Can you learn to scuba dive without being all that confident in the water, or without even really knowing how to swim? Technically, yes, you can. But this fairly simple question has a number of points to consider before you can reach your own conclusion.
Strong swimming skills are, quite logically, beneficial when scuba diving. But they're not necessarily mandatory. The way you move in the water when scuba diving can't be directly compared to conventional swimming, whether it's in a pool or a natural body of water. And a significant portion of the required skills is already handled by the equipment you'll be using.
The Required Equipment (and How It Helps)
You must remember that you will be wearing diving fins, which will substantially add to your existing swimming abilities (no matter how minimal these abilities are). You'll also be wearing a diving vest which acts as a buoyancy compensator—helping you to achieve neutral buoyancy underwater (so you don't float to the surface) and helping you to stay afloat when you're on the surface of the water. The capabilities of the required equipment will go a long way to compensating for a lack of swimming skills.
Your Confidence in the Water
But then there's the question an article about scuba diving can't answer for you—will you actually feel confident enough in the water to enjoy the experience? Many non-swimmers (or those with minimal abilities) may not feel comfortable in the water, or at least when they can no longer feel the ground beneath their feet. You don't want to commit to learning how to scuba dive, only to learn that your level of discomfort prevents you from appreciating the lessons.
Consider finding a dive school that offers an introductory series of lessons for absolute beginners, under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor. You won't be unsupervised, nor will you be making significant free dives underwater for significant periods of time. It's a great way to become accustomed to the experience of moving through the water using the previously mentioned equipment—which is quite different from the more standard forms of swimming. And the joys of scuba diving may well motivate you to improve your general swimming skills, which will increase your enjoyment (and capabilities) when it comes to scuba diving.
Not all non-swimmers or those with minimal swimming skills will be able to enjoy scuba diving. But if you believe that your own lack of skills won't cause discomfort or uncertainty when in the water, you can still experience the unique enjoyment of scuba diving.Share
3 February 2022
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