- What is scuba diving?
Scuba diving is an underwater sport that uses particular equipment and techniques to perform subsurface breathing and movement. The equipment consists of:
- Oxygen cylinder,
- Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), to hold the cylinder and adjust the buoyancy level,
- Air regulator, to connect the cylinder to the mouth,
- Diving suits, masks, and swimming fins,
- Weighing Belt,
- Dive computer, to calculate pressure, depth, and direction.
Scuba is an acronym for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’. This emphasizes the importance of the mentioned equipment for the activity itself.
Some techniques are required to be mastered before doing scuba diving, which are buoyancy control, underwater breathing, ear equalization, and subsurface navigation.
- Why do I need certain qualification to do scuba diving?
It is highly recommended to be certified in scuba diving before doing this sport.
Scuba diving is a risky activity, especially for those who don’t understand the techniques and equipment. There are many reported fatal accidents in scuba diving. Most of the cases involve improper use of the equipment and wrong execution of techniques.
The certification is a proof that a person understands well the purpose of each equipment and technique, and how to apply them in various situation during the scuba diving activity.
You need to show your certificate to rent the equipments from a dive center.
- How do I get scuba diving certification?
Initially, you need to take Open Water Diver course from internationally recognized scuba diving associations. From there, you can gradually continue to Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver, and even become Instructor. Besides, there are also additional specialty diver courses, like Ice Diver, Underwater Photographer, etc.
In order to be eligible to take this course, you must be above 10 years old and able to demonstrate continuous 200 meters swimming.
The scuba diving courses are available on your local dive centers. Normally the dive centers are affiliated with one of international scuba diving associations.
- Can I do scuba diving without certification?
Yes, you can. Most dive resorts provide “Discover” scuba diving program that allows people to do “instant” scuba diving with direct supervision from a professional.
The instructor will teach you intensively about scuba diving in short time before going underwater. One instructor will be assigned for maximum of two persons, to do close monitoring in order to ensure your safety.
This program’s fee is more expensive than if you have already had certification. Also, you can’t move freely as the instructor has to follow wherever you go. So, consider this option only if you want to do it once.
- Where is the nearest dive center from my place?
International scuba diving associations, such as PADI, SSI, and NAUI, have affiliation with many dive centers in the world. There’s big chance that it’s also in your home town.
Please refer to each scuba diving association’s website to check the nearest dive center:
- For PADI: http://www.padi.com/scuba/locate-a-padi-dive-shop/default.aspx
- For SSI: http://www.divessi.com/fac_search
Some dive centers operate without having valid license, or are not affiliated with any internationally recognized association. You should not use their service, as there’s no guarantee that their equipments are periodically inspected. Remember that safety is the first priority in scuba diving.
Disclaimer: Please note that all the information mentioned above is accurate from the perspective of the writer at the time of the FAQ being written. In case of there’s information difference or update from any official scuba diving organizations, please refer to them or confirm.
- PADI Scuba Diver courses website: http://www.padi.com/scuba/padi-courses/diver-level-courses/view-all-padi-courses/scuba-diver/default.aspx
- Richardson D. (2008) Open Water Diver Manual, PADI.