Exploring underwater depths as a scuba diver is an effective way to understand a world which most people never get to see. While the basics of scuba diving are relatively easy to learn, it often takes a significant period of time to master this activity. Following five steps should make it possible for most divers to improve their skills, maintain safety and get the most of their diving experience.
Familiarize yourself with wherever you are diving by asking questions beforehand. If you're on a diving trip, there will usually be a briefing to acquaint you with the area. If you are diving on your own, then it's smart to ask personnel at a local diving shop about the area. Doing so should help keep you safe and avoid unnecessary hazards.
Investigate your area once you make your initial dive into the water. Since it's easy to become disoriented, it's important to know how to get back to your destination. Look for anything that distinguishes your area from the rest of your underwater surroundings. Usually rocks or vegetation are the best indicators. If you are diving off a boat, familiarize yourself with what the bottom of the boat looks like. This should help keep you safe and well oriented during your dive.
Get into a horizontal position once you are underwater. Then add air to your buoyancy-control device so you can descend at a comfortable rate. Otherwise, you are likely to descend too quickly and could find yourself out of control.
Move your head from side to side throughout the duration of your dive. You should be consistently scanning your area to see what is around you and checking for any hazards that might damage your tank. If you are diving with another person, you should make sure that he is in sight at all times.
Use your body and equipment as an indicator of your depth. If you feel your wet suit tightening or your ears squeezing, then you are descending. If you find yourself descending too quickly, then add some air to your buoyancy control device to slow down.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider taking additional classes with a PADI-certified diving instructor to help improve your diving skills.
- Never dive in an area you feel uncomfortable in. If it looks sketchy, then it's better to play it safe rather than risk injury or death.
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