March 28, 2020
A Guide to Diver Education
You have probably seen shows that depict scuba divers. You may have seenpictures that are taken under the water of scuba divers as well. It all looks veryeasy and in a sense, it is. But there is a great deal that you must know beforeyou can participate in your first dive.Do not assume that the guy at the sports store or the dive shop can tell youeverything you need to know when you purchase your diving equipment. Youneed to take scuba diving lessons and become a certified diver. This isnecessary for your own safety, as well as for the safety of those who are divingwith you. A lot can go wrong on a dive.You also cannot learn everything you need to know on one Saturday afternoon.To complete the first certification course that is offered by scuba diving schools, ittakes approximately 32 hours of instruction. You will definitely need open watercertification if you hope to go scuba diving in the ocean.Today, you can take a portion of your scuba diving lessons online, and thencomplete your training at a local dive school, where you will practice in aswimming pool. You could also complete your certification in the ocean, againthrough a diving school, where you will get greater hands on experience.Do not be surprised that most of your scuba diving training will take place in aclassroom setting, as opposed to doing any actual diving. The diving comes laterin the course, after you know the basics.There are many things that you must consider when selecting a dive school orcertification program. All dive schools are not created equally and the quality ofthe education you receive may mean the difference between life and death whenyou are doing open water dives.Start by getting references for dive schools from divers that you know or meet. Ifyou dont know any divers in person, you can easily find divers in yourgeographic region through the numerous online scuba diving communities, andget recommendations that way. Also, when you talk to the dive school operators,ask for references, and check those references out!Talk to the instructors. Find out how long they have been diving, how long theyhave been certified, what level of certification they have, how long they havebeen teaching, and how many courses they have taught.Ask about the equipment that will be used during the training. Will you be taughthow to properly use the equipment that you personally own or plan to buy aswell? There are several different types of equipment, all with different proceduresfor operation. Make sure that you will learn what you need to know.Do not skimp on yourself. You will find that the cost of training and certificationvaries from one school to the next. Schools that are longer generally cost morethan the schools that have shorter training periods. There is a reason for this,and for your safety and well-being, you should go with a school that has a longertraining period, even though it will cost more.Diving school is affordable, but not cheap. If the school is cheap, its a sure betthat the equipment is probably worn or outdated, or that the instructors are notthat great. Dont make the mistake of just checking out one dive school checkall of the schools in your area.Also watch out for hidden charges. When you are first quoted a price for training,it may sound like a good deal but after youve signed up, you may find thatthere are more fees that you have to pay. You may be required to purchaseadditional equipment or books which they will happily sell you.Ask about discounts as well. Many dive schools also offer certification courses. Ifyou take your initial training through them, they may offer you a nice discount onthe cost of the certification.The important thing is to do your research. Be picky and ask questions. If thedive school or schools in question become irritated with your questions, these arenot the people you want to teach you how to scuba dive anyway because therewill be questions then as well.Just remember that this training literally means the difference between life anddeath on the open water. You would never put your life in the hands of a secondrate doctor dont put your life in the hands of a second rate scuba instructoreither.If you live near a YMCA, this may be the ideal place to take your scuba lessons.The YMCA usually offers the best training at the most affordable price. Dontthink that you can bypass training. You will need a certification card that showsthat you have diver training before you can rent scuba equipment, joincommercially sponsored dives, or even take advanced training courses.
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