First Time Scuba Diving & Why the Pool Session is Important
A nice blog about why a pool session is important for first time scuba divers.
PADI Learn to scuba dive video
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Making scuba diving easier and safer
We get a lot of first time divers, doing both the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience and/or their PADI Open Water course here in Thailand. Generally what draws these divers to Phuket is the chance to see the underwater world and explore new depths in beautiful clear and warm waters.
With the joy and excitment of this first time experience there is also quiet often some fears and anxieties. These are normal and come along with the thought of breathing underwater for the first time.
You may be getting into Scuba Diving because a friend or family member is already a certified diver. Perhaps you saw it in a movie and think it looks cool. Maybe you already have a passion for the ocean and underwater world and want the chance to explore more.
When these fears and anxieties come up in your mind it may even start to make you a little skeptical about trying scuba diving in the first place. Perhaps you don’t want to disappoint your friend or family member perhaps even your partner. Before you even know it your have been signed up for a course and already in a minibus on the way to the pool or dive site.
So what is next?
At Aussie Divers Phuket we are one of the only dive centres in Phuket to offer the free pool session. This pool session should be considered compulsory for non-swimmers or weak swimmers. Especially those who have signed up for the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience.
After a brief theory session to understand the basic’s of scuba diving you will go to the pool. The instructor will assist you with putting on a BCD jacket that holds the tank. Then with the scuba regulator that you will be breathing from and then introduced to your first breaths underwater. All this in shallow enough water to still stand up in.
The free pool session will allow you to breathe and familiarize yourself with breathing through the regulator & breathing underwater. and get comfortable with breathing underwater in a nice safe and controlled environment.
The feeling of breathing underwater will feel very strange the first time you do it. You may even end up standing up a couple of times until you get used to the feeling. After a few minutes you will feel that you ether love it or hate it.
Love it the first time around
Those divers who fall in love with it the very first time they breath underwater will be excited and will wonder what is next. They will strive for more knowledge and will be open to new challenges with a positive attitude.
This is a reason why kids generally have no problem in learning scuba diving. If you ask most instructors they find teaching the PADI Junior Open Water Courses the most rewarding.
Hate it the first time around
There are many factors that can contribute for first timers not liking scuba diving. Although I think that everyone in the world should at least attempt Scuba diving I also know that it’s not going to be for everyone, and thats ok.
Three of the biggest factors that contribute to not liking diving are, water in the mask, lots of bubbles coming from the regulator. Another factor could be feeling discomfort in the ears (not equalising properly). Thoughts of other fears about diving or marine animals may also block you and cause a negative experience. Simple tasks, such as clearing diving mask underwater become a real challenge.
Some divers require extra amount of time, assistance and practice in order to feel comfortable and confident before progressing to the next stage. The experience and attitude of your dive instructor play a huge role and can completely change your experience. A key is to understand, trust and feel comfortable with your instructor.
What to expect from the free pool session?
After your first experience with breathing from the scuba gear in the pool, you will learn how to clear your mask, recover and clear your regulator. The some basic rules of diving and some diving signals. You should also have some time (5 to 15 minutes) to go underwater in the pool and practice a little. You learn all this in preparation for your first dive.
Your first time diving
Very soon you will be able to enjoy the vibrant colours of the coral reefs, fish and other amazing underwater life. A professional PADI instructor will take you diving. With your very first time in the open ocean your instructor will always be very close to you, possibly even holding your hand, tank or BCD. The depth of your first dive will be shallow for safety reasons (10 to 12 Meters/33 to 39 feet maximum depth). You should expect the very first time you go underwater in the ocean to be around 30-50 minute dive. After the first few minutes you will start to relax and as you get more comfortable you will start to notice more and more marine life.
Keep in mind that in some cases people thought that diving was not for them after their first, second or third try. However, after they gave scuba diving another try, scuba diving changed their lives. So don’t give up after this very first experience.
So why don’t some divers like it after the first time?
There may be a number of reasons why divers don’t like the very first experience, the most common reasons we hear are;
Diver is too nervous before the dive.
Inability to equalize ears while descending.
Bad judgment in amount of weights required for the dive.
Dizziness or over ventilation.
Diver is not relaxed underwater.
Mask keeps on fogging or filling up with water.
All these factors can be preventable and being nervous on your first dive is totally understandable (I’m sure most instructors even felt nervous on the very first dive. Although they probably wont admit it.
If you have any concerns ensure you bring them to the attention of your instructor. Our instructors have years of experience behind them and they will be answer any of your questions. They will also offer advice on anything that you may be feeling nervous about.
Being relaxed will help with the relaxation of some muscles that are required for the equalization of the ears. It also will help to avoid over ventilation and will facilitate achieving certain tasks with self-confidence.
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