Getting a dive certification is an exciting time. PADI statistics show that the average age that people get certified is 29 years old. This means they are usually young, in good health, and most of all, eager to explore the underwater world! But after this initial excitement there is a steep rise in the number of people who dive very little or even stop altogether. In fact most certified divers dive an average of only 8 times a year.
Why people stop diving
During your certification you will most likely get comfortable with your instructors and the types of dives that are suitable for beginners. Once you are certified there will be new guides, different dive buddies, and dive sites where you may face new challenges. This can be scary and puts many new divers off booking further dives. It’s a bit like getting your drivers’ license and finally being allowed to go anywhere you want on your own. It’s exciting but also nerve-wracking.
Another factor is that the majority of people have to work full time. After all getting a dive certification and traveling to dive isn’t free. This may be easier when you’re young and single or as a couple without children, but as people gain more responsibilities it can become harder to dive multiple times a year. Of course some lucky people live close enough to the sea to dive at the weekends or during holidays from work, but this is a small number of divers.
Many divers come back to diving when their children are old enough to get their PADI certification. This is an amazing way to spend quality time together as a family. Others go back to diving after their children have left home. This is a freedom many divers in their 50’s and 60’s talk about.
How to keep up your diving skills
It’s essential for new divers to keep up their skills. The only way to do this is to dive as much as possible after qualification. Comfort is key when diving, and the only way to become truly comfortable and confident in the water is consistent practice.
Try to give yourself enough time after your certification training to dive as many times as possible. If that’s not possible, start planning your next dive holiday as soon as you can. It’s important to keep diving in mind and even book another qualification course to up your skill level and gain even more confidence.
Remember that diving is supposed to be enjoyed but does take some getting used to. Once you are certified it’s time to really get comfortable with being under the water. If you don’t dive for a long time, chances are you’re going to feel nervous when you do. Again, like driving, the more you dive, the more procedures become automatic and your comfort levels increase.
If you do take time off diving it’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back in the water. There are great refresher courses you can take to ease back into diving again. Just a few dives with a great guide and you will remember your training and be ready to go. This is even a good idea even if you are an experienced diver but have taken a long break.
Are you certified but don’t dive much? Or maybe you’ve taken time off diving and want to get back into it? We’re really interested to hear about your experiences, so leave us a comment below.