Imagine it, floating weightless, surrounded by beautifully colored fish, as you explore places most people have never seen. If this sounds like a dream come true, why learn how to scuba dive?
But before you take the dive, let’s have a look at what you need to do to go scuba diving.
Make Sure You Can Go Scuba Diving
Before you take the plunge and sign up for a class, you will need to make sure you meet all the physical requirements to scuba dive. You will need to be able to swim for several hundred yards and tread water for a full ten minutes,
On top of that if you have certain health conditions it is recommended you don’t dive. These include asthma, heart disease, diabetes, collapsed lungs, and migraines.
It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of conditions that can keep you from diving. So, before you book a diving vacation, talk to your doctor and get an ok from them.
Find a Course
While you may think you need to be close to an ocean or sea to do this, that isn’t true at all. In fact, most of the time all you need is a pool, a free weekend, and the money to pay for a course. But how do you find a course?
You can take an online course to get the basics down. This means you will learn about basic equipment, including what you will need for diving in tropical waters as opposed to cold water, and the safety measures you will need to know.
When it comes to equipment, there are a few pieces you will need no matter what. And even though you can rent them, most people who are serious about diving own at least a few of the pieces, if not all of them.
A Face Mask
Part of the fun of scuba diving is getting to see all the amazing sea creatures and plants and you can’t do that without a mask. You could rent one, sure, but do you really want something that covers your eyes and nose which has literally been on hundreds of other faces? Probably not.
The best scuba masks fit comfortably with both the inner and outer seals touching the face. It is important to try on several different kinds to see which ones you like best.
These are exactly what they sound like, fins. They are essential for giving you control over movement and agility in the water. There are two basic types: open heel and full foot.
Efficiency and comfort are paramount when it comes to which fins to get. So do your research to find which will work best for your foot shape.
This bit of equipment is probably the most essential when it comes to keeping you alive. Air needs to be compressed in pressurized tanks. Without a way to regulate the air as you breathe it in, it could cause serious harm to the diver.
There are two different key pieces to a regulator the valve, or the first stage regulator, and the mouthpiece, or the second stage. They work in tandem to ensure breathing is easy and natural. So, it is essential you find high-quality ones that are comfortable when wearing.
You will also generally required to dive in either a dry or wet suit and with gloves and a watch. However, these can generally be rented and unless you are going to be diving with any regularity aren’t worth the cost of purchasing them.
Basic Dive Theory and Beyond
This is just learning about how being in deeper water is going to affect your body and gear, because not everyone expects or is effected in the same way. Some of the things you will learn about are ear equalization basics, nitrogen absorption, no-decompression limits, and safety stops.
Once you have learned all the basics, you are ready to get in the water.
This is almost always done in a pool or some other confined water space over a two day period. This is where you will get more familiar with the gear while learning about buoyancy and how to breathe underwater through your regulator.
It is important to remember to not panic if it feels like you aren’t getting enough, this is totally normal. By the second day, you will have figured it out.
Also, don’t worry about looking silly while you try to master buoyancy. Everyone has the same problem of zooming feet first to the surface and then bobbing around helplessly. You will get the hang of it, we promise.
After this, you will be able to take your first open water dive. It generally consists of a morning and afternoon dive over two days.
A Few More Things
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions along the way about anything you may have concerns about. It is better to get all the information you need rather than start scuba diving feeling unprepared. This is not a hobby to go into feeling like you can wing it.
Also, remember to always have a buddy with you at all times. You will never dive alone. The ocean is vast and you will need to make sure you have someone with you to know where you are, if you are ok, and share air with you in case the worst happens.
Scuba diving is an amazing way to explore a whole different world here on earth. So, have fun and be safe.
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