Only 29% of Planet Earth is land, meaning that if you are the adventurous travelling type and aren’t already a scuba diver you are limited in the amount of our extraordinary world you can explore.
Although Scuba diving is becoming more and more popular worldwide there is still misinformation and myths out there that put some people off.
Here are some common misconceptions:
It’s Expensive To Scuba Dive!
The PADI Discover Scuba Diving program is designed for people to experience scuba before committing to a full certification course. This 1 day introductory dive costs as little as 2,000 THB ($55) here on Koh Tao. Getting your PADI and becoming fully certified will obviously cost more than this but it’s not expensive.
Thailand is world renowned for its scuba diving, and boasts a very competitive scuba diving industry, resulting in some of the cheapest Open Water course prices in the world. And Thailand also boasts amazing culture, adventure and food!
It won’t cost you a king’s ransom to enjoy a diving holiday in Thailand.
Sharks Hunt Scuba Divers!
Films such as Jaws do not portray sharks in a true or positive light but the numbers of shark attacks on divers is extremely low. In fact, animals such as dogs and cows kill more people annually than sharks. Many divers will go their entire scuba diving life without ever having the opportunity to see a shark whilst underwater.
Generally sharks are more scared of us than we are of them. We are noisy because of the bubbles we exhale from our regulators and most species of shark will simply turn tail and swim off.
One shark that may hang around though is the majestic Whaleshark, the largest shark in the ocean and a common visitor to Koh Tao.
You Need To Be An Olympic Swimmer To Scuba Dive!
A very common misconception is that you have to be an Olympic level swimmer to be able to complete a diving course.
Of course it’s an advantage for people who are confident and comfortable swimmers but when scuba diving all you have to do is kick your legs.
Using one of several specific finning techniques you will learn on the Open water course.
Wearing fins, you will fin through the water using your legs, with the fins providing the propulsion. You shouldn’t be using your arms at all..!!
OK, there is a small swim test you must complete during your open water in order to complete your certification but it is a very straight forward exercise and can be completed with the use of mask and fins.
Scuba Divers Need To Be Fitness Fanatics!
The great thing about scuba diving is that it is a sport for all people with all levels of fitness and body shape. Diving is an active sport with the better physical condition you are in will make it a little easier for you, but once you are underwater it should be as relaxing as going for a walk in the park.
Scuba diving is not a physically challenging sport, in fact the slower you go the more things you are likely to see. If you do ever get a little tired just stop and rest, your neutral buoyancy skills will enable you to hover effortless in mid water.
Special equipment has been designed so disabled people are able to enjoy the underwater aquatic world and if you have a few medical issues don’t let that put you off.
Before ruling yourself out consult a Diving Medical Officer (Qualified Physician specialized in diving medicine) and ask for a recreational scuba divers physical examination.
Only a very small number of medical conditions prevent people from taking the plunge.
Your Ears Will Hurt!
OK, this one can be true but only if you do not use the correct technique of equalizing air spaces during a descent. Many people believe that because they have dived down to the bottom of a swimming pool sometime during their life and felt discomfort in their ears that they cannot dive.
This is completely wrong!
What you were unaware of is the need to equalize your ears as you descend underwater. This is a very simple technique, which we teach all our divers, whether you are taking a full open water course or just the 1 day Discover Scuba Diving program.
Very simply, all you have to do is pinch your nose and gently blow against it. You will feel a gentle movement or ‘pop’ in your inner ear.
This is when the air, gently forced into the ear, equalizes the air space inside the ear.
Author: Matt Bolton (PADI CD #463559)