Lets dispel a number of myths about learning to scuba dive once and for all.
There is the general belief that scuba diving should only be done by highly skilled professionals. Scuba diving is naturally a physical activity and requires you to move about, but this shouldn’t be a deterrent to learning to dive.
An article posted on looloo.com identifies what they call 7 common myths about scuba diving. These myths include the fear of sharks, that divers are food for sharks. Also that certification is required to scuba dive. However, one so called myth that I disagree with is (myth#3) that you dont need to know how to swim to scuba dive. It kind of makes sense that you should be able to swim if you want to scuba dive. The fact that you are constantly submerged in water doesn’t change the fact that you must have confidence and be comfortable in the water. I mean at some point you do have to re-surface and deal with rendezvousing with a dive boat. While you don’t have to be an expert swimmer, the ability to swim is a great confidence booster that can not be overlooked. … Just my opinion.
To further clarify this issue, an article on padi.com highlights the fact that it is very important to be comfortable in the water before learning to dive. Hence, their requirement to complete a 200 meter un-timed swim (using any swimming stroke) and the ability to float for ten minutes( treading water or laying on your back). So while you don’t have to be an expert swimmer, you have to be comfortable in the water. You can read the full PADI articele by clicking here.
3 of their 7 myths about scuba diving are listed below.
MYTH #2: You need extensive training and to be certified to scuba dive!
You don’t need any experience at all. You can learn how to dive by going on an “intro dive.” This is an introductory experience to scuba diving under the direct supervision of a PADI professional. No training is required.
During an intro dive, your instructor will teach you everything you’ll need to know to safely scuba dive such as proper breathing through your mouthpiece, proper positioning and use of dive mask, important hand signals, and equalizing.
From the shore, your divemaster will slowly bring you into the water until you’re fully submerged. While the maximum depth for intro dives is 12 meters (39 feet), how deep you’ll go really depends on you and your comfort level once you’re underwater. Your instructor will be with you the entire time to introduce you to different schools of fish and navigate you through the most interesting sites underwater. All while making sure you’re safe.
MYTH #3: If you don’t know how to swim, you can’t scuba dive because you’ll drown!
This is one of the most common misconceptions about diving. Learning how to swim is an advantage but not a necessary skill for introductory diving. Remember that in diving, you need to descend underwater. Flippers are also provided for easier leg and feet control.
MYTH #4: Scuba diving is only for skinny people. If you are too fat, you will sink like a stone!
A big fat NO. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh. As long as you are healthy, then you can dive. ….