I have been a diver for almost 20 years and a diving instructor for over 5 years. It shocks me, though, when I hear some of the myths about why people don't want to dive. Some of the most common myths include: diving is too difficult; nowhere to dive; diving equipment costs too much; or I prefer that diving is too extreme or dangerous.
Let's start with the latter, diving is too extreme for the average person or it is dangerous. First, we need to understand that being human has inherent risks that we cannot control (As the current ad says, "It could be other people"). Yes, diving has some inherent risks. If you are properly trained and follow the safety protocols prescribed by almost every certification agency (i.e. PADI, NAUI, SSI), the chances of injury are drastically reduced. We still believe that your instructor is a major influence on your future safety. If they are bad, your experience will most likely also be bad (keep in mind, if you have had bad experience with an instructor, do not give up diving, look for another professional for diving).
As far as extreme sports go, I haven’t seen Mountain Dew sponsored diving or X Games advertising, so it can’t be that extreme! On the humor side, the reason diving was received is because it is an extreme sport, because the original diving equipment did not promote a sense of comfort and confidence in the water. I know this because I started diving with most of this equipment. Looking back on it, if I were to choose to dive in another activity, I would stay with the other activities. For days in the rearview mirror, diving equipment has lent you to be safer in the water, more comfortable in the water, and therefore safer in the water. Properly configured equipment will work wonders in your abilities. This diving equipment takes away the extreme nature of diving.
So are the costs or diving equipment too? Remember what I just said, proper equipment works wonders in your ability to dive confidently and comfortably. Considering that if you want to fully equip yourself, a complete set of diving equipment; it could cost from $ 500 to the holy garbanzo horn! Diving equipment should be seen as life-saving equipment, so cheap is not always the answer here. What you plan to do on your diving adventures is what you should base your buying decisions on. Your dive sites will have a greater impact on what you should buy and then only the cost. This is where you need to trust a professional to help you with your buying process. They should have the knowledge and be willing to listen to what you are looking for in a dive and then help you make the right equipment decisions.
Remember, you don't have to buy everything at once. You can buy items here and there as money becomes available. Otherwise, you will rent the necessary equipment until you reach the point of purchase. No matter where you live, you will probably find a dive shop to help you make those decisions.
So, if there are dive shops almost anywhere, does that mean you can dive almost anywhere? Why yes you can. Let me leave you a little known fact: the founders of PADI (Professional Diving Instructors Association) were originally from the Chicago area. If I can think of a way to dive there, you can probably go diving where you are. You don't have to live within an hour of the Florida Keys or the Gulf of Mexico. Or you don't have to live within an hour of the Catalonian Islands in California. While these places are all about diving, you can dive in the Great Lakes or even those lakes near your home. Across the country, there are quarries that dive shops use to certify people. In addition, there are more lakes that are also diving. I live in the Midwest, outside Chicago, in northwest Indiana. If the weather permits, they can dive into shipwrecks in about an hour or two from home.
So if you want to find out where the locals dive, go to the dive shop and find out where the dives are. More chances than not, it's in the local area. If they really want to dive, they will offer trips for you to go to other dive sites. Doesn't that sound simple enough?
So, we haven’t talked yet about diving too hard. See earlier talk about equipment and perception. Diving became easier. With any certification agency, we ask your current health status. If you have a question, then we will take care of your diving skills with your doctor. If they clean you up, it's good to have fun and start exploring. There is a physical aspect to diving, there is no doubt about it. I try to reduce that stress as much as possible. On the other hand, there is the mental aspect of diving. More people hang on the mental side more than the physical side.
Face it, when you step into the water, put your regulator in your mouth and slide under the waves, take a step back in the evolutionary chain. Once you relax and realize you have a full tank of air, everything becomes easier. We will set you up to do water skills to overcome common problems. Although you may not like the skills, if you follow what the instructor teaches, then it becomes easier and more relaxing.
So manufacturers of diving equipment have created equipment that makes us feel more comfortable and safer in the water. Proper guidance helps you understand common problems that can happen underwater and gives you techniques to correct these problems. Your instructor is also there to eliminate many of the physical strain that will occur during a dive. So how can that be too difficult? Again, diving suffers from the perception that it used to be, not what it is today.
From someone who has been involved in diving for years, we are beginning to realize that diving, with the right instructors, is not overly strenuous. It will show us plenty of dive sites, and it really doesn't cost all that much for our safety and comfort. Since we don't see Mountain Dew in diving advertising, it really can't be that extreme. Diving should be seen as a relaxing and enjoyable sport that can be enjoyed by almost everyone.