Frequently Asked Scuba Diving Questions And Answers

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woman scuba diving with turtle

The objective of this post is to answer some of the most frequently asked scuba diving questions before embarking into the world of diving. I personally had many questions before deciding whether I should learn to dive or not. In order to make it easier for you to navigate I have created a short table of contents section to quickly glance through all the scuba diving questions mentioned below.

  1. Scuba Diving Certification Questions
  2. Physical Abilities
  3. Generic Scuba Diving Questions


Scuba Diving Certification Questions

1. Can you scuba dive without being certified?

Yes, you can scuba dive without being certified. Discover Scuba Diving program is specially designed to try scuba diving for the first time without any prior experience. You will learn how to use the scuba equipment and how easy it is to dive. Find how it feels to breathe underwater and learn basic hand gestures to communicate while scuba diving.


2. How long does it take to get certified for scuba diving?

Depending on the dive centre, you could get certified in just 2 – 4 days for the PADI Open water diver course. This is one of your first steps towards your journey into scuba diving. This course will teach you the basics of how to use diving equipment, breathing techniques, navigation, important hand gestures, etc. You will learn a lot about buoyancy, compression, how to be safe, emergency evacuation procedures, best practices to follow, and more.


3. Do I need to renew my certificate every year? 

No, you do not need to. For those who did not dive in a while, a refresher course is highly advised. This will help you to make sure you remember the basic skills to safely dive. Remembering the basic hand gestures, knowing how to clean mask underwater and setting up basic equipment will ensure you are fully capable of scuba diving and do not pose any risk to yourself or others.

4. How does a scuba diver sink and float?

Scuba divers use the air in BCD (buoyancy control device), simple breathing skills to sink or remain afloat. Knowing how to properly deflate the BCD to submerge into the water will be taught during the Open Water Diver course. You can easily adjust the amount of air your BCD is holding, and also learn how to use your breathing to remain underwater. To float back to surface you can slowly fin to the surface after you have completed the decompression stop. And then inflate your BCD to keep you afloat.


Physical Abilities

5. Do you have to be a strong swimmer to scuba dive?

You do not need to be a champion swimmer to scuba dive. Certification agencies like PADI will require you to swim 200m and be able to feel comfortable in the water.

There are a few reasons why you need to know how to swim:

a. You will be more confident while scuba diving if you are generally comfortable in the water

b. You can swim back safely to dive boat

c. Keep yourself away from bumping into your dive buddy

d. Keep yourself away from corals or other marine life while diving

Having said all the above, the most important thing is to feel comfortable while you are in the water. This will help you to be confident while scuba diving.

6. Is scuba diving hard on your body?

Just like swimming, you put your body through some stress. As you go deeper, the pressure increases on your body. You need to remain relaxed underwater to ensure you are breathing properly while enjoying your dive. Knowing how to fin and breathe properly will greatly help you to enjoy your dive sessions.

You will learn certain procedures on how to begin, continue, and end a dive session. After every dive, you will need to spend a specific amount of time above the water before going for your next dive. Normally 2 – 4 dives per day is what you will find for fun dives, however, depending on your needs and skill level you could try more dives per day.

7. How do you stay calm while scuba diving?

Just immerse yourself in nature. The tranquillity and the pure joy of being so intimate with nature are what will pull you for scuba diving.

Being confident in water will help you stay calm and relaxed in the water. The diving courses will teach you how to breathe properly, equalize your pressure, and control your buoyancy.

Being aware of your surrounding, by ensuring your dive buddy/divemaster is within your eyesight and periodically check on air levels underwater will greatly help you to stay calm. Listening to the divemaster during dive site briefing is very important, they will mention key information such as maximum depth, duration of the dive, fish, or other marine species present, etc. If at any point during a dive you are an uncomfortable signal to your divemaster or dive buddy for help.

8. Is scuba diving difficult?

Scuba divers carrying the huge tanks, and all the dive gears used to intimidate me, back when I knew very little about scuba diving. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to learn to scuba dive. There are 3 basic skills that you are engaged with while diving: floating, breathing, and finning.

a. Floating – scuba divers wear a jacket which is called a BCD (buoyancy control device) during diving. This jacket can be inflated or deflated to control the amount of air inside the jacket. Depending on the amount of air you will be positively buoyant (moving upwards) or negatively buoyant (moving downwards).

b. Breathing – you will be breathing through your mouth while diving, using a piece of equipment called a regulator. The regulator allows you to breathe the air that you will be carrying in your air tank.

c. Finning – while scuba diving you will be wearing fins that will help you to glide through the water efficiently. Proper finning techniques will be taught so that you use minimal energy to move around while scuba diving.

Generic Scuba Diving Questions

9. Do you get bitten by sharks or other animals?

I get this a lot, and I jokingly tell them you would have to be extremely lucky for that to happen. Depending on which part of the world you dive there are some marine species that might pose some level of risk. However, the majority of the locations you will be diving for leisure purposes will hardly have such dangers. Before a scuba dive session, the divemaster will perform a brief of the location and will always mention if there are any kind of threats.

Certain marine species protect themselves by camouflaging themselves to their surrounding. Accidentally touching these marine lives might be dangerous since some are poisonous. Corals scrapes or cuts are very common among scuba divers. The general rule is to avoid touching any marine life and remembering to keep a safe distance from the marine life. Always clarify with your divemaster prior to the dive session on any dangers around the dive zone.

Read this article to learn about some of the debunked myths of scuba diving.

10. Why do you need to wear weights while scuba diving?

We float in seawater because our body density is lower than seawater. In order to dive, we need to increase our density which is done by increasing our body’s weight by adding weights to a weight belt. This generally is a few pounds depending on your weight and buoyancy control. Divemasters will help you to figure out the amount of extra weight you need to add by observing your buoyancy during your dive sessions.

11. Can you scuba dive anywhere?

Usually, when someone asks this question, they want to know if there are any geographic limitations to scuba diving. The short answer is, you can dive anywhere as long as you have the basic skills/certification necessary to dive at that particular location. While there are dive sites that are fairly easy to dive and anyone can visit them. There are also dive sites that require a certain skill set. For instance diving in an area with a strong current might be dangerous. Getting swept away by current not only puts you in danger but also the divers around. Dive centres may require you to provide proof of certification or number of dives before they bring you to such locations. Always dive within your limit.

12. Is scuba diving expensive?

This depends largely on the part of the world you are diving in. There are many factors to the cost of scuba diving. The cost of running a dive centre operation is generally high. The maintenance of equipment, employing scuba instructors and other ground resources for operations, maintaining boats, and many more.

Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand are budget-friendly destinations for scuba divers. Some of the best scuba diving locations can be found here, such as Sipadan, Perhentian, Tioman, Raja Ampat, etc. There are scuba dive locations where a single dive can be as low as $15 to $100’s.


13. What depths can scuba divers dive safely?

One misconception that many non-divers have is that a scuba diver needs to dive very deep to see beautiful marine life. While there are many dive sites that require you to dive deep, the vast majority of the fun dives are within 20 – 30 meters deep. After you complete your open water diver course you are allowed to dive up to a depth of 18 meters. Completion of the Advanced open water diver course allows you to dive up to 30 meters.

There may be more scuba diving questions that you have in mind if you are starting your journey. The most important thing to remember, scuba diving like any other recreational activity requires some level of competency to enjoy it fully. Having an open mind and eagerness to learn will greatly help you to skill up and enjoy the beauty of nature in a very intimate way.

Let us know your questions in the comments below so that we can help you.

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