View Full Version : Training prior to OW class.

02-16-2012, 13:00
So my cert classes start in two more weeks but I picked up my gear today. Is their some things I could start working on in the pool at my gym? I was thinking of getting confidence in clearing my mask and such but not sure if I would pick up a bad habit by doing on my own. I have been swimming three times a week as part of my work out but this gear is already staring me down wanting to be used. I just can't wait.:smiley36:

02-16-2012, 13:45
if you are swimming already that means you are already in the water so i presume that you are comfortable with the water and are not going to have issues with water on your face or in your eyes. I say that because from the students I have helped with that was one of the biggest issues that caused all the other problems.

The only skill I would practice is : work on swimming under water but DO NOT hold your breath. You are not going to do a breath hold in scuba Work on swimming the width of the pool while continually blowing out air. This is the CESA skill . Controlled emergency swimming assent. If remember correctly the minimum skill demonstration is 40 feet I would work toward 75 with your fins. This is basically how far can you ascend while blowing your air out so that you do not blow your lungs up if you were to go out of air.

Everything else like mask clearing is easy when you are shown the correct way to do it but if you start doing it wrong you may have a bad habit to break.

OW is a lot of fun. Trust your instructor and your gear and have a great time. It is the doorway to a cool new world.

02-16-2012, 13:47
If you're talking mask snorkel fins, I say go for it. The more comfortable you are with your gera the better. Can you pick up bad habits? Maybe, but there's not a whole lot of bad habits to pick up with a mask unless you have issues with the mask and snorkel itself . I you are comfortable in the water and can do well with a mask full of water on your face, there's not a lot that can go wrong.

I have helped folks that did have serious mask and snorkel issues that had a lot of trouble cracking the seal and flooding it, much less clearing it in the water. IF you think you'll be this way, I would wait and let the instructor help you one on one.

One thing you can do though is just wear it in the pool and swim some laps. Don't worry about the other skills, jsut get used to the gear.

02-16-2012, 14:08
read the OW book twice. Once before the class and then during the class with the training.

Tom H
02-16-2012, 16:16
read the OW book twice. Once before the class and then during the class with the training.

Yes, or study it even more than that. If you are doing PADI there are some good photos and instructions for doing the scuba skills (unless they changed things in a newer version). I studied mine for 2 months first.

02-16-2012, 20:28

Anyone can scuba dive. The purpose of the training is to ensure you don't hurt or kill yourself. I would HIGHLY recommend against using the scuba gear before you have taken the class work. The fact that the instructor cannot take you in the pool until you have completed part of your class work should tell you something.

Studying the reading material before the class is a great idea. The more you pick up on your own the more time the instructor can go deeper during class.


02-17-2012, 05:55
Sounds like you are off to a good start, but leave the gear alone until you are in the class. Sounds like you are comfortable already in the water. If you are not comfortable with snorkeling no harm in putting the mask and snorkel on and practicing breathing through the snorkel. If this all goes well, work on clearing the mask. If all this goes well, take the mask off underwater and put it back on and clear. This is a skill you will have to master. I've seen some students really have a hard time with this skill. The more you can do it and be comfortable the better prepared you will be.

02-17-2012, 10:03
Thanks for the replies. Yes I was referring to the mask and snorkel. I will work on getting comfortable with wear and clearing the mask.

Thanks again.

02-17-2012, 10:19
Forget the mask. Walk around the pool with your face in the water breathing thru the snorkel. When you are comfortable with this all of the mask issues disappear.

You will look like a dork but you won't mind later when you have a big snot bomb on your face.

02-17-2012, 11:09
I suggest reading a couple books including Diver Down and The Certified Divers Handbook. If you can make it through Diver Down and still want to dive, you are likely good to go. The second book is a great reference and does a good job of going over the basics and a bit more. It definitely helped me understand the lingo a lot of divers use.

I also learned dive tables beforehand but it certainly isn't necessary.

Forget the mask. Walk around the pool with your face in the water breathing thru the snorkel. When you are comfortable with this all of the mask issues disappear.This is probably the fastest way to stop breathing through your nose as well.

02-28-2012, 11:09
I did walk around the pool with snorkel and no mask. Wow that takes some getting used to but after awhile I was able to do it with some confidence. I start my classes this weekend and cannot wait. Thanks for all the good advice.

02-28-2012, 11:30
Good luck on the class Gman!!!