When you decide to go for your first diving lesson, you might think that you are going to need a whole truck load of equipment. The quick answer to that is, you don’t. While you will want to build up your own cache of equipment, it is important to know that dive schools will provide the equipment themselves and it is included in the price of the dive – or the package.
To become a certified diver, you need to complete an open water course and an advanced open water course. The open water course is designed to let you get a feel for diving and to be able to scuba dive at relatively shallow depths. You will learn the basic hand signals – up, down, left, right, big fish, look at me, are you ok? are you cold? and, most importantly yes, no, ok, not ok.
Learning these signals are important because you cannot communicate by speaking under water. It is important to always answer any questions your instructor may ask you.
You will also learn the hand signals for air tank pressure readings, a full tanks has 200 bar of pressure, and once it hits 50 bar, it is time to head to the surface.
Another important basic task is actually getting in the water. To do this, you will need to inflate your BCD – a buoyancy device which you use to regulate whether you go up, down or stay at the same level when under water.
Once you do that, you put your mask over your face and put the regulator in your mouth. Then you take a giant step and splash in. If your mask comes off, do not panic! You have a reliable source of air in your mouth. Even if you have forgotten to inflate your BCD and sink, you are still breathing. One of the most common mistakes new divers make is to pull their regulator out of their mouth when this happens. Just stay calm, inflate BCD and you will pop to the surface.