Scuba Diving and Certification
By Susan M. Keenan ©2007
Scuba diving is becoming more and more popular as a pastime. Plus, many tourist spots offer scuba diving as one of their adventure sports and attractions. Scuba shops and certification schools are more readily accessible than in years past, making it even easier to indulge in the pleasures of underwater exploration.
The word scuba is actually formed from the first letter of each of the words in the phrase, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. The first sets of underwater suits and diving equipment were bulky and heavy. Modern technology has taken care of that and now the gear for scuba diving is easy to transport, easy to wear, and weighs considerably less than its predecessors.
The first compressed air tanks came out in the 1930s. Since then, they have been streamlined and improved. Eventually, in 1960, the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NASD) formed in an effort to provide safety and regulation procedures for all scuba divers.
Scuba Diving Pictures:
Today’s scuba divers must take a class to become certified. Within this class, they will learn several basic pieces of information including:
- how the body uses compressed air
- what compressed air is
- the workings of air pressure
- the physics of diving
- a full knowledge and understanding of air consumption
- an understanding of the physiological processes known as ingassing and outgassing
- an understanding of the risks associated with recreational scuba diving
- strategies for planning repetitive dives
- an understanding of the health concerns for repetitive dives
Scuba diving certification shows that the diver is responsible enough to go scuba diving safely. Not only must an individual prove that he has the knowledge listed above, but also, he must prove his ability to use it. The individual must prove that he can handle the equipment under water. Scuba certification courses are designed to show this.
Two popular scuba certification courses, the “NAUI Scuba Diver” certification, and the “PADI Scuba Diver” certification prepare divers for their first real scuba dive experience. Beginning divers will learn how to handle the underwater equipment as well as learning how to handle themselves in any number of underwater scenarios. Most dive shops will require that you present your scuba certification card prior to renting you any equipment.
PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, offers a slightly simpler and easier course that is more than sufficient for a beginner who is looking for a taste of underwater adventure, but who hasn’t yet made the commitment to make scuba diving part of his active life. Individuals who are considering scuba diving as a continued experience should opt for the course given by NAUI.
The following courses are offered by NAUI:
- Deep Diving
- Cavern Diving
- Night Diving
- Ice Diving
- Search & Recovery
- Underwater Hunting and Collecting
- Underwater Archeology
- Underwater Photography
- Enriched Air (EANx) Diving
More than one type of certification for scuba diving is available.
These include: Scuba Diver (or open water, Advanced Scuba Diver, Master Scuba Diver, Gold Master Diver, Scuba Rescue Diver, and Advanced Scuba Rescue Diver. It is essential to take and pass basic training before moving on to the more advanced courses.
Also: Types of Scuba Diving , Scuba Diving Gear and Snorkeling