Learning To Scuba Dive
Learning to scuba dive can be a step that opens up an entire new world for you and introduce you to a sport that is unmatched for pleasure and education. It is also a sport that can last a lifetime. Once you get your open water certification, you can dive anywhere in the world. While mandatory training is required, it is not difficult and can be completed in a matter of days. Here are a few questions and points to ask your self while getting started.
There are a few medical conditions that can prohibit you from diving. You will be required to complete a medical history form. Some answers will require you to get a professional medical opinion before you start your dive training. In the past conditions such as asthma would not allow you to dive. Now many individuals have been cleared by their doctors. If you or your doctor has a concern then get referred to a doctor that specializes in dive medicine. In a few places, such as Australia, everyone starting training needs to have a medical certificate by a dive specialist.
Home Or Away Or A Combination
Not everyone lives in an ideal place where you can learn to scuba dive year round. If that is the case you still have a few options. You can do your training at a dive center near your home when the weather is good, or do your training while on a vacation that offers year round diving. There are also variations of these two.
Having a connection with a local dive center can be a nice addition to the sport. It will give you a place for advise and purchase equipment that you may want. Many dive centers also have clubs and offer special discounts and trips for its members. If taking your open water dive training is not convenient because of limited diving then you could do a referral program. When you learn to scuba dive there are three segments that are involved. You have a theory segment, confined water segment and open water training. Once you have signed up with your local dive center, you can do the theory portion in a classroom at the dive center. Most dive instructors however are recommending a self pace learning using online training from your home. The theory is not hard, even ten year old’s can understand it. After completing the theory training you move forward to the confined water skills. The confined water session are generally swimming pool sessions and then are designed for you to master some critical basic skills. At first you may have a little difficulty mastering the skills, most people do. However they rapidly become second nature and become task to do without thinking about it. Some of these tasks include clearing a flooded mask, replacing a dislodged regulator, basic buoyancy control and share air breathing. When you start it may take a couple of minutes to get each one right, before long they are done in a couple of seconds. Once this is done the instructor signs your referral form. You then arrange with another dive center to complete the training at their warmer location.
If you decide to do your training while on vacation, it is often best to arrange it ahead of time. Many dive instructors who train at vacation locations will often suggest completing the theory portion before going on vacation. This will give you more time for diving and other activities while you are vacationing. When you arrive at the dive center you can start with the confined water training and then move forward to the open water training. Some training such as that on the MV Reef Encounter does the confined water training in calm open water. The site selected needs to be calm so that the beginner can concentrate on the task. An advantage for the student in a situation like this is that after doing the skills required for that lesson, the remainder of the dive can be used exploring the reef with the instructor, much better than swimming around a pool.
Getting Your Own Gear
Many students rush out and buy their entire gear as soon as they can. It is often better to wait until you have completed training and have a few additional dives. Get your mask, and fins as you start your training and your wet suit is a nice graduation present for your self. (it best to use rental equipment in pool sessions, the chlorine will bleach the equipment making it fade and look old fast) After you complete your certification, do some additional dives trying different makes and models of equipment, find out what you like the most. Then go ahead and get what is best for you. It is not uncommon for divers to use their gear other than wet suits for ten years before looking to replace something.