If you want to learn to scuba dive you’ll have to enroll in an open water course. You can do this almost anywhere in the world and there are a few main organisations that offer open water courses including PADI.
Once you’ve decided where and when to learn to scuba dive you will probably be wondering what to expect during your course. Below you’ll find ten tips for your scuba diving course that should help set your mind at ease and give you some guidance for the exciting journey ahead of you.
Learn To Scuba Dive: 10 Tips For Your Open Water Course
1) Choose your instructor wisely
Don’t just search around different companies make sure you ask to meet or hear feedback about your proposed dive instructor as this person can make our break your course.
You want to make sure your dive instructor makes you feel at ease and is competent. For the competent side you may have to search out reviews online but you should be able to tell how you feel about them personally after talking to them for a minute or two.
Remember they don’t have to be the type of person you’d be friends with, but they do have to be encouraging, patient and knowledgeable.
2) Don’t wait until your 18 meters under to decide your gear doesn’t fit correctly
While wetsuits are meant to be very tight and do feel uncomfortable while dry, if the high neck is making it very difficult for you to breathe then ask to try on a bigger size or a different style.
Additionally make sure anything else your wearing fits properly or is adjusted correctly such as flippers, dive computers and waist belts as you don’t want to be dealing with this underwater.
3) If salt water burns your eyes, prepare them beforehand
If your eyes are sensitive to salt water its best to expose them prior to doing the mask removal test to make you feel more comfortable once under water.
Dunking your head in once or twice without goggles and persevering through the stinging will mean that when it’s time to do so under water, your eyes will hurt less (or may have completely adjusted) and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable taking off your mask as you won’t be squinting.
4) Do a live in if possible
Some dive centres give you free or discounted accommodation if you’re doing a course with them and this gives you a great opportunity to spend more time near the water, your dive buddies and your instructor. Plus you won’t have to walk as far after each day at the centre.
5) Try not to eat right before a dive
If you at straight before diving you may feel it resting in your throat at some point during your dive. It’s not life threatening at all but it can be a weird feeling.
6) Focus on your buoyancy from day one
It sounds boring but this is one of the best, if not the best skills to have while diving. The ability to hold your position while diving means being able to get closer to objects, maneuvering in tight spaces and means your less likely to bump into dive buddies or ascend prematurely.
7) Always double check your equipment
Always check that both your, and your buddies air is on and that you have a relatively full tank before descending. You also want to make sure your second stage (the thing you breathe through) and back up are working correctly – your dive master will teach you how to check these.
8) Be alert while diving
Keep an eye on both your buddy and you air gauge while diving to ensure neither of you runs into any trouble.
9) Don’t freak out
While some of the exercises seem a little scary, such as removing your mask or your second stage underwater, they’re nowhere near as hard as they sound. They are necessary to get your certification because by learning in a controlled situation you’ll be able to deal better in the unlikely event of them happening unexpectedly.
10) Make sure you absorb what your being told
While diving is a very fun activity it also comes with a few risks, this is why it’s so important to understand about water pressure, nitrogen, breaks in between dives and anything else your dive instructor tells you.
Make sure you listen and read the booklet your given for your test as not only will it help you pass, you also might learn something important.
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