Scuba Diving

Important Tips for Beginner SCUBA Divers

April 29, 2021

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

A good diver is always learning. If you have a question about something, chances are there is someone else that has the exact same question. If you are unsure of who to ask you can always contact your local dive shop either by phone or stopping in.

Always dive within your comfort zone

It’s doubtful that there are many psychic SCUBA divers out there. If you are uncomfortable or nervous before or during a dive, it is up to you to say something. You are your own advocate,  if you aren’t comfortable with the buddy you are paired up with do not dive with that person. If you are on a charter let the divemaster know or if in a class let the instructor know.

woman scuba diving representing scuba diving tips

Let’s say you have two divers diving together. One of them is relatively new with a handful of dives under their belt. The other is a very experienced diver with hundreds of dives. Which of these two should be leading while they are swimming in the water? You might be tempted to think it’s the one with the most experience but it’s actually the opposite. The diver with least experience is the one that should lead the dive. It is much easier for a more experienced diver to over dive their lesser experienced buddy. Chances are whatever the newer diver is comfortable with the experienced diver is as well, just not so much the other way around.

The trademark of a safe diver is one who knows their limits and is honest with themselves and their buddy. Anyone at any point during a dive is allowed to call the dive and head to the surface safely.  Whether you are getting cold, nervous, or having trouble clearing your ears.

Your gear should fit properly and be comfortable

When selecting your gear it should fit properly and be comfortable. No one but you is going to be using your gear for you. You should be the one to be happy with it. Aside from comfort and fit, personal preference is the other main factor in selecting gear.

If you ask divers on why they like their equipment they more than likely will be able to give you a pretty convincing reason on why they like to use the gear they have.  Take those opinions into account, but select the gear based on your personal preferences. If you aren’t sure you can always check to see what shops and charters do gear rentals, you don’t want to buy all new equipment and then realize you’d rather have something else.

There are a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to dive gear. At first you might want to get everything you can. However, take your time it is much easier to decide what you need and don’t need as you become a more experienced diver.

Plan your dive and dive your plan

Before you get in the water it is always a good idea to come up with a dive plan. It is usually harder to communicate more complex ideas using hand signals. Some things you may want to go over are areas you may want to visit, what is your maximum dive time, at what psi do you plan on beginning your ascent, and what hand signals are you both going to use.

Always stick with your buddy, in an emergency your buddy is your first resource for help. This means that if you agree to ascend when someone hits 1,000 psi, you go up. Even if your buddy’s gauge reads 1,000 psi and you still have 1,600, you ascend.

Take care of your gear

If you take care of your gear your gear will take care of you. You should always have your buoyancy compensator (BC) and regulators serviced by a technician in accordance to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have any tanks,  they must be visually inspected every year and hydrostatically tested every five years. If you aren’t sure or have questions you can always call or bring your gear to your local dive shop.

Always rinse your gear after a dive with fresh water and store it in a cool, dry place. Preferably one that is climate controlled.

Hopefully these tips can be an encouragement to new divers, and a reminder for those who needed a refresher. The biggest takeaway you can have is that you are the only person who can voice if something doesn’t fit right or is uncomfortable.  Scuba diving is one of the most peaceful and rewarding activities you can experience. We here at Bill Jackson’s want to promote enjoyable and safe diving. If you have questions or are interested in the wide world of scuba, feel free to stop by or call the shop with any questions you may have.