During this course, you are becoming something new – a scuba diver. It’s important to think now about how to continue in diving after the course. You already have reasons to dive, or you wouldn’t be here. However, different reasons motivate people to take up diving. Some common ones include:
Adventuring and exploring – diving is one of the most accessible “adventure” sports, open to people with a wide age range, different physical characteristics and varied interests.
Enjoying and observing nature – the underwater world has far more natural abundance and diversity than the terrestrial world.
Spending time doing something wonderful with friends and/or family. Diving allows people with different interests, skill levels and experience to enjoy themselves together.
Getting out on the water as well as under it. Boating, beaches, lakes and resorts add to diving.
Taking photos and videos. The underwater world presents unique challenges and opportunities for image makers to enjoy.
Investigating sunken ships. Many divers find themselves attracted to shipwrecks, submerged artifacts and other historical remnants they can visit underwater.
Taking on new personal challenges. Each dive activity, environment and technology offers something new to learn and master.
Becoming familiar with new technologies. Dive gear integrates different types of equipment, each fascinating in its evolution.
Making new friends. Connecting with the dive community, online and where you live, bonds you with dive buddies around the world.
Making a difference in environmental conservation. The global dive community has become a unified voice speaking to business and government about conserving the oceans we all rely on.
Enjoying a world that differs markedly from the world above the surface. Diving lets you visit the Earth’s final frontier, “inner space.” This is especially appealing to some people with physical limitations; underwater, they move freely.
Transitioning from learning to dive to being a diver means getting into the diving lifestyle. You’re most likely to stay involved if you do one or more of the following things before you complete this course:
Join and participate in your local dive center’s dive club and/or social events, and log onto PADI Club®. Diving is a social activity; getting to know other divers opens opportunities to dive, and these groups welcome newcomers with open arms.
Enroll in a PADI course such as underwater photography, wreck diving, etc. (enroll now, but successfully complete your PADI Open Water Diver certification before taking most specialty diver courses). These courses are a great way to go diving while having adventures, learning new skills and getting to know other divers. PADI Specialty Diver courses usually involve one or two days of open water diving learning a new activity. The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course lets you try specialties with your instructor. It was designed specifically for PADI Open Water Divers; you qualify to take it immediately. Visit padi.com or talk to your instructor about the many courses available.
You can begin a few courses, such as PADI Dry Suit Diver and PADI Enriched Air Diver, during your PADI Open Water Diver course. This gets you involved in the next steps immediately.
Sign up for a dive trip that involves travel, and/or plan a local dive. See your professional dive center or resort about dive travel and dive holidays – having a pro guide your first dives is a fun approach.
Invest in your first scuba equipment – regulator, BCD, dive computer and/or wet suit or dry suit – as soon as you can. Divers who have their own gear dive more and enjoy diving more.
Take part in a local environmental project or event. Ask your dive operator (PADI Dive Center or Resort) about their involvement with Project AWARE, or visit projectaware.org.
As the world’s largest diver training organization, PADI Professionals are the most culturally and ethnically diverse recreational dive professionals in the entire dive community. At this writing, more than 137,000 PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Divemasters teach diving and offer dive services in more than 186 countries and territories. You can find PADI diver materials in more than 25 languages.
Today, virtually anyone can find a PADI Instructor nearby who speaks the same language. The PADI organization also reaches all corners of the world with two of diving’s most popular websites, padi.com and PADI Club®.
Globally, more than 25 million PADI certifications have been issued. Wherever you go diving, you can be confident that the local dive community will recognize your diver credentials – even if “PADI” is the only word you can speak in the local language.
Your Local PADI Dive Center or Resort
Your PADI Dive Center or Resort plays an important role in your involvement with diving because it brings everything into one place. The professionals there connect you with other divers, can recommend and book dive travel, guide equipment choices and provide service for it, and offer the PADI courses you’ll want as you gain experience and expand your interests.
If you have questions, need advice, want to try something new or just want to hang with other divers, your local dive operator is the best place to start. You’ll find that by developing a relationship with your local PADI professionals, you gain more than some skilled service providers. You make new friends who want to help you get out of diving what you got into it for.