PDA

View Full Version : Scuba Diving Myths



porsche060
08-15-2007, 13:39
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-08-09-scuba-diving-myths_N.htm

Centerius
08-15-2007, 13:53
Looks like the guy in the comments section really tore the author of the article up. It seems they edited the article and it's simply just a little blurb from an industry guy from Leisure Pro.

3rdEye
08-15-2007, 17:22
the first guy who commented there seems to be a bit of a zealot....

i mean, certainly scuba is a sport that has it's dangers, and is to be taken seriously....and it's not for everyone. But I think there's some people out there that don't realize they can participate, because of some kind of preconcieved notion, or they are just ignorant of the realities.

I for one, found it to be more affordable than I thought....doesn't mean it can't get expensive (like anything else). And I also was suprised to see an 11 yr old in my OW class....

Xspect
08-15-2007, 19:56
I didnt dive for years because of bias

torrey
08-15-2007, 20:31
Looks like the guy in the comments section really tore the author of the article up. It seems they edited the article and it's simply just a little blurb from an industry guy from Leisure Pro.

Seriously. I was wondering why anybody would write such a short and relatively uninformative article unless it's just a big ad. Apparently, given the number of points the first commenter used, it must have been a lot more lengthy of an article in the beginning.

Buoyant1
08-19-2007, 15:31
Looks like the guy in the comments section really tore the author of the article up. It seems they edited the article and it's simply just a little blurb from an industry guy from Leisure Pro.

Seriously. I was wondering why anybody would write such a short and relatively uninformative article unless it's just a big ad. Apparently, given the number of points the first commenter used, it must have been a lot more lengthy of an article in the beginning.

My thoughts exactly! No information given! Just a quick opinion...

plot
08-19-2007, 21:50
honestly, if you're swimming in your dive gear, you're doing something wrong.

that first guy that commented is somewhat of an idiot if he thinks you gotta be a good swimmer to be a good diver. you just gotta be comfortable in the water. a non swimmer not used to holding his breath would probably make a better diver imo.

he does have alot of other good points though

cgvmer
08-19-2007, 22:12
Hey if they get more people interested in diving, that's good for the industry...now to make sure all the instructors are good!

94GTStang
08-19-2007, 23:11
Looks like that guy didn't check out ScubaToys before he quoted prices :)

namabiru
08-20-2007, 11:41
It really *was* just a big opinion. If they truly wanted to talk about scuba myths, they should have gotten quotes from more than one place. While Leisure Pro *does* have a bigger business and online presence, they aren't the only people out there.

Teichburg maybe did get carried away with his generalizations, saying things such as "not all divers are good swimmers". It made it sound like you don't need to swim in order to dive. That's not entirely accurate. You don't need to be able to swim like an olympic champion, but you do need to be able to save yourself in the water.

Then again, for the general public reading this article, it's enough for people to glance at and mostly forget. Particularly when I tell people around here that I dive, and the next question is inevitably "Oh, have you seen Open Water?" (Which I haven't, don't watch a lot of TV).

CompuDude
08-20-2007, 15:41
Hmm. So many comments it's hard to know where to start.

I think I'll address only the two points that get me the most: Swimming and gear cost.

You don't have to be a very good swimmer to get certified. That makes me cringe, but it's true. PADI's requirements are woefully light, IMO, and I still see people who really struggle to meet their minimal requirements. And those people who really struggle, are promptly brought into the class to continue their training once they get past that minimal hurdle, no matter how marginally they made it. No, you do NOT need to be anything approaching an Olympian swimmer. But I'm sorry, I strongly feel you should be VERY comfortable swimming in general before taking on diving. And I see FAR too many people who just don't meet that bar. I DM'd a class just this weekend with a very nice woman who really wanted to learn scuba so she and her husband could dive. The instructor actually had to teach this lady to swim ... from scratch ... before she could go forward with the class. And she was *barely* swimming at that point. I don't care if she was going to spend the rest of her diving career in 7mm of neoprene or not. If you're not comfortable in the water, I think you need to take a year and join a gym with a pool, and GET comfortable swimming laps before taking on scuba.

As for cost, well, cost is relative and all over the map. It's quite easy to put together a good set of used gear for under $300 (including personal gear, regs and BCs), and rent the rest. Or you can spend thousands. But you don't have to buy all top of the line regs, new, from all top tier manufacturers. In fact, you can end up with all solid, even high end gear from a few years ago that functions perfectly for years to come. Obviously there is a huge element of buyer beware with used gear, but by buying from local sources that you can trust, you can do quite well for minimal amount of money if you take your time and shop carefully.

Oh, and the "commenter" is dead on when it comes to male/female numbers. The instructed student ration may be close to 50-50, but that's no reflection on the numbers of people who stick with it. Dive boats are far from 50-50. Warm water areas get a lot closer to that ideal, but diving numbers are still heavily slanted towards males.

plot
08-20-2007, 16:35
It really *was* just a big opinion. If they truly wanted to talk about scuba myths, they should have gotten quotes from more than one place. While Leisure Pro *does* have a bigger business and online presence, they aren't the only people out there.

Teichburg maybe did get carried away with his generalizations, saying things such as "not all divers are good swimmers". It made it sound like you don't need to swim in order to dive. That's not entirely accurate. You don't need to be able to swim like an olympic champion, but you do need to be able to save yourself in the water.

Then again, for the general public reading this article, it's enough for people to glance at and mostly forget. Particularly when I tell people around here that I dive, and the next question is inevitably "Oh, have you seen Open Water?" (Which I haven't, don't watch a lot of TV).

diving has nothing to do with swimming. sure, you're in the water where if your gear fails you might want to know how to swim... but you're talking punctured BC, weights that won't come off, neoprene that is magically no longer bouyant, and fins falling off.

once you're under water, you shouldn't be do anything even similar to swimming. you shouldn't be flailing around your arms to move, and you shouldn't be holding your breath.

i think it's careless to make the correlation between swimming and diving just becuase both take place in the water.

cgvmer
08-20-2007, 16:40
diving has nothing to do with swimming. sure, you're in the water where if your gear fails you might want to know how to swim...

I do not agree, are diving and swimming different ...YES, nothing to do with each other.......No sorry.

When I'm under water and I propel myself through the water I am swimming, with dive gear on or not.

namabiru
08-20-2007, 17:45
No, and I do agree with you, plot, you shouldn't be flailing your arms around underwater. That's a typical sign of a beginning diver or someone who's not yet comfortable in the water. Or that's what I've read. However, you do need some basic skills to be able to go around in the water to begin with.

What if you're on the surface and you need to return to the anchored dive boat, or get yourself back to shore? You're going to need some basic swimming skills there, or at least enough to save yourself. No, I am not a good swimmer in terms of form, and probably not distance without stopping either. However, I can keep myself afloat without a BCD and do a basic stroke long enough to help myself.

What CompuDude is referring to is people who, if you threw them in the pool without any flotation devices and asked them to tread water for 15 minutes (be it floating or treading, however), they couldn't do it. Or the woman who could not swim at all, even a survival doggie paddle or backstroke.

Speed isn't necessarily a factor, and shouldn't be for rec. divers, but the ability to go a certain distance without stopping and swimming however they can should. PADI is only 200 meters, not timed. The Divemaster is 400 meters, and that's timed. Perhaps even requiring a longer swim for PADI should be a consideration. Not necessarily timed, but longer distance.

CompuDude
08-20-2007, 17:46
diving has nothing to do with swimming. sure, you're in the water where if your gear fails you might want to know how to swim... but you're talking punctured BC, weights that won't come off, neoprene that is magically no longer bouyant, and fins falling off.

once you're under water, you shouldn't be do anything even similar to swimming. you shouldn't be flailing around your arms to move, and you shouldn't be holding your breath.

i think it's careless to make the correlation between swimming and diving just becuase both take place in the water.

I strongly disagree. Diving takes place in the water, and swimming takes place in the water. Diving is swimming underwater, with gear. while underwater, it's true that very little crosses over as far as swimming skills are concerned, but on the surface, it most certainly does apply.

It is the height of foolishness to plan for best case scenarios where nothing goes wrong. I've talked to way too many divemasters on boats who have had to jump in to effect rescues of people on the surface, simply because they lacked confidence in the water and got themselves into trouble.

plot
08-20-2007, 21:02
finning and swimming are completely different.

typically if someone is having problems on the surface, it's becuase they are panicy and have not fully inflated their BC. once a BC is fully inflated, they should be able to lean back and kick there feet with those nice fins attached all the way to the boat.


Next time you get through finning yourself everywhere under water and back to the boat, take all your gear off (fins included), and jump in and try to swim... feels like you're going nowhere. The fins, the BC, the neoprene... make diving NOTHING like swimming.

CompuDude
08-21-2007, 00:00
finning and swimming are completely different.

typically if someone is having problems on the surface, it's becuase they are panicy and have not fully inflated their BC. once a BC is fully inflated, they should be able to lean back and kick there feet with those nice fins attached all the way to the boat.

Next time you get through finning yourself everywhere under water and back to the boat, take all your gear off (fins included), and jump in and try to swim... feels like you're going nowhere. The fins, the BC, the neoprene... make diving NOTHING like swimming.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

3rdEye
08-21-2007, 00:08
i think the point is that someone who is going to be diving, needs to know how to swim on some level, becasue they may find themselves falling off a boat, or having to take their gear off in the water, or some other unplanned situation.....most people have the ability to keep their head out of the water and somehow propel themselves through the water, but believe it or not, there are people who would jump in 10 ft of water, flail around and sink like a rock simply because they don't know how to do something as simple as kick. Obviously, these people should not be learning to dive until they learn to swim.

greyzen
08-21-2007, 10:35
I think the whole argument about swimming/not-swimming is more of a level of comfort. For example, my wife is not a very strong swimmer, but she is fine diving because she comfortable in the water.

Her version of 'swimming' includes a beer/adult beverage and a pool noodle or some other floating device. She has been doing river floats and lake parties since she was a little girl. The depth and moving underwater doesn't bother her, but she really can't swim very well.

In our dive class, we had a tri-athlete who could outswim everyone but our instructor (who just happened to be an adventure racer). She had no advantages over my wife in terms of underwater. Though she was much stronger of a swimmer her comfort level is about the same, so the experience was about the same.

I've always been a swimmer, I love the water and find it very easy to adapt to situations underwater (so far at least). I'm as comfortable in the water as out of it...

If you are comfortable in the water, you can build on the skills needed to be a good diver. If you aren't very comfortable with the water... I agree with CompuDude, spend some time playing in the water to become more familiar with your body in it before you submit yourself to the unforgiving ocean.

While I do not think you should be a competitive swimmer or able to keep up with one. Knowing how to propel yourself through the water DOES help you figure out how to fin.

cgvmer
08-21-2007, 10:44
If you can't swim you drown....that it!

If you are "FINNing" you are swimming with fins on!

Doghouse
08-21-2007, 12:05
In our dive class, we had a tri-athlete who could outswim everyone but our instructor (who just happened to be an adventure racer). She had no advantages over my wife in terms of underwater. Though she was much stronger of a swimmer her comfort level is about the same, so the experience was about the same.

I don't completely agree with what you are saying (or at least my understanding of your meaning).

If a person is a trained swimmer, and has been coached in racing. They will have a more efficient technique and a stronger better conditioned set of leg musceles. Those 2 key features will lead to much lower exertion levels which will translate into lower air consumption rates.

Additionally a tri-athlete will have more effiecient cardeo function.

While they do not make the person a better diver, they are an advantage in enjoying diving.

plot
08-21-2007, 16:39
In our dive class, we had a tri-athlete who could outswim everyone but our instructor (who just happened to be an adventure racer). She had no advantages over my wife in terms of underwater. Though she was much stronger of a swimmer her comfort level is about the same, so the experience was about the same.

I don't completely agree with what you are saying (or at least my understanding of your meaning).

If a person is a trained swimmer, and has been coached in racing. They will have a more efficient technique and a stronger better conditioned set of leg musceles. Those 2 key features will lead to much lower exertion levels which will translate into lower air consumption rates.

Additionally a tri-athlete will have more effiecient cardeo function.

While they do not make the person a better diver, they are an advantage in enjoying diving.

Maybe his wife runs 10 miles a day before she hits the mountain bike trails? There's other ways to be in shape with good leg workouts than swimming. Albiet, the trained swimmer will have a more efficient technique.

And just becuase a person is an awesome swimmer with an awesome SAC, that doesn't mean they can figure out their bouyancy and quit finning the bottom. :smiley26:

greyzen
08-21-2007, 16:49
In our dive class, we had a tri-athlete who could outswim everyone but our instructor (who just happened to be an adventure racer). She had no advantages over my wife in terms of underwater. Though she was much stronger of a swimmer her comfort level is about the same, so the experience was about the same.

I don't completely agree with what you are saying (or at least my understanding of your meaning).

If a person is a trained swimmer, and has been coached in racing. They will have a more efficient technique and a stronger better conditioned set of leg musceles. Those 2 key features will lead to much lower exertion levels which will translate into lower air consumption rates.

Additionally a tri-athlete will have more effiecient cardeo function.

While they do not make the person a better diver, they are an advantage in enjoying diving.
Sorry lemme clear up what I meant (I re-read it and when "uhmm..." too :D)
I was talking about basic comfort skills/buoyancy/etc. in the water.

Our tri-athlete was really speedy and could float for days, but she had to practice and had as much difficulty controlling her ascent/descent, aiming at a spot underwater and getting there on course/etc. She was used to using her strength/training to overcome the water... as a diver you learn to work with the water, not fight it.

What I meant was, being familiar with the way water handles situations and the way you handle situations IN water determines comfort level... and someone who is very uncomfortable in the water is not going to do very well, in my opinion, in even the OW courses. Clearing your mask/Breathing underwater/etc. is something that is harder/easier dependent on your personal levels of comfort with being IN water... your trust levels of your surroundings.

*better?*