What Exactly Is Scuba Diving?
Scuba diving is one of the world’s fastest growing extreme sports and it’s easy to see why. The activity enables participants to explore the breath-taking deep blue among fascinating marine life, they get to be a part of the underwater world — even if it’s just for a while.
Scuba is actually an abbreviation for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It refers to the equipment that allows us to breathe underwater — the snorkel, scuba tank and other specialised equipment. Interestingly, the air in the tanks are not pure oxygen, that could actually poison divers. Instead, the compressed air is similar to what we experience on land — parts nitrogen, parts oxygen and other gases.
For recreational divers, the depth limit is 30 to 40 metres. To go deeper, divers will have to either undergo a special training or be accompanied by a specially trained buddy.
What Do I Need Before Learning To Scuba Dive?
Scuba diving is a fun activity to enjoy with family and friends in Singapore and overseas. However, keep in mind that your safety comes first. Do not dive on your own and do not simply buy diving gear to try out without proper training. There are certifications to apply for that will train you for the watersport.
Before applying for scuba diving certifications, participants need to fulfil these prerequisites:
- At least 10 years old
- Adequate swimming skills (Able to swim 200m)
- Able to tread in water for 10 minutes without flotation device or swimming aid
- Good physical health
Swimming is an essential skill to scuba dive, in fact, many term it as a life skill. Once you are equipped with the basic swimming skills, you’ll be all ready to be certified.
Scuba Diving Certification – PADI or SSI?
There is a wide variety of scuba diving certifications around the world but the two predominant ones in Singapore are the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SSI (Scuba Schools International) certifications. Both of them are internationally-recognised, beginner-friendly and have the same prerequisites. They also teach the same skills and techniques, using the same equipment.
The difference between the two certifications are that PADI instructors tend to adhere to a stricter course structure while SSI instructors offers 20% adaptability in their teaching to match students’ learning pace. The PADI certification also requires the purchase of a manual or electronic book for long term reference and offers a priced upgrade if students wish to have e-learning for the theory segment.
On the other hand, the SSI certification allows students to borrow the manual and enjoy e-learning for free. Additionally, if you’re hoping to get your certification as soon as possible, SSI certifications are awarded immediately and digitally before the card is delivered to you.
Where To Dive In Singapore?
Once you’ve mastered scuba diving, you’re all good to go! As an island country surrounded by a scattering of islands, Singapore offers many amazing sports for scuba diving. Sister’s Island Marine Park has a dive trail that has been scoped out by Nparks and you can also join dive groups that regularly visit Pulau Jong and Pulau Hantu.
How Should I Start Learning To Scuba Dive?
There are many scuba diving schools and they are able to conduct their scuba diving course at any location you pick. With different budgets, some schools will conduct basic open water in Singapore to bring the cost down. If you have a better budget, you can learn to scuba dive at Pulau Tioman or Dayang, where they have nice beautiful corals with better water visibility there. Save your time by reading on the guide to learn scuba diving!