Breathing underwater can be one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences of our lives, but most people do have some questions or apprehension about trying this new activity. For our entire lives we’re taught we can’t breathe underwater and suddenly a whole new world is being opened up for us!
Below are some of the things you can do to ensure that your first breaths underwater are an enjoyable experience that you will remember for many years to come:
- Investigate the dive centres in your local area. Choose a reputable dive centre and go with one that best suits your requirements. Most schools should be able to tell you a bit about the experience through their website, over the phone, by email or in person.
- Look into the different types of experience available. Some schools offer different options. For example, if you’re nervous you may wish to do a private session. Most schools can accommodate this with a private instructor or even a private pool session.
- Look at the PADI Medical form. Page 1 of this has a medical questionnaire that needs to be completed (or a similar one) before any in water activities. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions this does not mean you can not dive, it means that you will need a physician’s confirmation of fitness to dive (page 2 of the form). There is further information for the physician on pages 3 to 6. If you have any questions contact your local dive centre or your General Practitioner, who should be able to provide some advice or guidance. Should you wish to see a diving specialist doctor, your dive centre should be able to recommend one. We recommend Mark Downs, whose details can be found at http://www.scuba4fun.org.uk/index.html
- Consider if you’d like to do your first experience with friends, family or on your own. While it can be great to share this experience, if you’re nervous or may feel pressured you may choose to do a private experience.
- Let your instructor know about your confidence in water. Whether you’re uncomfortable in a pool or you’re a confident open water snorkeller, the instructor should tailor your experience to your comfort level and adapt to your requirements.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself! Take your time and ask any questions you may have.
- Have fun! Diving should be a fun experience!
If you have any additional tips for first time divers, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update the post as applicable!