Tip 1 – Learn with someone you can depend on
Having scuba dived for many years I have used a lot of dive centres and met various staff and instructors at these. Some of these I got to know really well and liked all of the staff. There was a feeling of trust and responsibility. I would recommend these people straight away to any other diver going near to that region.
On the other hand some dive outfits have not got my trust at all and in the worst case having spoken to the staff I walked out without booking a dive, never to return. I got bad feelings at those places.
And the problem is these people can be responsible for your life! They are taking you somewhere you don’t know, lending you equipment that they have serviced and maintained and are the ones picking you out of the water at the end of it.
Ask around at dive clubs, read independent dive reviews and anything else that you can do to check up on the dive centre before you commit to learning with them.
Tip 2 – Don’t rush purchases
It is tempting to rush out and buy lots of the gear as soon as you can. But don’t. There is nothing wrong with dive centre gear (if you have checked their reviews…) so use theirs for a while and get to learn your style of diving.
You might suddenly decide that cold water diving is for you and need suitable equipment. Or you might decide just to become a holiday diver and the cost of getting the diving gear serviced every year before your two weeks away is more than the cost of hiring the gear.
There is one exception. It is well worth buying your own mask and snorkel and maybe even fins (and boots if they are open heel fins). Why? Well once you get into your diving you might want to try snorkeling and by having your own basics you can use it then. And they aren’t that expensive if you need to replace them.
Tip 3 – Just relax and go with the flow
Never panic or rush in your diving. Always remember that it is a hobby to be enjoyed and there are some fantastic experiences to be had under the water.
So relax and plan your diver training – find somewhere good to train with. Then relax during the training and make sure that you enjoy it and listen carefully – this way you will learn more. And when you finally enter the water, relax and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness that comes from diving – this way your air will last longer.