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How to start scuba diving?

You've seen Blue Planet and now you know that underwater exploration is the next thing on your bucket list. But where to start? Here is a brief guide of your options to start your journey toward becoming a certified scuba diver.

dive course scuba diving  open water course
Learning essential dive skills before you go underwater exploring

Try scuba diving before you buy a complete dive course

For some people, it is obvious that scuba diving is going to be their thing and they want to 'dive right in'. For others, starting a complete course before they have had a taste of the sensations, might be a bit daunting. If you are not sure that diving is going to be your thing, why not do a 'Discover Scuba Diving '(DSD) experience first, and get a feel for the activity? A short pool session and then a couple of dives in the sea will soon tell you if you are a future mermaid/man or prefer remaining a land dweller.

Some of the dive training at home, some away

After some research, you like the idea of doing a 3-4 day Open Water diver course but with

limited holidays, you feel like this will take a chunk out of your time off. Why not start the

course in a local dive centre (most towns have one), do the theory at home and the skills in

the local pool then save the ocean dives for the beautiful destination you have planned and

only use up 2 days of your away time. This is commonly done, talk to your local dive

operator and put them in touch with the dive centre you will dive with abroad/elsewhere.

Split the theory and the practical of the dive course

The theory for the PADI open water course is quite comprehensive, taking you through all of

the basics of diving knowledge. If you don't feel like doing homework during your holiday

but like the idea of doing the rest in a tropical pool and sea, why not opt for the PADI e-learning option and do the theory before you go and in your own time? Get in touch with the dive centre you wish to get certified with and, after paying a small deposit, they can send you your e-learning to get started on. Alternatively, you can buy it off the PADI website directly and just register it at the dive centre of your choice. In both cases, if you change your mind about where you want to dive, the e-learning is yours and can be easily

transferred to another operator.

If you are short on time to learn to dive

If you only have 2 days but want to get certified then and there, PADI has created the Scuba Diver option. It covers approximately 2/3 of the Open water course and can be easily upgraded to open water diver at a later date if you wish to do so. It limits you a little in-depth and autonomy but is a great way to leave a diving paradise with a cert in your pocket if you are very limited in time.

nusa Penida manta rays dive courses
If meeting a manta ray is your dream, why not go to Nusa Penida

Which destination to learn to dive 

Where to go...Things to consider when choosing where to your course may be these: budget comparison, resistance to the cold, language skills, time, and what you want to experience.

For the budget comparison, going abroad may cost a lot (plane/train) ticket wise but the price of the course may be way inferior and the quality of the diving way superior. Always check hidden costs such as equipment rental, additional fees for certain famous dive sites, transfers, etc.

If you get cold easily, learning to dive in Northern temperate waters may not be the best tactic, southern summer diving or better still, tropical waters may be a wiser option.

If English is not your first language and you are not comfortable learning in it, you may want to take into consideration whether finding a dive centre with instructors that speak your language is an option at your chosen destination. Remember you (can) do the theory in your language and then the course in English.

Finally, and most importantly, choose where you want to learn to dive, based on personal preference: what do you want to see? Are wrecks your dream, meeting a manta ray face to face, being dazzled by scintillating coral reefs, bumping into a sea turtle or sweeping over underwater prairies of Posidonia...

Whichever option you choose, remember, in the end, the experience you have will also be impacted by your choice of dive centre, so make sure to do some research on both the destination but also the dive centre/s you will train with and ask all the questions you want. See our blog about choosing a dive centre.

Enjoy the dives and happy bubbles !

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