Saturday, 06 May 2023 06:13

Learning To Dive. Taking the Plunge!

Seen all the amazing stories, pictures and videos of other people exploring the amazing world of diving, seeing all the tremendously colorful tropical fish and dramatic seascapes that have been constant on social media these days?  Feeling left out and ready to see it for yourself?  What better way to see the aquatic world than to fully immerse yourself into it as a certified SCUBA diver!  

SCUBA diving is a unique sport in that it gives you access to another world, not reachable by everyone – but to access that world requires a level of training and practice before you can fully appreciate your new environment comfortably, and most importantly, safely! 

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Where and who to get certified with? 

With diving becoming more and more accessible and affordable, there are tens of thousands of dive centers with ten times the number of instructors to choose from to get certified with, which can make choosing where and with who a daunting prospect. 

First consideration is with which agency (PADI, SDI/TDI etc) to align yourself with? This is not something that you really have to worry about as a diver, each training agency must adhere to the same training standards, with all training materials and curriculums structured very similarly! What to consider, is how reputable the center or instructor that you are going to trust your life with when you head below the surface! In certain parts of the world, these standards are seen more as ‘guidelines’ than as the ’10 Commandments’, so you want to make sure that the people involved in training you have your best interests at heart – the best way to ensure this, contact them! The more forthcoming they are about the whole process, and the level of detail in the information that they give to you is a good indication of their experience and gives you a good insight as to how they would be able to communicate all the technical information required for diving with you! 

It is always wise to ensure that they have all the relevant paperwork required to keep you safe whilst in their care (this goes for once you are certified as well) in terms of insurances, well maintained and documented equipment and servicing, and appropriate facilities for running the training. Also, how thorough they are at administering the paperwork and registration required for yourself to participate in your diving is also a good sign, if they are clued in in all things legal, it is usually a sign of experience, care and competence! 

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There is also the consideration as to what kind of diver you are looking to be in the long run, what (if any) limitations or personal requirements you have, and where you’d like to start your diving career. There are many schools of thought with regards to which environment makes for better training, and in turn, better divers – adverse vs idyllic conditions?

Many professionals feel that learning in adverse waters (i.e., quarries, freshwater lakes, northern waters etc) offer the baptism of fire that means that if you can survive training in these places, you can dive anywhere! While this is true, it already can add to the large amount of task loading and anxiety involved in learning how to dive and can ultimately result in many being put off diving for life! Conversely, there are those that believe training in calm, clear, warm waters reducing the stress levels and allows for better skill mastery in a more controlled manner. Again, while this is also true and can be beneficial, it is worth noting that someone certified in these tranquil waters, and someone certified in harsher ones, gain the same certification – without the same experience! Should someone then go from ideal to adverse conditions, to which they’re unaware of the added considerations cold water diving brings, this can cause problems! Likewise, someone doing the reverse, could underestimate the risks in more tropical climates, also opening themselves up to issues! 

With this all-in mind, no matter where and who you train with, any diving after certification should always be done with an experienced and local guide who can brief and make you aware of all these aspects of your excursion. Doing so, increasing the enjoyment of diving as it reduces the anxiety and stress as your better prepare for the unexpected – the main thing is to always dive with someone that you are comfortable with, that’s well suited for the diving you aim to do, is experienced, and has your best interests at heart! 

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Here at Cyprus Diving Adventures, we are very fortunate that the diving island-wide is very diverse, and having the temperate climate that we do, offers both idyllic and slightly more challenging conditions depending on the season! For this reason, Cyprus is a hub for training divers from all over, with thousands getting certified annually here, in a safe, controlled, and regulated fashion. There are centers that cater to all styles of divers, some being all inclusive, some more technically focused, and some just there to guide people round the beautiful coastline – at Cyprus Diving Adventures, we do it all! We offer all levels of training from beginner through to professional and technical divers. We conduct our training sessions on dive sites all the way up in the Northwest of the Akamas Peninsula, all the way to Advanced training in the East on the world-famous MS Zenobia wreck in Larnanca Bay. We tailor our courses to each individual, based on their experience, interests, and abilities, with only small group or private sessions ensuring quality tuition throughout, with a more personal feel!

Not sure if all of this is for you, why not take part in our Discover Scuba Diving Experience which allows you to take your first breaths underwater in a super-controlled and safe environment. This half-day excursion lets you experience all diving has to offer without the full financial commitment required for full certification and allows you to see firsthand if diving is for you! However you want to experience the stunning diving we have to offer here in Cyprus, it starts with you getting in touch with us, and we can take it from there! 

Let’s go explore this island, together!