Why is it important to go to a reputable scuba diving school before taking a flying leap into the ocean? Well, it’s only important if you want to come back out alive and in one piece. Scuba schools teach the essentials that everyone needs to know to have a safe and enjoyable diving experience. To say that we don’t need them is like saying you don’t need your breathing apparatus.
It’s not as simple as you might think, and it’s best not to find that out while you are underwater. Diving schools teach you how to properly breathe underwater so that you can keep panic to a minimum. The proper usage and care of the breathing equipment is also taught and what to do in the off chance that yours does not work properly. Also very important, you are taught all about the compressed air tank and at what level you need to start heading back to avoid running out of air.
While it may sound boring, it’s still important. The training at the majority of diving schools will begin with theory or “classroom” sessions to go over the basics and make sure everyone is on the same page before continuing on. It’s also a chance for the instructors to find out how much you know; you don’t want them throwing you in a pool if you have no idea how to swim.
During these sessions, you’ll generally cover the basics of safety procedures, the how-to’s, and learn what to and not to do in certain situations. You’ll learn the basics of the equipment you will be using as well as basic swimming techniques. Pretty much, these sessions can be summed up as “Scuba 101.”
In the Pool
While it may seem a bit impractical to practice scuba which is done in open water in a community swimming pool, it’s the best way for you to get used to the equipment. You’ll be shown some of the proper diving techniques and be given equipment to attempt. If you happen to panic while trying to breathe underwater, it’s best to do it in an enclosed pool with an instructor right next to you rather than out in open water.
The Fun Stuff
Now that you’ve had your basic training and you’ve practiced in a pool until you’re completely comfortable underwater, it’s time to try your skills in open water. This is your first “real world” diving experience and everything you’ve learned so far will need to be remembered and put to use. The trainers will, of course, be guiding you every step of the way, but the guidance you need should be minimal at this point. If you’ve paid attention, you’ll know what to do if something does go wrong and you’ll be able to feel completely confident in yourself as a newly certified diver.
Clearly, it’s important to be properly trained before attempting to do any diving. A quality school with well educated, experienced trainers could be the difference between an incredible diving experience and a tragic one. No matter how prepared you think you may be, it’s always best to take the time to learn from those who have not only the basic knowledge, but plenty of experience behind them as well.