The fascinating, mysterious underwater world magically attracts people. For many, snorkeling is no longer enough; they want to experience the underwater flora and fauna up close with the help of a regulator. What should beginners pay attention to in order to make diving an unforgettable adventure?
1. First make only a trial dive
Some diving enthusiasts spontaneously book a diving course during their vacation and pay a lot of money for it. This approach is generally not advisable. Anyone who seriously wants to learn to dive should not decide to take a course on a whim. In addition to choosing the right diving school, a professional diving fitness examination is also absolutely necessary.
If you have acquired your first diving license, you may dive without an instructor. However, especially in the beginning, you should only do dives that are guided by an experienced divemaster. Usually beginners book vacations on a safari ship or in a hotel with a diving center. These vacations are not cheap. Therefore, there is a high risk of wanting to dive at all costs.
However, there is nothing at all against taking a trial dive during vacations. You do not need your own equipment. Depending on the diving resort, the dive takes place in the swimming pool or in the shallow sea. In a depth of about five meters, the diving beginner gets first impressions of the fascination of sport diving.
Many interested people get a taste for it. Others discover that diving is not for them after all. An introductory dive is the best way to start your diving adventure without having to make a large investment in a diving course or equipment.
2. Equipment for diving beginners
For the diving course, many beginners have already bought a diving mask, a snorkel and fins. In addition to this basic equipment, every diving beginner should definitely purchase a dive computer. Other equipment such as buoyancy compensator, regulator, and wetsuit can be purchased later when you are clear about your goals and needs as a recreational diver.
3. You have to be healthy when diving
If you dive, you have to be completely healthy. If one suffers from a flu-like infection or an inflammation of the sinuses, problems with the pressure balance can arise. In the worst case, so-called ear barotrauma can occur.
All in all, a responsible diver will refrain from diving if his or her health condition is not optimal. Anyone suffering from a chronic illness should definitely have their fitness assessed by a competent medical professional.
4. Respect your limits
Especially with novice divers, it happens that they do not respect their limits. Sometimes the divemaster plans a dive that is beyond your skills or that you are not up to.
In doing so, you run the risk of reacting incorrectly and panicking in an emergency. If you realize that the dive you are planning is beyond you, say NO. It is not a sign of cowardice but shows a sense of responsibility and character if you do not blindly follow the herd.
5. Breath properly underwater
It’s not just novice divers who often breathe incorrectly. Even advanced divers do not always pay attention to this important aspect and thus consume much more breathing gas than necessary.
The wrong breathing is done as follows: you inhale, hold your breath for one or two seconds, exhale and then immediately inhale again. Holding your breath is automatic because the subconscious mind signals us, “You’re underwater and you’re not supposed to breathe.”
What does proper breathing look like? A normal breath on land goes like this: inhale, exhale, pause.
Try to breathe in the same way using the regulator. This relaxes the body and prevents a possible panic reaction. In addition, correct breathing has a beneficial effect on buoyancy control. In the beginning, many divers do not find it easy to breathe correctly underwater. But again, practice makes perfect.
6. Know the diving equipment inside out
Diving beginners use mostly rented equipment. If the diving equipment is as good as new and well maintained, there is nothing at all wrong with it.
The prerequisite, however, is to be thoroughly familiar with the function of the rented parts.
Where are the inlet and outlet valves on the buoyancy compensator? How do I throw off the lead weights in an emergency? If you can’t answer such questions in your sleep, you risk a diving accident.
The same applies to the dive computer. A diver must be able to recognize the most important values immediately, even in critical situations. Since the individual models sometimes differ significantly, you should have your own dive computer.
Those who do not master a borrowed computer safely may be putting their life and health at risk. For diving beginners, therefore, their own dive computer is a must.
7. Choose the right buddy
In the best-case scenario, you spend your diving vacation together with your dive buddy. It is very important to have a buddy you trust.
Of course, everyone should know and use the buddy system. Often novice divers do not have a regular partner with whom they do regular dives.
In this case, the Divemaster will assign a dive buddy. If the buddy is inattentive and only cares about themselves, it is just like diving alone. Therefore, to avoid any further safety risks, you should change partners. A confidential conversation with the Divemaster will solve the problem.
Recommended Read: What Should Divers Do For Their Own Safety?
Sometimes beginners dive with a very experienced buddy. This is no reason to be in awe. Even experts are not immune to diving accidents. Form a team, help each other above and below the water. This is more than a nice gesture and the experienced diver will usually appreciate it.
8. Drink plenty of water before the dive
Diving is a strenuous sport. Many do not even notice it, but you sweat underwater and thus dry out. The diver then tires more quickly and loses strength. Beginning divers should make sure to drink plenty of fluids between dives. It is best to take enough water with you and drink half a liter immediately before diving. After the dive, it is advisable to drink plenty of water again.
9. Do not dive under the influence of alcohol
During vacations, many people go overboard and drink too much. This also happens from time to time during diving vacations.
If you are still under the influence of alcohol the next morning, you should not dive. The same applies to drugs and medication. When diving, you have to be physically and mentally fit. Otherwise, judgment is impaired and you may make the wrong decisions.
Especially as a beginner diver, you should strictly follow the advice and instructions of an instructor or divemaster. Experienced professionals do not want to spoil your fun, but are concerned about your health.
10. Always listen to your gut feeling
In our cerebral society, gut feeling usually does not play a big role. For diving beginners, it is unusual to give importance to their inner voice. Therefore, the most important tip for beginners comes at the end: Be sure to listen to your gut feeling.
If you have concerns or a funny feeling before the dive, don’t go into the water. There is no shame in skipping a dive if your gut registers concerns.