To explore the magic of the underwater world, you become a SCUBA diver. Fish breathe underwater naturally, and humans dont so learning how to use Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) is a must. Becoming a certified diver will open up the underwater world to you. You will meet new friends and see new things.
There are several different types of certification programs. If you are going on a cruise ship or holiday you may have the ability to learn in a 3 hour course, the essential safety tips to SCUBA dive. That may not be the kind of certification program you want.
If you would prefer a more extensive certification program, then at least 6 months before you plan on taking your first SCUBA dive, inquire through PADI, Learn2Dive, or Underwater Unlimited, where you can enroll in your area for a 6-8 week diving program. At the end of it you will go out with a dive master for a certification dive and will become a certified diver. It doesnt mean you are an expert diver, but you will have attained a minimum level of competency to dive. You may then feel safer and more comfortable with the skills that you have learned in the course.
To determine the best certification for you, ask your friends and do your own research. Ask questions and make an informed decision for what is best for you. Remember safety, yours and others you will be diving with should be considered. Discuss every aspect of the program. Is there classroom instruction, pool instruction, open water instruction? Does the instructor you work with also take you on your certification dive? What is included in the price of the program and what equipment are you responsible to buy?
This certification program may determine how much you enjoy your first and all subsequent dives. To maintain your certification status as a diver, you will need to dive at least once every 2 years by going on a certified diving excursion.
As you dive more you may choose to buy your own equipment rather than rent it each time you dive. Taking care of your own equipment then becomes part of your responsibility to maintain your own safety.
Having your own mask, fins and snorkel are the easy equipment to own. You will feel more comfortable wearing a mask and fins that fit your properly. You may feel that you do not want to put in your mouth a snorkel that has been used by others. The more expensive and more difficult equipment to maintain is the SCUBA tank which holds the compressed air you will breathe, while underwater. Then there is your wetsuit and buoyancy jacket and weights.
Unless you dive frequently, it may be more cost effective and easier to rent it most of your equipment, especially the tank. The tank itself requires the most maintenance and care to make sure that it doesnt rust, and have leaks from its valves or any other part.
Safety has to be the divers main concern, at all times, and should determine whether it makes sense to invest in the purchase of equipment.