The Common Myths of Scuba Diving
Here are 19 common myths of scuba diving. These include things like cost, medical, physical, and dangerous conditions. In this short list of 19 myths we will put these to bed, once and for all.
Myth: The cost of open water certification is expensive
Truth: Your open water certification lasts a lifetime and you can expect to pay, between $300 and $600 to achieve this certification. This certification opens the door to a whole new world of underwater exploration and unforgettable experiences. You can remain a recreational diver or fall in love with diving, there are several avenues for continuing your education.
Myth: Scuba diving requires a lot of expensive equipment.
Truth: During certification most of the gear you require is provided by your instructor and included in the price of certification. Remember the “Golden Rule” you get what you pay for and this rule typically holds true in the scuba world. There is a huge difference in al-a-cart certifications and all inclusive certifications. Your diving instructor has a financial investment in every student that is pretty significant and you won’t see an all inclusive certification offered for $99.00. Once certified you will find scuba requires a vast amount of gear that can be expensive there are ways to minimize the costs. Most divers start by purchasing what is called personal gear and includes mask, fins and snorkel. Depending on how much diving you intend to do you can either buy or rent the remaining gear.
Myth: I can experience the same thing snorkeling.
Truth: Probably the best way to describe the difference, between the two is a simple analogy. Snorkeling is like watching the Olympics on TV and cheering for your favorite athlete while diving is more like being that athlete as they’re presented with the gold. Once you drop down in that water and see all of natures wonders laid out, before you like a Christmas scene you’ll never look at snorkeling the same way.
Myth: Scuba diving is extremely dangerous.
Truth: Millions of people around the world are certified scuba divers, who actively participate in their sport year after year. As with any sport, if you are diving dangerously you risk not only your life, but the others diving with you. Recreational diving is in fact very safe and the number of accidents let alone fatalities is very low. Most incidents in the diving world are related to extreme diving at depths greater than approved for recreational divers. Those incidents that occur in the recreational diving world are almost always the result of bad judgment or disregarding completely their training.
Myth: Learning to dive is complicated.
Truth: Professional instructors today have proven teaching strategies as well as an array of learning materials that make it simple and fun to learn. Classes are generally small allowing the instructor to give more one-on-one time with each student. In fact it is so simple to get your open water certification that you can actually complete the course in as little as three days.
Myth: Scuba diving is boring.
Truth: Scuba diving is one of those rare sports where you determine the level of excitement you desire. Some enjoy tranquil dives in crystal clear blue water gliding over coral reefs while being surrounded by tropical fish. Some enjoy the searching the hidden depths for long lost treasures and fragments of history. Occasionally you have a diver that decides to make a career out of their hobbie and obtain additional training in their field of interest. Explorers diving on the edge, exploring caves, wrecks, extreme depths, spearfishing, diving with whale sharks and even discovering unknown wrecks or species. Whatever your flavor, diving offers you the unique ability to discover yourself and an amazing new world.
Myth: Divers experience claustrophobia.
Truth: People that suffer from some level of claustrophobia have every right to be concerned, however most find their fears are unfounded. Underwater you have a complete feeling of freedom quite the contrary to being confined in a small room. It is not unusual for visibility to be 100 feet or more because there are no walls surrounding you. Most instructors will work with you regardless of your fears or inhibitions as they want you to succeed.
Myth: Diving is a man’s sport and not suited for females.
Truth: Today there are almost as many female divers as there are male divers. Enhancements in equipment and the dispelling of myths have had a tremendous impact on recreational diving. In fact today you’ll find females throughout the sport holding positions such as Divemaster, Instructors, Boat Captains and Resort Owners.
Myth: I am going to be attacked by a shark.
Truth: In general sharks actually avoid divers and will actually depart the area when divers are spotted. Unfortunately there are rare instances involving diver attacks by a shark . These aggression’s are extremely rare for recreational divers. In most cases between diver and shark confrontation it is the actions of the diver that has caused this interaction.
Sharks are generally attracted to the gastrol fluids in fish and the energy produced of a dying fish. That’s why a person spearfishing is more likely to have an interaction with a shark. In the movies you see the massive Great White Shark feverishly attacking divers confined in a small shark cage. What you don’t see the chumming of the water or large baits used to attract sharks to the cage. Your chance of being bitten by a poisonous snake, a dog or a rabid animal while getting in your car probably outnumbers the odds of being involved in a shark attack.
Myth: Diving on my menstrual cycle will attract sharks.
Truth: There have been numerous studies regarding this topic and basically the findings are sharks may appear curious, about human blood, but they typically show absolutely no aggression. They are far more interested in a dying or struggling fish then your menstrual cycle. As you dive the atmospheric pressure changes and the majority of women find that their period stops while diving.
Myth: I can’t dive. I have a medical condition.
Truth: Doctors are very cautious and with the amount of litigation in the world today they have every right. What you must keep in mind is that very few doctors are knowledgeable in the effects of diving on the human body and will certainly error on the side of caution. Today there are people with major disabilities that are enjoying the sport of diving. If you have a medical condition and you’re unsure if you can dive, contact the Medical experts at the Divers Alert Network (DAN). This nonprofit safety organization is affiliated with the Duke University Medical Center and can be reached at (919) 684-2948. They will be more than happy to answer any of your concerns relating to your health and diving.
Myth: I wear contact lenses or corrective eye glasses so I won’t be able to see.
Truth: Divers that generally wear contacts simply switch to gas-permeable contact lenses when they dive allowing them to see quite normally. There are options when it comes to mask selection as well, several masks have either readers built into the glass or prescription lenses. Refraction of light is sufficient to allow them to dive without using either contacts or prescription lenses.
Myth: Diving can hurt or damage my ears.
Truth: Yes there is truth to this myth, however in the majority of these cases is caused from the diver failing to equalize. In your open water class you will be taught techniques which is easy to perform in equalizing the pressure on your ears. Your instructor will also advise you that if you have any difficulties whatsoever equalizing, to abort the dive.
Myth: Learning to dive is a long drawn out process.
Truth: Depending on the instructor you choose, this can be true. Most dive shops have a regimented schedule that they adhere to religiously. If you have difficulty with any aspect of the course you may be forced to join the next class. Independent instructors are typically more flexible and have the time to work with you on a particular skill. Schedule conflicts will cause many dive shops to refer a student to an independent instructor. In general an instructor can train and certify you in as little as three days for Open Water Diver.
Myth: I don’t have a dive partner so I can’t dive.
Truth: The beauty of diving is that today more than ever there are a lot of people in the sport. There are dedicated websites, social media and even local groups that all cater to dive enthusiast. Finding a partner is sometimes as easy as making a post or visiting your dive instructor. Multiple websites can put you in touch with other divers just like you looking for a partner. In addition several instructors offer free fun trips several times a year and this is a great opportunity to meet other divers in your area.
Myth: I’m too old to dive.
Truth: Statistically the most active group of divers are, between the ages of 38 and 53 years old and beyond. As you get older it can be harder to read and retain information. A good instructor is going to work at your pace and ensure that not only did you retain the information, but is 2nd nature to you.
Myth: Diving is a warm water sport for people living on tropical islands.
Truth: When you look at Google maps you’ll often see blue areas that indicates a river, lake, pond, bay, or ocean and you’ll find people that dive them. In fact you’ll find divers from Florida to Alaska enjoying the tropical waters or diving for gold in Alaska. There is gear for most diving conditions and people who brave the conditions of the local environment for the opportunity to dive.
Myth: It’s difficult to breath underwater.
Truth: The only difference, between breathing on land and breathing underwater if that you can breath through your nose on land. Today with easy availability of full face masks, you can even breath through your nose if you so desire. Most divers will be breathing through their mouth using a regulator. Your instructor will work with you on breathing through a regulator. Soon you will find it natural and quite simple to breath though a regulator. The sensation of breathing underwater is a feeling that is just so awesome it is difficult to put into words.
Myth: You have to be an Olympic swimmer to be a diver.
Truth: As with any sport, the better your physical condition the more endurance you have and the easier the sport appears to the layman. Scuba diving revolves around swimming, but you have several pieces of gear to assist you with this process. A wetsuit not only helps to keep you warm, but also acts as a flotation device. Fins help to propel you through the water at Olympic speeds. As you know the basics of swimming you will probably have no difficulty with training.
See 19 Myths all debunked!
These are just some of the common myths of scuba diving that generally come up. By talking to your scuba instructor they will be able to help you overcome your fear of diving.