How to become SCUBA certified

The mysteries and beauty of the deep ocean are things that few humans actually get to see and experience. Not only is there a lack of light the further down you go, but you also need oxygen to survive. The oxygen is required because you simply cannot hold your breath long enough to go down and see things before needing to pop back up again.

Beyond the oxygen, there is much to consider when thinking about SCUBA diving. The word “SCUBA” is an acronym for “Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.” If the deep ocean has always enchanted you, you should become SCUBA certified. We will tell you how.

1. Do you qualify

Exploring a new and mysterious world
Exploring a new and mysterious world

The first question you have to ask yourself is whether you are actually able to become certified. You have to be at least 12 years of age as well as being in excellent health and physically active. You should have a doctor conduct a physical and give you approval before going any further. Any underlying health issue could be the difference between life and death in the water.

Furthermore, you need to already have some swimming abilities. If you cannot back float for 10 minutes or easily swim a minimum of 200 yards, you are not at a good fitness level to begin your SCUBA certification process.

2. Find a certified instructor

Having a friend or relative teach you SCUBA is not going to cut it. There are so many risk factors to consider when diving that you really need someone who is qualified to teach SCUBA. Most places that have a body of water nearby should have some kind of SCUBA training program available. This will also mean ensuring that there is somewhere to actually train you, like a pool. There will be liability forms you should fill out that let you know that you are responsible for your endeavor. In order to make sure that a liability never comes to pass, you should study outside of your class. Read up on SCUBA as well as safety tips to ensure that your SCUBA experience is not a tragic one.

3. Check out the costs

Safely learning the basics in the pool
Safely learning the basics in the pool

You should find out how much classes, certification, and equipment are going to cost you before getting started. You cannot cut corners with anything, so you have to have the full funds available to get going. Some classes will include SCUBA gear while others do not, so check out what the class instructor says you need to have before you begin training.

4. Practice

It doesn’t matter what body of water you are planning to dive in, you will need to train before setting off on a SCUBA adventure. Practicing will help you learn how to control your body in the water as well as help you understand how your gear all works.

5. Take the test

In order to actually become certified, you will have to complete some certification dives that verify that you are safe in the water and competent enough to know what it is you are supposed to be doing. If you cannot pass the certification dives, you will not get your certification. You will not be able to receive oxygen tanks or rent any equipment you need if you cannot verify that you successfully passed the SCUBA certification test.

The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts in the process of becoming a certified SCUBA diver. Every step is essential to not just your ability to dive, but in the actual certification process. SCUBA can be a dangerous activity if you do not know what you are doing.

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marion-fernandez is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival