You don't have to be a competitive swimmer
to take up scuba diving.
have to be an Olympic swimmer to become a diver
about it: Can only Tour de France cyclists ride bikes or
PGA Tour golfers swing a club?
While we do
recommend that you have a decent fitness level and that
youíre comfortable in the water, you donít have to be
Michael Phelps to learn to dive. If youíre still not
sure you have what it takes, try an Intro to Dive or Try
Scuba course. The coursework is easier and youíll be
accompanied by an instructor the entire time in shallow
water. You can always graduate to a full-fledged
open-water course after trying it.
need a lot of gear just to learn
diving does require gear, but you only need three basic
items to start ó a mask, snorkel and fins. These need to
fit well for you to enjoy your time underwater, so itís
worth buying them before you start the course.
All the other
gear is available to rent, usually at a discount rate to
students, or is sometimes included in the package price
for the course.
Once you get
certified, you can begin buying your own gear, as your
budget allows. Until then, rent your gear. Rental gear
is high-quality and well maintained ó plus renting gives
you the chance to see what brands you prefer.
Scuba diving is a great activity to pick up
with your family or friends.
diving isnít exciting (or itís too exciting)
get to determine the level of excitement in every dive.
You can spend a lifetime of diving in calm water,
gliding over beautiful coral reefs and looking at pretty
tropical fish ó those kind of peaceful experiences are
amazing and the norm. But if you crave action and
adventure, scuba diving can deliver that, too. Try
diving with sharks in the Galapagos, exploring the
passageways of a flooded cave, or entering a sunken
World War II battleship. Youíll find a host of advanced
training opportunities to suit the kind of diving you
want, including cave, wreck, and yes,even
is only for people who live near the ocean
matter where you live, chances are thereís a dive shop
and a popular dive site somewhere nearby. In many cases,
a local lake, spring or quarry is where people learn to
dive ó and itís often where divers continue to dive, in
addition to taking tropical dive vacations. Scuba diving
is not just a sport, itís a very social activity. So
even if your local swimming hole isnít the Caribbean or
Great Barrier Reef, an outdoor grill, a cooler, a couple
of tanks of air and a few dive buddies can make for a
day of fun.Find
your local dive shop here.
Those who love the water and have a sense of
adventure will enjoy scuba diving.
is a macho sport
if by macho you mean male-dominated, we admit that this
was true when Sea Hunt was still on TV (1958-1961). But
fast-forward to this century, and ask Jessica Alba (Into
the Blue), Kate Hudson (Foolís Gold) and Nina Dobrev
(Vampire Diaries) what they love about being underwater.
Or ask the countless female instructors, divemasters,
boat captains and resort owners who work as scuba divers
every day. Today, there isnít anything a girl or woman
canít do in the sport.
is just as good as scuba diving
in the ocean and looking down on the reef from above is
sort of like looking at fish through the glass of the
tanks at an aquarium. Itís fun, but itís just not the
same as being on the reef and seeing all of its
wonderful, surprising marine life.
are sharks in the ocean and they attack divers
saw Jaws and Open Water too. But as shark
conservationists, we think this message is important:
Sharks attacking people are the stuff of Hollywood
summer blockbusters and not based on reality. Most
times, sharks donít even want to be anywhere near
divers. In fact, it used to be that divers could go
their whole lives without ever seeing these beautiful
fish. Today, carefully managed shark-encounter dives are
possible, and for some, it is a good way to see these
amazing creatures up close.
convinced? Check the statistics ó youíre more likely to
be killed by a falling soft-drink vending machine than a
will make my ears hurt
one is true, but only if you donít ďclear your ears.Ē
Equalizing the pressure in your ears as you descend is
one of the first things youíll learn how to do when you
begin your pool lessons. Itís called the Valsalva
maneuver and itís simple: Pinch your nose and blow
gently against your nostrils until you feel relief. With
patience, nearly everyone can learn to equalize.
There are dive sites around the globe, from
the Pacific Ocean to a local lake or quarry.
is way too expensive
on whatís included, the average certification class runs
between $350 and $500. Compare the cost of scuba lessons
to almost anything and youíll see it compares favorably
to greens fees, ski-lift tickets, a gym membership or
other activities you love doing. Bonus: Like skiing,
scuba diving is something the whole family can do
together ó and thatís priceless.
canít dive. I have (insert name of medical condition
is true that some conditions, such as seizure disorders,
will keep you out of the water. If youíre worried about
diving with your particular medical condition, consult
the dive medicine experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).
They can help you better understand the physical demands
of diving and how it relates to your health. Call their
non-emergency questions line at (919) 684-2948.diversalertnetwork.org
Finger Lakes Scuba is a
division of Coral Reef Dive Adventures, Inc.