The great outdoors that you loved is a vast playground for the healthy, active and adventurous like you. Maybe you have already climbed some of the highest peak on earth but never plunged the vastness of the ocean. Maybe you have heard from your fellow outdoor enthusiast about an amazing underwater adventure. I bet you are now dying to try this new experience. So don’t just listen to your friend’s conversation. Go diving and further develop your outdoor skills. Here is your A Complete Guide To Start Scuba Diving.
Getting started for scuba diving is not that hard but there are some steps to undertake. So it is important to know the different dynamics.
- GET CERTIFIED AND LEARN THE SCIENCE OF SCUBA DIVING
Just like in other outdoor adventure, learning the basics, rules and regulations of the sport is paramount as there are inherent dangers. It is the same with scuba diving. You need to undergo training from a certified dive instructor.
There are three sessions during your certification course:
- Classroom / Lecture – your instructor will teach you the basics of scuba diving, equipments needed, principles, rules and regulations.
- Confined Water – this is usually done in a pool or in shallow seas free from waves and current. You will practice various diving skills and simulate an open water dive.
- Open Water Dive – This is the most awaited part of the course. You will now apply everything that you have learned from the 2 previous sessions. So when water floods your mask, you simply do a mask clearing.
After you successfully finish the course, you are now considered a Certified Scuba Diver and you will be given a certification card as a proof.
- LOG AS MANY UNDERWATER ADVENTURES
The only way to fully enjoy diving is to frequently go diving. There is a lot of interesting dive sites waiting for you to explore. Perhaps, you can sign up in a local dive club where you can share dive tips and experience. A weekend dive in a nearby local dive site is the usual practice for avid scuba divers. Maybe you will also consider spending your next vacation diving on a tropical paradise.
- INVEST IN EQUIPMENT
Dive shops offer gear rental but nothing beats having your own dive equipment. You may first consider buying your own skin diving equipment which consists of a mask, snorkel, wet suit and fins. Don’t forget that the first consideration in choosing your gear is Comfort and Fit. Afterwards, you can buy a regulator, BCD and other accessories. As for scuba tanks, the usual practice is to just rent from a dive shop.
- TAKING THE NEXT LEVEL
With all your gained experiences plus having the urge to explore more challenging sites, you can enroll in advance courses and continue your diver education.
- Advanced Open Water. Here you will learn interesting skills like night diving, deep diving, natural navigation and multi-level dives.
- Rescue Diver. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills on how to respond to certain diving emergencies.
- GO PRO
- This is the first level for professional diving. You can handle small groups as a dive guide. You can also assist a dive instructor during certification courses.
- Dive instructor. You can now certify and fully teach the science of scuba diving. There are various levels of dive instructors depending on the diving agency.
- DIVING AGENCIES TO CHOOSE FROM
There are various diving agencies that offer diver education programs. There might be some minor differences, but they all teach the same standards and principles.
- PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). With the agencies banner slogan “The Way the World Learns to Dive”, PADI is the largest diving agency offering certification courses from Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, Divemaster, Master Scuba Diver and Dive Instructor. PADI also offers specialty courses on night diving, photography, Medic First Aid and many more. PADI supports environmental and conservation programs with Project A.W.A.R.E. (Aquatic Wildlife Awareness Responsibility and Education) as their banner program.
- CMAS (Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques) or simply called as the World Underwater Federation. This organization is duly recognized by the Olympic Committee and is one of the oldest dive training systems. CMAS also promotes other diving skills as a sport like monofin swimming. CMAS diver certification system is the same with other agencies, but uses stars to determine certification levels. One star means Open Water, two stars is a mix of Advanced and Rescue, and three stars for Dive master. These stars are colored red. Blue stars represent different instructor levels. Learn more about CMAS at cmas.org
- SSI (Scuba Schools International). This began from a group of divers who wanted everyone to learn scuba diving. Their diver certification program is similar to PADI, but it is often a cheaper alternative. But the quality of training does not follow the price, keeping the same top standard. Learn more about SSI at divessi.com
You already know the start-up facts, so what else needs to be done? GO DIVING.