Before I start busting myths about scuba diving, I need admit my view of scuba diving was very different from what it is now, after many years of diving.
I had been more than interested in scuba ever since I was little. My interest in the sea peaked by movies like the Big Blue and The Silent World, as well as excursions to the beaches of the Mediterranean, involving my brother, a leaky mask, and snorkel we shared.
My brother and I would dream of sunken ships, ferocious sharks and giant octopi, while taking turns looking at a very inert sea cucumber, or, if we were lucky, sea star.
Nevertheless, the sea and what lies beneath its glittering surface held an uncanny fascination, and we admired all those people involved in the sea, amongst them fishermen and scuba divers.
As I grew older, many of my concepts about the sea changed, but divers still kind of ranked up there with James Bond and Lara Croft. I would not dare to wander into my local dive shop until I was twenty years old, which I have regretted ever since. I just wished I had started earlier.
This article will attempt to debunk some of these strange myths and perceptions that people have about scuba diving. Let’s take a closer look at “5 myths about scuba diving”.
Myth 1: Lots of divers get killed by Sharks
It must be said that the movie Jaws did not do scuba diving any favors. Anybody who has ever seen the movie seems to be a veritable expert on sharks now, and well-aware of the “fact” that scuba diving means you would be risking your life in shark-infested waters every time you dip your head in the sea, which of course, is nonsense!
In comparison and a stark contrast to this myth, actual records of shark killings or even injuries to divers are so few, that they are not even worth to be mentioned. Facts contradict the myth that scuba diving is unsafe due to sharks. Just look at the statistic: in 2005 in the U.S 27 people were killed by “man’s best friend” Yes, your dog! Whereas only four people worldwide died from sharks, suggesting dogs are more dangerous than sharks!
Myth 2: Diving will cost you an absolute fortune
Another myth that puts people off is that they think they will need to fork out a king’s ransom to just start learning how to dive. An Open Water Diver course costs below 500 US, depending on where you want to do it, and there is no need to invest in diving equipment straight away. Of course like with any sport it helps to have the best possible equipment, but in scuba diving, you only need three essential pieces of equipment to start off with: a mask, a snorkel and a pair of fins.
You can rent the rest of the gear through the dive shops and this will not cost you a significant amount, or maybe the equipment rental is already calculated into the price for your beginner course. Once you have the actual diving skills, you can start getting equipped piece by piece.Did you ever forget to bring an piece of gear on scuba trip? Download the ultimate scuba trip checklist today just like 5.000+ other divers already did and never miss a dive again.Myth 3: Divers need to be Olympic level swimmers
Another myth is that unless your ability as a swimmer is up there with Michael Phelps, then it is pointless to even to start your scuba diving training. Of course being an excellent swimmer will add to your experience, but if it were true that you had to be a brilliant swimmer then surely this would mean you could not go cycling if you weren’t up to riding in the Tour De France.
To be clear: you need to be able to swim, but remember that (as an example) children can also take the PADI Open Water Diver course as young as ten years old, and generally, these kids can pass the swimming requirements, and so can you!
It must be said, however, the more comfortable you are at swimming, the more comfortable you will be in the water when you go diving.
Myth 4: Getting scuba lessons costs a fortune
When you want to go diving at any dive site across the world, you need to be a certified scuba diver. You only get a certification when you took scuba lesson, and you will have to pass an exam.
You probably have heard of PADI, the biggest scuba diving training agency out there. When you start with your scuba lessons trough PADI, you probably start with the Open Water Course.
A myth exists here that a certification costs a massive amount. It costs somewhere between $250-$500, depending on where in the world you start your course, and will be valid forever. A Diving certification for life costing $500 is relatively cheap.
Myth 5: A macho sport that doesn’t welcome women
Another silly myth is that scuba diving is a macho-obsessed sport that excludes women. Maybe five or six decades ago this could have been said, but even then, if you look at the pioneers of diving, they had their companions with them, and women were scuba diving. Just think of Hans Hass’ famous wife, Lotte, who starred as the protagonist in many of his movies, diving with sharks and mantas.
It is still true that male participation in the sport is slightly higher than female, but the ratio is now only 67/33 showing that there is not a big gap at all and scuba diving is very much so a sport for everybody, male and female. Women have conquered even the mostly male realm of technical and rebreather diving. So, if something interests you, just go for it!
Hopefully, this article has blown out of the water any misconceptions or myths held in your minds about scuba diving; that may have put you off trying out this amazing sport. If you ever hear any of these five myths being mentioned, speak up, as this is the only way the myth will eventually disappear. The best way to convince yourself of the fact that none of these myths are true is by enrolling in a scuba diving course and find out for yourself! There are so many things to be discovered under the seas shiny surface!
Did you ever forget to bring an piece of gear on scuba trip? Download the ultimate scuba trip checklist today just like 5.000+ other divers already did and never miss a dive again.
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This article is published by The Scuba Page, the online magazine for Scuba Dive lovers around the world. The Scuba Page is part of RUSHKULT : the online booking platform for adventure sports. Visit the RUSHKULT platform to book your next Scuba Dive training, guided trip and accommodation.