What Is Scuba Diving – Everything You Need To Know

What Is Scuba Diving - Everything You Need To Know

Scuba diving is one of those activities that everyone says they want to do one day, but often never get the chance to experience. If you’re reading this right now, you are one of the lucky ones attempting to put their money where their mouths are and give scuba diving a try to explore the underwater world to explore unbelievable dive sites. But before you dive into deep waters or off dive boats, we must cover the basics of what recreational scuba diving is and how you can do it.

There are many ways to describe scuba diving. Some people think of it as a sport or lifestyle while others think of it as a tourism activity or a meditative experience. In general, you may think of scuba diving as an underwater experience. At its core, scuba diving is an activity where you dive underwater to experience the beauty and nature that lie beneath the ocean.

There are various aspects and sub-branches of what scuba diving entails. However, in this article, we will keep things simple, short, and easy to follow and tell you about recreational scuba diving. We will talk about the basics you need to know about scuba diving as a beginner. So, if you are new to the world of scuba diving, keep reading so that we can dive into all you need to know to get started.

Scuba Diving along a coral reef

What Is Scuba Diving?

Scuba is a term that almost everyone has heard of. It is actually an acronym that stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Scuba diving as a sport is when a person dives underwater to explore the ocean. There are various types of scuba diving. However, for most people, scuba diving is an activity they do recreationally as tourists while on vacation or holiday. Recreational scuba diving often is done off dive boats to experience unbelievable dive sites. Recreational divers put on a scuba tank to breathe underwater to see the beauty of the ocean and interact with sea creatures.

Scuba diving is a common hobby among people of all ages. You may have heard how some people do yoga or Zumba to de-stress. Becoming a certified diver and going Scuba diving has become another meditative activity that many general people do to destress. The experience of being weightless and “flying” through the water while watching marine life, exploring spectacular reefs, underwater caves, or even diving into sunken wrecks is something unlike anything else in this world.

Many people also progress from being recreational divers to making scuba diving a profession or lifestyle. There are multiple types of professional Scuba diving careers including becoming a dive instructor or even a marine biologist or archaeologist to help with underwater research. As of yet, 80% of the ocean around the globe is still unmapped, and becoming a professional scuba diver allows you to help advance your knowledge of the underwater world.

Scuba Diving in the ocean

Is Recreational Scuba Diving Dangerous?

There are certain risks to scuba diving but ultimately it’s a very safe sport to enjoy. Millions of recreational divers go diving every year and there are very few accidents.

The primary rule any certified diver learns is to never dive alone. Always dive with a buddy, not only for safety but it’s always better to share the experience of experiencing unbelievable dive sites together.

You should research how to become a certified diver with a comprehensive diving program like PADI, NAUI, SSI, or BSAC. You should also research your scuba instructor, your dive school, and any dive locations you want to dive. Ultimately being prepared will make you a better diver.

If you are scuba diving as a tourist, there is very little risk involved. Recreational divers usually only travel in the safer parts of the ocean. Additionally, you will have an instructor or experienced divers (called divemasters) who will teach you everything you need to know before diving. You will not be allowed to go diving off dive boats or experience marine life on dive sites until you prove that you know all the basic moves and safety signals.

In the end, you are immersing yourself in an unbreathable liquid using equipment for life support and diving in an environment where wild creatures inhabit so like any activity you need to be a properly certified diver and respect the underwater world.

Instructor and students during scuba diving lessons

Do You Need A Certification To Scuba Dive?

Technically, it is not illegal to scuba dive without a certification. However, if you want to scuba dive safely, you will need to get certified by a scuba diving instructor. As previously mentioned. If you are recreational diving, you will need to train under an instructor. The instructor will give you lessons just like a regular class.

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After the lessons, you will have to prove your knowledge by taking a test. If you pass the test, you will be certified as a beginner scuba diver. Almost every institution around the world will need you to show your license or certification before letting you dive into their premises or onto their dive boats. So, if you want to scuba dive properly, you need to have a scuba diving license.

In general, scuba diving isn’t something you can learn on your own. Even if you learn the principles of everything online, putting them to practice is a whole other issue. Thus, if you want to learn scuba diving properly, and get access to a wider territory, getting a scuba diving license is essential.

Learning to Scuba Dive in a Swimming Pool

How To Get A Scuba Diving Certification?

To get a scuba diving certification, you need to enroll in a scuba diving class. Various agencies around the world offer scuba diving courses. If you complete these courses with positive results, you will receive a scuba diving certification. Some of the most popular scuba diving agencies include PADI, BSAC, SDI, NAUI, etc.

However, before getting a scuba diving certification you have to make sure you meet the physical requirements. In most places in the world, you have to be at least 12 years old to get scuba diving lessons – although there are some taster or discovery dive programs with most agencies starting from 8 years old.

You also cannot apply for a scuba diving certification if you have medical issues. Before starting any certification course, you need to fill out a medical form that declares you fit for diving, assuming you are. If you have some type of medical condition, you will need your doctor to sign off on it.

Aside from medical issues, almost anyone can enroll in scuba diving lessons. There are even special organizations that help disabled people learn how to scuba dive. Additionally, scuba diving certifications do not have any expiration dates. So, if you are certified once, you are certified for life. However, it is good to brush up on skills if you haven’t dived in a while as although it is like riding a bike it’s always better to get your skills refreshed.

Scuba diving at Yonaguni In Japan

What To Expect From Scuba Diving Lessons?

Scuba diving lessons are pretty simple and uncomplicated. For recreational diving, you can receive a beginner’s certification – like PADI Open Water – in three to four days after completing the lessons often taught at the dive shop. If you are traveling you can do something called a “referral” where you complete your theory training and exam online or via a local dive shop, then you do your pool training and open water dives at your destination.

However, in more advanced courses, it can take four to six months for you to receive a scuba diving certification. Since the skills taught in advanced courses are more difficult, it takes longer to get certified.

In a beginner’s scuba diving class, you will learn the basics of scuba diving. Most of your lessons will be about planning your dive, and using your underwater breathing apparatus and other equipment properly. You will also learn the techniques, procedures, and safety drills for simple dives as well as basic underwater hand gestures. Additionally, you will also receive some physical training by diving in a swimming pool or shallow waters.

A beginner’s scuba diving class won’t complicate things with technical jargon. The main focus will be on safety protocols. For instance, what to do if you run out of air, and how to control your buoyancy in the water. Or, how to tell your instructor that you need help. So, if you’re a beginner diver, rest assured that the initial courses will be easy and guarantee your safety.

Scuba diver showing an OK hand signal

Tips for Staying Safe while Scuba Diving

Here are some tips that can help you enjoy your dives while staying safe while scuba diving.

  • Ensure that all components of your diving equipment are in good working condition before you embark on a dive. If you discover any problem with the equipment, don’t use it and inform your instructor immediately. Any scuba equipment that has been tampered with or is faulty should not be used for scuba diving.
  • Never hold your breath underwater while diving because many people instinctively do this. Even if you are an experienced diver, you could get into trouble if you hold your breath underwater.
  • Diving more than 30m/100ft below sea level can cause the nitrogen in the air to affect your body, because of which you might experience a ‘bends’ situation where nitrogen bubbles start appearing in your blood and joints. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Never go on a dive if you feel sick, have a fever or a cold. Many people often ignore their symptoms and end up going scuba diving, but this is a very dangerous thing to do as it can lead to further complications such as a ruptured eardrum.
  • Never panic underwater because this will only make the situation much worse. Panicking is common among untrained divers who are trying to ascend too quickly.
  • Don’t dive alone if you are not an experienced scuba diver because there might be problems that you may not deal with on your own. So, diving should always be done during a buddy dive or in pair of divers.
  • Never go on a night dive without proper training because it is very dangerous, and you could lose your way in the dark if you are not adequately equipped with navigation gears.
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How to Get Started With Scuba Diving

People of all ages and sizes may learn to scuba dive safely due to technological developments in diving equipment, medicine, and training. scuba diving is possible for the majority of individuals who have a basic level of physical fitness and feel comfortable in the water.

Choose a Scuba Diving Course

Different diving courses are available like open water certification, advanced open water certification, rescue diver courses, etc. These can be completed by anyone ready to take up the challenge. Even people with no previous experience in scuba can undertake these certifications and become certified divers within a short period.

Buy or Rent Dive Gear

You can rent or buy equipment, which makes it more feasible for your budget.

Enroll in a Scuba Diving Course

Typically, this type of training is conducted in groups, but you can go in solo if you prefer—several scuba diving certification organizations to choose from like PADI , NAUI , BSAC , etc.

Learn Essential Dive Theory

Theory classes teach you about diving equipment, physiology, decompression calculations, and dives. You will also learn to deal with dive emergencies like running low on air or getting lost underwater.

Practice Simple Skills With an Instructor

You can practice beginner skills with an instructor to get a good grip on the basics. You need to pass a few simple tests before going in for your first scuba dive.

Go On Your First Dive

Your first-ever dive is something that you will never forget! After passing all the tests, you will go for a drive along with your instructor. Several scuba diving certification agencies ensure that you get the most out of your time and money invested in this course.

You will be certified as an open water diver when completed the training process

Are you ready to become a Scuba Diver and explore the underwater world?

Scuba diving is a fun activity that can help you destress and momentarily escape from your mundane life. Though there are minor risks involved, they can be easily overcome through proper training and getting a scuba diving certification.

We hope this article helped you learn the basics of scuba diving. Now that you know the fundamentals, we hope you will continue your journey and give scuba diving a try.

9 Accessories Every Scuba Diver Needs

Scuba equipment is about utility. After all, BDCs, tanks, and regulators are there to transform you from a land animal to a sea creature. It’s vital they’re dependable, safe, and secure.

But diving is about more than just surviving underwater. It’s about exploration and discovery. It’s about seeing new places, making new friends, and encountering new animals. It’s about having fun. So here are must-have dive accessories – toys, tools, and more – to help you thrive as a diver, not just survive.

1. A Good Full-Sized Gear Bag

Cressig Gorgona Dive Bag

Cressig Gorgona Dive Bag
Courtesy Zach Stovall

The gear transforming you into a merperson needs to travel with you somehow. We recommend you do it right with take it in dive-specific luggage that’s not only custom-built to protect your gear while standing up to but that can stand up to sun, saltwater and sumo-like baggage handlers. The trend in full-sized dive luggage is toward slightly smaller and decidedly lighter bags as airlines have gotten strict about luggage restrictions in recent years.

2. A Good Dry Bag

IST Sports DB20L Dry Bag

IST Sports DB20L Dry Bag
Courtesy Jon Whittle

Let’s face it – few areas on a dive boat are safe from water. How do you make certain your wallet, cell phone, clothes and towel stay bone-dry while you’re out having wet fun? Your best bet is an airtight dry bag that will seal out water and moisture even if dropped overboard.

3. Some Good Dive Lights

Underwater Kinetics C4 eLED L2

Underwater Kinetics C4 eLED L2
Courtesy Jon Whittle

It’s another world on the reef at night, and your passport to diving after dark is a trusty dive light. You need a good primary for night diving, of course, but a good pocket light is useful both as a backup light and for peering into crevices by day. Check out the latest dive light reviews from ScubaLab, Scuba Diving Magazine’s equipment testing team, for the best models on the market, and PADI’s Night Diver certification to access the wonderfully weird world of after-dark diving.

4. A Compass

Suunto SK-8 Dive Compass

Suunto SK-8 Dive Compass
Courtesy Suunto

You can’t ask the local stingray for directions back to your boat – that’s on you. Some computers include a digital compass, but you may need to use a good, old-fashioned compass in the event of a computer malfunction. If the closest you’ve ever come to a compass is watching Captain Jack use a magic one to find Shipwreck Island in Pirates of the Carribean, you can hone your wayfinding skills in PADI’s Underwater Navigator Speciality Course.

5. Surface Signaling Devices

Dive Rite Surface Marker Tube

Dive Rite Surface Marker Tube
Courtesy Dive Rite

Take it from us: Surfacing down-current a long, long way from the dive boat is one lonely feeling. You can’t always prevent it, but you can prepare for it with a good set of surface signaling gear. We recommend a tall, inflatable signal tube, an ear-splitting whistle, and a signaling mirror as standard equipment on every dive.

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6. GPS Rescue Device

Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS

Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS
Courtesy Nautilus LifeLine

Getting lost at sea is a nightmare for almost any diver, but you can put your mind at ease with a GPS rescue signaling device, such as the Nautilus Marine Rescue GPS. Once you activate the Nautilus, your GPS position is sent to surrounding boats — it also floats and can be taken to 130 meters/425 feet.

7. A Well-Stocked “Save a Dive” Kit

Minor gear failures like a blown O-ring or leaky fitting won’t keep you from diving if you have the right backup parts and tools to engage in some basic field repair. A fully prepped dive kit includes items like new O-rings, a mask and fin straps, and zip ties.

8. A Trusty Dive Knife

Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS

Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS
Courtesy Nautilus LifeLine

Dive knives are aren’t for defending yourself against marine life or shaving off coral for a souvenir. What they are great for is for cutting tangled fishing wire from reefs, or disentangling yourself from kelp.The latest dive knife designs resist corrosion and hold a sharp edge longer than ever before.

9. A Tank Banger

XS Scuba Tank Banger

XS Scuba Tank Banger
Courtesy XS Scuba

Divers know the sound all too well — clank! clank! Tank bangers are perfect for divemasters pointing out critters in the blue or buddies who want to quickly capture the attention of another diver.

Scuba Diving Safety Facts You Must Know

scuba diving safety - 4

Are you concerned about scuba diving safety? Here’s an interesting fact. Statistically, diving is safer than driving, having a child, skydiving, or running a marathon.

Every human activity involves risks. So does scuba diving, an activity for which humans have no natural conditions. However, neither did we have them for flying, and more than 12 million passengers worldwide take more than five million flights a month, without forgetting, it is the safest public transport.

In today’s article, we turn to studies done by DAN (Diver Alert Network) and the data from their research.


Scuba Diving Safety Vs Other Activities

According to the latest DAN‘s 2019 worldwide report, only 162 deaths related to recreational underwater diving were counted during 2017.

Seventy of them happened in the U.S. and Canada. The difference corresponds to the rest of the world. According to the CDC, about 90 people die every day in the U.S. from traffic accidents. Literally, taking your car to the mall is more dangerous than scuba diving.

The same goes for other daily and recreational activities as having a baby, or running. It does not mean divers should relax. Knowing which aspects jeopardize scuba diving safety allows us to improve processes and reduce risks.

This is the objective of the DAN report that indicates the triggers in the few accidents recorded.

scuba diving safety

Scuba diving safety, which aspects put it at risk?

Running out of breathing gas 41%

According to scuba diving safety practices, it should never occur. In fact, this problem is easy to solve just by managing the gas supply properly. Divers have to be aware of the gas available all the time and finish the dive with gas remaining in the tank.

Entrapment 21%

Diving in a cave, wreck, or under ice involves proper scuba diving safety training, experience, planning, and gear, because you are diving in an environment where you do not have direct, vertical access to the surface. In DAN’s words, “The way to decrease the risk of this trigger is simple: don’t enter closed environments without being qualified and prepared to do so.”

scuba diving safety - 2

Gear problems 15%

In these cases, the gear did not fail or was not defective.

What really happened was the diver made mistakes due to unfamiliarity with the equipment, improper maintenance, or incorrect settings.

Dr. George Harpur, an experienced dive researcher, states: “Unlike in technical diving with sophisticated equipment, in recreational diving, we are not able to document a single case in which equipment malfunction directly caused the diver’s death or injury. It was the diver’s response to the problem that resulted in the pathology.

The rest of the accidents had the following triggers

– Rough water 10% / Trauma 6% / Buoyancy 4% / Inadequate gas 3%

Diving Safety and Dressel Divers

Scuba diving safety is our top priority! It shows in our immaculate record of zero accidents in more than 27 years.

Each year, Dressel Divers certifies over 3,000 new divers and introduces over 30,000 people to the sport of diving. We could not maintain these scuba dive safety figures without specific accident prevention measures, internal quality control initiatives, and continuous monitoring of activities.

We are proud of our rigorous job training program. Most Dressel Divers instructors have graduated from our GO PRO Academy with the prestigious PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer certification. Our educational approach prepares future Divemasters and Instructors to prioritize scuba dive safety above all else. This is beneficial, not only for our customers and employees but also for scuba dive safety in general. Our students will enjoy their learning around the world with a well-grounded foundation in scuba dive safety principles.

Source https://www.deeperblue.com/what-is-scuba-diving/

Source https://www.padi.com/articles/9-accessories-every-scuba-diver-needs

Source https://www.dresseldivers.com/blog/scuba-diving-safety-facts/

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