Updated: Aug 15
Scuba diving is an incredible adventure that offers a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the underwater world. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding scuba diving that may discourage people from trying it out. In this article, we’ll debunk the top 10 scuba diving myths and set the record straight.
Myth #1: Scuba diving is only for experienced swimmers
While you do need to have basic swimming skills to scuba dive, you don't have to be an Olympic swimmer to give it a try. As you gain more experience, you'll learn to relax and rely more on your legs for swimming than your arms or hands. Most scuba diving courses require that you can swim a certain distance and tread water for a specific amount of time.
The specific water skills required to become a scuba diver include:
Float or tread water for 10 minutes, you can do anything that helps you to stay afloat without using any assistance or any flotation aids.
Swim 200 metres or 300 metres with a mask, fins and snorkel without stopping. Remember there is no time limit and you can swim using any type of strokes that you are comfortable with.
Even if you have physical challenges, such as amputations, scuba diving may still be possible for you. PADI-certified instructors are trained to adapt and find ways to assist people with disabilities in scuba diving. In fact, there are many people with physical challenges who have earned their PADI Open Water Diver Certification.
Myth #2: Scuba diving is dangerous
Just like any other sport, scuba diving carries risks, but with proper training and adherence to safety guidelines, it can be a safe and exciting activity. The PADI Open Water Diver Certification course provides divers with a comprehensive education on the do's and don'ts of scuba diving, and it covers important safety protocols. By following these guidelines and undergoing proper training, you can reduce the risks and ensure that your diving experience is safe and enjoyable.
For most people, shark accidents are the first danger that comes to their mind however, these accidents are extremely rare in scuba diving. In fact, most accidents that occur during scuba diving are the result of human error, such as failing to follow safety and training guidelines or not being adequately prepared or following instructions during the dive.
Myth #3: Scuba diving is expensive
One of the biggest misconceptions about scuba diving is that it's always an expensive activity. However, the truth is that the cost to become an Open Water Certified diver is often similar to what you would spend learning other outdoor activities.
While some aspects of scuba diving can be costly, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this incredible experience without breaking the bank. Many scuba diving centres offer rental equipment and affordable courses for beginners. Once you have your certification, diving can be an inexpensive activity, especially if you choose to dive in local areas rather than travelling to exotic destinations.
Myth #4: Scuba diving is only for the young and fit
Scuba diving is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, including those in their 60s and 70s. As long as you're in good health and have received proper training, there's no reason why you can't take up scuba diving. In fact, some of our new divers are in their 60s and have even completed Rescue Course with us.
However, if you are over the age of 45 and currently receiving medical care or have any of the health concerns listed below, it is recommended that you consult your physician before enrolling in a scuba diving course. To help your doctor assess your suitability for scuba diving, you can bring along a scuba medical questionnaire (PDF).
Some health concerns that may affect your ability to scuba dive include smoking tobacco, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure, having a known family history of heart attack or stroke, and having diabetes mellitus, even if it is controlled by diet and exercise.
If your doctor has any questions or concerns, they can consult with a dive medical expert from Divers Alert Network (DAN). DAN is affiliated with Duke University Medical Center and is a respected resource for medical professionals worldwide. You can contact DAN through their non-emergency phone number at (919) 684-2948 or their online contact form. By taking the necessary precautions and seeking medical advice when needed, scuba diving can be a safe and enjoyable activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Myth #5: Scuba tanks are full of pure oxygen
This is a dangerous myth that could lead to serious injury or death. Scuba tanks are filled with compressed air, which contains only about 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. Breathing pure oxygen at depths can be dangerous and cause oxygen toxicity. Scuba diving tanks are designed to provide safe breathing at depth. There are recreational divers and courses that use enriched air nitrox. which is a blend of extra oxygen typically ranging from 31-36 percent However, if a diver is found breathing pure oxygen, it is likely to be a result of an emergency situation. To learn more about providing emergency oxygen, refer to our Emergency Oxygen Provider speciality.
Myth #6: Learning to dive is difficult/takes a long time
While learning to scuba dive requires proper training and practice, it does not take a long time. Most certification courses can be completed in a few days or a weekend. Additionally, the experience of learning to dive and explore the underwater world is worth the investment of time and effort. Our diving trip for courses is only 3D2N, and the confined water training session will be done in a pool. We conduct the trip during weekends. So you don't have to worry about taking a long leave. On the other hand, for our Divemaster and IDC courses, we offer the agile method, where you can schedule a training based on your availability.
Myth #7: You can’t scuba dive if you experience claustro/aqua phobia
It's a common misconception that people with claustrophobia or aquaphobia can't scuba dive. While it may seem counterintuitive to voluntarily enter an environment that triggers your fear, many divers with these phobias have successfully overcome their fears and enjoyed scuba diving.
In fact, our scuba diving instructors go to extreme lengths in teaching people with phobias how to scuba dive, some of them had their own fears. They use various techniques and strategies to help their students feel comfortable and confident underwater.
Of course, it's important to address any concerns or fears you may have with a qualified diving professional before attempting a dive. They can assess your situation and provide personalized guidance on how to overcome your phobia and safely enjoy the wonders of the underwater world.
Myth #8: You need to be an expert to take underwater photos
Many people assume that only experienced divers can take photographs underwater. This is far from the truth. With modern technology, you can now take great underwater photos with a basic camera, even with minimal diving experience. It's important to learn the basics of diving and underwater photography, but you don't need to be an expert to capture stunning images of marine life. Take our Photography speciality and learn how to capture your selfies pictures for your social media.
Myth #9: You have to find someone to take the class with you
People believe that they need to find a partner to take scuba diving classes with them, but this is not necessarily true. While it can be helpful to have a buddy to practice skills and share experiences with, most scuba diving certification courses offer opportunities to pair up with another student or dive with an instructor or divemaster.
In fact, taking a scuba diving course can be a great way to meet new people who share your interests. We organize group trips and social events where you can connect with other divers.
Solo diving is also an option for certified divers who are comfortable diving on their own and have received proper training, such as the Self-Reliant Diver speciality. However, it’s important to note that solo diving carries additional risks and requires extra precautions, so it’s not recommended for everyone.
So, if you're interested in scuba diving but don't have a buddy to take the course with you, don't let that hold you back. You can still enjoy this exciting and rewarding activity on your own or with new dive buddies that you meet along the way.
Myth #10: Scuba diving is only for tropical destinations
While tropical destinations offer some of the most breathtaking scuba diving experiences, diving can be enjoyed in many different locations. The reality is that scuba diving can be enjoyed in many different locations, including lakes, quarries, rivers, and even caves. These locations offer unique diving experiences and a chance to explore different underwater environments. In fact, some of the best diving can be found in our own lakes.
In conclusion, scuba diving is an exciting adventure that offers the unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the underwater world. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding scuba diving that may discourage people from trying it out.
We have debunked the top 10 scuba diving myths and set the record straight. We have learned that scuba diving is not only for experienced swimmers, it is safe if proper training and safety guidelines are followed, it is not always expensive, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, scuba tanks are not filled with pure oxygen, learning to dive is not difficult, and people with claustrophobia or aquaphobia can still scuba dive.
Scuba diving can be a safe and enjoyable activity for people of all ages and abilities.