When we get asked, “Do I need to know how to swim to scuba dive?” the answer for San Diego is YES. Many different instances and factors make it necessary to know how to swim before you embark on your first scuba dive here in San Diego.
To Become Certified
To become a certified scuba diver, you must know how to swim beforehand. NAUI courses require that you can swim 225 meters using any stroke and also be able to tread water or float for at least 10 minutes. These requirements are necessary for the safety of yourself and your group. The scuba equipment is designed to help you stay buoyant, but you cannot rely only on it to ensure your dive goes smoothly. In the unlikely event that your BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) faltered, there would be nothing to keep you afloat. The exception is your legs, which can tire quickly. If your device faltered in deep water, you would need to swim, tread water, or float yourself to safety. If you cannot do this, you risk your own life and that of your dive buddy.
When Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in San Diego
The water conditions in the Pacific are different than the conditions one might encounter when scuba diving in, say, the Caribbean, Mexico, or overseas. The conditions in San Diego can get rough, making scuba diving, snorkeling, and visibility a challenge. There are days when the intensity of currents can be very strong. The conditions you can experience in San Diego waters require you know how to swim before scuba diving or snorkeling. Your safety and the safety of your group are most important, and knowing how to swim ensures fewer accidents in the water. Scuba diving is mostly done with the fins on your feet. The kicking style is the same as a freestyle kicking movement. A good swimmer can do this well already, making diving easier. When you know the basics of swimming and have elevated comfortability in the water because you’ve taken the time to learn how to swim, your dive or snorkeling experience will go smoothly and be enjoyable.
First-time Scuba Divers
Scuba diving for the first time can be exhilarating and even a little scary because you will be breathing underwater for the first time. Your first experience with scuba diving should be in very shallow water or a swimming pool. The ability to stand up when you want has a good influence on the mind. Underwater breathing becomes easier when your breathing equipment is explained to you. You then practice breathing with the equipment above water before slowly easing your face underwater. Remember to exhale fully after every breath; you will gain confidence with your scuba equipment after adjusting to breathing. The amazing marine life also helps your confidence. There is nothing like a close interaction with a turtle to take your mind off the fact that you are swimming underwater.
Once you begin diving more frequently, you will adjust to breathing, the noise from your equipment, and your field of vision. Knowing that you can confidently swim also helps with the initial nervousness your first dive can create. You’ll be able to relax into the weightlessness that the water makes you feel. The more you dive, the more acclimated you will become to all the things you thought were scary about diving at first.
Book a Dive with San Diego Scuba Guide
If you are interested in learning to scuba dive or want to experience the amazing underwater world during a day or night dive, reach out to San Diego Scuba Guide. We are dedicated to providing quality training courses that will set you up for your first scuba dive. Visit our website or call (858) 397-8213 to book your dive today!