- Sports and Recreation
Scuba Dive, Come Join the Party!
One of the more popular recreational activities is scuba diving. The sport gets a great deal of attention from the more adventurous segment of the modern population. Scuba diving is unique among the world's sports in that it is performed entirely in an alien environment that is not the domain of humanity: the underwater world.
Scuba diving has come a long way from its humble beginnings way back in the mid-20th century. The term SCUBA stands for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.’
This enjoyable activity is available to everyone nowadays. Cost of the equipment and access to diving sites have become a little less expensive. Investing in the equipment is the costliest step. You have the option to rent if you only wish to try it out once in a while. However, if taken cared of properly, your equipment can last you for a long time. Scuba diving in these present times has become a popular recreational activity.
Few sports can offer the unique adventure, fascinating wildlife and interesting historical perspective offered by scuba diving.
Understanding Scuba Diving
Donning this gear and diving into the depths requires a thorough understanding of physical and physiological hazards while underwater and the techniques, knowledge and skills needed to safely deal with these hazards. Developments in the field have enabled scientists to come up with extra equipment and safety gear that allows even amateur divers to dive safely and responsibly.
Recreational scuba diving was made possible and popular by the Frenchmen Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan. Their ‘Aqualung’ was the precursor of scuba gear that adventurers and diving enthusiasts enjoy worldwide and in a wide range of climates and underwater environments.
Scuba diving is life. Everything else is a surface interval.
Requirements Before You Can Go Diving
For beginners who wish to learn scuba diving basic requirements need to be met in order not only to satisfy legal requirements but to dive safely and enjoyably.
Getting a certificate from NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) is a good way to start learning how to dive. Certifications from these 2 organizations are recognized worldwide. Both organizations have a reputation for credible training programs and their certified instructors maintain high standards.
- Certification is required of all divers. The level of risk that scuba divers face mean that almost all jurisdictions require divers to be licensed prior to diving. The right way to learn is to take a course from instructors with the proper scuba diving certification. YMCAs in larger cities often offer scuba diving classes in their pools. Dive shops or resorts may also offer classes, and many individuals have the proper licenses and are willing to take on students.
PADI, a professional association made up of diving instructors, is an extremely reputable agency involved in the design and implementation of scuba diving courses as well as training programs for instructors. Their certification process ensures that diving instructors meet high standards of proficiency and maintain acceptable levels of professional knowledge. Instructors who hold PADI certification are the best the industry has to offer.
- A medical check-up and proper Medical Clearance is a necessity before undertaking any diving training. It is vital that the physician performing the examination be told that the purpose of the screening is to clear the patient for diving. Since scuba diving happens in an environment other than the one people live in, certain psychological and physical factors must be considered when assessing someone's fitness to dive, and the doctor must have all the facts in order to administer a proper examination.
- The ability to swim is a prerequisite for learning to dive. Would-be divers need not be competitive swimmers, but they should be able to swim about 600 feet using different strokes. In addition, candidates should be able to tread water for approximately ten minutes. These skills must be mastered before moving on to a diver's course.
Lessons: Classroom and Check-out Dives
- A typical scuba diving course will include classroom instruction and practice in a pool as well as first-hand experience in open water. The courses normally last 7 to 21 days, and they may be expected to cost $350 to $450.
The Open Water Diver certification is where most divers begin. To be Certified one must complete the following:
- five open water dives; and
- passing all the required classroom and pool examinations.
Often instructors will work with clients to arrange as convenient as schedule as possible. The five open water dives, however, require an entire weekend, particularly if the diver does not live near a suitable body of water.
Another popular option is certification during a vacation. Many establishments, especially dive resorts located in the tropics, give a condensed course over four or five days. Often these courses last for much less time than similar courses near the student's place of residence, since the goal is to get the diver into the water in the shortest possible time. The downside to this procedure is the amount of time required. To complete all the course requirements, a student has to spend the majority of the four to five day period in the learning process, leaving little time to do anything else during the vacation. If a companion not taking the course accompanies the student on vacation, this can be a special concern.
One other thing before you go headed to the nearest dive shop or look up that listing for dive instructors in your area, scuba diving is an activity that is never done alone. For the primary purpose of safety, you always dive with a buddy or in a group.
Diving alone is considered a highly irresponsible act. The other benefit of diving with a group or a buddy is that it makes it more fun, and you have someone to share your unique experiences with afterwards. So go ask your friends or members of the family to join you, enjoy it with those dear to you. Alternatively, use it as an occasion to make new friends with whom you will soon share the unique experience of discovering the wonders of the undersea world.
This activity is especially enjoyable for those who enjoy adventure, exploring an interesting and fascinating world under the sea. The best thing is that with proper training and the right attitude, it is safe for practically anyone that wants to try it and a large information pool is available online for those that wish to take up this fantastic water sport.