Things You Should Know Before Scuba Diving
We’re not sure if it was Shark Week a little while back, or if it happened while we were drooling over these tropical surfing destinations, but we got the scuba diving bug and it’s not going away anytime soon. Scuba diving is a surreal experience where you get to explore the most exotic place in the world—the ocean. Truly escaping from earth, scuba diving takes you deep under the sea where you’ll be surrounded by colorful fish and many other strange living things that we wouldn’t exactly call “fish.” Before you try scuba diving for the first time, review our list of things you should know ahead of time. If you’re an avid scuba diver, it never hurts to brush up on this important information.
- Before you can scuba dive off a boat in the deep sea, you’ll have to take baby steps in a pool or shallow bay first. In your scuba course you will gradually pile on the gear so you get accustomed to the weight. Before you even get your toes wet, your instructor will provide a detailed lecture on the gear, how everything works, and how to be as safe as possible while diving. When you move to the water you will begin in the shallow end so you can practice sticking your face underwater to get used to a breathing regulator.
- Breathing through a regulator will feel weird. It is natural to hesitate when breathing through a regulator for the first time. Using a regulator causes you to inhale while your face is completely submerged underwater. The best way to get used to this feeling is to practice using the regulator out of the water first. As you begin to go underwater, exhale so that an inhale through the regulator will be natural. Make sure you master this technique before rushing on to the next lesson. This will be the most important thing to be comfortable with when you’ve made it to the deep sea.
- Scuba diving will be noisier than you expect. Breathing in and out creates movement in the water that will sound especially loud at first. Eventually you will tune this out.
- Your peripheral vision will be cut on each side due to your scuba mask. It is important to get in the habit of looking around and behind you to get a better sense of your surroundings. Continually looking around will also ease any nerves you have from not being able to see as well. Don’t panic if you feel claustrophobic at first—it won’t take long to get comfortable with the mask.
- You are bound to feel like an astronaut in outer space because you will feel completely weightless. Don’t try to fight the water, but instead let it move you around and just enjoy the ride. Once you get over the weirdness of feeling like the weight of a feather, you’ll soon find that this is one of the best parts about scuba diving.
- One of the weird things that will happen is that you may feel a sudden urge to pee when you scuba dive. This is because the water around you is lower than your body temperature, which speeds up the synthesis of urine. Divers who go scuba diving often and own their own gear simply pee in their wetsuits. If you are in a practice pool or in rental gear, either wait it out or end your dive so you can go to the bathroom the right way.
- Lastly, you will likely forget many of the hand signals you just learned above the surface. Being deep under water in a whole new way will consume your mind. Don’t worry about your forgetfulness—this happens all the time, and your instructor will ask you to come up to the surface so you can be reminded of the important hand signals.