What is the scuba diving instruction like?

Begin With Review And Friend (BWRAF)

Use the phrase "Begin With Review And Friend" to help you remember the checks:

Begin (B) - BCD - Check adjustment, operation, low pressure inflator connection, and that tank is firm in the band. If appropriate for the entry technique, make sure it's partially inflated.

With (W) - Weights - Check for proper weighting, and that the quick release system is clear for ditching. Weight belts should have a right hand release.

Review (R) - Releases - Make sure you're familiar with your buddy's releases and how they work. Check each other to make sure they're secure.

And (A) - Air - Confirm that you both have ample air for the dive, that your valves are open, that regulators and alternate air sources work, and that you know where to find and how to use each other's alternate air sources.

Friend (F) - Final Okay - Give each other a final inspection looking for out of place equipment, dangling gauges, missing gear, etc.

Selecting a Scuba Instructor

As in most forms of education, the right teacher is an important component for success. Thus it is worth a bit of research to select the right scuba instructor. Speak with people in your community who are already certified, and ask for their recommendations. Often a college, university, or the local YMCA will have a good scuba certification course. Call or visit the dive stores in your area and interview them for both credentials and attitude. Look for a scuba instructor who is experienced and professional, but not egotistical. The scuba learning experience should be properly organized, careful, safe, and fun as well.

Location of Scuba Instruction

Initial scuba instruction takes place in three environments:

Classroom - where material is presented and reviewed

Pool - where skills are taught and practiced in confined water

Open Water - where the student demonstrates the skills he or she has learned.

Typically, early open water takes place in a local body of water such as a lake, a flooded quarry or the sea.

Scuba Instruction

A typical scuba certification course requires four weeks of study, two days per week. One day per week will be classroom study, while the other will be pool work. Once all scuba instruction and written tests have been completed, the scuba dive students will go for their open water check out dives. These are usually a minimum of four or five separate dives, which must be completed over a period of at least two days. If all dives are completed successfully, the student becomes a certified scuba diver.

Keeping Dive Log Books

In addition to having a scuba c-card, it is important for divers to maintain a dive log book of their dive experiences. Prior to providing scuba diving services, many quality diver operators will require that customers present a dive log book as well as that well-earned scuba c-card. You can purchase a fancy dedicated divers log, or just keep notes in an inexpensive ruled notebook. Either way, your dive log book will help you to remember important things like the amount of weight you need, depth and duration of each dive, details of dive sites, dive buddies, marine life encounters, and cherished experiences.

Be a Scuba Diver for Life

Some people go through a scuba diving course, do their open water dives, and never participate in the sport again. Others find that scuba diving is something they can do, and enjoy, throughout their lives. Take the time to be properly trained, and keep your experience current. If your scuba diving skills are rusty, take a refresher course. Dive safely, have fun, and you too can grow to be an old, bold diver.

Scuba Diving Frequently Asked Questions

What are decompression stops and how should I use them?

How do I monitor my air supply?

How do I improve my air consumption when scuba diving?

Should I use an underwater camera when scuba diving?

What do I do to prepare for my first scuba diving trip?

How do I properly handle my scuba diving gear?

How do I make sure my scuba diving gear fits me properly?

What is a checkout dive and why should I do it?

How do I weigh myself when scuba diving?

How do I watch for boat traffic?

How do I rent a car in Mexico?

How do I prevent getting sick in Mexico?

What about traveling with children in Mexico?

What documents do I need to travel to Mexico?

What are some Spanish terms to know?

What is scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez like?

What is scuba diving in the Playa del Carmen like?

What is scuba diving in Cozumel like?

Can I drink alcohol while scuba diving?

What are some scuba diving options in Mexico?

How do I remain safe while scuba diving in Cozumel?

How do I handle myself around moral eels?

What is a good scuba diving experience in Cozumel?

What are some good scuba diving sites in Cozumel?

Where are some good beach diving sites in Cozumel?

How do I go drift diving in Cozumel?

How do I select a dive operator in cozumel?

What are all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel?

How do I choose a hotel in Cozumel?

What is scuba diving in Cozumel like?

What is the safest way to ascend slowly when scuba diving?

How can I handle scuba diving and boat traffic?

How can I try scuba diving with cameras underwater?

How do I handle drinking and diving?

How can I safely monitor my air supply?

What are some good scuba diving safety procedures?

what are some scuba diving air consumption tips?

How do I adjust weight when diving?

How can I go scuba diving with boat traffic?

What is the Barracuda Reef in Cozumel?

Can you give me some information on moray eels?

What are the best scuba diving in Cozumel?

What are Cozumel all-inclusive resorts?

How do I select dive operators in Cozumel?

Where do I go shore diving in Cozumel?

How do I choose hotels in Cozumel?

How do I prevent illnesses in Mexico?

What are some Mexico scuba diving options?

What are some tips on speaking Spanish in Mexico?

What passport requirements are needed when traveling to Mexico?

How do I go about renting a car in Mexico?

What is scuba diving in Cozumel like?

What is Playa del Carmen scuba diving like?

What is scuba diving Sea of Cortez like?

Where is the Sea of Cortez located?

What are the water temperatures like in the Sea of Cortez?

What is the Sea of Cortez weather like?

What is traveling to Baja like?

What is the Sea of Cortez marine life like?

Where do I go for Sea of Cortez resorts?

What kinds of Baja sport fishing & Baja outdoor activities are there?

How do I approach a whale shark if I find one while scuba diving?

How do I go swimming with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez?

Where can I go live aboard diving in the Sea of Cortez?

Where is Bonaire located?

What is Bonaire´s weather like when I am traveling to Bonaire?

What is scuba diving in Bonaire like?

What is Bonaire´s National Marine Park?

What are some fun acitivites in Bonaire?

Can I go windsurfing in Bonaire?

What are the spoken languages in Bonaire?

Can I go beach diving in Bonaire?

Where can I go boat diving in Bonaire?

What are some of Bonaire´s dive resorts?

Where is the Cayman Islands located?

What does the city have to offer at the Grand Cayman Islands?

What should I know about Little Cayman and Cayman Brac?

What is the Cayman Islands weather like throughout the year?

What options do I have for Cayman Islands hotels and lodging?

What is the Cayman Islands marine life like?

Where can I go shore diving in Grand Cayman?

Where can I go live aboard diving in Grand Cayman?

What is Stingray City in Grand Cayman?

What are some Cayman Islands attractions?

Can I go live-aboard diving in the Bay Islands?

What are some Roatan activities to do?

What are some Roatan activities to do?

Are there any Dolphin Research Centers in Honduras?

Where can I go shore diving in the Bay Islands?

What are some good Roatan dive resorts and Bay Islands dive resorts?

What can I expect from Utila Island in Honduras?

When is a good time to travel to the Bay Islands and Roatan?

Where are the Bay Islands of honduras located?

Where is Belize located?

What is the weather in Belize like?

What is some good information about Belize´s barrier reef?

What information is there about Ambergris Caye Belize?

Should I get a hotel in Belize City?

Where can I go live aboard diving in Belize?

Where are some great places to go scuba diving in Belize?

What is Belize´s Blue Hole?

What is Shark and Ray Alley in Belize?

What is diving in the Bay Islands like?

What is scuba diving in Belize like?

What is scuba diving Cayman Islands like?

What is it like touring Costa Rica?

What is the weather in Costa Rica like?

What are some resorts in Costa Rica for scuba diving?

What is it like diving in Cocos Island Costa Rica?

What is the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort?

What is the Arenal Volcano tour in Costa Rica like?

What are other activities in Costa Rica?

Where do I go live aboard diving in Costa Rica?

What is South Pacific diving like?

What are some great South Pacific diving destinations?

What is scuba diving Fiji like?

What is scuba diving Borneo Malaysia like?

What are some good places for South Pacific dive resorts?

Can I go diving in Komodo National Park?

What is the Indonesia marine life like?

What is the water temperature in Indonesia like?

What is Komodo National Park?

What are some good Indonesia dive resorts?

What is scuba diving in Indonesia like?

How can I obtain a scuba diving certification?

What are some good scuba diving organizations?

What is the scuba diving instruction like?

What are open water certification dives?

What is a scuba c-card?

Why is the buddy system important when scuba diving?

How can I improve my scuba diving skills?

How should I tip on a live aboard dive cruise?

What is scuba diving Nitrox?

How do I combat seasickness on liveaboard cruises?

What else should I know about scuba diving live aboard?

What things should I bring on liveaboard boats?

How do I select the right liveaboard diving boat?

What are the best scuba diving liveaboard destinations?

Where can I go scuba diving in Micronesia?

What is the Micronesia travel history?

What should I know about when traveling to Micronesia?

What can I expect to find on the island of Palau Micronesia?

What is Jellyfish Lake in Micronesia?

What is it like scuba diving Truk Lagoon?

What is scuba diving in Yap Micronesia like?

What are some good scuba diving skills I can learn?

How does spear fishing work?

What are some hunting tips for spearing fish?

What are safety tips for spear fishing?

Do spear fishermen spoil reefs and wreck sites?

How do you approach the prey when spear fishing?

Are there laws restricting spear fishing?

Do I need to have a knife when spear fishing?

Which is better for spear fishing: scuba or free diving?

What kind of equipment do I need to scuba dive?

Does it matter whether I use a rental BC or buy one?

What are some scuba gadgets?

Are there different types of buoyancy compensators?

What kinds of features should I look for in a BCD?

What is neutral buoyancy in scuba diving?

Can a BCD function as a life-saving device?

What types of careers are there for commercial divers?

What is technical diving?

Who becomes a commercial diver?

What are examples of technical dives?

Can any diver use a full-face mask and rebreather?

Is there a special air mixture for technical dives?

Do commercial divers use special scuba equipment?

What kind of diving suit do I need for a scuba trip?

How do drysuits keep divers warm?

How can I tell if a wetsuit fits properly?

Can I wear a dive skin while scuba diving?

Are there different styles of wet suit?

How do I care for my dive suit?

Why are wet suits popular for water recreation?

Was is the core warmer wet suit?

What kind of scuba fins can I choose from?

Are split dive fins better than paddle fins?

How can I make sure that my new dive fins fit well?

How do I care for my new mask, fins and snorkel?

What are force fins?

How can I find the best diving fins?

Are there certain brands of swim fins with an established reputation for quality?

How do I become certified to scuba dive?

Why do I need certification to scuba dive?

Can I ask the diving operation for references from former students?

What is PADI?

What can I expect to encounter when I scuba dive?

What organizations offer certification in scuba diving?

What kind of scuba equipment will I need to learn to dive?

What should I expect from a scuba diving class?

Is there a safety protocol for cave diving?

What kinds of dive lights do I need for night diving?

What kind of light should I use for underwater photography?

Should I use rechargeable or disposable dive light batteries?

What are the different kinds of dive lights on the market?

How can I prepare for a night dive?

What are some tips for an enjoying a night dive?

What are scuba computers?

What kind of features are there is dive computers?

Will a dive computer warn of dangers?

How do dive computers work?

Will a scuba computer help a diver avoid decompressions sickness?

What kind of features should I expect in a dive watch.

Do some computer dive watches tell time?

Should I invest a lot in my first dive computer watch?

How can I tell if my scuba regulator is a good fit?

How do scuba regulators work?

Am I breathing pure oxygen when I dive?

What are rebreathers?

What are some consumer tips for buying a regulator?

What kind of functions does a regulator have?

Do I need to clean my scuba regulator?

What do I need to do to take care of regulator hoses after diving?

Does it matter what kind of dive mask I buy?

What can I learn about dive masks?

What is mask squeeze?

Can I get a dive mask with a corrective lens for my vision?

How do you defog a dive mask?

Can I clear the water from my mask while diving?

What features should I look for in a mask?

Can't I just use a friend's mask when I dive?

What kind of dive bags are there for carrying scuba gear?

What kinds of features should I look for in a dive knife?

What are the types of underwater cameras?

What kind of lens should I use to shoot dive photos?

What tips should new divers follow when taking photos?

What kinds of products are there for sea sickness?

Are there dive gifts for under $10?

What kinds of gifts and accessories are there for divers?

What is a purge snorkel?

Do I need to worry about sunscreen when I snorkel?

Do I need training to snorkel?

Do I need to wear my snorkel if I am scuba diving?

How can I choose a good snorkeling site?

What features should I look for in a snorkel?

What should I expect from my dive buddy when we snorkel?

What are dry snorkels?

Are scuba tanks safe to handle?

Should I choose an aluminum or steel tank?

How did scuba diving get started?

Will I need to buy scuba tanks to take a diving class?

How can I ensure that my dive tanks are filled to capacity?

Does it matter whether I purchase a painted or unpainted dive tank?

What should the air capacity be for my scuba tank?

What features should I consider in a new dive tank?

In your scuba diving article in Cozumel you said to choose the dive operators carefully. How do we do that for our safety?Helen

What are the best dive sites in Bonaire?

Recent Scuba Diving Questions

Q. Hello, my name is Sarah. I have a science question to answer and I need help! (I have no knowledge on scuba dining). The question I recieved was why is it important to ascend slowly. If you have any light to shed on this, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Sarah
A. Click for the Answer

Q. Can you recomend me good scuba divers guides in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum? I´m going to those places on April and want to have a safe dive.
Thank you
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Q. Do you have to be a certified PADI diver to be alowed to dive in mexico? or do they judge you from ability?I have been to depths of 15m but have not done the course. Will most places let me dive to that depth still? Or will I need to do a course out there?If so , where would you recommend a good , resonable company to do one through?I don`t want to only be able to do ``beginners` dives of 3-4metres.
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Q. When is the best time to see Whale Sharks in Roatan Island? We are both strong snorkelers and would also like to know if there are trips for us to see these magnificent creatures?
Joe and Marcella Bilicska
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