There is a stereotype that scuba diving is only for young and adventurous men. This myth couldn’t be further from the truth.
In 2010 34% of all PADI certifications worldwide were female. This is a sharp increase in the initial early days of scuba diving and it is slowly on the increase. The figures for scuba diving in Phuket and Thailand are very similar.
PADI do have some age restrictions on ages for some of the more difficult scuba diving courses however the entry-level courses such as the PADI Discover Scuba Diving, PADI open Water Course and PADI Advance Open Water Course can be done by children 10 years and above. This makes scuba diving during you holiday to Phuket and Thailand a real option for the whole family.
PADI also have safety in mind and place certain restrictions on instructors teaching young children in relation to class ratios and scuba diving depths.
Giving children the opportunity to experience the underwater world can introduce them to a side of nature that cannot be experience on land. Scuba diving can also feed their natural curiosity about the underwater world. Phuket and Thailand has a very diverse range of marine creatures and it will amaze not only the young but the old as well.
Teaching children how to scuba dive and completing the PADI Open Water Course not only provides an activity for this holiday, but an activity to do every family holiday in the future. It also provides a hobby for the whole family to share.
As far as top end age goes, yes there is a medical requirement prior to starting any PADI course however this is more related to the more significant illnesses or injuries. If you are reasonably healthy and have some level of fitness there is no reason someone cannot dive into their 80’s and there has been recorded cases of people scuba diving in their 90’s. Here in Phuket I have seen one person in their late 70’s start with a PADI Discover Scuba Diving and then continue on to the PADI Open Water Course. Given Phuket’s warm weather and warm water this seems to be more agreeable with the older clients.
Another misconception is that scuba diving is more difficult than snorkeling. Technically this is not always correct. Snorkeling requires that act of swimming which as humans it is the technique that we use to stay above the water. Scuba Diving uses a device called a BCD or Buoyancy Control Device. This is designed to make you neither float or sink which underwater gives you the feeling of weightlessness. Meaning that you only need to move your legs for propulsion not to keep you above the water. Underwater scuba diving requires a lot less energy than snorkeling.
The second factor is when using a snorkel, when you breath out using a snorkel you fill the snorkel with what is called “dead air” This dead air remains in the snorkel and when you take your next breath the dead air is the first air to enter your lungs. This means when snorkeling you get less fresh air and often this gives you a sense of breathlessness. The scuba diving breathing apparatus, the regulator, has very minimal dead air space so you get fresh air more often.
So given the fact that you are not working as hard to stay above the water, breathing less and breathing fresher air, once you have conquered the mental side of scuba diving it will be a whole lot easier and provides a much more exhilarating experience.
If you have any concerns or questions about the require fitness for scuba diving in Phuket, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving or PADI Open Water Course or questions about children scuba diving please do not hesitate to contact us. We are family friendly and think that scuba diving should be enjoyed by the whole family.
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