Have you heard the one about…
On this page, we address some of the most common questions and myths about scuba diving. So, read on and learn about the amazing world of diving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to take a scuba class?
if you want to scuba dive, every reputable dive center in the world will request that you verify that you have had scuba instruction that meets certain standards (typically by a recognized agency like SDI). There are many reasons for this, the most important of which are to protect the dive center from liability and to ensure that you (and your dive buddy) are going to be safe underwater. The verification process usually means that you will present your certification card from SDI to the dive center (and sometimes your dive logbook as well). When you take scuba instruction from The Dive Shop, we provide you with an SDI certification card when you have completed the necessary instruction and in-water practice to ensure that you understand all of the requirements established to ensure a safe and thrilling dive.
What does “certification” mean?
Certification means that you have been properly trained in the care and use of scuba equipment and the techniques of safe scuba diving. There are many different kinds of scuba certifications, but the certification most divers start with is the SDI Open Water Diver certification. This allows you to rent and buy scuba equipment, get air fills from dive centers, participate in professionally led dives, and dive in conditions that are similar to or better than the conditions for which you are trained.
How long is my certification good for? When do I have to renew?
Your SDI certification (at any level) does not expire. However, the skills you learned in your class and water sessions are perishable if you do not use them with some frequency. It is important to keep in practice; which means you should dive more than once a year. If you have been away for diving for a year or more, you should take a scuba refresher course to remind yourself of safety considerations and practices.
Where is my SDI certification card accepted?
The Dive Shop is proud to be a part of the SDI family. SDI is one of only 5 scuba certifying agencies recognized by the U.S. Recreational Scuba Training Council (US RSTC), which is a member of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC). As a member of this world-wide organization, the SDI certification card is recognized and accepted in every location around the globe – including resorts and cruise ships.
Scuba Myth Busters
Myth: I saw “Jaws”… there are sharks waiting behind every reef to eat me.
Truth: Hollywood has greatly exaggerated the shark’s image as a fearsome and every-hungry predator of humans. The truth is substantially less exciting – sharks are more interested in easy prey (injured or aged fish, seals, etc). The scuba diver in the water is noisy, makes bubbles, and generally acts like much less like a seal and more like a person swimming slowly and close to the reef. If you think sharks are dangerous consider this before you pet your neighbor’s dog: In 2013, there were 32 fatalities from dog bites in the U.S. That same year, there were 10 WORLD-WIDE fatalities due to shark attacks, and in every case they were swimmers and surfers on the surface rather than divers underwater.
Myth: Diving will make my ears hurt.
Truth: If your ears are hurting, you are doing something wrong. At The Dive Shop, we will show you how to avoid ear pain and how to learn to “equalize” your ears as you descend so that there is no discomfort. Over time as you become an experienced diver, clearing your ears becomes second nature.
Myth: I will run out of air and suffocate or drown.
Truth: One of the first rules of scuba diving is to plan your dive and then dive your plan. And since no one would plan to run out of air underwater, if you follow your plan you will never run out of air. Every diver carries an instrument console that indicates how much air remains in their tank (called the submersible pressure gauge, or SPG). By checking the SPG from time to time, you can plan to end the dive when you have reached a certain amount of air remaining. When you reach that amount, you signal your dive buddy and together you begin to surface safely.
Myth: I’m claustrophobic – being underwater will terrify me.
Truth: It’s understandable that someone who hasn’t experienced diving would assume they might feel claustrophobic. But at The Dive Shop, we begin your dive experience in very shallow water (5 feet) where you can gain confidence and learn that your idea (that you will feel claustrophobic) is not accurate – in fact, the opposite is true: swimming and breathing underwater is one of the most freeing and liberating sensations you will ever have. You are not confined, you are free.