After a long winter lay off, or due to the epidemic and related issues, getting back into doing some diving is something to look forward to with excitement for many divers. For others it may however delay them or make them consider ever getting back into the water again.
For warm water divers or those without dry suits the winter means a period of no diving. Also for many of course dive travel has been greatly affected by the Covid pandemic, which means for many that there has been a long absence from diving. We are having many enquiries from people who have not dived for 6 months, a year, two years or even longer and all are looking to get back to diving.
Not all divers consider what the implications can be or what they should be considering as they look to get back into the water. Three major areas spring to mind when divers are looking to dive after a long period of not diving. Fitness is one that many overlook, the need to refresh diving knowledge and ability is another depending on the timescale involved and previous experience, and finally dive equipment readiness.
All divers need to consider their overall fitness for diving. Personal health issues are obviously considered, but also how generally fit are you to carry all the equipment on your back while getting in the water, and do you have the energy required to carry out the diving. For many with the lockdowns and so on general well being could have taken a backward step. If you have had any period of inactivity you should consider your general fitness and personal strength. If you have not been using your muscles much in recent months or feel out of breath after a brisk walk then you should get some fitness levels back before going scuba diving.
Of course as all divers should know a long absence from diving requires some form of a refresher. What that actually contains depends on the period of lapsed time and very importantly previous experience. Some divers may just need a quick shallow water refresher with a few skills before a nice easy dive to shake off the cobwebs, some may need a full professional refresher programme and some may well need to retrain from the start. Speaking with a good experienced professional will help you get a better feel for what is recommended or required. Either way once this has been completed over a short period you are then ready to continue with your diving adventures.
Personal diving equipment can also be easily overlooked when getting back in the water. Regulators have not been used for long periods, BCD's have buttons that are sticking perhaps and your computer battery needs replacing. All your primary equipment should be in good working order, properly serviced and maintained ready for safe diving. Some divers turn up on their summer holidays and take their equipment out of their bags for the very first time in a long period. The regulators are out of service, the BCD is leaking and the equipment is generally in a shabby, mouldy condition. Look after your kit and it will look after you both in the water and in the pocket as dive equipment doesn't like to not be working.
So enjoy a year of hopefully less travel restrictions and lots more opportunities to dive. Get yourself ready and fully prepared, it may suprise you how rusty you could be.