catalina island Photo: Tod Warren
Photo: Tod Warren

 

Sure, you have a certification card, but that doesn’t always mean you’re feeling ready to dive. If it has been awhile since your last dive, you may be in need of a PADI ReActivate scuba refresher program. Here are seven signs to look for.

You can’t find your C-card.

Sure, someone from the dive center can call PADI® to confirm you’re certified, but if you can’t find the card, that’s a sign that perhaps too much time has passed since your last dive.

You finally have a vacation planned and you want to dive.

You could spend precious time at your destination catching up on skills — or you could do that work with your hometown dive center.

It’s been a while since your last dive, and you will be diving with your kids.

“A lot of times, we are dealing with families that got certified together,” says Lyn Fishman, owner of Mid-Atlantic Scuba Center located in Bensalem, PA, outside Philadelphia. “One thing I remind parents before they get in the water is that they are going to be responsible for another person, and I ask if they feel up for it.”

If the answer is no, consider a refresher course.

Six to 12 months have elapsed since your last dive.

“One of the first questions we ask someone who is coming in to dive is, “When is the last time you were in the water?” says Jeff Cleary, owner of Sea Dwellers Dive Center in Key Largo, Florida.

As for the answer, some dive shops will suggest a refresher if you haven’t been diving in six months, a year or longer.

The thought of putting your gear together makes you nervous.

If you’re struggling to remember just how the gear fits together, keep in mind that the divemaster can assist you — but it might also be time for a refresher course.

scuba refresher

You can’t remember when your last dive was.

If your last dive was more than a decade ago, you may need more than just a refresher course.

Fishman starts by asking folks how long it’s been since their last dive.

“Then I ask about the time before they stopped diving. I ask them to estimate how many dives they had before they stopped. For some people, it’s been 15 years and they guess that they had maybe 10 dives before they stopped,” says Fishman.

She adds, “It’s always their choice, of course, but we recommend taking a full course at that point.”

If you’re still unsure if you need a scuba refresher, know that you always have the option of hiring a private divemaster to serve as a guide for you and/or your buddy or family.

If you identify with any of the above, it might be time to call your local dive center and schedule time for the PADI ReActivate program.

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