Advice to New Scuba Divers from a PADI Instructor – Part 1

Two divers underwater

So, you recently learned to dive. Congratulations and welcome to the scuba community! During your Open Water Diver Course, you became well versed in scuba diving basics. As a newly certified diver, you have a lot to remember. With that in mind, we came up with this list of PADI Instructor top tips for a new diver in two parts. Here’s part one.

  • Want better air consumption? Log more dives. Air hog. That is what they call the diver whose tank has the least amount of air in it at the end of a dive. This label often falls on the new diver. Don’t worry; it’s natural to breathe more when you’re excited – and what’s more exciting than your first dive? The good news is, your air consumption will improve. As you gain more experience, you become more comfortable with your gear, and buoyancy starts to become second nature.
  • It’s important to go slow. Add air to your BC in small increments, wait a few seconds and see how the air you added changes your buoyancy. Add a few puffs, take a few breaths and, after a few fin kicks, reassess. Slowly adding air to your BC keeps your dive profile from looking like the zigzags on a saw blade. Remember: don’t add air to your BC to ascend. Use your fins instead and slowly release expanding air.
  • Don’t fall victim to peer pressure. “Any diver can call off any dive for any reason, no questions asked (or answered).” Taking up scuba diving is a great way to push your personal boundaries. While you want to embrace new things, don’t allow others to pressure you into doing something that doesn’t feel right. Do what you enjoy, not what others want you to do.
  • Get a well-fitting mask. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than a leaking mask that smashes your ears or face. The whole point of diving is to see what’s going on underwater. If your mask is always leaking, it’s a distraction and impairs your vision. For an optimal scuba experience, begin with choosing a mask fitted by a professional. A properly fitting mask keeps you focused and makes your dive more enjoyable.

We’ve come to the end of the first half of this two-part post. What tips would you add?

Read on for Advice to New Scuba Divers from a PADI Instructor – Part 2