What is SCUBA diving and where to start?


S.C.U.B.A. or SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Which means, by using this equipment, you can breath underwater! And that is what all the excitement is about and gives us that drive to seek adventure in this massive world of water.

In this post we talk about scuba diving in it’s recreational form. There are many other forms of diving such as technical diving, commercial diving, freediving, … But we will talk about them in other posts.
For now, I will be your guide, through the basics of scuba diving and hopefully inspire you to get in the water for yourself!


Unlike what a lot of people believe, SCUBA diving is absolutely a safe sport, but like with many things, it can be very dangerous when you don't know what you are doing and that is the reason why you need to study first. The good news is, anybody can learn it. Things are different underwater, therefore you need to know some facts before you start. These facts have to do with the effect of water causing pressure on our body etc. With scuba diving, it is important to read the manual in advance!

So in order to successfully start your underwater adventure, you need to go through scuba training. No dive center in the world will rent you scuba gear if you can’t prove you are trained in scuba. No worries, it is a lot of fun and after your ‘beginners’ course, you can already rent scuba gear and get to diving! 

This beginners course is actually the most important one because it is where you learn the fundamentals of diving. You can compare it with a driver license, once you have the license, you can drive a car in public, but you need to drive more to get experienced and become a responsible, relaxed driver. In diving it is the same thing, the beginners course makes sure you know what you are doing, or at least, that should be the case!

sink me to the deep scubalooks

Some say scuba diving is not really a sport because there is no competition, but the competition is with yourself. The water can scare you, push you, drift you away, it can be difficult sometimes, it can drive you crazy, but when you get it all under control, it will give you a set of skills and self confidence you never believed you could have. You’re going to have to surrender to the motion of the ocean.
The competition between divers is more about bragging about the things they have seen, and the places they have been diving. If you meet divers who brag about the depths they have been, just say hi and be on your way, because you will learn about limits, and depending on your level of certification, you better dive within those limits. Don’t worry, again, you will learn all about this in time.

Scubalooks blog foto 2

SCUBA diving is a lot of fun, but, like I already said, there are a lot of things you have to know before you start. Therefore, keep in mind from the beginning: Safety first!
There is no hurry... Scuba certifications are for life! So it is important to focus on the initial training. Take time to perfect your dive skills now so they will be with you for a long time. 

The main goal for beginners is to perfect your buoyancy, this is floating through the water knowing where you are, that means, at what depth, without going up or down too precarious. Then you have things under control and you respect nature. Learn to use your equipment, it is designed to get you there. 
We need to respect nature so divers need to make sure they don't touch anything underwater, that must be one of our top priorities. In real life, this is a tremendous problem because you will notice lots of divers seemed to have skipped on learning to finetune their buoyancy and they bump onto coral and do crazy things. Life in the ocean is already having a hard time due to human impact so it is fair to say that divers should know how to limit their impact. We need to be "Buddha Divers". 
Read our about section what we mean with that.

Buddha diver

Let’s summarize the steps you need to follow to get yourself floating through the water like an astronaut in outer space:

(Your instructor will guide you through this):

  • Basic: Learn how to swim and especially how to use your fins, mask and snorkel appropriate. You’re going to learn to breath underwater, so it is very important to know how to use the tools that make that possible.
  • Basic: Find yourself a dive operation that teaches scuba courses. A good shop will be the perfect balance of serious and fun.
  • Knowledge: Learn about the theory of scuba diving, this part is interesting because you will learn about the effects of water on our body, safety, scuba equipment, a lot of science stuff like physics, biology, physiology…
  • Knowledge: Learn how your equipment works and how to prepare it for a dive.
  • Skills: Learn a set of skills underwater and at the surface, i.e. to behave properly in water.
  • Skills: Perfect your buoyancy, arguably one of the most important skills which I will address in later posts.

Like with most things, the more dives you make, the easier things will become, but you will never stop learning. I can't stress enough the importance of taking it easy! You probably will face difficulties and maybe even moments you want to give up, don’t, the rewards will be amazing, you pushed your limits and the adventures you will have in the water will be thrilling!

People can conquer fears and phobias!

The most important thing is to have an open mind set and keep learning. You need to be aware that you are making part of a new world with other rules. Your equipment makes it possible to spend time there, your knowledge will bring you back safe. Time and depth are very important, stay within the limits. You will learn all about it during your theory sessions.

    Mad about diving!

     Where to start!?

    Literally anywhere there is a body of water, you can dive! Our planet is covered in water, so it is quite logical that we divers want to submerge into it. Wherever you live in the world, you will probably find a place where people go diving. If you are really unsure of where to start, ask around about diving, use the internet and you will most likely find a dive shop close to you where you can get certified to dive. You will be surprised. You don’t need awesome things to see, just being underwater can already be thrilling and kicking.

    For recreational scuba diving there is no one centralized certifying or regulatory agency. There are many out there. Do your research, look what is available for you in your neighborhood or if you plan to get your certification on your holiday, check the web to find the best. There are a lot of schools out there and there is a lot of competition between them. In the beginning it doesn’t really matter what agency you start with as the courses more or less cover the same material, and any main agency will be recognized by dive operators anywhere in the world. What is more important is considering the vibe and experience of the dive center offering the course.
    Ask around, divers love to talk about their sport. Go check it out! Give it a try!

    Go explore yourself and the world!

    ____

    Share your experiences on Facebook or tag us your 'scubalooks' on instagram! 

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    Steven Verschueren

    Hi, I’m Steven, I started scuba diving in 2010 after watching a lot of documentaries about the ocean. Encounters with big fish, strange looking sea creatures, beautiful islands... One day I decided to learn scuba diving. When I was a kid I almost drowned in a lake, so it was not obvious to step into scuba, but I did it and 4 years later I was working as a scuba dive instructor and dive guide in different places around the world. My dreams became reality, I was guiding people and we would meet dolphins, whale sharks, pilot whales, seahorses, huge schools of fish, bigger than you can imagine. So many strange encounters and all so amazingly beautiful. Being underwater is something very powerful. No matter where or who I am diving with, once under, we are all the same and after sharing this experience with others you instantly form friendship with people. That is a phenomenon I see almost every time I guide people in the ocean and I believe that it is something so beautiful and powerful that I want to share it with divers and alike. That is also one of the reasons I built Scubalooks, now we can represent scuba in clothing in an awesome way and share our passion. Give it a try. Go out and enjoy!



     


    2 comments


    • Steven Verschueren

      Hi there, sorry for my late reply. Thank you for the compliment.
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    • dep of education

      Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!
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