Congratulations! You’ve just passed your Open Water course and have been introduced to a whole new world beneath the waves but where do you go from here? If you’ve completed your course on holiday in somewhere tropical like Phuket, you’ll get back home and immediately start planning your next diving adventure but that could be another year away, it’s quite possible that you could forgot some of your skills, theory and techniques by then. So here’s some tips for new scuba divers
No excuses with this side of things, if you’ve learnt to dive with a reputable company then you will have access to all the theory either via manual or digitally if you’ve completed PADI elearning. Keep up with the theory and even plan theoretical dives with your computer and RDP. The basic rules that are listed on the back of the RDP are often forgotten – especially the flying after diving.
I Don’t Live Near The Ocean
That’s unfortunate but there maybe a local dive club with pool access close by. Joining a local dive club is a great way to practice your in water skills and equipment preparation/maintenance as well as making new dive buddies and gleaning tips/advice from more experienced divers. You may not be going deep but a pool session every month or so will keep you familiar with your equipment, hone your skills and most importantly keep your confidence levels high in preparation for your next scuba diving holiday.
Buy Some Equipment
We’re not saying fully kit yourself out just yet. As a new diver you probably won’t notice the difference between different brands/quality of BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device) or regulator and it will take up a considerable portion of your luggage allowance so hold back on that for now. The small things count, mask, fins and computer are all lightweight and easy to transport plus they’re handy if you have some snorkelling available near your beach resort.
It’s very important that you get advice from a professional when purchasing equipment. Don’t buy a mask because of it’s colour. A comfortable, water tight fit are obviously the most important features and an item you’ll have to at least try on in a store before you buy.
There’s plenty of fin styles on the market but not all are suitable for everyone, the best person to approach for this would be the instructor who took you through your course. They will know your swimming style and strength and be able to advise you accordingly.
A computer that you fully understand is key for safety. Read the instruction manual thoroughly before you first take it out. Assuming your guide/instructor on the day will be able to show you how to use your computer is a bit of a gamble. There’s so many different brands on the market with varying degrees of convoluted menus that are extremely difficult to work. For that reason we recommend the Aqualung i450T.
Continuing Your Education
There’s plenty of PADI courses available to improve your skills and expand your diving knowledge. The Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty is a great next step. It fast tracks your confidence, improves your breathing and stability which in turn could allow you more of that oh so valuable bottom time.
Keep It Up!
Nothing is better than time in the water to improve your diving skills and confidence. Keep going to the local pool sessions or local dive sites and plan your next holiday!