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12 WAYS OF BECOMING A BADASS DIVER

By Sayali Ranadive, 18 June 2020

Are you a diver already or planning on entering the world of diving? Here are 12 ways to become a badass diver who keeps themselves and the environment safe.

 

1. CONTROL YOUR BUOYANCY (LOOK MA, NO HANDS!)


Some new divers may have the tendency to move their hands rapidly to control their buoyancy underwater. If not taken care of initially, it becomes a habit and we all know how bad buoyancy is bad for the reef or your fellow divers. It can lead to reef damage, exhaustion, injuries to self, entanglement and a big tag of “bad diver.” Try to control your buoyancy with your Buoyancy Control Device and breathing rather than your hands.

 

2. BE CURIOUS, NOT TOUCHY


It is one thing to be curious and entirely another to touch or tease aquatic animals. Some creatures are highly toxic, venomous or poisonous while some are fragile and easily damaged. You may not know of them or even be able to tell apart a dangerous but camouflaged creature from the reef. You may not realise the harm you are causing to a particular organism or coral. Be safe and considerate, don't touch anything.

 

3. MIND YOUR DEPTH LIMIT


We all know that one diver who brags about going deeper than they actually should. Remember that they are not brave, but reckless to go deeper than their limits without the required training. By doing so, they are taking risks they may not even be aware of.

 

4. CAN’T STAY DOWN FOREVER! CHECK YOUR AIR


The most common underwater mistake is to not check air frequently or being unaware of your air consumption. For new divers, make sure you check your air regularly and have a general idea about your air consumption. For seasoned divers, keep into account the conditions, tank volume and your air consumption rate. Keep enough reserve to ascend safely.

 

5. IF YOU ARE PARTICULAR, GET YOUR OWN GEAR


A lot of divers prefer to buy their own equipment. It is important to understand that on a daily basis, a lot of divers use dive centre equipment. While most dive centres have several brands, sizes and options available for rent, they may not always have the one that you like best. Moreover, dive centre equipment that fits you may be in use by other divers. So, if you want a particular colour or brand of a wetsuit or have very specific requirements of any other scuba equipment, invest a little in the gear of your choice.

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6. KEEP YOUR CERTIFICATES, LOGS HANDY

It is good practice to keep your certifications and logs handy. Although it’s easy to look up your certification levels on the internet, it saves you time and effort in explaining your diving experience.

 
7. IT’S A BUDDY SPORT, DON’T WANDER OFF

The moment you start with your level 1 theory, all the books and videos say the same thing: diving is a buddy sport. Make sure that you have a buddy and you have discussed pre-dive checks and other requirements with your buddy. Even if you are diving with someone for the first time, make sure that you get to know your buddy and follow buddy practices appropriately. Communicate with your buddy on the dive as well and make sure you know where your buddy is. After all, the buddy system is your responsibility.
 

8. LEAVE YOUR FAST-PACED LIFE BEHIND BEFORE YOU GO FOR A DIVE

Another important thing to keep track of, especially on deep dives, is your no stop limit or deco time. Don’t pop like a soda can! It’s good practice to keep some buffer time and not going down to 1 minute. The buffer time depends on your dive profile and dive planning.

 
9. DO YOU WANT A DISCOUNT ON YOUR LIFE TOO?

All divers know how equipment-reliant scuba diving is and how much every piece of gear costs. You are entrusting your professional dive guide with your safety. Would you want to dive with unqualified divers who are half as responsible or reliable? Please stop haggling for discounts. At Barefoot Scuba, we have our own packages and offer fixed group discounts, so you can choose from them while diving in Andaman, India. It is important to support your local dive operations too.

 
10. NO, YOU ARE NOT OK TO DIVE IF IT’S BLOOD PRESSURE, DIABETES OR ANY INJURY

Often divers or people who want to learn diving say that they have diabetes or blood pressure problems, but they feel OK to dive. No, it’s not OK to dive without consulting a doctor. First of all, be honest about your medical conditions with the dive centre. In order to keep you safe, they must know about any predisposing medical conditions. Secondly, make sure you get a check-up done and fitness certificate issued by a doctor in case you have a medical condition, before starting your dive lessons. It is good practice to be safe, as you are getting into a new environment. Please stop arguing with the dive centres that you run marathons and go to the gym every day in spite of your medical conditions since the environment and conditions are not the same.

 
11. STOP BANGING YOUR TANK EVERY MINUTE

A lot of people relate diving to meditation and feel peaceful underwater. There are a lot of divers who carry pointers or tank bangers along. Yes, it is a helpful piece of equipment to point at marine life or to grab attention in case of an emergency. But please don’t bang your tank for everything that you see underwater. Please do not scare the fish away by constant banging or break the peace of other divers.

 
12. JUST KEEP DIVING AND KEEP LEARNING

There is no shortcut to learning how to dive. One needs to dive as much as they can to get better. Levelling up is also good practice so that you can learn and hone more skills in diving. It also helps to boost your confidence underwater and master buoyancy.