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Do you have to know how to swim to scuba dive? Can you scuba dive if you can’t swim? Is that a good idea? What are the advantages or disadvantages of knowing how to swim for diving?
Those who cannot swim are also drawn to the secrets of the ocean floor. Learning to dive is the best way to get to know them, but they doubt whether they can be certified, or even worse if they will be able to dive without swimmer skills. Read on and discover the answer.
Do You Have to Know How to Swim to Scuba Dive?
The short answer is no, you do have not to know how to swim to scuba dive. The long answer is more complicated.
You don’t have to know how to swim to dive because scuba gear will help you maintain positive buoyancy on the surface, and the fins will help you move forward. However, being a swimmer is a condition for obtaining the open water diver certification.
You don’t have to be Caeleb Dressel, but you do have to show that you have confidence in the aquatic environment.
Why You Have to Know How to Swim to Scuba Dive?
There is only one reason why you have to know how to swim to dive. This is safety. A swimmer is familiar with the aquatic environment, knows how to maintain positive buoyancy without the aid of any equipment, controls breathing, and knows how to use his body to advance through the water effectively. The rest are slight inconveniences that a no-swimmer can overcome without problems.
For a novice diver entering the water and diving for the first time can be a bit stressful. A swimmer, however, feels more confident in the aquatic environment so that they will learn diving techniques and concepts faster and with less difficulty.
On the other hand, controlling neutral buoyancy is vital for divers. This technique is easier for swimmers as long as neutral buoyancy and breathing are closely related. It does not mean a no-swimmer cannot learn that as well.
In addition, breathing control linked to movements’ hydrodynamic efficiency generally makes swimmers use less air.
Another point that indicates it is preferable to know how to swim to dive is the end of the dive. When ascending to the surface, you will rarely do it next to the extraction point. Usually, divers have to swim a few feet to get to the boat. Again, it is only a slight advantage for swimmers because fins will help both swimmers and no-swimmers to move on the surface.
It is true. You will learn all these scuba skills in your diving course regardless of whether you know how to swim or not. You will learn to control neutral buoyancy, breathe through the regulator, and move yourself using fins. However, a Dive Instructor cannot avoid a very unlikely but still potential panic attack putting the rest of the group at risk only because you are not accustomed to the aquatic environment.
To What Level Do I Have to Know to Swim to Scuba Dive?
As we have said before, you can dive without knowing how to swim. For this, there is a diving experience that PADI calls Discover Scuba Diving. It is an introduction to diving that does not grant any certification, but it does allow you to know what diving means.
It consists of a short workout in the pool and a dive in the sea. The student is under the specialized diving staff’s supervision. They have the necessary skills to move the non-swimming diver underwater.
To be honest, diving doesn’t imply having great swimming ability. In fact, the economy of motion is one of the best ways to save air. But to avoid moving unnecessarily, you have to know how to do it efficiently.
In diving, there are key points where you will have to swim. They are generally related to managing unforeseen events. If you lose your team and you must catch up; Or you have to get closer to your dive buddy, change direction and, above all, stay afloat on the surface in the rare event that your vest fails.
Confidence and security. That is why the certifying agencies require that you know how to swim better than a puppy to be a diver.
To obtain your autonomous diver certification you have to pass the Open Water Diver Course. Both PADI and SSI require candidates to pass a swimming test that consists of swimming 200 meters and floating in the pool for 10 minutes without the help of diving equipment.
In this article we have answered the question: do you have to know how to swim to dive? Now it is your decision, do you want to be a certified diver or just a hobbyist?