive” comes into play and is the best way to ensure that scuba diving is something you will enjoy.
The “Try Dive”
A “try” or test dive is just the thing if you want to try scuba diving without fully committing to the activity, and it is available from any diving school you choose. Try dives are led by a qualified instructor and consist of the following:
- A practice session in a small pool
- One or two practice dives in no more than 40 feet of water
Try dive practice sessions, and dives are completed on the same day and will help you decide if you want to take on scuba diving as a fun activity.
“Try dives” are available from any dive shop and will cost you anywhere between $80 to $200, depending on the location of the dive shop and the season. Peak season costs are considerably higher than those charged off-season, so factor this into your decision of when you want to do a “try dive.”
Holiday resorts offer try dives and also offer certification in a few days rather than weeks.
Once you have completed a try dive and made up your mind to take up scuba diving, the next step is to become certified as a scuba diver. This is by no means a difficult process and will take a little over a month to be fully certified.
The certification consists of the following:
- A few swimming pool sessions
- A theoretical exam
- Four or more dives in an ocean or lake at a depth of 40 feet
While it can take around a month to get certified, this timeframe will differ from one dive shop to another and depends on availability.
If you are on holiday and decide to try out scuba diving, you will be pleased to know that the certification process is much quicker, and you can gain your diving certification in three to four days.
Choosing a Scuba Agency
There are over 100 fully licensed and qualified recreational diving agencies around the world, so finding one is relatively easy.
A good dive center has the following necessities that you should look out for:
- Multinational or global certifications
- Great customer service reviews
Do your research on each of the available agencies in your area before you decide on one, and read customer reviews to see just what other customers have had to say about the service they received and if they would recommend the agency or not.
PADI and SSI are just two of the most popular internationally recognized certification authorities and offer everything from scuba diving certification to instructor-level courses. You can find a full list of PADI and SSI-certified scuba diving centers and agencies on their relevant websites, so be sure to check these before making a final decision on which agency to use.
What You Will Need for Scuba Diving
Scuba diving comes with a few necessities that are needed to master a safe, enjoyable dive.
The most important pieces of equipment you will need are:
- A wetsuit
- A good quality dive mask and snorkel
- A dive computer
- Boots and fins
These do not need to be purchased and can be hired from the relevant dive agency when you do your test dive.
Tips for the Perfect Try Dive
Here are just a few tips that you should keep in mind when you take up scuba diving and go on a try dive.
Tip #1: Ask as many questions as you can. A good dive instructor should be both knowledgeable and qualified in their field and are best-placed to answer any questions, no matter how silly you may think they are, that you may have about diving and the try dive.
Tip #2: Do some research before you book a try dive. Find out everything you can about the dive centers or agencies in your area. Be sure to check that they are licensed, qualified, and have the necessary certifications from the World Recreational Scuba Training Council.
Tip #3: Take your time on the practice sessions and only move on to the proper dive when you feel you are ready and comfortable to proceed.
Tip #4: Always listen to the instructions laid out by the dive instructor to ensure that your dive is both safe and enjoyable.
Tip #5: Have fun!
Scuba diving is truly one of the better adventure water sports that get you up close and personal with the beauty and mystery that lies beneath the surface of the ocean. What better way to explore the unknown than on a scuba dive?
As Ty Burnet, owner of In2Scuba Diving Maui Dive Co., a dive shop in Maui, Hawaii highlights: Before you decide to fully immerse yourself in scuba diving, book a dive and test in the waters before fully committing to an activity that you might not enjoy.
Choose your diving agency carefully and ensure that the center has the necessary certifications and qualifications to guarantee your safety and enjoyment while exploring the great oceans and lakes of the world.