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Chris White // November 23, 2014

8 Tips To Help You With Your Open Water Course

8 Tips To Help You With Your Open Water Course

 
Article from Scuba Diver Life

 

 
1. Listen to and watch your instructor. When he or she is demonstrating a skill, pay attention. They’re doing so for your benefit, and hopefully they have already mastered the skills themselves.
 
2.  Everything in your course has a purpose (even that damn snorkel), even if to begin with you don’t understand what the reason is. Your instructor should explain why you are required to do A, B and C. They are not asking you to do something for no reason.
 
3.  Relax — easy to say, not always easy to do. Nearly everyone has problems (sometimes major, sometimes minor) when they start off; it is almost expected.
 
4.  Don’t beat yourself over the head about something you’re not getting; your instructor will work with you until the perceived problem is no longer.
 
5.  Don’t worry if the student next to you seems to grasp the theory or water skills quicker than you do. It’s not a competition; people learn at different speeds. It doesn’t matter how quickly you complete a skill or piece of theory, all that matters is that you competently complete the course.
 
6. Never be afraid to ask questions. People often don’t ask questions or for another demonstration as they’re afraid of appearing stupid or slow-witted.
 
7. Don’t confuse the Open Water course with diving. Some people get halfway through the course and decide diving’s not for them. For most people, a dive equals a jump in the water, a look at the fish or wrecks, and getting out of the water. On most general dives we don’t remove our masks underwater, perform fin pivots, remove our regulators, and so on. The course is a means to an end, not the end itself, and will make you a more confident diver when the time comes to just jump in.
 
8. One last thing – enjoy it. Diving is essentially about fun; that’s why we call it recreational diving.

 

Chris White // November 5, 2014

Reasons To Take A Refresher

Reasons To Take A Refresher

By: C. David Conner

 

While scuba diving is no doubt all about adventure, it’s also all about staying safe. As with many potentially risky hobbies, if you haven’t been diving in a year or more it may be time for a refresher course before taking that next trip.
 
There are several reasons to keep current on your skills, and one of the most important has nothing to do with your competency when practicing them and everything to do with your state of mind: people tend to get nervous when placed in uncomfortable situations.  And while nerves may not be a big deal if, say, you’re out of practice with your bowling game, a severe case of the nerves can lead to any number of dangerous situations when you’re diving.
 
Underwater panic can turn a diving inconvenience, like a flooding mask, into an emergency in seconds. Avoiding panic, no matter how serious the situation, is absolutely vital and could save your life should you ever face a real underwater emergency. A refresher course will do as much to ease your mind as it will to exercise your skills when getting back in the water.
 
Nerves can also affect air consumption and equalization. The body responds to tense situations with faster breathing in preparation of the “flight or fight” response, which affects scuba divers in two ways.  The most obvious effect of heavier breathing is faster air consumption and thus not as much bottom time. A lesser, but also inconvenient, effect is increased buoyancy.
 
Refresher dives are also a great opportunity to check your equipment. You don’t want to go on the trip of a lifetime only to watch as your housing floods and that fancy underwater camera is ruined because of a bad O-ring — and yes, I’m speaking from experience. Regulators have O-rings; hoses can rot; BCD bladders can wear out.  Scuba gear is designed to be durable, but equipment will wear out, especially if not used in a while. If you’ve got any doubt, take your gear to a qualified professional for service before diving as well. It can be difficult to pick up right where you left off with scuba diving, so keeping those skills current is essential to make for more enjoyable and safe diving.
Chris White // July 21, 2014

How to Gear up your Scuba Kit Quickly, Easily and Efficiently?

How to Gear up your Scuba Kit Quickly, Easily and Efficiently?

Posted by Rutger Thole

 

How often have you seen someone dance around in circles trying to grip their wetsuit zipper or even spotted people walking into the water like frogs because they already have their fins on, or seen their masks fly off into the air as they tried to put it on?

All of this is a complete waste of time and an unnecessary one at that. If you know how to gear up quickly, easily and efficiently, you will have far more time to enjoy diving as well.

Organizing Your Scuba Gear

Always make sure that your scuba gear is organized. If everything is in its place, you will be able to get things on much quicker as well, as you won’t have to waste time trying to find your belongings.

Not just that, you will always be aware of the condition your gear is in, enabling you to replace it as and when necessary.

Make sure, of course, that you look after your gear, drying it off before storing it and keeping it somewhere dry and safe from the elements.

Bring a Plastic Carrier Bag

How hard is it to get your hands and feet into a wetsuit? Although once on, they are incredibly comfortable, getting the suit on can be an absolute nightmare.

Interestingly, a simple plastic bag can help you with this. It goes without saying this plastic bag should be stowed away properly so it will not end up in the water. Have you ever heard of the great pacific garbage patch?

You may be tempted to use lotions to make your skin more slippery, but this can actually be damaging to your suit whereas a plastic bag does not.

Simple put it over your hand, feet, or whatever it is that you are trying to get through and you will notice it slips on and fits like a glove straight away.

Always Help Your Fellow Divers

If you see that someone else is struggling or looks like they don’t know what to do, go help them out. Just share your knowledge, including the above two points, and you will make sure they can enjoy their time a lot better as well.

Remember that scuba diving is something that you do together, which is why it operates according to a buddy system.

You are not competing to be in the water first or to have your gear on first. If you have any knowledge you can impart on less experienced divers, then make sure you do so.

This will also show them that divers look after each other and that it is ok to ask questions.

Scuba diving is fun and should be a relaxing hobby. This means that there is no time or energy to waste by things such as struggling to get your gear on.

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