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10 Scuba Diving Myths Revealed

Submitted by admin on 2009-08-06 | Last Modified on 2009-08-07

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For most divers, scuba diving is not a sport, it is a Passion! But why do so many people steer clear of scuba diving? Maybe they don’t like to get wet or is it more a case of urban legends or myths?

Myths are collective believes that has no basis in fact – can that be the problem? Let’s look at only ten scuba diving myths!

1. Scuba Diving is way too expensive!

This is definitely a myth. Initially you need very little equipment to get certified. Dive Shops and training facilities that specialize in diving, often have scuba equipment you can hire or loan. However, it is better for comfort reasons to buy your own equipment, as it is personally fitted. All you’ll need to get certified is a pair of fins, a mask and a snorkel. All other equipment can be rented, usually for a discount!

2. Scuba Diving is not really a sport!

Correct, it is a passion! But to maintain the train of thought for this article, we have to admit that the myth is wrong. To scuba dive safely, you have to be trained at a basic level at least. You need to get certified. You need to have specialized equipment to participate. It requires teamwork – you need a diving "buddy"! To scuba dive you need a certain level of skill and knowledge that can only be improved by practicing. Sorry, I have to say – it sounds like a sport to me!

3. You have to live in the Caribbean!

Yet again, another myth busted! While it may be the first place people think of when you talk about scuba diving - it isn't the only place you will find divers. Crystal clear, warm water is a great place to start, but just about anywhere in the world there is water. In more than 90% of places you can find water, you will find a dive site. Caves, rivers, lakes, ice diving, all of these things are possibilities once you learn to dive. Palm trees are nice but not a prerequisite.

4. Scuba Divers get attacked by sharks!

Let’s face it, sharks have gotten bad press. Hollywood would love us to think that Jaws is real, but the truth is that statistically speaking, divers come out on top. Be realistic - if you were a shark and came face to face with this creature that noisily blows bubbles, flashes bright lights in your eyes (underwater photography) and bears no resemblance to any other sea creature, what would you do? Most sharks don't hang around for long when there is a group of divers in the water - they tend to take off pretty quickly. But please, remember one rule of the Wild: Don’t act like food!

5. Scuba Diving is a Male dominating sport!

While some guys might like to think so, this sport is one that is equally enjoyed by both genders and all ages. Sorry guys, but don’t stop!

6. You have to be an athlete to scuba dive!

There's nothing that states you have to be a super buff athlete to go scuba diving. The only requirements are that you have no heart or lung problems, are in sound health. To earn your Open Water Certification, you should be able to tread water for 10 minutes and swim 200 meters continuously (± 219yds). Of course being super fit makes it a lot easier, as with any other physical activity, but this sport is enjoyed by people from 8-80. So, don't let this myth stop you!

7. Environmentally concerned people don't scuba dive!

This one is another myth that is perpetuated because, as in the rest of the world, there are people who don't follow proper etiquette. However, most divers follow very strict rules of conduct. Divers are very aware not to take specimens as souvenirs. Instead, divers want to learn more about the marine life and share it through their photography, bringing attention to an area that we need to take care of.

8. Scuba Diving is dangerous

Like so many other sports or pastimes, it can be dangerous if the basic rules of safety are not followed. But consider that in 2004, if you combined the number of fatalities that occurred through scuba diving in both the U.S and Canada (88), and compared them with deaths caused by other pursuits (700 boating, 3,200 swimming) - you would see that it is a safe sport.

9. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are equally as good!

Hhhhmmmm - are you a spectator or a player? While there is nothing wrong with those who like to snorkel, it doesn't hold a candle to actual scuba diving. Sit on the sidelines and cheer at the football game - or pull on the gear and get out there and play?

10. You can only dive where the temperatures are warm!

Most part of this myth may be true, if you don't own a dry suit. If you are a dedicated diver and want to dive for a longer season, then owning a dry suit will enable you to dive later in the year and earlier in the season. In the North East United States the Gulf Stream warms the waters through the fall and winter and there is less pollution than in the busy summer season.

Please comment on this article if you know of any other scuba diving myths or urban legends...


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