Maybe you saw a cool instagram, maybe you’re going to a resort that offers diving, maybe one of your friends is begging you to go with them: whatever the reason, you want to get into scuba diving. Before you jump into the water, there are many steps you need to go through to get your certification and make sure you’re prepared. It’s an awesome world down there, but you want to be safe while exploring it!
Do Your Research
It is important to understand what you are getting into. Scuba diving is an incredible experience, but comes with some inherent risks. You should learn more about what diving has to offer and what you can expect from a typical dive. You should also research any medical issues/physical restraints that may keep you from being able to dive.
Find a Local Dive Shop
Whether you’re in a seaside town or a landlocked city, chances are you have a local dive shop that you can contact. They can provide you with the resources to get your certification and answer any preliminary questions that you have.
This can happen in either a classroom setting or at home via videos/textbooks. You will learn everything about how your gear works, safety signals for underwater, the physics of diving, etc. At the end of the course, you will take a test to ensure that you understand all the basics of diving before you enter the water.
In this confined-water training, your instructor will teach you the basic diving skills you will be using. You will practice how to use your gear, how to get in/out of the water, diving safety, etc. This is the best time to practice your scuba skills with your instructor and ask any questions you may have before hitting the open water.
Lastly, you will make a series of open water checkout dives with your instructor. These will typically happen over a few days. This can happen at a local lake, or you can travel to a remote location such as a resort for a more exotic checkout dive. Either way, you will use this time to prove all of your learned diving skills.