Hello and welcome to this new episode of Mythbusters! Just kidding, we don’t actually have Adam and Jamie as part of our team here at Travlapp. What we do have, though, is some scuba diving myths to debunk, so let’s get right to it!
Learning to dive takes a long time
In order to get your PADI Open Water Diver license, you would take a diving course that is finished as fast as 4 days! When you have the license, you can dive literally anywhere in the world when you present your license. If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to a 4-day course, you can always try a Discovery Dive where you will learn just enough basics to go on your first dive, and you can be done in just a couple of hours!
You will run out of air
When you’re underwater, your main source of breathing air is the tank on your back. So it’s very reasonable to be worried that it might run out. Then you’ll have to somehow make your way to the surface without any air. While that may make sense, it will almost never happen, because there are multiple measures to prevent it.
First, you will be taught how to continuously check your air gauge as part of the Open Water Diver course. This will help you to keep track of how much air is left. Second, your instructor will, from time to time, ask you how much air you have left (check out #5 in our Common Scuba Diving Hand Signals post to learn how he might do that) and if you are anywhere near 25% of the tank capacity, which is 50 bar out of the original 200, he will begin turning the dive around and getting you to the surface. Third, even if you completely run out of air, your dive buddy has a secondary regulator in his equipment that he can give you. You can both share the air from his tank until you safely reach the surface.
A shark will eat you
Here at Travlapp, we have also seen Jaws, so we understand the fear that people generally have of sharks. Unfortunately, the way sharks are portrayed in Jaws and media, in general, could not possibly be further from the truth. Sharks are not blood-crazed monsters. Neither do they hunt down unsuspecting swimmers like a homing missile.
In fact, sharks, in general, are pretty shy and benign animals. Not to mention, actually seeing a shark at all is considered a somewhat rare event and a sign that a dive was successful. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you will be perfectly fine just by exercising some common sense. With which we mean: observe the shark at a distance, admire its beauty, and move along. This strategy applies to pretty much every other animal in the ocean. As long as you don’t intentionally disturb them, they will just swim right on past you.
You need to be an Olympic swimmer
Take a second to stop and think about this one. In order to play soccer, do you first have to be as good as Lionel Messi? Do you have to be Tiger Woods in order play golf? I think you will find the answer to both these questions is a resounding no. Similarly, in order to enjoy scuba diving, you don’t need to be Michael Phelps, although you do need to have basic swimming skills and be relatively comfortable in the water. Also, whatever swimming skills you need to know will be reviewed during the safe environment of the pool sessions of your Open Water Diver course, so your instructor will be able to decide whether your swimming skills are up to snuff.
Snorkeling is just as good as scuba diving
Snorkeling is an excellent vacation activity since it is accessible to anyone including children and requires no training, only a mask and a snorkel. However, we are of the opinion that it is nowhere near as good as scuba diving. While scuba diving does require training and more complicated equipment, it offers so much more in terms of comfort in the water, adrenaline rush, and how immersive the experience is. To give you an idea, imagine the difference between watching a football game from the sidelines, and actually putting on sports gear, tying up your shoes, and being one of the players in the field.
In conclusion, scuba diving has some myths surrounding it which unfortunately result in some people never trying this exhilarating sport. We hope that the information in this post has cleared up some misconceptions and convinced you to give scuba diving a try if you still haven’t! Check out this video to see more of these diving myths.
What other scuba diving myths have you heard about? Got any thoughts, suggestions, or questions? Leave us a comment below or drop us an email at email@example.com.