Immediately after making your first PADI diving certification, you will cause admiration and curiosity in your non-diving friends. Here are the 7 most non-divers frequently asked questions you’ll face when the opportunity comes for your friends to ask you.
And, of course, “he who asks, does not wander” and even seemingly meaningless questions are an opportunity to talk about diving and maybe persuade someone to give it a try. So be prepared for those questions that non-divers ask.
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How deep do you dive?
Most of the non-diving community thinks we explore the bottoms of the deepest seas and oceans, but the reality is not so dramatic. Recreational divers who are certified with the PADI Deep Diving specialty can dive to depths of 40 meters. That’s not much, considering that technical divers with the Tec 100 CCR specialization can go down to a depth of 100 meters.
Even divers who have Guinness World Records to their credit have descended only, and as far as, to a depth of 332m (and that’s less than one-tenth the distance to the wreck of the Titanic). All this puts most waters out of our reach, but with so much to explore in shallower waters, we don’t mind at all.
How long is an oxygen cylinder enough for you?
Oh horror, there is probably no more annoying question! And it’s no longer about the question itself of how much the scuba cylinder lasts for, but about oxygen. We recreational divers do not use oxygen during our dives. We are breathing exactly the same air as you are, at that moment. If you haven’t escaped physics lessons, you surely know that in air we have 21% oxygen and ~79% nitrogen.
In turn, how long one cylinder is enough for us during a dive depends, among other things, on our mood, mental comfort, fatigue, underwater activities and the depth itself. The deeper we go underwater, the shorter a cylinder will last. For example, if we go down to a depth of 30 meters, we will use up the tanq twice as fast as at a depth of 10 meters. If you want to talk like a diver and learn a bit about diving nomenclature, check out this article – Diving terminology
Is there anything to see underwater at all?
The answer is simpler than you think – of course there is! To date, more than 200,000 species of underwater flora and fauna have been discovered, and as divers we have the privilege of being able to see a completely different side of our planet than everyone and every day sees. Starting with mysterious shipwrecks and beautifully colorful coral reefs, and ending with eels, sharks and ice whales. While diving, we take seats in the front rows watching the Blue Planet.
Is scuba diving expensive?
Many Earth lovers wonder how their underwater buddies can afford such a unique pastime as diving. The truth is that diving doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Just keep an eye out for bargains at your local base or PADI dive school, and you’re sure to find attractive deals on courses, dive trips and equipment.
Another way to save a few pennies is to travel in groups – gather a few of your diving friends and go on the underwater adventure of a lifetime. You don’t have to buy all the diving equipment right away, start with renting and see for yourself what you are most comfortable in, and only later decide to buy.
You can read about how to choose diving equipment at the beginning of your journey in this post about scuba computers for begginers. It will give you an idea of what to buy and how much it costs to buy diving equipment.
Isn’t carrying all this equipment tiring?
We could be forgiven for thinking by our friends that we possess superhuman strength. Cylinders, lead weights, thick suits – it all looks pretty heavy. As in any sport, physical fitness comes in handy. Fortunately, there are several exercises that strengthen the muscles of the spine, arms and legs to make it lighter for us to carry all the equipment. Nevertheless, as soon as we enter the water, submerge and achieve neutral buoyancy, we feel completely at ease in a state of weightlessness (thanks, Archimedes).
Is diving difficult?
Fortunately, no! Diving, like any new hobby or passion, requires the acquisition of new skills, knowledge and safe practices, and PADI offers tools to fit every learning style – from books and DVDs to e-learning and instructor-led classes. During training and hands-on classes, PADI instructors take each step at the learner’s pace, additionally making sure they understand everything and feel confident and competent before moving on to the next lesson.
The best way to satisfy your friends’ curiosity is to persuade them to try this wonderful sport of diving themselves! Remember – to find out if something is your passion, you have to try it and let yourself be carried away. Try scuba diving at a casual PADI Discover Scuba Diving or PADI Intro Diving class.
Do I have to know how to swim to dive?
To anyone who does not dive, the ability to swim is automatically combined with diving. It’s a bit like diving is another degree in swimming. And that is not the case at all! Of course, the ability to swim is useful in diving, but that doesn’t mean it’s crucial. When diving, we do not use our hands, only fins help us move. Position in the water is also aided by the BCD, or vest, on which all diving equipment is mounted.
Even people with major disabilities can enjoy scuba diving, even though you might say they can’t swim. You really don’t need to be afraid of a scuba diving course if you are not a super swimmer. You can read more about diving while scuba, here: Do I Need to Know How To Swim to Scuba Dive?
Non-divers’ questions – let’s summarize
All questions from non-divers are a great opportunity to learn something new. For me as an isntructor, each question is a way to round out the training program and include answers to these various, sometimes surprising questions. As a diver with even the slightest experience, you will already be able to answer at least some of these questions. However…
I must caution you here against any attempt to “teach” your non-diving colleagues if you are not qualified as an instructor. After all, you wouldn’t want to mislead anyone, or even more so, risk their health or life. Any non-diver, I simply encourage to take a scuba diving course and join the big family of divers.