Many people know they will love scuba diving before they ever dip a fin in the water, but if that’s not you, no worries.
You can give it a “test dive” with PADI Discover Scuba Diving. Discover Scuba Diving is a professionally supervised underwater experience that lets you find out firsthand what scuba diving is all about, usually in half a day or less and under the close supervision of a professional. Discover Scuba Diving has two options: pool-only, and local dive environment.
In the pool-only experience, a PADI pro gives you a safety briefing, introduces you to underwater breathing and teaches you some easy techniques for making yourself float and equalizing your ears (so they don’t hurt underwater). Then, with the pro supervising the entire time, you experience the unique “weightlessness” and freedom that only scuba diving offers.
The dive-environment version starts similarly. After the safety briefing, your PADI instructor lets you practice a few basic scuba techniques in a pool (or pool-like conditions). When you’re comfortable with them, together you head to a local dive site — such as a coral reef, spring or lake — for a supervised, guided scuba tour. Your PADI instructor stays close at hand for safety, obviously, but also to show you some of the cool stuff you can see and do underwater. And when you enroll in the PADI Open Water Diver course after Discover Scuba Diving (because you’ll love it), your Discover Scuba experience can often be credited.
So, if you’re at least 10 years old and in good basic health, contact a PADI dive center or resort. Discover Scuba Diving (and other PADI programs) are adaptive-techniques flexible, making them open (and popular) to people with a wide range of differing abilities. To find a PADI dive center or resort, visit padi.com.
New Diver Tip
The PADI Discover Scuba Diving program is popular with travelers on vacation who want a taste of scuba. But don’t be fooled — not every “introductory experience” is equal. Vet your operator to make sure they are properly certified and trained by PADI by searching at padi.com or asking when you visit.