Thinking about taking the plunge? If learning scuba is next up on your bucket list, get the scoop on what it takes so you can dive in. Scuba Marcos (yep, that’s the name he goes by), a highly rated Thumbtack pro serving central Tennessee and Kentucky, is here to prepare you to don your flippers and explore the ocean.
Are there any requirements to becoming a scuba diver?
You have to be at least 10 years old to earn a Junior Open Water Diver Certification, according to PADI. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors and is the world’s leading scuba diver training organization. Once you’re 15, you’re officially eligible for PADI Open Water Diver Certification. Beyond age requirements, you need to complete a basic swimming test, which is adaptable for differently-abled people, as well as fill out a medical questionnaire to ensure your safety.
How does someone get started scuba diving?
Call up a pro in your area and dive in! When Marcos receives a new student, he provides a starter kit that includes an open water dive manual, dive tables, and two videos. These are all part of the PADI training information. Students study the manual and videos at home, then take a test on the knowledge. Students are tested on what to consider when planning dives, choosing the proper scuba gear, and underwater signals and diving procedures. These manuals can also be purchased online or for use on e-readers.
Is learning scuba hard?
It’s probably easier than you think, shares Marcos, especially if you’re already comfortable being in the water. The course is performance based, he explains, so you move forward at your own pace as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill. Nothing will happen before you’re ready for it!
How long does it take to earn scuba certification?
Being a performance based course means that each student will progress as they are ready, and the timing of the lessons can be flexible to your schedule and needs.
On average, most of Marcos’ students earn their initial certification in roughly 25 hours, which takes place over 2-3 weekends. He says generally the home study portion is 8 hours and the confined water segments (read: swimming pool) happen in three 4 hour sessions. It’s critical to master all the pool skills before going on the 4 checkout dives. These dives have to be completed over two days, with no more than 3 dives completed in one day.
How much do scuba lessons cost?
Training classes cost anywhere from $350-$450 in his region, says Marcos. If a price quoted seems unrealistically low, he suggests you verify what, exactly, is included in the package. If it seems too good to be true, you might be getting an unexpected cost surprise down the line.
Any tips for first timers about getting started, safety tips, or good to know info?
Scuba is statistically about as safe as recreational swimming, says Marcos. Don’t be shy about the swim test, it only requires a 200 yard free swim (with no time limit), and the ability to tread water for 10 minutes. You’re good to go! You can rent equipment, if buying scuba gear isn’t part of your budget this month. Even if you’re landlocked, you can learn to scuba! All it takes is a pool, a body of water, and the willingness to try something new.