View Full Version : Test the water or jump Feet First?

07-12-2007, 11:44
I'm just curious, but if a person was to start getting scuba certified, should they have some water experience first, like snorkeling?

07-12-2007, 11:52
Well, I would recommend knowing how to swim at a semi profficient level. A swim and a float is required as part of PADI certification anyway.
<DIV>And I recommend doing a discovery dive first. It will let you dip a toe in the water without going through the full cert only to find out this isn't something for you.</DIV>

07-12-2007, 12:00
Define water experience. They should be able to swim. Don't laugh. I've read of folks who wanted to scuba, but could not swim. You may want to snorkel to ensure that you can breathe through the mouth with face in the water. Some folks cannot stand water on their face. My mother-in-law will not go into water deeper than she can stand in. If her feet don't touch bottom, she panics.

All agencies require water skills examination to determine comfort of student in water. PADI requires a 200 meter swim to start.

07-13-2007, 13:37
I jump with both feet, but I make sure I can do the basics first. So, if I was able to swim well and snorkel then I'd take a scuba class. In fact, total immersion swimming is a good way to help anybodies swim skills if they need it.
<DIV>Honestly, IMO being a good swimmer is first and foremost something you want to have in that bag of yours. Being comfortable in water is the next most important thing and guess what, a good swimmer will be.</DIV>
<DIV>Don't fret the distances you have to swim, there are no time limits, no strokes required, so anybody who can float can pass that part of it. Not that I think it's a wise idea, but it's how it is.</DIV>

07-13-2007, 15:01
Jump in head first, there's no better way to learn things than being full steam ahead. If I'm in an kind of class I'm generally the one asking all of the question, because I know the rest of the class (whatever it may be) has the same questions, they just don't know how to ask, or are scared to ask for whatever reason.. So, jump in, head first, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Diver Dennis
07-13-2007, 15:19
You should be comfortable in the water. If it's been years since you have been in a pool, or ocean, it's a good idea to go for a few swims first.

07-13-2007, 15:24
however, they decide to learn, i'd be hoping my buddy can swim.

what about surface swimming to a dive site?

07-13-2007, 19:20
I'm not a good swimmer. I can keep myself afloat for some time if need be, but I wouldn't want to.

If you were jumping in the water in just togs, then swimming would obviously need to be a strong skill. But when you're wearing a wetsuit (which is buoyant) and a BDC, I don't think you needtop notchswimming skills.
<DIV>In scuba gear, I can do long surface swims, and can swim fine under water. I am also happy to jump in the water during a surface interval and snorkel for a while. I have dived in lovely calm waters, and very choppy waters - granted it takes me longer to swim back to the boat in choppy water, but that's no different to anyone else. </DIV>
<DIV>If I jumped in the water in my togs, I'd have issues. If you made me swim laps in a pool, I'd have issues. Normal swimming is not my strong point. But I am still very comfortable in the water and my basic swimming skills have never hindered my diving.</DIV>

07-14-2007, 12:33
You don't have to be an Olympic athlete, but being fully comfortable in the water will go a long way toward making you a better, safer diver... and will help reduce your air consumption as well, since you'll be calmer and more comfortably confident with your surroundings.

07-14-2007, 15:58
As to your swimming abilities,,,,you should be well beyond the 'water-wing' stage!!