Starting scuba diving could change your life. This first catchphrase may seem a bit exaggerated and yet. Divers who cling to this sport have one thing in common: an extreme passion for diving, especially for marine fauna and flora. It is not possible to enjoy this sport on a daily basis, such as running or tennis. It is a heart sport for practitioners, who find unique sensations and who often wait months before being able to immerse themselves again.
To get the most out of your diving training, here are some tips on how to proceed.
How to start and learn scuba diving? To get started, here are the steps we recommend:
Assess the contraindications to scuba diving
Before embarking on scuba diving, it is a good idea to make sure that medically, there are no shadows on the board. Indeed, the hyperbaric environment imposed by scuba diving requires following some rules and precautionary principles regarding illnesses or physical conditions.
Regarding contraindications, conditions or prerequisites, the list may seem long. Let’s try to review them quickly, but know that we have written a dedicated and detailed article on the subject here. We try not to be redundant from one article to another, so we urge you to consult it if you ever want to deepen the subject.
The conditions and prerequisites that must be checked before starting the dive:
- Not be pregnant
- Know how to swim
- Can read and write
- Be over 12 years old (although on this blog we recommend 16 years rather – see our reasons in the article)
- The diving skills / exercises that you will acquire during the training
During the training, you will practice certain techniques in the water and on the surface. Most of these techniques are aimed at teaching you how to manage a material glitch during the dive. Nothing too complicated, but some exercises will seem more uncomfortable than others. It is absolutely normal.
If you come across a technique that creates stress or that you really don’t “feel”, tell your instructor, you can put it aside until practicing it in a pool, so that you can get out of the water without fear of an accident, and practice it in clear water. Spend more time on it, but don’t be discouraged before mastering the technique. It is taught for a good reason.
Note: The most difficult exercise for divers is to remove the mask underwater and put it back on. Indeed, it is the exercise considered the most anxiety-provoking by scuba diving students. Removing the regulator from its mouth, in general poses no problem, but removing the mask. it’s another thing.
My advice to prepare you for this exercise if you have a swimming pool nearby: take a deep breath, dive with a mask over your head, find a way to stay submerged with both hands-free, completely remove the mask underwater, open your eyes underwater (to get used to it), put the mask on the head (which will have water in it), close your eyes, tilt your head back by pressing with one hand on the frame of the mask just between the two eyes and blowing strongly the air from your lungs through your nose, when you run out of air, open your eyes again and rise to the surface. Repeat this procedure several times as soon as you have a minute. When you have to do it at sea, the only difference in sensation will be the regulator that you will have in your mouth. Apprentice divers with stress, forget to breathe during this exercise.
It is important that you know that discomfort in some exercises and normal, be lenient with yourself, and take your time. The training must remain pleasant, do not force too far and do not go too fast. Everyone has their own rhythm.
Diving exercises & skills to master
Assembling and disassembling the equipment:
Learn how to assemble and disassemble your equipment on the diving tank correctly.
Safety check before diving:
learn to carry out equipment checks for you and your partner before diving
Remove your regulator, put it back in your mouth and drain it.
Learn two techniques that will help you recover your regulator in the event of a loss.
Defog or empty a mask with water:
Partially flood your mask and clean it while staying underwater.
Removing and replacing the mask:
Learn how to remove your mask completely underwater, put it back on and empty it.
Controlled breathing without a mask:
Learn to breathe serenely and quietly without your mask.
Use of another air source:
Simulate an air failure by signaling it to your partner and by sharing the air of your partner using its diving regulator
Breathing on a continuous flow regulator:
Simulate a continuous flow regulator (regulator failure), to learn how to breathe on it without panicking
Shortness of breath:
Learn to report when you are short of breath (hyperventilation)
Standard hand signals:
Learn and practice standard dive signals with your instructor
Disconnect the low-pressure inflator:
Simulate a vest stuck on the inflation and practice disconnecting your low-pressure inflator.
Getting into the water:
Familiarize yourself with the different types of entry into the water such as a big step forward, the back rocker, or an entry from the beach.
Adjust your ballast to obtain good buoyancy with each dive.
Manual inflation of the vest:
Simulate a broken inflator by practicing manual inflation of your vest.
Learn how to remove your cramps and those of other divers.
Towing a tired diver:
Learn the different techniques to help and lift a tired or injured diver to the surface.
Putting on and removing the ballast:
Practice removing and putting back your ballast (belt or weight bags) on the surface and underwater.
Equipment & equipment:
Practice removing and putting your vest back on the surface and underwater.
Manage descent & ascent:
Learn to descend deep at a slow and controlled speed and do the same on the ascent
Learn how to use your lungs, to find and adjust your buoyancy using only the air in your lungs.
Swimming without a mask:
Diving without a mask for a few minutes. Opening your eyes under seawater does not sting your eyes, contrary to popular belief.
Learn to operate an emergency ascent, without air supply, by exhaling the air from your lungs continuously, at a controlled ascent rate.
Learn to use a compass underwater: take a course, follow a line, turn around and find the entry point into the water.
Scuba diving is one of the most fun and healthiest sports. Learning it can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can learn it the easy way.