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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 scubadiving.com’s forums to help you improve your scuba diving knowledge.
And for DWS readers, you can always e-mail me from email@example.com if you have something in mind or just want to talk about a topic.
How do you improve yourself?
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