Monday January 27 2020
September 23, 2013

Can I Dive Without Scuba Certification?

Diving without a scuba certification is an issue being talked about a lot. Some people think that scuba diving is just like swimming in a pool. You can jump into a pool, learn the basics from someone who knows to swim and then improve yourself by exercising. What is missing here is that scuba is an “equipment based” sport and requires technical detailed knowledge. Second, scuba diving makes you breath underwater, causing some potential risks that has to be learnt. Last but not least, you should master some skills to dive in safe. Let’s go on with more detail to answer this question.

What Is a Scuba Certification?

It is a piece of card. What is important on it is your “level” set by the diving agency you got your training. If you are an Open Water Diver (from PADI or SSI, let’s say), it means that you can dive up to 18 meters. When you are on a dive boat and show your scuba certification, they, as diving professionals, know what training you got and your limits.

In SSI certifications, your dive number is written. Why this is important? Imagine your self preparing to dive in Red Sea. There are corals that grow only 2.5 cm in 100 years. Dive centers there may set a limit like “scuba divers with at least 100 dives can dive here“. This is for protecting the wild and their money making reef.

Why Do I Need a Scuba Certification?

Scuba diving is an outdoor sport and has some risks. First of all, you need a scuba certification for your safety. Most recognized dive agencies -like SSI, PADI, CMAS and NAUI- are doing this business for more than 30 years. This means that they have a “know how” about scuba diving. These agencies produce instructors by the help of this “scuba know how“. As a result, these instructors train divers with the same way.

Andy Davis, Sidemount Technical Wreck Instructor says “The biggest issue is that you ‘won’t know what you don’t know”in QuoraThis is already quiet scary. You may think that you know everything about scuba diving. Believe me, you don’t. All the theory including dive physics, physiology, planning, disease, equipment and usage can only be covered by a certified dive professional by the help of slides, DVDs, licensed workbooks and all other alternate teaching stuff, supplied by the scuba diving agencies.

Not only the theory of course. Did you know that you need some critical skills that you have to master to become a safe scuba diver? What would you do if your mask leaks water when you are at 18 meters? When you have to remove and replace your weight belt?

All skills are essential and they have been created over years from real dive scenarios. SSI, Scuba Schools International, says a scuba skill should be:

  1. applicable in real dives (not training)
  2. working in every condition

On the road to your scuba certification, you learn theory and proper skills for your own safety.

There are other factors that require a scuba certification.

If you want to dive in a dive center/boat, they will ask your scuba certification. Nobody wants to take risk.

If you have a boat and want to dive with one of your friends on your own, you will have to rent/but scuba gear. You’ll again have to show your scuba certification to the dive shop.

Even if you buy a 2nd hand scuba gear from your friend, relatives and etc., a Cost Guard Ship will probably approach to your boat and ask for your scuba certification.

But as I have mentioned before, there is nothing important than taking a proper training for YOUR OWN SAFETY.

It is also clear that if you know the details of what you are doing, you’ll have more fun. Think about F1 Racing. For someone who really doesn’t know about the details, it’s only couple of weird shaped cars trying to race on a ring. On the other hand, for people who know about every detail of it, F1 is something that should be loved because it is the mixture of engineering, marketing, team working, experience, skills, intelligence …

I Still Want to Dive Without Scuba Certification!

Then you can go to a dive center/boat/resort and ask for a try. A dive professional will brief you for some basics and get you underwater for a couple of meters. This is called Try Scuba Diving/Discover Scuba Diving. It can be in a pool or in shore. You’ll try yourself, scuba unit and your feelings underwater.

But not more. You cannot dive on a reef because you don’t have any buoyancy skills. You cannot dive up to 30 meters because you don’t have the proper deep diving training. You cannot dive in a wreck, cave, at night… The list goes on.

Scuba training is very common in our time and affordable. That’s because we pay for it only once, but use it in our entire life, just like driving licences. Don’t risk anything and increase your pleasure from your dives by having a scuba certification.

Check out the training and basics pages for more information about scuba courses and diving.

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About Seaman


Hi, my name is Murat Demirağ. I have been diving since 1996 and teaching scuba since 2005. I wanted to share my knowledge through

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  • Bob Haynes
    2018-09-10 02:32

    Need scuba diving certificate so I can fill my air tanks

    • Seaman
      2018-09-14 16:45

      Not exactly dude,

      You need a dive certification at the end of a successful dive training not to have a problem in your dives-how to dive responsibly.

      Divers without a training “think” they know enough, but what they missing is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

      You need a good diving course- not a certification.

      Certification will only be the result.

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