Key for Success in Scuba Diving

I am a scuba instructor for more than 15 years in PADI, SSI, NASDS and CMAS

I have trained over 750 scuba diving students in this period. 

When I start an Open Water Diver Course, I know two things will possibly happen throughout the course;

  1. My student, regardless of age, sex and nationality, will be afraid to try to conduct the “removing and replacing the scuba mask skill” 
  2. He / she will most likely think that scuba diving is a hard sport / activity requiring endurance and “maybe it is not something for him / her” (fewer than #1 but still valid)

In this post, I want to show you the way for success in scuba diving and how to kill these two points above (if you also have / had them) easily!

Ok, let me start with the first one; 

[Read more…]

Scuba Diving Books

We might have sharp scuba diving skills underwater like hovering, mask clearing and using alternate air soource. We can master these skills by practicing them enough.

Our academic knowledge about underwater physics, physiology, dive desease, dive tables and etc may also be good.

However, a scuba diver should always learn more to be able to be a better diver. Self improvement is the key.

For this purpose, we should read some informative books and watch educational documentaries (NatGeo is my favorite).

Today, I will suggest you to 5 books about scuba diving that I am sure you will improve yourself and become a better scuba diver than today. [Read more…]

Removing Mask: A Challenging Dive Skill

Majority of student divers and unexperienced certified scuba divers find this basic skill difficult. They have the fear to perform mask removal.

The reason behind this fear is that we are evolved/created (choose the one you like) to live on land, not underwater.

We eat, drink, dance, walk and see on land. We do these for years and know nowhere else to do such kind of activities!

However one day, a bald scuba instructor like me takes you into the ocean and wants you to breathe underwater! Isn’t this “a little bit weird already, even though it is fascinating” you are thinking…

Like this ain’t enough, your instructor wants you to perform some diving skills! He/she is demonstrating these skills easily. But when your instructor gives you the “now your turn” signal, those skills start not to be that easy, huh?


You are a certified scuba diver but you completed your diving course a couple of weeks ago.

You were removing your mask, feeling a little bit anxious, but handled it. But you still have a piece of fear against this skill.

What if I need to replace my mask if it is removed from my face in my open water dives one day?!

Do you match with one of these two profiles?


First, you are not alone!

Removing Your Mask UnderwaterAs I have mentioned above, majority of the student divers and unexperienced scuba divers find mask removal a really challenging scuba skill.

Because when you remove your mask underwater, water surrounds your eyes, mouth and eyes. When performed in open water as a part of scuba diving training, salty water may disturb you. This is extremely normal.

In addition to this, we are used to inhale through our nose. This is a reflex for us and it is difficult to control.

However, we should inhale and exhale through our mouth underwater. That’s because we are using a regulator second stage for breathing there.

And when we inhale through our nose when we remove our mask underwater, water comes in! This disturbs us naturally. We need to cough and take deep breaths to overcome this issue, right? [Read more…]

5 Ways of Self-Improvement in Diving

You did it! From now on, you are a certified scuba diver. All the academic sessions and the training dives are over.
You are looking at your brand-new dive certification and becoming proud of you. Now you can dive as long as you want, share your experience with your friends and family. You became one of the guys in National Geographic Channel whom you were admiring just because they were diving in a harmony. How cool you feel now!

However, this is only a start, the beginning of your scuba diving journey. It is a life-time hobby that will turn into a life-style in time. Like all the other relationships you have, you and scuba diving will mature by time which will lead you to an amazing life experience.

In this article, I wanted to help you make safe and comfortable dives. Knowing and applying these simple “tips” will make you better divers.

Alright then, let’s start.

Maintaining and Developing Your Scuba Diving Knowledge

We forget. That’s the truth. To maintain what we learnt, we should repeat. The entry level course books are the base of our scuba diving knowledge. Whichever your diving agency is, your “starter book” should always be on your desk.

From time to time, take a look at the chapters. Not the whole book maybe, but the key points in it. I suggest you to highlight the parts that you tell as a key point. It is then easy to find these lines when you decide to re-read it.

This is only the maintaining part. It is the base of our “house of diving.

You should read monthly well-respected dive magazines, follow a TV show in an alternative channel like NetGeo, Discovery and/or Animal Planet, read other books (in addition to your own diving manual) written by your favorite doyenne scuba diver.

By this way, you’ll learn new things and be able to follow the trend in scuba diving.

A good knowledge will make you a better and conscious diver.

Sharpening Your Scuba Diving Skills

You learnt a lot in your dive training. Remember your scuba diving skills like clearing your mask and your regulator second stage, using alternate air source, maintaining perfect buoyancy?

These skills should always be sharp.

Some of these skills will not be used frequently in your dives, such as emergency ascents.

By not repeating, these skills may “become rusty.

To prevent this, you should practice your skills from time to time. Ask your instructor to make him/her help you with this. A good instructor will be happy for this and help you without hesitation.

When one of my students asks me for such kind of an update, I congratulate him/her and help to sharpen his/her skills without any doubt.

Sharp skills will help you increase your self-confidence and self-motivation, resulting in safer and more comfortable dives.

Diving In Different Regions

When we always dive in the same dive spot/region, we only learn the aspects of that specific region.

Diving in different regions with different dive professionals will teach you a lot. You’ll gain more experience.

You cannot study maths by multiplying 2 with 2 everyday, huh?

A dive spot with current (with proper –drift diving- training, for sure), for example, will make you have a great experience and ease your regular dives without current.

Diving in fresh water can be another example. By this way, you’ll learn that you need less weight with respect to your dives you make in salty sea water.

Diving in altitude (over 300 meters from the sea level) is another example. It’ll teach you that you need different tables and applications to follow when you are in a lower atmospheric pressure.

Examples are limitless.

Diving with other divers and dive professionals is another asset for us.

Every diver and dive professional has their own style that will help you extend your vision.

Diving Frequently

Scuba Schools International has a teaching philosophy: “Comfort through repetition.

Just like every other things in our life, like playing football, studying for a lesson, driving a car or a motorcycle, we get better when we practice it.

Scuba diving is the same.

We learn diving by diving.

Unlike riding a bike, we cannot easily remember to dive when we give a long break. Our buoyancy skills, for example, decrease if we don’t dive for a long time.

That’s why majority of the dive agencies require a “scuba skills update” program for divers who didn’t dive for a certain period (6 months in most of them).

Therefore, we should go on diving frequently. Learn and develop it by doing it.


Keeping In Touch With Other Divers and Dive Pros

Learning is social.

All divers can learn and improve themselves by staying in touch with each other.

A small scuba diving speech generally turns into a brain storm and give good lessons for both sides.

It is certain that there are parts that we really know about, enjoy reading about it and etc. On the other hand, there are parts that we are weak and needs to be improved.

We can easily exchange these parts with a proper dive partner that we like to talk. This is a really good way of self-improvement.

If your “dive speech partner” is a dive professional, it is even better.

You can do this by joining scuba diving groups/clubs in your region. They motivate people talk about scuba diving and dive professionals regulate these conversations by joining the group in a good harmony.

Another way to stay in touch with others is the scuba diving forums. I advise you’s forums to help you improve your scuba diving knowledge.

And for DWS readers, you can always e-mail me from if you have something in mind or just want to talk about a topic.

How do you improve yourself?

Controlled Descent Is the Best Start

Mustafa and I were in Antalya-Kemer/TURKEY for diving several years ago.

It was a wreck dive.

We were not alone. Our group consisted of 6 scuba divers (including us) and a dive leader.

I and Mustafa were instructors, but the rest were starters.

Right after the dive briefing, dive leader told us that me and my buddy Mustafa may stay at the back of the group while enjoying the dive and serve as a rearguard for him.

That was no problem. We accepted. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Make Relaxed Dives

We are all diving for pleasure.

So scuba diving should be fun and relaxing.

If we can ‘avoid stress‘, we can feel both comfortable and self-confident. [Read more…]

Meet With Shark Angels

Regular readers of know how sensitive I am about consciousness and conservation.

I not only try to educate my students about scuba diving but also about conservation and consciousness about the environment they are/are going to dive.

This is a hard job. Because the majority of the people are unaware of the importance of the species, worse is they don’t even care about whether these species have importance or not. [Read more…]

Scuba Diving in GTA 5

Several weeks ago, I have seen world-famous Barcelona player Lionel Messi on T.V. He was playing PES on Play Station. Ofcourse his virtual team was Barcelona as well. [Read more…]

I Don’t Want to Dive Today

It sounds like becoming a little bit sad and maybe worried leaving home for a job that you have always dreamed about outside your hometown. You know that it’s gonna be great deep inside but you are leaving your family even tough you know that you can take a bus and see’em whenever you’d like to. Missing your room, garden and friends in the town. List goes on… This mood is damn interesting, on one side, you are dying to do it, on the other side, you are worried. [Read more…]

What Makes a Good Diver?

There is less competition (except few navigation and underwater photography) in scuba when compared to the other sports. This means that a scuba diver doesn’t get a gold medal and/or step on a platform to accept a bunch of flowers. So, it is actually a little bit hard to call someone “a good diver.”

In scuba, there are two kind of “goodness”.

1- In terms of technique

2- In terms of consciousness

When these two are combined, a scuba diver becomes real good at it. If only one is owned, they are only scuba divers, if none is owned, they got a long way to go.  [Read more…]