10 Most Frequently Asked Scuba Questions

10 Most Frequently asked scuba questions

There are many questions instructors get asked by those wanting to learn how to scuba dive. Here’s the top 10 most frequently asked scuba questions:

1) Do I have to be able to swim to scuba dive?

Yes, you will have to pass a basic swim test to be able to scuba dive. We aren’t looking for expert swimmers though. The PADI requirements for open water diver certification are a 200 yard/meter swim or 300 years/meters with mask, snorkel, and fins. You can use any stroke you want, and you are not timed. There is also a 10 minute tread/float in deep water.

While there is a minimal chance of this happening, your bcd could malfunction requiring you to have to tread water to keep your face out of the water. Swimming comes in handy when getting to and from entries and exits, and also, while you are actually scuba diving.

2) Does my certification expire?

No, PADI scuba diving certifications never expire! However, if you’ve been out of the water longer than 6 months, a refresher course is recommended (PADI Reactivate).

3) How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

PADI: 10 years old for a junior scuba diver certification

What’s the difference between junior open water and regular open water certification?

Kids between the ages of 10-14 receive their junior open water certifications meaning that they have restrictions in place to keep them safe while diving. They will be restricted by depth and who they can dive with. When they turn 15, they just submit to PADI for an open water certification card. No further training is needed for this.

4) Is scuba diving scary?

Absolutely not! You take an open water diver course to learn the basics of diving and how to prevent and manage problems that may occur. Additionally, I’m always eager to see what animals might appear on a dive, not afraid. There are many courses to take beyond open water diver that help you learn how to dive in different environments or even deeper with the aim to keep you safe. If you are unsure if diving is for you, consider taking a discover scuba class to try it out.

5) What equipment do I need?

The basics for scuba diving would be to have your own mask, snorkel, and fins. You will want these as you go through your scuba certification course so you can become comfortable with your own equipment.

You should consider owning your own gear if you are going to get into diving. Having your own equipment and knowing how it works, even for that once a year trip, is very comforting when you are in the water.

6) How long does it take to get certified?

The open water scuba certification course lengths vary from location to location. Check with your local dive shop for details. It can be done in as little as 3 days. Our typical schedule is over a 2 week period.

7) How deep can I go?

The open water certification course allows you to go to 60 feet deep (or the deepest you went during your training, if shallower). The recreational depth limit is 130 feet deep. You will need the advanced open water certification for this, and it is recommended to also take the deep diver course. To go beyond 130 feet, you will need to get into technical diving.

8) How do I find dive buddies?

Get phone numbers of your fellow classmates! When I certified, I was only 17 years old and had a hard time finding buddies. I joined the local dive club and attended their meetings and diving get-togethers. Additionally, with social media, you can usually find a facebook group in your area that is for divers.

9) I haven’t been diving in 20 years. Do I need to recertify?

This is a tricky question, but the answer is technically “no”.  Your certification never expires. You could go through PADI Reactivate in an evening and be ready to go. Some people prefer to just get re-certified for a more in-depth review of material and to see what’s new in the diving world.

10) If I am certified, why should I take more courses?

The open water diver course is the entry level for scuba diving. The more you dive, you want to do more and see more. Courses beyond open water certification allow you to learn about a specific type of dive (i.e. wreck, ice diving, altitude), advance your skills (i.e. peak performance buoyancy, navigation, search and recovery), and increase your safety (i.e. rescue diver).

Read more about what is involved in scuba certification here!

2 thoughts on “10 Most Frequently Asked Scuba Questions”

  1. That’s good to know that you don’t have to be an expert swimmer to be able to go scuba diving. I am pretty good at swimming but am definitely not great. That’s good that I could still go scuba diving if I decide to without training to swim better.

    1. If you are worried, you could get in the pool and swim some laps before you enroll in a course. That makes the test so much easier!

Leave a Reply