Afraid to Scuba Dive?

This is a subject close to my heart. People on the whole fall into three categories when it comes to scuba diving: a) they’ve tried it and loved it b) they’ve tried it and don’t like it c) they are too scared to try it.

Believe it or not when I tried scuba diving I fell into the b) category. It’s not something you’d expect to hear from an experienced PADI Instructor who’s taught countless people to dive and done more than 4000 dives in the last 20 years of her life! But for me, and for many divers who start out with diving, this was the case.

Everyone has their only personal journey, and whist for some, scuba diving simply isn’t for them, for most, after a little bit of perseverance, a light bulb moment happens. Everything clicks. Everything you found awkward and difficult becomes easy and a whole new world of tropical vacations, awe inspiring National Geographic moments and simply a wonderful sense of wellbeing washes over you. It’s at this point you never look back.

So how do you get here? How do you get from feeling anxious about scuba diving to actually doing it and enjoying it?

First of all we recommend that you tell us. People feel anxious about scuba diving for many reasons and we are more often than not able to help you overcome any fears and concerns you have.

There are many things that we can do to assist you. This is what we suggest:

  • Talk to your Dive Instructor about what’s troubling you.

  • Sign up for a complimentary pool refresher (if you are a certified diver) or a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience (if you’re not). Not only does this short pool lesson refamiliarize you with scuba diving, or in the case of first time divers, give you a chance to try it out in a pool, but it also gives you a chance to get comfortable with your breathing underwater, make sure your mask fits nicely, and bond with your Instructor. Your Instructor also gets a chance to observe you, giving him/her the opportunity to address any areas of concern and work out where to take you diving, based on how well you’ve done in the pool.

  • Choose an easy going shallow dive site. Confidence building is the name of the game. Here at Tokoriki Island Resort we are so lucky to have a few really special dive sites that fit the psychological needs of an anxious diver.

  • Sign up for a single tank dive to start off with. Don’t put added pressure on yourself to do a whole package or commit yourself to a full Dive Course. Start off with one dive and see how you go.

Happy, relaxed, competent scuba divers are not special people. They are people like you and me. For some, feeling relaxed underwater comes within minutes of the first dive. But for most of us, this isn’t the case. Perseverance and repetition is all it takes, along with a PADI Instructor you trust to assist you along your journey of ‘self discovery’.

Alex Garland