As a new scuba diver, it’s essential to learn how to avoid common scuba diving mistakes that can compromise your safety and enjoyment of the sport. Here are three of the most common mistakes new scuba divers make and how to avoid them.
Skipping Pre-dive Safety Checks
Always perform a thorough pre-dive safety check to ensure your equipment is functioning correctly and all components are secure. This check includes examining your BCD, regulator, weights, and dive computer. This is the gear that you are betting your life on. It is your responsibility to make sure that everything is in good working order before doing diving in. PADI teaches the BWRAF method for checking your gear. It is so important that we dedicate an entire edition of Uncle Cal’s Dive Club’s newsletter for new scuba divers to it, “DO YOU BWRAF?”
However you do your pre-dive checks, make sure that you do not skip them.
Descending Too Quickly
Descending too quickly can cause equalization problems and lead to other issues, such as barotrauma. To avoid this, take your time when descending and use proper equalization techniques. Equalize early and equalize often as you descend. If your ears start to hurt, even slightly, stop. raise back up a little until the pain stops and then hover there until you can clear them. Then continue your descent.
The lovely and talented Kathy has this issue until she hits about 30-35 feet. After that, she can descend normally. This means that we make our way down slowly as a buddy team, until she can descend without pain.
Ignoring Dive Limits
It’s essential to adhere to dive limits to avoid decompression sickness or other health problems. We have a saying in scuba diving, “Plan Your Dive, Dive Your Plan”. In essence, this means for you and your buddy to figure out what your dive will look like, discuss it so that both of you understand. Then, once you get underwater, stick to the agreed upon plan. Your plan should keep you within your certified depth and time limits.
It doesn’t matter if you are diving a deep wreck or a shallow shore dive like the beautiful Blue Heron Bridge, mistakes in scuba diving can have serious consequences. By paying attention, you can avoid avoiding these common scuba diving mistakes, you can dive confidently!
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