Is the PADI Discover Scuba Diving for me?
Is the PADI Discover Scuba Diving for me? Since becoming a PADI Professional I often get asked from both divers and non-divers alike, “why do you teach?” and “what is it like to try scuba diving then?”.
To be honest, both questions can be answered using the same course – the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program (DSD).
As divers we can all remember our first cautious breaths underwater. Whether it was going straight into our PADI Open Water Diver course or through the DSD course, we will never forget that feeling of being fully surrounded by water but still being able to breathe and, of course, the feeling of been weightless as you glide through the water!
So what does the course entail?
First you will come to the dive centre. We will show you what your Discover Scuba Diving experience will be like and explain how by following some simple rules you will have an exciting and safe introduction to scuba diving. You will get a chance to see how the equipment you will use when diving works. The PADI Pro leading the session will talk to you and explain some skills that you will get to learn. This will allow you to experience what learning to dive is all about.
The skills you will be taught are the basic skills required to be a qualified diver. Imagine how annoying it would be if you had water in your mask? No problem! We will teach you a skill that will clear the water out of your mask, leaving you to enjoy the dive.
As part of this session there is a little test to make sure you have been paying attention, but don’t worry! If you get any questions wrong we will go through these before heading off to the pool.
So let’s dive!
Your PADI Professional will set up all of your equipment for you and have it ready at the side of the pool.
Once you are changed and ready to go your PADI Professional will give you a “Dive Briefing” to refresh you on some safety aspects and explain again the skills that you will have to complete.
Time to get into the water!
Your PADI Professional will then get you into the water, help you into your scuba gear and adjust it for comfort and fit. You will then be ready to take your first breaths underwater. It’s time to try scuba diving!
You will take your first breaths underwater while while standing or kneeling in shallow water. You may find this makes your mouth feel dry. This is because the air in your tank is dried before going into your cylinder to prevent moisture entering the tank and causing corrosion. After a couple of breaths you will get used to it and you won’t even notice it anymore.
Once you are comfortable with this your PADI Professional will get you to lie or kneel down underwater and again just breath. You will do this in water deep enough to stand up in so in the unlikely event that you don’t like it, you can just stand up and be back in fresh air.
The other skills you will be shown are: How to get water out of both your regulator and mask. How to recover your regulator if it comes out of your mouth. How to inflate your buoyancy control device (BCD) at the surface.
Now for the exciting bit
So that’s the skills out of the way now time to do what you came for… to dive!
You PADI Professional will guide you on a tour around the pool and will help control your buoyancy if needed. You never know, you might even find some Frisbees or torpedoes to practice your throwing or catching skills underwater (not as easy as it sounds).
After the dive you will talk about what you have learned and what we have done during the dive. You will also find out what you need to do if you want to become a fully qualified Open Water Diver.
At Scuba Leeds if you decide to go on to learn to dive and complete a PADI Open Water course we will even knock the money you have spent on your DSD off the course. This means that you will have had your first diving experience absolutely free!
Please remember that the PADI DSD course is a diving experience and does not qualify you to dive independently. It does, however, give you a glimpse into a whole new world!
So why do I teach?
It’s a rare privilege to give someone an unforgettable experience that they will remember for the rest of their life. For some it might sound a bit underwhelming to be scuba diving in a swimming pool. For me there is no more rewarding feeling than seeing your students surface with big smiles knowing that it is like nothing they have ever experienced before.
What’s it like to scuba dive?
My students have told me it is “awesome”, “wonderful”, “fantastic”, “like being a spaceman”. “the best thing I have ever done”, “so good I’m going to learn to dive for real”. So I will leave it up to you.
Why not sign up for a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course and find out for yourself? You never know… you might like it as much as I do!
Written by Chris Armitage: PADI Assistant Instructor