Why I love scuba diving
Anyone of pretty much any age can scuba dive. It really can open a whole new world. Dave East explains how he got into the sport and Mark Evans of Sportdiver magazine answers your questions on how to get involved. PLUS a special 'two for one' introductory offer.
What made you choose Scuba Diving as a sport?
Dave East: My wife has been a diver for many years and while on holiday last February in Feuteventura, she asked if I fancied a go at snorkelling. I had never done anything like this, so gave it a go. I was hooked and wanted to spend more time underwater than a snorkel allowed! My wife said that if I managed to pass my diver training first time without any problems, then she would jump out of a plane! She has yet to keep her side of the bargain!
What do you get out of the sport?
DE: Obviously the main one is the wonderful time spent underwater. I get to see undewater creatures in their environment, especially as nature intended, and I can also share that pleasure with other people topside (Editor’s note: I think topside is diving speak for being on land – not, in this case, a cut of beef).
Someone who plays football can hardly show a picture of a football to 100 people and expect them all to be interested! Show them a picture of a Whaleshark or some of the most beautiful coral in the world and everyone is enthralled!
Added to that, this sport allows myself and my family to become involved.
What is your favorite dive?
DE: I love any dive now. As long as I am in the water I am happy! Wreck diving is very interesting to me, and I am currently working towards my Extended range qualification to allow me to dive deeper and further than normal to see some more spectacular dive sites.
What is the most exciting thing you have seen so far?
DE: My very first diving trip after qualifying was to Portkerris in Cornwall. My wife and I spent a long weekend diving the Manacles, and really enjoyed it.
On the second day I was leading us round a large group of rocks and came across a crevise which I just had to look into. My torch and camera caught a Conga Eel poking its head out and wondering what this big bloke in funny scuba gear was doing in his home!
Can anyone learn to scuba?
Mark Evans: Many sports claim to be ‘suitable for all’, but very few can deliver on this promise. Scuba diving is one of them. Talk about diving and people often conjure up images of super-fit, wetsuit-clad Adonis emerging from the surf effortlessly carrying masses of complex equipment, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Anyone aged from eight upwards with a reasonable degree of fitness can learn to scuba dive with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), and you wouldn’t believe how many people have discovered diving later in life. I have lost count of the number of 40 plus, 50 plus, 60 plus and even 70 plus year olds who have spoken to me at dive shows or have contacted me via the magazine to extol the virtues of their new-found sport.
The one thing they all said – they wished they’d learned to dive earlier in life. In fact, diving is so accessible, it can be done by people with all manner of disabilities.
But is it difficult to learn?
ME: Scuba diving can be as challenging or easy as you want it to be. Happy pootling around in 15m on a colourful coral reef looking at the fishes? You got it. Want a ripping drift dive that is like being fired out of a cannon? Sure. Want to explore a deep shipwreck seen by just a handful of other divers? It can happen. That is what makes diving such an ‘everyman’ sport, there really is a level or element that will tick all the boxes you are looking for. Whether you want a relaxing hobby to do on foreign holidays, or an extreme sport to fuel your adrenaline kicks, diving is just the ticket.
What about diving in the UK?
ME: We live on an island surrounded by innumerable shipwrecks and reefs, and with over 275 PADI dive centre in the UK and Ireland, there has never been a better time to get certified and take the plunge.
Can I try it?
Yes, the Men’s Health Forum has teamed up with PADI to give you and a mate a chance to try with a special two for one offer – a pool-based introduction with a qualified instructor and all equipment supplied.
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the largest diver training organisation in the world. To take advantage of this great offer, and try a new sport, all you have to do is check out the PADI web site to locate your nearest PADI participating Dive Centre. Friendly staff will be happy to enlighten you on the Discover Scuba Diving experience, and advise you about the many different courses that PADI offer which will fit around your lifestyle and needs.
For any other information call PADI on 0117 300 7802 or visit www.padi.com
Page created on June 2nd, 2010
Page updated on June 2nd, 2010