Diver Propulsion Vehicle or DPV scooters are equipment that takes diving to another level. In every field of life, technological developments give us the opportunity to experience new things, and the same is true in diving. Let’s see what a Diver Propulsion Vehicle is and what its uses are.
In recent years, there has been an increasing appreciation of the possibilities offered by DPV diving . Not only in terms of the convenience, the speed of reaching the destination and the increased range of the diver, but also in terms of safety underwater. There is no denying that this equipment has greatly increased our diving capabilities. Is it worth getting interested in Diver Propulsion Vehicle diving? Let’s find out!
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What is a Diver Propulsion Vehicle?
Let’s start by explaining what a DPV actually is. In short, a Diver Propulsion Vehicle is a machine built from an electric motor and a propeller. The entire mechanism is hidden in a waterproof casing, which has comfortable handles for holding. Of course, there are many types of underwater scooters, which vary in size, capacity and, of course, price. The most popular are those that the diver holds by a handle with a trigger that starts the engine.
The construction of the scooter is designed so that the propeller cannot injure the diver or damage other equipment. Importantly, the scooter has safety features that prevent the DPV from starting accidentally.
The DPV allows the diver to swim faster and cover greater distances. This allows us to explore more of the dive site that we would not have reached using only fins. This allows us to discover exciting new corners of the underwater world. Many new dive sites have been discovered this way. These are the reasons why many divers love scooters.
History of diving propulsion vehicles
During World War II, devices that used a similar operating principle to today’s DPV began to be used. These vehicles were used for military purposes to get close to the enemy and attack their ships. What is interesting is that parts of torpedoes were used to build the first scooters. Later, these devices changed their form and features.
This wartime history of underwater scooters, gave origin to what we know and use today in diving. Today’s underwater scooters are, of course, more durable, lighter and simply more modern. But the fact is that the history of their creation should be traced back to the necessity of the fateful war times.
Who can try the Diver Propulsion Vehicle?
At the beginning of their career, DPVs were mainly used by technical and cave divers to reach deeper and farther into caves. Today, DPV has become widely available to any certified diver who is at least 12 years old and holds a minimum PADI Open Water Diver degree or equivalent from another organization.
Of course, anyone who wants to experience scooter diving should have a high level of basic diving skills, such as buoyancy and emergency procedures. Therefore, Diver Propulsion Vehicle diving is recommended for divers who have completed at least 25 dives.
At our authorized PADI dive center in Costa Rica, we also provide underwater scooter diving courses. So you can try DPV and get a new diving specialty. Contact us for details.
How to try diving with DPV?
To see if underwater scooter diving is for you, you can take a test dive with an instructor. This will give you a glimpse of how to operate a DPV and the differences in diving with an underwater scooter. After the test dive, you will definitely want more!
Then it will be a good idea to take a scooter diving course. During this course you will learn how to use the scooter, how to operate it and learn how to plan a dive with a Diver Propulsion Vehicle. After completing the course, you will receive a certificate that entitles you to rent a scooter anywhere in the world.
Is it worth doing the Diver Propulsion Vehicle course?
DPV use training is a very cool course that gives a lot of pleasure and allows you to discover another level of diving. Using a scooter is an unforgettable experience and it will be something completely different from what you have tried. During the course you will learn the basics of scooter construction, pre-dive handling and scooter diving.
Practical classes with a diving instructor will give you the confidence that you understand all the rules of DPV diving. This is very important for your safety during the dive. So is it worth doing a diving course with DPV? In my opinion, yes, if you want to learn about new possibilities and technical solutions that technological progress brings to the diving world.
Can I dive with DPV without an instructor?
The availability of diving equipment today is definitely simplified. You can easily buy any equipment yourself and learn on your own. Even without leaving home… However, please – don’t do it! Underwater scooters can be dangerous if used without proper training. Let me give just one example here.
Suppose you dived a few meters and accidentally steered your running scooter toward the surface. It pulls you with incredible force straight to the surface, and remember from your open-water course what the danger is of surfacing too quickly? Add to that panic and holding your breath during that trip to the surface. And it gets really messy…. And you just wanted to see what it’s like to dive with a Diver Propulsion Vehicle…. So for your own safety and enjoyment, take advantage of the services of a certified diving instructor.
Safety while diving is paramount
A DPV scooter can be really fast! Therefore, before you start diving with scooters, you need to master the basics of DPV maneuvering so you don’t hurt yourself or other divers. At the same time, as I mentioned earlier, fast speeds can accidentally lead to a sudden change in depth, and this, as you know, can be potentially dangerous.
Before diving, check that the scooter is in working order and that it is well sealed. Flooding the electronics will be very costly. Of course, it’s also important to check that the battery is fully charged. After all, you don’t want the fun to end too soon. In general, use common sense, because diving with a Diver Propulsion Vehicle is using an external force that you need to know how to handle. Just follow basic safety rules when diving and everything should be enjoyable and trouble-free.
Types of Diver Propulsion Vehicles
Underwater scooters are quite specific equipment that has a narrow but demanding audience. DPV must be reliable and last a long time on the battery, as this is related not only to comfort, but also to diving safety. So we must point out at this point that there are many models on the market, but genrally I would like to divide DPV’s into two types:
- Underwater scooters for amateur use – a cheap solution, the cost of such a scooter does not exceed a few hundred dollars. The scooter usually has a plastic casing in which electronics are hidden. The motor is started by a button on the outside and must be held while in use. Releasing the button brings the scooter to a stop. These types of scooters are good for beginners or for short fun in the water. The battery usually does not last more than 30-50 minutes.
- Professional Diver Propulsion Vehicle – these devices can be very expensive, their price reaches several thousand dollars. Usually their housing is made of aluminum, and the batteries used allow for long operation. Professional scooters can be operated with one hand.
Major DPV scooter manufacturers.
Below you will find the names of several leading manufacturers of professional series scooters. These DPVs are among the best in the world and are often used by technical divers and demanding recreational divers.
These scooters are characterized by long operating times, high speeds and very long range. The disadvantage is the price, which reaches several thousand dollars. However, it is worth remembering that this is top quality equipment and will work reliably for many years of our diving. Therefore, it is worth considering the purchase of better quality equipment.
SubGravity (by Bonex): https://dpv.sub-gravity.com/
Diver Propulsion Vehicle – Let’s recap
So, Diver Propulsion Vehicle is definitely an interesting solution and everyone should try one if they have the opportunity. Remember that not every dive center has such equipment, and if you have the opportunity to take a course, you definitely should.
Diving with DPV will show you that exploring diving never ends. There is always something new you haven’t tried yet. In conclusion, I will say one thing – if you want to dive like James Bond, you must try diving with an underwater scooter!