So you’re keen to learn scuba diving? It’s one of the most rewarding and versatile water sports there is, and a staple part of the Big Blue Collective experience. If you’re keen to start having fun under the water as well as in it, then scuba diving may be the perfect sport for you. Today, we take a closer look at everything you need to know to start diving, and where the best spots to learn may be.
How do I start learning to dive?
One of the very first steps you take on your diving journey will be determining if you’re able to dive at all. Contemporary advances in the diving field make it very likely that the answer is yes, so don’t feel disheartened! Dive equipment, training and even medication developments have opened the sport up to a huge range of ages, body types and sizes. There are a few criteria you will have to meet, however. If you’re comfortable in the water, can swim and have a basic level of physical fitness, you should be good to go. Some medical conditions are contra-indicated for diving, however. Your dive school will have a medical questionnaire you will be asked to fill in. Be sure to answer honestly and openly. You can also feel free to reach out to the Big Blue team for more personalised advice.
2. Find the right partner for training
Diving is a sport, so there are some inherent risks. These can be reduced and managed, however, by making sure you learn from a knowledgeable, professional source. Knowing how to follow basic dive guidelines, use your gear properly, check your gear and basic troubleshooting if something goes wrong will help you react smartly in the water at all times, keeping yourself safe even if a snag occurs.
It’s important to find an accredited centre with an instructor you’re happy and comfortable to learn from. The Big Blue instructors are all certified with PADI, and offer a wide range of courses to suit every level of skill.
3. Gear up
Scuba is, of course, a gear-dependant sport. Without your gear, your very safety could be on the line, so it should always be well-fitting and well maintained before you head into the water. That doesn’t mean you have to commit to purchases before you even begin learning! Beginner’s courses often include rental gear in the price of the course. You may prefer to continue to rent gear as you grow into diving, or simply purchase selected intimate items like fins, wetsuits and masks and rent the rest. That said, owning your own gear does have a lot of advantages. You’ll always have peace of mind about its fit and maintenance, and it should help you develop into a more comfortable and confident diver.
4. Your first steps into diving
Now you have a plan, it’s time to put it into action. You’ll need to get your open water certification before you can begin to do more exciting dives. There is some learning of essential dive theory to be done here. Sure, you may want to jump straight into the water (and no one enjoys studying on holiday), but the stuff included here will make you a safe and competent diver. It should never be skipped or ignored.
The most popular way to obtain your PADI Open Water certification as a beginner, which allows you to dive for life, is to sign up for their eLearning course at home. This allows you to complete the theoretical coursework before you arrive. That way you’ll be straight into the pool training and your 4 open water dives to get certified when you actually get to your destination. We do most certification through private lessons, for maximum attention and swift progress.
You will take your first steps as a diver in the pool with your instructor. Here you’ll learn to clear water from your mask and how to use your regulator. Once you are comfortable in the training pool, you’ll be able to complete your 4 open water dives for certification. Remember that there’s no stupid questions- ask your instructor if you need clarity or help. The goal is to make you a confident, safer diver.
Where is the best place to learn to dive?
There are many fantastic dive schools and dive destinations worldwide. Over time, you’ll learn what you most enjoy- is it tumbling off of walls? Exploring wrecks? Watching wildlife play on reefs? Once you know a little more about your particular loves as a diver, you’ll know how to refine your choice of diving spots to suit what thrills your heart.
We strongly believe that the Turks and Caicos is one of the best places in the world to learn to dive, however. The water, wind and weather temperatures here are ever-gentle and non-intimidating, and the bright azure water and open skies are likely to lift any learner’s heart and motivate you further. The waters around the TCI are pretty unique for divers, as they offer almost every type of dive site you could possibly wish for, including inland holes, dramatic walls and even a few wrecks. With the beauty of our barrier reef added, there’s something to delight every heart.
But as a beginner, it’s great to know that you can learn in confidence, too. The water here is warm, stable and predictable year-round, with very little to intimidate a learner and almost no chance of hard-to-manage or dangerous conditions. This allows you to focus solely on getting comfortable with the mechanics of diving, with no other concerns to distract you.
The Big Blue Collective takes great pride in the quality of our PADI-certified dive instructors- and we’re certain you will agree too! If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly, fun way to learn to dive, why not consider adding a dive package the next time you visit the Turks and Caicos?