Written by Danielle Schofield
No sooner than you’ve got your PADI certification, you’ll spark awe and curiosity in your non-diving buddies. Previously, we’ve broken down a few common misconceptions like, ’Aren’t sharks aggressive?’ and, ‘Don’t you have to travel far away?’ Now, we take a look at five more questions you’ll come to expect…
How deep do you go?
Some people think we venture to the bottom of the deepest oceans, but the reality isn’t quite as dramatic. Recreational divers with the PADI Deep Diver specialty can dive to 40m/130ft, while Tec 100 CCR divers can explore as far as 100m/330ft. Even record-breaking divers have only reached 332m/1,090ft (less than a tenth of the distance to the Titanic). That leaves a lot of ocean beyond our reach, but with so much to explore in shallower waters, we’re not too bothered.
Is there much to see?
The answer to this one is easy — lots! Over 200,000 flora and fauna have been discovered in the ocean so far, and as divers we have the privilege of seeing a completely different side of our planet to the rest of the world. From mysterious shipwrecks and vivid coral reefs, to the wolf eels and whales of icier waters, we have a front row seat to Blue Planet in real life.
Isn’t it expensive?
Many landlubbers wonder how their underwater pals can afford such a premium pastime. The truth is, scuba diving doesn’t need to cost the earth. Keep an eye out in your local PADI Dive Shop or PADI Travel for great deals on courses, trips and equipment, and share the savings by travelling in groups. You don’t need to buy all your dive kit in one go either; hire what you need until you decide (and save up for) what works for you.
Isn’t it tiring carrying all that gear?
We can forgive our friends for thinking we possess superhuman strength; cylinders, lead weights, thick suits — it all looks pretty heavy. Like any sport, a degree of fitness will help, and there are a few exercises that build up core muscles in our arms, legs and back to make carrying equipment a bit easier. But as soon as we’re in the water and achieve neutral buoyancy, we feel completely weightless and at ease (thanks, Archimedes).
Is it difficult to learn?
Nope! Like any new hobby or profession, scuba diving has its own set of skills, knowledge and safe practices, but PADI offers tools to suit every learning style, from books and DVDs, to eLearning and, of course, the classroom. In practical sessions, PADI Instructors take every step at each student’s pace, making sure they feel confident and competent before progressing onto the next lesson.
Of course the best way to satisfy your friends’ curiosity is to get them to try diving for themselves! Contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort and ask about PADI Discover Scuba Diving experiences.