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Do I Need to do a Scuba Diving Refresher?

Do I Need to do a Scuba Diving Refresher?

Do I need to do a scuba dive refresher and what are my options?

There are several different ways to refresh your scuba diving skills and knowledge after a period out of the water. Here in Phuket, that could be a pool refresher, Kata beach dive, or diving easy sites like Racha Noi & Racha Yai.

Refresher Options

PADI’s recommendation in the theory section of the PADI Open Water Course is that you should do a refresher if you have not been diving for six months or longer. This is for a very good reason, it involves your safety. Hopefully after reading this blog you will be able to find the answer to “Do I Need to do a Scuba Diving Refresher?”

Is this applicable to all cases?

PADI ReActivate VideoPADI ReActivate Video

First and foremost, over and above anything else that is mentioned below, if you feel that you need a refresher scuba diving then you do.

The requirement or need to do a refresher should not purely be based on time alone. The ability and confidence of the diver involved should also be taken into account.

For example, a student who has only done the four dives of the PADI Open Water Course, was quite nervous during their course should look at doing a refresher. A divemaster with several hundreds or even thousands of dives would most like not need a refresher. Most divers slot somewhere between.

As mentioned safety is our primary concern and should be our main focus point.

Here are a few things you should consider when deciding what type of refresher you need.

Time Out of the Water

Time out of the water is the most obvious one. This is because over time a few things can change.

Memory Recall: Over time we do naturally forget how to do things. Out cognitive value diminishes and we may need a refreshes to jog our memory. Sometimes we do not like to admit it but we do.

Physical Ability: Overtime time we do change physically, sometimes for the better and other time not so. Although scuba diving is not so physically challenging a change in ability to perform certain exercises.

Mental Confidence: As we get older we become more mindful of what we do. We can remember back to when we were a bulletproof teenager. We start to get a greater awareness of our safety and well being and what we previously thought as a carefree activity then starts to play on our mind.

Physical Changes (body): Significant changes in our body shape can have an effect on our buoyancy level and control. Significant weight gain (or loss) can greatly affect our buoyancy control. Particularly the amount of weight that we use.

Change in Conditions or Environment: Going from cold water to warm water or visa versa does have some changes in the way we dive. Different types of wetsuits and weights needed do require different skill levels.

Change in Equipment: Different wetsuits, BCDs, masks and fins all effect the way we dive.

Scuba Equipment Aussie Divers Phuket

Scuba Equipment Aussie Divers Phuket

Divers Alert Network Recommendations

Divers Alert Network (DAN) is considered a world authority on diver safety and medical advice. Here is a simple and sensible chart with their advice on scuba refresher programs.

DAN Period of Inactivity Chart


Pool Refresher: Conducted at our main office we can run through equipment setup, mask clearing, mask removal regulator recovery, buoyancy and an equipment fitting. A good brief refresher just to get the feel of diving again and to practice some of the basic skills. Practicing in a shallow pool is the safest way to perform the skills is in a shallow pool. The price is THB 1,900 for a short refresher (1.0 – 2.0 hours) or THB 2,500 for a long thorough refresher (joining open water students 3 – 5+ hours) and include equipment – does not include transfers.

Kata Beach Dive This would be a single beach dive at Kata Beach. Kata Beach is a nice easy diving, with a beach entry with a gentle sloping bottom. The dive can done mostly across sand with the reef to the side. It is an easy dive to get used to equalising techniques and buoyancy control and at the same time, getting to see plenty of marine life. It has been a very popular refresher method of late. Kata Beach is a seasonal dive between late October and weather permitting. The price is THB 1,900 and include equipment – does not include transfers.

Boat Refresher: A three-dive instructor-led day trip to the dive sites at Racha Yai/Noi. Limitations on depth (12 m) and a basic skills refresher. A gentle way of getting back into the water & easy dive day for those that have limited time in Phuket.
Three dives – 4,900 per person

PADI ReActivate: Two day course involving an app based theory update, an extended pool session and a three dive trip to Racha Yai/Noi. An very thorough refresher both practically and theory based.
2 days with one day at the pool & a 3-dive day trip Racha Islands THB 8,900 per person

PADI Best Refresher Phuket Thailand Aussie Divers

PADI Best Refresher Phuket Thailand Aussie Divers

Repeating Full PADI Open Water Course (no certification card). Three days, repeating all theory, confined water dives and 6 open water dives including Phi Phi. A complete overhaul of what you have learnt previously.
3-days with 6 dives total, day 1 pool, day 2 Racha Islands, day 3 Phi Phi – THB 12,500 per person (does not include Phi Phi park fees THB 600).

Best thing to do if you are still unsure is get in contact with our Aussie Divers staff and have a chat about your past scuba diving experience and we can advise you best on what program would be best suited to you.

Book Your Scuba Diving Refresher Here

By Darren Gaspari

Proud owner and active PADI Gold Course Director of Aussie Divers Phuket, a professional and awarded PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Scuba Diving Centre. Member of the PADI Advisory Board for the eLearning modules 2019 and 2020.

Posted in Courses on .

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