Satirist Dave Barry once said ‘staying on top of the water is like standing outside the circus tent,’ and with two-thirds of our planet covered in water, there’s a lot of truth to the line. Recreational diving is a relatively new sport, only really available since the 1960s, and then only for the adventurous. Indeed, even fifteen years ago, the image was of a small band of hardcore enthusiasts clad in unflattering neoprene, living in barrack-like accommodation and engaged in what was seen as an extreme and uncomfortable sport.
Today diving has changed beyond recognition, with over 20 million enthusiasts worldwide and nearly a million newcomers each year, it’s now one of the fastest growing pastimes on earth. No matter what your age or what you want to achieve, there’s something for everyone in diving. Come on in, the water’s lovely...
Learning to dive is easier than you think
Gone are the days of having to spend weeks doing theory and pool sessions before jumping in a deserted quarry to finish your training. Today, learning to dive couldn’t be easier and you can go from being someone who has never dived to being a fully qualified diver in as little as four days. It’s easy and what’s more it’s safe. There are a number of options available to suit all ages and abilities from eight years to 80 years.
Taking those first steps with the Open Water Diver certification
The first certification you will need is the Open Water Diver which will allow you to dive with a buddy to a depth of 18 metres. There are a number of certification bodies out there but by far the most popular is PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors), with SSI (Scuba Schools International) and BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) also well-known organisations. The Open Water certification has three main components:
- Theory – you will need to complete a number of theory training modules to understand the fundamentals of diving. Don’t worry, this is extremely straightforward.
- Closed water training – before getting into the ocean, you will need to complete several sessions in the pool to get used to basic diving techniques.
- Open water training – To complete the Open Water certification, you will need to complete four dives in the open water. This is designed to allow you to put into practice what you have learned in the theory and closed water sessions.
Learn to dive in the UK
Once you have made the decision to learn to dive, there are two main options available to you. Firstly, and an increasingly popular option, is to do all of the theory and pool work before heading off on your holiday. This is called a referral course and will allow you to get straight into the water once on holiday, as you will complete the rest at an accredited dive centre in the UK. We can recommend some good options.
Learn to dive holidays
The next option is to take the entire Open Water certification while on holiday. This takes up to four days during which you will complete the theory, pool and open water work. This is a fun way to learn as you will likely be part of a small group and will have the same instructor throughout your training but does mean that you will spend some of your holiday time reading text books and sitting at the bottom of a pool!
Continuing your education
Why stop at Open Water? There are a number of courses available on our holidays that can take you from Open Water all the way to instructor should you decide that a career change is in order. We would recommend that you at least get your Advanced certificate as this will allow you to dive to 30 metres and many of the best dives on our trips will require this level of certification. Should you decide to take it even further, the possibilities are vast. You could become a Rescue Diver or Divemaster if you want to continue to learn more about the theory and practice of diving, or you might decide to take some speciality courses in an area that interests you such as underwater photography or wreck diving.
How we can help
We are all for more people learning to dive. And we would be delighted to assist you should this be something you want to do. We will arrange all dive training for you on any of our trips and will tailor this to your schedule and learning needs. If you want to complete the theory and pool work in the UK before heading off on your trip, we can also arrange this for you. Contact us to discuss your scuba training in more detail.