Diving is a window into a new world full of bright colors, amazingly beautiful plants and fish, and many dangers. You can learn this popular sport either in the water or remotely. Of course, with remote studies you’ll master only the theory and eventually, you’ll still have to pass the practical exam in a pool or in open water. So you might as well choose hands-on training from the start, at the end of which you’ll receive a diving certificate.
What does a diving certificate give you?
Suppose you complete a remote theoretical diving course. Before you start diving you will have to spend a lot of money on a massive amount of equipment, which includes a compressor to refill cylinders with. Next you will need to find a way to get out to sea with all that bulky, heavy gear. It will be a challenge.
If you have a practical diving certificate, however, all these difficulties can be avoided. You don’t need to dive with an instructor, you can rent equipment at local diving clubs, and refill cylinders at compressor stations.
How to choose a diving school?
Now that we’ve established that a hands-on course is the best way to go, comes the question of the diving school. Before you choose a course do some detective work. Research the diving school’s reputation and note the number of students assigned to each instructor – the fewer, the better, seeing as you want your instructor to monitor your moves closely during training.
Prepare to dive
Strange as this may sound, yoga is very useful for beginner divers, because it teaches you to focus on your breathing, and breathing is one of the most important elements of diving. It would also be useful to practice swimming, because good coordination and self-confidence in the water will make it easier for you to get used to moving underwater with the additional weight of diving equipment.
I would also advise familiarizing yourself with the marine life of the places where you plan to dive – the underwater world is very diverse, and not all beautiful and bright plants and animals are harmless. It’s important to be intimately familiar with underwater inhabitants if not for the sake of beautiful photos, then at least for your own safety.
Speaking of safety, always – absolutely always – check your equipment before diving. Pay attention to the smallest details, such as a bad fastener, a strange smell, and so on. Any malfunction can potentially become a serious and even life-threatening problem underwater.
Practice dealing with emergencies before they happen
Having a rehearsed action plan will reduce stress in an emergency situation and significantly increase your chances of solving the problem successfully. For example, one of the most frequent occurrences is a regulator being dropped or torn from the mouth. This is usually a minor event, but it’s definitely stressful, especially for a beginner. Practicing this occurrence beforehand by catching the regulator and inserting it back into your mouth time and again so that the movement becomes habitual and rehearsed is very helpful. This, by the way, is always taught and practiced at diving school.
Two last tips before you go
If you’re prone to seasickness, you should take the pills before diving.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but when you first start diving it’s best to leave your underwater camera at home. Otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to handle the additional device when you should be focusing on the actual dive. While playing with the different buttons and switches you may not notice as you begin to rise to the surface.
Wishing you pleasant, safe, and interesting diving!