Modern scuba diving has been around for close to 70 years and has become one of the most popular pastimes for people from all walks of life. It offers unique views into a world that while very common and known to all, can only be experienced by engaging in the sport. But even with this, there are still many myths about the sport that keep many potential divers away. Here are a few of the most common, and the truth about them.
- Scuba diving is too expensive to get started in. Scuba diving is definitely a gear intense sport, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be expensive. The basics required to go diving is the personal gear; fins, mask snorkel, gloves and boots. After that, everything else can be rented. The class itself is typically runs from $250 - $500 depending upon where you are, but when you factor in that once you are certified, you are a certified scuba diver for life, the cost isn’t that great.
- Why learn to scuba dive, I don’t live near an ocean. Many scuba instructors will tell you that one of the best bonus’s of becoming a scuba instructor is that you can find work in just about any medium sized or larger city in the world! If there is water within 50 miles of where you are, usually there’s scuba diving. Some of the most exciting, unique and fun dives are held in lake, quarries and rivers around the world.
- Scuba is only fun in warm water. Cold waters are far more nutrient rich than warm waters. More nutrients equate directly into more marine life. The fact is colder waters offer more and usually larger life on average than the warmer dive sites. And what’s more, even though the colors are muted somewhat there are still a rainbow of color to be found in cold water. Far more dive gear is sold for cold water diving than warm, and every year it gets more comfortable and convenient to use. The reason? Cold water diving is exciting and fun!
- Scuba equipment is too expensive. As we mentioned above, scuba is certainly a gear/gadget junkie’s dream. And as with many activities, there is definitely high end equipment to be had. But, as with anything else in life there is frequently no need to spend crazy amounts of money on your scuba gear if you don’t feel the need. It is not uncommon at all for a diver to purchase their set of gear for a similar price to a nice set of equipment for many other sports. And what’s more, once a diver has purchased their personal gear set, the remaining scuba equipment can be rented for very reasonable rates until a diver is ready to buy.
- The classes are difficult and take too long. Some years ago it would not have been unheard of for a class to last 3 or 4 weeks, with multiple sessions each week as well as the weekends. Many of the classes were run using US Navy information and ideas for divers. Over the years the training agencies have realized that scuba is a recreation. Recreational divers won’t be infiltrating secret underwater installations or springing any surprise attacks on beachheads. With that in mind they have focused training on what is important for the average person wishing to see the pretty fish and enjoy themselves. They are designed to be fun and enjoyable and can often be completed in as few as 4 days.
- Sharks. ‘nuff said. This is an age old discussion. In the US each year statistics show that shark attack kill less than one person annually. On average, 150 people die each year from falling coconuts. Champagne corks? They take out 24 of us every year. And cows attribute for 20 deaths annually. What it all boils down to is that a properly trained diver is much safer around sharks and other marine life than the rest of us are on land.
- Scuba diving isn’t exciting enough. Going back to the previous myth, when else can you spend time with something with that many teeth? Have you ever seen an African Safari where the hunter walks out into the Savannah alone, with just a knife? And what other recreation offers the chance to interact with fish the size of school bus? Scuba diving offers a level of excitement that very few things above the surface of the water can offer.