How to start scuba diving? Beginner’s Guide

So you are wondering how to start scuba diving? Would you like to discover the beauty of the underwater world and don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place for two reasons. First, we run a PADI-authorized dive center, and second, this is just the text you were looking for. How to start diving – a guide for beginners.

Scuba diving is a very safe and popular recreational activity. Especially in warm tropical waters you can see amazing underwater life. Perhaps you have already practiced snorkeling and would like to see more. In such a situation, the decision to start scuba diving is obvious. How to start scuba diving? Who can dive? Is scuba safe? We will try to answer these questions in this article. Let’s get started!

How to start scuba diving?

From the very beginning, I must emphasize a very important matter. Diving is going underwater using special equipment. It’s not floating on the surface or submerging for a while on held breath. It’s something you won’t learn from youtube or figure out on your own. So don’t try to start your diving adventure with shortcuts. The beginning for every diver is always the same – a basic diving course.

How to start scuba diving?

And while diving is very safe, you should always follow the rules and limits. You will learn all this from the instructor during the course. Really do not try other solutions, because it will not work and can get you into real trouble. Do we have it adequately explained? If so, let’s move on.

What is scuba diving all about?

You understand that we are not creatures made to stay in water. Our place is on the surface of the earth, and we use water at most for drinking. We do not have the ability to get the oxygen necessary for life straight from the water, as sea creatures do. But will that stop us from going underwater? Absolutely not, because the human species is by nature very curious and always looking for answers. And scuba diving was all about answering what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.

That’s why we’ve developed the right equipment that allows us to go underwater, enjoy our time under the surface, and return home alive. The main and most important piece of all this equipment is an air cylinder that will allow us to breathe as if we were on the surface during our underwater adventure. And you could say that scuba diving is the ability to operate this diving equipment, seasoned with knowledge of physics and the effects of increased pressure on our bodies. Sound complicated? Nothing could be further from the truth. You will learn all these principles and basics already in a basic diving course.

What are the types of scuba diving courses?

Can you imagine flying an airplane without training? Maybe I exaggerated… Can you imagine driving a car without knowing how to do it? All the traffic of other vehicles, complicated gear changes, use of mirrors…. It takes some training and practice before you hit the highway. It’s the same with scuba diving.

First you have to learn the basics before jumping into the ocean. And here we have many degrees of training, and the diving adventure never ends. Even I, an instructor with years of experience, still have much to discover. And also in some specific types of diving I will be starting from scratch. So what diving courses can you do?

Basic scuba diving course

This is where virtually everyone starts. Well… you may have had previous experience diving on the Discover Scuba Diving program, but aside from a lot of excitement and new experiences, it didn’t give you any license. And that’s because the basic certified diving course is Open Water. It is after completing this course that you will become a diver.

How to start diving Everything you need to know about the diving course padi costa rica
Basic scuba diving course

Such a course lasts several days and consists of a theoretical part, practical classes in the pool and four dives in open water. During these dives, you will gain initial experience and perform several exercises that will teach you how to deal with different situations. You can read more about exactly what a basic scuba diving course looks like here: PADI Open Water Diver.

Advanced Open Water Diver

The next level of initiation will be the advanced course. Contrary to its name, however, it does not mean that it is for advanced divers. You can start it right after the basic course, and what it really means is that after completing it you will be more advanced in diving than after the basic course.

I definitely recommend doing this course, as it will open your eyes and teach you many new techniques. You will simply be a better diver after completing the advanced diving course. Well, and before all…. another course means more diving 🙂

Rescue Diver Course

The next step on the main path of a diver’s development, will be the Rescue Diver course. This is a very important course, because you will learn not only to help yourself, but most importantly to help your partners in trouble. And as I mentioned before, diving is very safe, but rescue skills are also very important. Maybe the name sounds serious, but believe me it is a course full of crazy fun and most divers will confirm that the rescue course was their favorite.

I’m already a diver and what’s next?

Your development as a diver will never really end. And it’s not just about dive courses, but about experiences, next dive trip, or changing weather conditions. Every time you jump into the water, you learn something new. And that’s the most beautiful thing about diving.

Who can scuba dive?

Are you wondering how to start scuba diving, but also don’t know if it’s for you? In all probability, I can say yes. Diving is for you. Diving is suitable for everyone. Children can dive, the elderly can dive, and even diving is recommended for people with disabilities. Of course, some health conditions may exclude your participation in diving.

is scuba diving expensive
Who can scuba dive?

These include conditions such as serious mental illness, epilepsy or high blood pressure. But again, this does not mean that the door to the underwater world is closed for you. Every person is different and goes through illnesses differently. In case you know that you have a chronic illness it is better to consult a doctor.

What is the best diving organization?

When considering how to start scuba diving, you will also come to the choice of the training organization where you will do your diving courses. I often hear the question about which diving organization is the best. And the answer may surprise you, but… none and every one at the same time. And in fact, it doesn’t matter…

But what do you mean…? Well, it’s not really the organization or the logo on the T-shirt that teaches you, but the person. It’s up to the isntructor to make you a good diver from the start and to teach you how to be one. And what logo you will have on your license, no one cares. The most important thing is whether you can dive.

I know this may not be the answer you were expecting, and I understand that. That’s why I wrote another text about which diving organization is the best and how they differ. You can read it here: What is the best scuba diving organization?

Collecting mementos from diving

Diving is also about collecting souvenirs. But not the kind in the form of shells or dried puffer fish…. In fact, as divers we should not even think about such “souvenirs”. Every shell pulled from the ocean is a shell less on the next dive. Remember one of the basic rules of diving – look, but don’t touch.

Dive logbook do you even need it
Diving log books in paper and smartphone versions

However, you have other kinds of mementos to collect. Let it be new friends, great memories, photos and logbook entries. Dive logbook is a kind of dive diary, where we record our dives, experiences and related emotions. It’s also a place to collect stamps from successive dive centers, so that someday, over evening tea, we can return to these records. Cool thing.

How to start scuba diving? Let’s recap

If you are reading this text because you are really thinking about starting diving then you are already on the right track. Diving is a great adventure and a way to gain new skills and raise your own self-esteem. Start by finding a good dive center and isntructor and begin your underwater adventure. It’s really worth it!