What is Scuba Diving?
Ever wonder what Scuba Diving is? The term “SCUBA” (an acronym for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”) originally referred to the United States combat frogmen’s oxygen rebreathers, developed during World War II by Christian J. Lambertsen for underwater warfare. Scuba is one of a few ways of underwater diving. Scuba divers carry their own source of breathing gas, allowing them greater freedom of movement. Today, there are many forms of scuba diving.
By the early twentieth century, two basic types for scuba diving had emerged: open-circuit scuba where the diver’s exhaust is vented directly into the water, and closed-circuit scuba where the diver’s unused oxygen is filtered from the carbon dioxide and recirculated.
In 1943, Emile Gagnan, a french engineer and Jacques-Yves Cousteau developed a crude prototype for the ‘Aqua-Lung’. The Aqualung was a scuba twin hose open-circuit unit where cylinders filled with compressed air carried on the back could be inhaled through a demand regulator and then exhaled into the water adjacent to the tank. This was the first commercially successful scuba unit. Over the years, Cousteau continued to modify and improve the breathing device to allow him to remain underwater for longer periods of time. The Aqua-Lung evolved into the modern scuba equipment of today and has become the standard used worldwide. It is recognized as one of the most important inventions of the 20th Century.
Scuba diving has come a long way since it’s beginnings. It is no longer an activity just for military or specialized groups. Dive training agencies formed in the beginning of the 20th century to prepare aware and responsible divers through education. The educational materials available today are cutting edge, dynamic and interactive, from recreational sports diving to specialized diving situations, making this amazing sport available to almost everyone. As sport diving and technical diving are recognized as carrying a degree of risk and responsibility not normally associated with other recreational sports, scuba diving is a highly regulated industry with standards and procedures. Instructors of all associations must follow highly meticulously crafted courses with regards to theories and techniques involved in teaching scuba diving as a whole.
As well, scuba equipment has come a long way. Science and technology has allowed for safer equipment and comfort. It is now available in different sizes and colors with amazing safety features. This is excellent because it allows everyone from 10 years and up to scuba dive!
Becoming a scuba diver is a wonderful UnderWorld Adventure©! Scuba certifications include three phases:
1. Knowledge Development
During the first phase of your scuba lessons, weather you are just starting or continuing your education in diving, you’ll learn the basic principles of scuba diving or for the particular course or speciality you are taking.
You’ll learn this valuable information by reading your manual, studying online and/or watching a video (depending on your particular course) You’ll answer questions about the material to ensure your understanding of it. Along the way, let your dive Instructor know if there is anything you don’t understand. At the end of the course, (except for some Speciality courses) you will take a final exam that ensures you have thorough knowledge of the materials covered.
2. Confined Water Dives (Depending on course)
Time to practice. If you are starting diving you will develop basic scuba skills in the pool or in confined water – a body of water with pool-like conditions, such as a lagoon. The basic scuba skills you learn during your course will help you become familiar with your scuba gear. These are some of the essential skills you will learn:
• How to set up your scuba gear.
• Buoyancy control.
• Safety procedures.
You’ll practice these skills with one of our instructors until you’re comfortable. When you’re ready, it’s time for your ©underworld adventure to begin at an open water dive site.
If you are taking a specialized course like Sidemount (add LINK) or Peak Performance Buoyancy (add LINK), we will work on your current skills, curbing any ‘bad habits’ and introduce the new skills for that particular course.
3. Open Water Dives (Depending on course)
After your confined water session(s), we will head to “open water”. Besides witnessing the amazements of Mother Nature underwater, you will apply the skills you learned in confined water.
Learning to dive is performance based.