Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Why You Should not Scuba Dive

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I have been a scuba diver for almost 20 years and a scuba instructor for more than five years. Still, hearing some myths about why people want to avoid diving shocks me. Some of the most common myths include scuba diving being too hard, there being nowhere around here to go diving, scuba equipment costing too much, or, my favourite, that scuba diving is too extreme or dangerous.

Let’s start with the last one: scuba diving is too extreme or dangerous for the ordinary person. First, we must understand that being human has inherent risks that we can not control (As a current commercial says, “It could be other humans”). Yes, scuba diving does have some inherent risks to it. If you are appropriately trained and follow the safety protocols that almost every certifying agency (i.e. PADI, NAUI, SSI) prescribes, your chances of injury are dramatically reduced. We still believe that your instructor is the primary influencer of your future safety. If they are poor, most likely your experience will be poor too (please note, if you had a poor experience with an instructor, keep going; find a different professional to dive with).

As for being an extreme sport, I have not seen scuba diving sponsored by Mountain Dew or advertised on the X Games, so it can not be that extreme! Humour aside, diving received the rap about being an extreme sport because the original scuba equipment did not promote feeling comfortable and confident in the water. I know this because I started out diving with much of this equipment. Looking back on it, I would have stayed with the other activities if I had chosen diving over another activity. Those days being long in the rear-view mirror, scuba equipment has lent itself to you being safer, more comfortable, and more confident in the water. Properly configured equipment will do wonders for your abilities. That scuba equipment takes the extreme nature out of scuba diving.

So, is the cost of your scuba equipment too much? Remember what I just said: proper equipment does wonders for your ability to go confidently and comfortably. With that being said, if you’re looking to completely outfit yourself with a complete scuba equipment kit, it could cost anywhere from $ 500 to holy garbanzo beans! Scuba equipment should be considered lifesaving, so cheap is only sometimes the answer here. What you plan on doing with your adventures is what you should base your buying decisions on. Your diving locations will influence more of what you should buy than just cost. This is where you need to trust a professional to help guide you along in your buying process. They should know and be willing to listen to you about what you want to do with your departure and then help you make the correct decisions on equipment.

Remember, you do not have to purchase everything at once. You can buy items here and there as money becomes available. Otherwise, you will rent the required equipment until you get to the point of purchasing. No matter where you live, you will find a dive shop to help you make those decisions.

So, if there are scuba dive shops almost anywhere, can you go diving almost anywhere? Why yes, you can. I will let you in on a little-known fact: the founders of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) were originally from the Chicago area. If they could figure out a way to dive there, you could go scuba diving where you are. You do not have to live within an hour of the Florida Keys or the Gulf of Mexico.

Catalina Islands in California
Catalina Islands in California

Or, you do not have to live within an hour of the Catalina Islands in California. While those places lend themselves to the diving lifestyle, you can dive in the Great Lakes or even those lakes near your house. There are quarries scattered all across the country that dive shops use to certify people.
Along with that, multiple lakes lend themselves to scuba diving, too. I live in the Midwest, outside of Chicago, in Northwest Indiana. Weather permitting, I can dive on shipwrecks within an hour or two of my house.

So, if you want to find out where the locals dive, go to the dive shop and find out where they dive. More opportunities than not, it is within the local area. If they want you to live, then they are going to offer trips to go to other places to scuba dive. Doesn’t that sound easy enough?

So, we have yet to talk about scuba diving being too complicated. Reference the conversation earlier about equipment and perception. Diving has gotten easier. With any certifying agency, we are asking what your current state of health is. If there is a question, we have a doctor give the thumbs up on your ability to dive. If they clear you, then we can have fun and start exploring. There is a physical aspect to diving. There is no doubt about that. I reduce that stress as much as possible. On the flip side, scuba diving has a mental aspect. More people get hung up on the mental side more than the physical side.

Face it: when you step into the water, put the regulator in your mouth and slide below the waves, you take a step back in the evolutionary chain. Everything becomes easier once you relax and realize you have a full tank of air. We will have you do skills in the water to overcome common issues. While you may not like the skills, following what the instructor is teaching becomes more accessible and more relaxing.

So, scuba equipment manufacturers have created equipment that makes us feel more comfortable and confident in the water. Proper instruction helps you to understand common issues that can happen underwater and gives you techniques to correct those issues. Your instructor is there also to remove many of the physical strains that will occur during scuba diving. So, how can this be too hard? Again, scuba diving sufferers from perceiving what it used to be like and not what it is today.

From someone who has been scuba diving for years, we start to see that scuba diving, with the right instructors, is pretty straightforward. They will show us many places to go scuba diving, and it does not cost much for our safety and comfort. Since we do not see Mountain Dew advertising scuba diving, it can be moderate-moderate. Scuba diving should be considered a relaxing and enjoyable sport that almost everyone can enjoy.

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