Scuba diving is a deeply fulfilling and invigorating sport enjoyed by millions of people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, thousands of new divers sign up for scuba classes in hopes of receiving their PADI certification and beginning their scuba journey. To obtain a PADI certification, new divers must fully understand the various intricacies of diving and scuba gear while also possessing an understanding of diving charts and pressure gauges. David William Sherrer, Florida resident and life-long scuba enthusiast has seen firsthand the mistakes most commonly made by new scuba students especially when his children got certified last year. Today, David William Sherrer will share some of these most common scuba mistakes to help prevent other new divers from repeating them in the future.
Not Checking Dive Gauges and Air Consumption
For many new divers, the excitement of the first diving trip can be both overwhelming and distracting. It seems hard to believe that a new diver could forget to check their gauges and air consumption after just learning the importance of monitoring while diving; however, accidents are most common among new divers first few scuba dives. New divers haven’t learned how to expend the least amount of energy, so they run out of air more quickly than an experienced diver. Unless a new diver has purchased professional diving equipment, they are unlikely to be warned by their standard equipment that their tank is close to empty or that they have descended beyond their recommended limit. It is essential that all divers monitor their gauges consistently and throughout all stages of their dive. Remember, you can always come back down with a full tank later so err on the side of caution.
Ascending too Quickly
Almost all diving instructors tell their students to “ascend slower than your slowest bubble.” While this is not meant to be taken as a literal instruction for speed, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid ascending too quickly and developing decompression sickness. One of the most common mistakes made among new divers; once a rapid ascension has started, it is nearly impossible to correct. New divers should take great caution when ascending and never exceed an ascension rate of 30 feet per minute.
Not Diving Frequently after Scuba Certification
While scuba is a beloved recreation sport enjoyed by thousands each year, it is not a sport that should be taken lightly. Diving mistakes can have severe consequences, and for this reason, it is recommended that all divers take time each year to practice diving and to make sure their skills and knowledge of diving remain fresh. Although a PADI certification will never expire, like all skills, diving must be practiced, or it will be lost. New divers should attempt to dive more than twice a year after receiving their certification, and if possible, join a local diving club with more experienced divers. If a new diver has not gone diving more than six times within their first three years, they should consider enrolling in a scuba program designed to reintroduce them to diving procedures and techniques.