We all have been there. We love diving but life gets in the way: kids, work, worldwide pandemics. Before you know, a year is gone by and you haven’t logged a single dive.
Depending on your level and experience, not even a year but six months, can be enough to make us feel slightly uncomfortable in the water. Enough to make us forget basic techniques that are essential to improve our underwater experience.
“What was the correct way to set up my equipment?”
“What should I do if my mask leaks or foggs?”
Trust us, it’s not a good idea to jump into your next dive with all these doubts and questions!
In our experience, getting back into scuba diving for those who haven’t dived for a while and refuse to do a refresher, end up cancelling the dive after a mild panic situation. This is not just a waste of your money but also a bad and unsafe experience.
To do a practical refresher or to join the ” Scuba tune-up” theory online. Lots of people tend to think that refresher dives are just a selling technique and a way to force clients to spend more money. Let’s be clear about it: refresher dives or tune up programs are not mandatory. However, they are a matter of personal responsability and safety. Not just with yourself but also with the rest of the divers in your group. In fact, dive centers can refuse to take you diving if you don’t want to do a refresher and they don’t think it is safe.
Think about it this way: John has his driving license. After four or five lessons, he passed his test two years ago. Since then he has never drive again. Would you trust him to take you into the city? Would you think is a good idea for his safety, yours or the rest of the drivers in London?
Well, this is exactly the same. You need to use your common sense and leave your pride aside. As a diver you are meant to be safe and to not put yourself or others at risk. Lots of divers are diving with their families, kids or loved ones. By jumping in the water in those terms, they are putting them at risk.
Very simple. A diver with doubts or unconfident underwater is more likely to panic. A panic diver will have unexpected reactions that will affect not just himself but also the rest of the divers when they try to assist him. Best case scenario, it will just ruin everyone’s dive. Worst case scenario, we may end up needing the emergency services and the diving chamber: this is the smallest, most expensive and uncomortable hotel you will ever stay in!
But don’t worry. There is a simple and easy way to avoid this: take a refresher. We recommend a refresher if you have been out of the water from six months up until even two or three years depending on your experience. Also, if for any reason you just lost your confidence in water. It is a light and easy session that in a few hours will cover setting up of equipment, buddy checks, some basic skills like mask flooding, regulator recovery and buoyancy exercises. You will do all these skills in a semi confined, shallow and protected area. Once we are done with it, you will go for a gentle, easy and shallow dive. To be honest, all divers should practice these skills often and regularly. Even those with lots of experience!
Let’s say six, seven even maybe ten years or more? Then, you have an option called “scuba tune-up” that will save you from having to repeat the full open water course.
The “scuba tune up” consists in two parts: a theory review that you do online in the comfort of your home and a practice part where you will go diving with a professional and practice some of the basic skills. This last part is actually optional but highly recommended and if you complete both parts, you will receive a new certification card with the date of your tune-up in it.
Remember, use your common sense. By doing any of these refresher sessions when you need it, you will be a safe diver with yourself and with the rest. It’s your responsibility!