Interested in getting into scuba diving? Scuba diving for beginners can seem like a long uphill battle to understand where to start or even which company you should start with. First of all, before you take your first underwater breath you are going to want to know the risks and the rewards of scuba diving. Scuba diving is a very rewarding pastime and feels at times like you are an explorer setting out into the world to find uncharted territory. Scuba is also the only time I have ever personally felt like I’m in an alien world, somewhere I am not really meant to be as an air-loving human. The feeling of being neutrally buoyant and just floating in the water column is unmatched in anything I have ever done, but it’s not without some risks.
As I mentioned it’s an alien environment which means we are not meant to be 100ft underwater and see all the wonders that have been hidden away in an untouchable place. As a result of it being so different there are risks, you can always run low on air, you might get the bends, you can get “Narc’d” or worse of all you might experience an over-expansion injury. Now, these things are all possibilities and in certain instances can be fatal or life-altering. However, a well-trained diver with the proper equipment will never have to worry about these because they will know what to do and when to do it.
Three Dive Agencies for Beginner Divers
Now that we have talked a bit about the risks and the rewards, we should talk about how to be a safe diver so it’s all reward from your first breath onward. The first thing you will need is to find a dive store or club where they host a certification course. PADI, SSI, and NAUI are the three most common dive certifiers, and they are all very similar with only slight adjustments in their training regiments. I personally use SSI but that’s just my preference, one subtle difference is which regulator you would hand off while buddy breathing.
The cost will typically be the same and will run you around $900.00 CAD just for the certification course, which includes a few confined dives (in a pool) and open water dives. To take a course you will need to buy some equipment or rent it but the recommendation is to at least buy your mask, snorkel, and fins, as these are very personal and important.
What you will Learn as a New Diver
Once you have found your certification agency and got your equipment you will be on your way to taking your first nervous breath underwater. While you review all the equipment on land in your first in-class lessons you will learn about how to operate your Buoyancy Control Compensator, Regulator, Tanks, and other key equipment, which will be the foundation for safe diving. In the pool, you will learn how to breathe calmly and smoothly, clear your mask and control your body position.
As a new diver, you will learn how to use your breath to control your height in the water column and how to decompress your ears. All three agencies will take you through assuming you know nothing and will make you a safe and competent diver down to 60ft. If you do not feel you know something well enough, ask your instructor and make sure you have a good grasp as these are key diving skills you need to be safe.
Whichever agency you go with will make sure you are a safe diver, all of them are internationally recognized and they all have pathways to more skills. Once you have the basics you can learn things like Night Diving (You need a Light), Deep Diving, Cave Diving, and other specific types of diving certifications. The more you want to do the more you can explore, each one with its own risks and rewards to be cognizant of.