Scuba diving is a sport that many people enjoy. There’s just something magical about the underwater world, where fish float by like birds on unseen breezes and kelp forests sway as though dancing to a private concerto.
While those who take the time to earn their scuba certification know well the allure of this spectacularly fun activity, there are many people who will never try their hand at scuba diving. Why? Because they have succumbed to common misconceptions about the sport.
If you allow yourself to pay heed to this set of scuba diving myths, you’ll never realize the beauty and wonder of seeing what lies beneath the waves firsthand. Here are a few common scuba diving myths debunked.
I’m Not a Good Enough Swimmer
This is probably the number one reason most people steer clear of scuba diving. There is a common set of scuba diving myths that you have to be an Olympic-level swimmer to participate in this pastime.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The ability to swim certainly helps, and good swimmers may learn faster or excel at scuba diving, but you don’t have to be Michael Phelps to strap on your scuba gear and enjoy the delights of the underwater world.
Now, you do have to know how to swim in order to become a certified scuba diver. If you want to simply try scuba diving through an introductory course, swimming isn’t necessarily a prerequisite, but going out in the open ocean means getting certified, and knowing how to swim is a must.
It’s Too Expensive
As the set of scuba diving myths goes, this is one that could be partially true – it sort of depends on what your parameters are for “too” expensive. In order to get started, however, you don’t necessarily have to spend beaucoup bucks.
You’ll probably want your own mask, snorkel, and fins to get started since the fit and feel of these items will make you more comfortable. You can rent the rest of your gear until you decide if you’re serious about this pastime.
As for certification, it could cost you several hundred dollars. However, you should consider what you might pay for other types of entertainment, like dinner and a movie or a day at a theme park. When you compare costs, scuba certification may not seem as expensive, and it’s something you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
I’ll Run Out of Air and Drown
If you don’t pay attention to your dive instructors and to what you’re doing when you scuba dive, it is possible to prove this set of scuba diving myths true. When you dive, your equipment will include gauges that tell you how much air you have, giving you the information you need to plan accordingly so that you can return to the surface.
Think of it like the gas gauge on your car. If you pay attention you’ll never run out of fuel because you can plan to make it to the gas station in time. The same is true of the air in your scuba tank.
Sharks Will Eat Me
So you saw Jaws. And Jaws II. The thing to remember is that the bloodthirsty villain of these sea-centric films was actually nothing more than an animatronic dummy.
There are plenty of fish in the sea, to be sure, and sharks are among the many lifeforms that inhabit the oceans of the world. However, unless you do something stupid like go scuba diving on your own in shark-infested waters, your chances of getting attacked by a shark are relatively slim.
When learning to scuba dive, you’ll be coached on how to appropriately interact with watery wildlife, and you’ll probably go with trained and experienced divers several times before you even attempt diving on your own. In other words, this is one set of scuba diving myths you probably don’t have to worry about too much.
It’s No Different than Snorkeling
Of the set of scuba diving myths that most people have heard, this one is prevalent. Snorkeling and scuba diving are certainly similar in that they allow practitioners to get a peek below the surface of the water.
However, snorkeling and scuba diving are not the same. The first merely allows you a glimpse of the vistas and activity underwater while scuba diving offers full immersion, both literally and figuratively.
If you want to try snorkeling first as a way to get comfortable with the concept of frolicking beneath the waves, what you’re likely to discover is that you want more. When you ignore this set of scuba diving myths and take the plunge, so to speak, you’ll find that there’s a world of difference between these two activities.