Scuba diving lets you explore the undiscovered wonders of the underwater world. But that can be intimidating to the uninitiated. We hope we can dispel all anxieties about scuba diving with this article.
First, let’s clarify what scuba diving is.
Scuba diving is a specific type of underwater diving where your air supply is completely separate from a surface air supply. This usually means you use a tank or compressed air and a breathing apparatus so you can breathe underwater.
Having an individual air supply lets you roam free of all spatial limitations, allowing you to discover all sorts of sea creatures and underwater structures.
Are you excited to start scuba diving? Or do you still have some hesitations? No matter your current attitudes, every beginner should follow these seven steps before taking their first dive.
Your scuba gear is meant to keep you safe and mobile while underwater. While you may rent most of this gear on your first dive, make sure you have the following:
- Snorkel (for swimming close to the surface)
- Scuba mask
- Buoyancy compensator (BCD)
- Scuba regulator
- Dive watch/computer
- Air tank
You have to be aware of your surroundings while you dive, particularly your current depth. While your body can quickly get used to a rapid increase in pressure, it has more trouble adjusting to a rapid decrease, leading to decompression sickness.
Using a dive watch/computer helps you avoid this. These devices alert you to your current depth and suggest how long you should take to ascend to remain safe.
Have you ever quickly descended in elevation and felt your ears “pop?” This is a sensation caused by the airflow equalizing between your ears and your throat. It happens incidentally on the surface, but you have to do it purposefully while diving.
To clear your ears, simply blow through your nose while pinching your nostrils closed. You’ll feel the pressure release almost immediately.
If you want to scuba but get notoriously seasick, then it’s time to learn about some remedies:
- Take seasickness medication, like Dramamine
- Consume something with ginger, which helps eliminate feelings of nausea
- Avoid strong smells, like exhaust from the boat
- Don’t drink alcohol the day or night before the dive
Swimming can be a lot more dehydrating than you think. You may not notice yourself sweating because it immediately mixes with the surrounding water, but you’re sweating nonetheless. Scuba diving is also a very active sport, so if you dive for over an hour, you’re sure to deplete the water in your body.
Drink plenty of water before your dive, so you stay hydrated. Don’t worry if you have to pee while still diving—Mother Nature has experienced worse.
On your first dive, you should be with a dive instructor. Make sure you listen to them the entire time and keep close. If anything goes wrong, they’ll be right there to help you or give you the advice you need to fix the problem.
Above all else, remember to keep calm. Follow your instructor’s advice, keep a watchful eye on your dive computer, and remember to have fun!
Ready for your first scuba dive? Not until you find a drysuit that fits you! Check out BARE Sport’s selection of men’s drysuits to find the perfect one for your maiden voyage.