How to Start Scuba Diving
Scuba diving isn’t difficult at all and you can do an introduction dive from the age 10 years and up. An introduction dive, or “DSD,” which stands for “discover scuba diving,” is a great way to see if scuba diving is for you. First off, you find a dive operation which gives you a warm welcome and makes you feel at ease from the start. If you feel like this particular dive school isn’t for you, then don’t hesitate to walk away. It’s important that you ask that the introduction dive can be done at your pace, and let them know that you’d rather not do it in a large group with other intro divers.
A good ratio is one instructor to a maximum of two to four intro divers, this to ensure personal attention and overall safety. The intro dive should be about you enjoying the underwater world for the first time and not about getting as many divers as possible underwater to make a buck.
The DSD starts with a medical statement which must be completed. You need to answer every question with either YES or NO and the form is used to see if you’re medically fit enough to dive. If you might have some pre-existing conditions which might not make you fit to dive, it’s best to check with a doctor or call the diving operation upfront. Next up the instructor will explain everything you need to know to enjoy your first dive safely. This includes breathing underwater, equalizing your ears and some other techniques. Try to pay close attention and soak up as much information as you can. It’s a lot of information and therefore nobody is expecting you to remember it all. The instructor will repeat almost all of it and if you forget something, don’t hesitate to ask.
Pool or Confident Open Water
After the theory presentation it’s time to get into your wetsuit and head out to the water. Depending on the location your first introduction to scuba gear is in either a pool or a shallow safe area in open water. There are a few skills that you need to master before heading to the deeper part of the intro dive.
The skills which are usually covered are:
- What to do when water comes into your regulator
- Finding back the regulator when you loose it
- Clearing water out of your mask
The exercises are easy, and don’t worry, you won’t master them right away. They are designed to help you underwater if you, for instance, lose your regulator, but it’s also the instructor’s job to help you if something like that happens. When you master these exercises to the satisfaction of the instructor, the real diving can start.
Diving in Open Water
Your first open water experience will be at a safe and easy dive site. This can be from a boat or just a step-in site from the shore. Before you enter the water, the instructor will give you a short briefing about the site and specifics about what he is expecting of you underwater. Once underwater the instructor will only have eyes for you and your well being. He or she will ask you many times if you are okay through the OK sign (👌), and will remind you to equalize every now and again.
Diving is not difficult, and almost risk free nowadays. So, just let everything go and have some faith in your instructor. He has done these dives many times before and knows what he’s doing. When you trust your instructor and the equipment you can truly enjoy the wonderful world around you.
Next up: Getting your certification!
Do you have questions any questions regarding an introduction dive? Ask us in the comments and we will answer them to the best of our knowledge.
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