Outdoors Water Sports How to Plan For a New Adventure in Scuba Diving Guide to Getting Started Scuba Diving By Natalie Gibb Natalie Gibb Natalie Gibb owns a dive shop in Mexico and is a PADI-certified open water scuba instructor and TDI-certified full cave diving instructor. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 05/24/19 Share Pin Email Have you ever have dreamed of floating weightlessly like an astronaut, investigating unusual species like a field researcher, or looking for lost objects like a treasure hunter? Scuba diving can make these dreams a reality! Scuba diving is relatively easy and only requires a short period of training to get started. Whether your goal in diving is fish watching, ocean conservation or simply meeting other adventurous people, 70% of the globe becomes accessible to you the moment you learn to breathe underwater! Here are easy steps to take to start learning to scuba dive. 01 of 06 Step 1: Determine If You Meet The Physical Prerequisites for Scuba Diving NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.com With contemporary advances in dive equipment, medicine and training, people of all ages and sizes can safely learn to dive. Most people who have a basic level of physical fitness and are comfortable in the water can scuba dive. There are, however, a few medical conditions which are contraindicated for scuba diving. Be sure to read the fitness for diving/ dive medical questionnaire before enrolling in a scuba diving course. • Health and age prerequisites for scuba diving 02 of 06 Step 2: Choose a Scuba Diving Course Staff Sgt. Veronica Montes/Andersen AFB, Guam While diving (like any sport) has some inherent risks, these risks can be effectively managed when divers learn to check and use their gear properly and to follow safe diving guidelines. A wide variety of scuba diving courses is available to allow divers to start enjoying the underwater world safely. Most scuba diving centers offer everything from "try dives" (where curious people can show up and try scuba diving in a pool with no commitment) to open water courses which certify a diver for life. Scuba Diving Certification Agencies What Is Open Water Certification? 03 of 06 Step 3: Buy or Rent Dive Gear Thomas Quine/Flickr.com Scuba diving is an equipment-dependent sport. A diver needs a full set of well-maintained, properly fitting scuba gear before he can start diving. Most scuba diving courses include rental gear in the price of the course, so it is not essential that a diver own a complete set of gear. In fact, many divers never purchase a full set of gear but prefer to rent gear or purchase only personal items such as wetsuits, fins, and masks. Of course, owning your dive gear has many advantages. Divers who own dive gear can be certain of its fit, function, and maintenance, and they are usually more comfortable and confident underwater than those who do not. Masks Fins Snorkels Regulators 04 of 06 Step 4: Learn Essential Dive Theory Diane Betzler/Edwards A.F.B., CA Descending into the underwater environment affects a person in ways that he may not expect. To be safe and prepared to start diving, a person must first understand how diving will affect his body and his gear. Buoyancy Basics for Scuba Diving Ear Equalization Basics Nitrogen Absorption Safety Stops Continue to 5 of 6 below. 05 of 06 Step 5: Practice Simple Skills With an Instructor Joi Ito/Flickr.com After you have reviewed dive theory with an instructor and obtained scuba gear, you will be able to take your first breaths underwater--but you are not ready to jump off the boat just yet! Learning to dive requires the mastery of skills such as clearing water from your scuba mask and regulator (your breathing apparatus). is A certified scuba instructor will help you to learn these skills, as well as underwater communication and problem management. What to Expect on Your First Scuba Dive. How to Descend Mask Clearing 06 of 06 Step 6: Ask Away! NOAA National Ocean Service Remember, that when learning a new activity there are no "stupid" questions. Here is a list of some of the most common questions that student divers ask me. If you have a question that you do not see listed below, feel free to email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to answer! Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit The 5 Best Scuba Diving Certification Programs of 2021 Mastering Basic Scuba Diving Skills How to Get Certified to Scuba Dive A Complete Gear and Equipment List for Scuba Diving Plan the Ultimate Scuba Diving Trip With This Guide Confused About the Different Types of Diving? Let Us Break it Down 10 Essential Safety Tips All Scuba Divers Should Know Here's Everything You Need to Know About Night Scuba Diving The 10 Most Adventurous Things to Do in the Maldives The 15 Best Places in the World to Swim With Sharks Is Scuba Diving Safe for Kids? Your Complete Guide to Liveaboard Scuba Diving Trips The 10 Best Scuba Masks for 2021 What Scuba Divers Need to Know About Depth and Pressure The Best Beach Hacks Recommended to Us by Experts What Are the Most Common Scuba Diving Hand Signals?