Diving Back into SCUBA

Has it been a while since you last went for dive? Do you think that you have lost some of the skills since your Open Water Course? Or are you going away on a holiday and would like to freshen your skills before you leave? If so then the PADI Scuba Review is the perfect “tune up” for you.

If you haven’t done a dive for at least a year, it is a good idea that you complete a scuba review before you get back in the water, although most dive centers recommend that you try to dive at least once every 6 months to keep your knowledge refreshed. We find that after the 6-month period most students tend to forget the basic yet important skills such as gear set up, pre dive safety checks and out of air situations.

In my own experience, after learning how to dive when I was 12 I did a handful of dives around Australia and Thailand but then due to School, Music, Sports and University commitments I didn’t have time to dive much. 6 months turned in to a year, which turned in to 2 years and before I knew it I hadn’t dived in 6 years. While I was studying in Boston, USA I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica in the Caribbean. At the resort I was staying at I saw a PADI center and thought to myself “This is the place to do it if I am going to get back in to diving”. I thought for sure I would have to do a Scuba Review as I had forgotten most of my Open Water Course. I met the instructor “Sinker” who was as laid back a Jamaican as they come and instead of making me do a scuba review he said, “Let’s just go diving and we’ll see how you do”. Luckily I did good enough to be allowed to complete my Advanced Open Water course on the same trip.

Now that I think back to it, I shouldn’t have been allowed to just hop in and dive as I really didn’t remember much, but there is the normal way of life and the island version, which is much more relaxed about everything. I didn’t ever feel like I was unsafe but looking back as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer I probably would have made myself complete a Scuba Review!

There are a few different options for you when it comes to a scuba review. You can purchase the Online E-Learning Scuba Tune Up that takes you through a condensed version of the Open Water Course. Once you have done this you can then go for a nice easy local dive with a PADI Professional to finish up the tune up. The other option is to add in a pool session with a Divemaster or Instructor where you will complete a series of basic skills that you would’ve learnt in your original course. Although you don’t have to complete all the skills from the Open Water Course, we find that most people who are looking to refresh their skills feel more comfortable to re-do all of the skills before completing a Discover Local Dive.

Jackie and his dad during the pool session of the refresher course

I had the pleasure of giving my dad a Scuba Review recently. It had been many years for him, so he completed the online scuba tune up, a pool session with myself and a few other students and his best mate, then I took them all on a dive at Oak Park. Conditions were nice and flat and it was a great day. Now I have dad talking about diving more often and I have re-sparked the interest in it for him. The same thing happened to me when I did my laid back Jamaican refresher years ago. I remembered why I learnt to dive in the first place and became an Instructor. I highly recommend that if you haven’t dived for a while that you do a Scuba Review, you never know where your diving may take you!

Jackie Barnes

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