Diving can change a lot of aspects of your life. It opens your senses that have been forgotten about on land. It provides space and conditions that make us feel light, active and happy, putting us in a positive mental state and physical health. “We are surrounded by oceans in every direction so you can discover a lot of places and meet a lot of like-minded people who share the same curiosity and passion as you!” SCUBA refers to Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. This apparatus can be filled with air or other gasses, depending on your interests or level of diving education. But every dive is a good dive as PADI, the biggest diving organization out there say.
To get back to the point, how to start SCUBA diving?
Step 1: First, check with your physician and seek their advice about your ability to dive. If you suffer from medical conditions like heart issues, diabetic, respiratory issues, sinuses or pressure related conditions, you won’t be able to SCUBA. Step 2: Do some online research and look up an ocean-hugging destination that you always wanted to visit then find out if there are dive centers or diving clubs with certified instructors and make your comparison based on:
- Location and how far away or close from the sea.
- Their vision and ideas about diving as well as how they maintain the natural environment.
- Look up the dive center or instructors on websites like PADI and Tripadvisor.
- The maximum number of students per instructor during the courses. For example, the lesser number of students per instructor, the more attentive they’ll be to you. Four students per instructor is a decent average.
- Depends on your budget as there is a cost for every quality offered so don’t let the very low price get you over-excited.
Step 3: Contact the dive center and make your booking for the dates that fit your available times and holidays. It’s better to be sure about your times to schedule your course because of divecenters and instructors are usually communicating with a lot of people and a scheduled course to be canceled on the spot can cause some setbacks within the operation. Step 4: Ask the dive center about recommended accommodation options if you’re not familiar with your destination as it is better to be close to the dive center and to have the facilities you need. Depending on your taste in life it can be a five-star resort or private apartment. Then book your flight and get excited to go underwater!
What to expect during the courses and what step comes first?
It’s the same-same but different vibe among diving schools with slight differences in how they call each level. The system of education and how wide it spreads is what matters as some organizations might focus more on the academic part while others might focus on the practical part of diving. Some organizations might be operating and recognized locally or within a few countries and others, like PADI, are worldwide using this slogan: We speak one language, Diving. Please see the graph below to understand the hierarchy of PADI SCUBA diving courses.
PADI starts with few mini options like Discover SCUBA or a diver’s course which are good to get a taste of what diving is like, but the ideal start to your introduction to the amazing world of SCUBA comes if you have three to four days to invest in the PADI open water course that is designed to teach you the basics of diving starting from the theory to equipment assembly, breathing and pressure equalizing techniques to underwater buoyancy control and more. The course will end with a final exam to prove your understanding of what you studied and includes two dives up to 18 meters to practice all the skills in the elements. Once you’re done with the open water course, you’ll receive a temporary card for your course completion until you receive the permanent card to introduce you to the world as a diver who can dive independently with a buddy (always with a buddy) up to 18 meters depth anywhere in the world with an ocean and a diving facility. Click here for information about the entry-level course “PADI open water”Grammar editing and proofreading by Psymon Ochen of the nomadic diaries