Have you ever dreamed of moving weightlessly through a strange world like an astronaut? How to study an unknown species like an explorer? Then diving might be just the thing for you! Diving is learned faster than you think and almost anyone can learn it. However, you should take a few steps along the way.
The health requirements for diving
Even though diving is physically feasible for most people, there are unfortunately some diseases that exclude participation in diving. These include lung diseases such as asthma or a collapsed lung, problems with the ears (and pressure equalization), allergies and some other diseases. In addition, some medications should not be taken.
Small health problems that do not cause problems on land can become exponentially dangerous under water.
Every aspirant who wants to dive must first complete a medical questionnaire. You should answer it honestly. In case of known health problems you should consult your doctor before diving.
Diving is basically a sport for everyone. No matter if old or young – if physical fitness and mental maturity fit, almost everyone can learn it. Children can also learn to dive if they are able to follow the instructor’s instructions and abide by the rules. As a rule of thumb it is said that children from the age of 8 can theoretically learn to dive. Of course, a good diving school and intensive supervision are important.
There is no maximum age for diving. Here only the physical fitness counts. It happens again and again that also older people learn diving anew. There are said to have been students who were beyond the age of 80.
Find the right diving school
Once you have completed the health check, you should start looking for a good diving school. At first glance, it is not easy for a layperson to tell a good diving school from a bad one. There are also many different courses to learn how to dive. Day courses and taster courses are also often available.
You should make sure that it is a certified diving school or diving instructor. These certificates are issued by major diving associations such as the National Association of Underwater Instructors or Scuba Schools International. There are numerous diving associations like PADI, SSI, BSAC, CMAS, NAUI, SEI, SDI, STI, NASE, PDA and so on.
Further clues are:
- Order and hygiene in the diving school
- condition of rental equipment good, available in different sizes
- Compressor room and filling of diving tanks can be visited
- Staff explains accessories and exercises in detail
- The charisma of the instructors
- Certificates and qualifications of the diving school
- Rules for safe diving are discussed thoroughly
- individual assistance in case of difficulties
- small dive groups with 2 to 3 students
On rateyourdive.com you will also find numerous profiles of diving instructors and diving schools including reviews.
Learn the theory
Before your diving course starts, you can start to learn some theory. Diving affects the body in often unexpected ways. Therefore, it is important to learn the tricks and pitfalls of diving. The equipment is also complex.
Important topics are for example:
- Underwater pressure during diving
- Buoyancy principles for diving
- Basics of pressure compensation
- nitrogen uptake
- Limit values for freedom from decompression
- safety stops
Diving courses are always divided into theory and practice modules. There you will learn how to handle equipment safely and how to move safely under water. As a rule, most newcomers make an “Open Water Diver”. This is a qualification that entitles you to dive open water without an instructor. However, you are not yet allowed to dive all alone. If you have an “Open Water Diver”, you must always have a buddy with a diving license.
In the diving course you will learn all the necessary safety rules, such as the buddy check, the diving signs and the controlled ascent under water. The course usually lasts 4-10 days. Depending on the tight schedule and of course on environmental influences such as bad weather.
Before you complete an Open Water Diver course, you should take a taster course to see if diving is for you.
The costs to learn diving
The costs for the diving license are kept within limits. They are between 300-400€ in Germany and 400-500€ at tourist hotspots abroad.
The great thing is that you can actually complete the diving license anywhere in the world. The diving licenses, called “Brevets”, are recognized in every country.
For cheap offers below 300€ you should take a closer look. It is possible that quality will be reduced or hidden costs will be included.
You do not have to bring your own ABC diving equipment. However, not all parts of the rental equipment are included in the price of the diving course. Alternatively you can bring your own equipment or buy it yourself. The costs for the purchase of accessories such as snorkels, fins, masks and booties are between 80€ and 120€.
So the first steps on the way to becoming a diver are to check your requirements and find a good school or mentor. We hope to have given you a little orientation so that you can soon discover the world under the water.