Are you considering “taking the plunge” and becoming certified to scuba dive? That’s great! But if you’re looking to join the world of underwater adventure, there are some important things you need to know first.
Here are some tips for beginners:
- Choose a dive school
Before you can start scuba diving, you need to get proper training. So, after you decide to pursue scuba diving, your next step is finding a dive school that suits your needs. Choose a school that is in a location where you’re excited to visit because it will take you at least three days to become certified. It’s helpful to be in a place you enjoy.
After you’ve found a school in an interesting place, do some research. Check out the school’s reviews. You want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is a matter of safety, so it isn’t to be taken lightly. Find out how many instructors the school has per student, how they conduct their safety briefings, and how effectively they communicate.
- Be safe.
Some of the best things you can do for safety as a new diver begin before you even start school. Practice swimming for a few months before you go. You can also start a yoga or Pilates practice with a focus on controlling your breath.
After your training (but before you jump in), be sure to take seasickness pills if you are prone to seasickness, cover up any open wounds, make sure that you’re healthy and free of any colds or sinus infections, and always double check your dive equipment. It’s also a good idea to practice reaching behind you toward your lower back because you’ll need to do this if your regulator comes out of your mouth. You’ll be less likely to panic when this happens if you’ve practiced recovering in several times.
- Be smart.
Listen to your instructors. Stay close to them during your first dive and follow their directions. Keep an eye on your air tank and be sure to tell your instructor if it gets low, even if you think it’s too soon. Keep close to your buddy and communicate often. Part of diving is not only ensuring your safety, but your buddy’s as well.
When it comes to sea life down below, keep a strict “look but don’t touch” policy with yourself. It’s OK to marvel at the creatures around you, but you don’t want to disturb them in any way. If you see a shark, don’t panic. Follow your guide’s instructions and proceed as normal, even if you choose to end the dive. Also, be sure to look up once in a while and see what’s around you rather than just below you.