up-skill, scuba diving, learn to dive, advanced open water, dive training



Should Scuba Divers Up-skill?

By Terry Smith | Skill | 15 Jun 2017


In my last post we touched on Diver Etiquette. One point that arose was the need for great buoyancy.

Every newly certified diver will have an issue with buoyancy until they have more experience. Can we learn quicker than just the dive experience? I believe so.

Many years ago I completed my PADI Open Water Certificate in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. I felt confident and capable upon completion, a Certified Diver. Our group was asked if we would like to do the PADI Advanced Open Water course straight after. It included Buoyancy, Boat, Deep, Navigation and Night dives.  To be honest I wasn’t too convinced as it would cost me more money. So I left it and went for a boat dive the day after the course.

“I was over-breathing, thinking to use my lungs more… then adding and taking away air from my BCD at different times.”

Well I was all over the place. I was over- breathing thinking to use my lungs more… then adding and taking away air from my BCD at different times. All I could think about at the time was try not to hit things, stay level, don’t rush up fast. It was my first real dive outside of training. I did notice the rest of the group and the older more experienced divers were calm, collected and very much in control. It was then that I realised I should increase my skills and do the Advanced Open Water.

The course was great to be honest. I enjoyed it immensely and it really set off my passion for diving. The two outstanding dives were the Buoyancy and the Wreck dives. The buoyancy was conducted off the beach from the resort. They had done it well and had a series of rings and different depths. It worked really well. I haven’t come across that set up again unfortunately. And wreck diving, well I think every diver likes to discover wrecks. Wondering how it rested there, why and the circumstances of the cause.

“The PADI Advanced Open Water course gave me a greater understanding, the extra knowledge and skill to really enjoy my dives.”

From there I was hooked, regularly diving in locations in the Red Sea and around the world. So much so I continued to learn and reach Instructor level.

I continually learn and for my personal next step will be into the technical dive area. The main reason is to go that little bit deeper, which will entail the use of side- mounts and deco stops. I have learnt to accept my limitations and not push them.

I will discuss limitations on the next blog.

Divers showing great buoyancy underwater