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10 things you should know if you are new to diving

Have you ever thought about swimming with sharks, observing first-hand the colors of the sharks coral reefs or watch a school of fish make its way to around you Thanks to diving you can make these thoughts come true, and the way to achieve it is not as complicated as it seems.

In today's post we tell you some things and curiosities about diving that will be useful if you are wondering whether or not to start in this sport.

Origins of diving


Since Prehistory, humans have been attracted to discover what the sea hides, what it can bring us and how we can reach the most remote corners of its waters. Diving was born as a practical activity that man has carried out in order to fish for food and to discover what is beyond the known, and little by little it has evolved towards all possible branches: leisure, research, science...

The first major breakthrough in the world of diving was made by Augustus Siebe in the early 18th century, who greatly contributed to the development of the diving suit.

The model developed by Siebe was modified, becoming lighter and details were added, being at the beginning of the 20th century when the suit began to have a practical utility. Throughout the first half of the century, fins, snorkels, and diving goggles were designed and patented. The French researcher Le Prier was the one who patented the definitive diving suit (at that time), which gave the diver more autonomy.

The technological advances that have taken leaps and bounds have also had an impact on the specialization and optimization of diving suits, which, today, continue to be improved.

What is diving?

Diving is an aquatic sport considered extreme, which consists of submerging underwater, with or without equipment, for as long as the equipment or lungs allow.

In this activity that combines nature and sport, it makes us leave our comfort zone and allows us to see places that, otherwise, would remain between the fish and the darkness of the sea forever.

How many types of diving are there?


We find several types of diving depending on the material they require or the characteristics of the specific dive.


First of all, we find apnea or free diving, which consists of submerging with no other equipment than diving goggles, fins and a tube or a neoprene suit. You will remain underwater as long as your body can take after taking a deep breath before plunging your head into the sea.

Recreational diving:

This is the most common and is practiced, as its name suggests, for fun. It is not necessary to have a professional or technical certification, but it is necessary to have taken a previous preparation course. The deepest point that can be reached during a recreational scuba dive is 40 meters. Normally this activity is carried out accompanied by an instructor and the equipment that is needed, apart from the neoprene suit, fins and diving glasses, is an oxygen bottle, a diving vest and a ballast.

Recreational diving is not an extreme sport, to compare it with a land sport, it could be synonymous with a moderate hiking route in the mountains or a bike ride. Although it is advisable to have a physical shape, not athletic, but healthy.

Technical diving:

Leaving diving behind as a leisure activity, we focus on technical diving. When it comes to doing this practice, it is no longer enough to have a course that makes us fit to immerse ourselves, but it is necessary to develop certain theoretical and practical skills that are essential to be able to do this sport, in which it is possible. exceed 40 meters deep and you can access areas such as caves and caverns or dive under frozen surfaces, which are restricted for recreational divers. In addition, a technical diver knows the exact point where he is going to dive, the time he will be underwater, the conditions of the environment and the characteristics and limits of his equipment. Therefore, another difference with respect to recreational diving is the autonomy available to technical diving.

Professional diving:

Professional diving requires very specific and technical training and training routines, since this modality is considered risky. To exercise this practice, more complex and specific diving equipment is needed, cameras, gas regulators, specific tools that may be needed in the depths of the ocean...

Among the professions that require being a professional diver, we find the one that involves the construction or reconstruction of the underwater environment, research activities, rescue or maintenance of the aquatic environment.

What you should know about your first dive


Once you have made the decision to enter the world of diving, in any of its modalities, you will have to follow a few steps before fully immersing yourself in the sea. First of all, you must choose between doing a baptism of diving, or a diving course, (or both) very different concepts between them.

The baptism of diving consists of making a first contact with the marine depths. It has a theoretical part, after which the practical test is carried out, in which you will submerge a few meters below the surface. This baptism takes place in a few hours, and you will discover whether or not you are really interested in the world of diving.

Baptism does not offer you the possibility of being able to dive independently anywhere in the world and limits the depth you can reach outside your country. You do not acquire the diver's license.

The diving course is not so easily achieved, since you need to pass certain theoretical and practical tests that, once passed, become a certificate that accredits you to dive freely, and make you a diver. The classes and tests that are carried out during the course are not always in the sea, sometimes there are also dives in swimming pools to acquire the necessary knowledge in a completely controlled environment.

In Spain it is mandatory to have a medical check-up to confirm that you do not have any health problems and that you are fit to dive.

What types of certification can you acquire?

You can train in the diving sector as much as you want, there are several levels of specialization and the first is the baptism of diving, which, as we have mentioned before, will help you really see roughly what diving consists of.

Open Water and Advanced Open Water:

The next step is to get certified. The most basic level to certify you as a diver is the so-called Open Water, a course that lasts a few days and that will provide you with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to be able to dive into the sea independently. The depth limit that you can reach once you are accredited with an Open Water level is 20 meters. The level that follows the Open Water is the Advanced Open Water, which lasts two days and with which you can dive up to 30 meters and practice night diving.

It is advisable to take both levels in a row, since they do not involve more than a week of involvement and are valid for life and worldwide. Both levels are within the category of recreational diving.


The next step after Advanced Open Water is specialization. It can also be achieved through courses from which you can choose what you want to train in specifically. There are many types of specialization in diving, you can focus on cavern diving, coral reefs coral, in the production of video or underwater photography, in diving under icy surfaces... But the most common are those that specialize in rescue and First Aid and diving with Nitrox, which has the characteristic that the bottle of oxygen also carries nitrogen. (20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen).

Dive Master:

The highest level that can be reached in diving is Dive Master, or professionalization. This level accredits you to be a teacher of diving courses, and can be reached after a few months taking a specific course of the type of diving that you want to teach.

What equipment will you need?


  • Wetsuit:

The wetsuit is important to keep us at a bearable and comfortable temperature below the surface. It is made, as its name indicates, of neoprene, which is a material that fits the body very well and insulates us from the cold. In addition, it allows our body not to be so exposed and sometimes works as a protective layer against impacts or unforeseen events that may arise. It is always used in water activities such as surfing, windsurfing and, of course, diving.

  • Diving mask

Also known as diving goggles, their function is to offer us good visibility of the environment, which would otherwise be unfeasible. Protect our eyes from salty sea water.

  • Fins

In diving we use the fins to move underwater with greater speed and dynamism. They provide us with extra help when descending or ascending to the surface. They slip on like a normal shoe or bootie, but have a long, flexible extension.

  • Scuba tank

This material is essential when diving. The bottles contain compressed air that we will supply ourselves with to have oxygen during our dive. They usually come with a regulator, which works to reduce the air pressure in the bottle.

  • Vest and weights

The ballast is an element that provides us with weight to dive. The vest is the object that carries the regulator, the ballast and the tank.

The importance of communication and the environment in diving

It is vital to know the importance of communication in diving, especially in recreational diving. The exchange of information underwater is carried out, as is logical, through a non-verbal language, which is externalized through signs that the two partners must understand, so we are talking about specialized communication and that consists of certain basic rules that favor good understanding between the two parties since the safety of both depends on it.

There are certain standardized manual gestures such as joining the index finger and thumb to indicate that everything is fine (the famous OK form), placing the palm of the hand horizontally and turning it to the right or left to indicate that something is not wrong It's totally fine, or make a fist and raise your thumb to let your partner know you're ready to climb.

Sometimes the environmental conditions or the appearance of unexpected problems make it difficult to communicate through gestures, which is why many divers choose to incorporate specialized microphone equipment into their diving suits to carry out this practice. However, the most important thing is that you are aware at all times that there is a person by your side and that you depend on each other.

When you start diving it is normal for your mind to focus on making sure that your equipment is in good condition at all times and on observing the marine species that surround you. But there are many factors surrounding divers that can affect their safety if not taken into account. Currents, for example, are double-edged swords because on many occasions, although they resemble the sea breeze that ruffles us a bit on the surface, under the sea they move us and move us away from the group almost without realizing it.

Underwater pressure changes


It is important to note that as we go deeper into the ocean and have more volume of water above us, the pressure increases exponentially. Alterations in pressure are not something common in our day to day, so it is difficult for the human body to adapt to them. For this reason, especially in ascents, you have to control the speed of the ascent to regulate the pressure and not climb in a hurry, because if so, we could develop decompression syndrome, which is characterized by the accumulation of nitrogen in the blood. which comes in the form of bubbles and can make us feel fatigue and muscle pain, even causing dizziness, respiratory problems or numbness.

A good tip to know if you are controlling the pressure and the rate of rise, is to mark as a reference the bubbles that you release when you exhale oxygen underwater. If you always stay below them and do not exceed their speed and do not catch them, you can be more calm.

Diving destinations in Spain


Spain is an ideal country to start diving, since it is practically surrounded by water and the generally good weather makes it possible to practice this sport at almost any time of the year, although perhaps the best place to start diving in Spain is the Mediterranean Sea. The good temperature of the water, the calm currents and waves with favorable characteristics for simple dives aimed at beginners, although this does not mean that the Bay of Biscay or the Atlantic are less attractive destinations; not at all, what's more, we recommend that you dive in all the areas you can and observe what each sea has to offer you.

In the Mediterranean:

Although there are wonderful dive sites along the entire Mediterranean coast, we recommend the Medes Islands, in Girona. This area is declared a Marine Reserve and fishing is prohibited within it. So the diversity and health of the seabed are unbeatable. When we dive we are surrounded by life, coral, groupers and barracudas, starfish…

Another very interesting Marine Reserve located in the Mediterranean, in the community of Murcia, is Islas Hormigas. Under the surface we find a large mountain range where we can see, among many others, tuna or sunfish.

In the Cantabrian:

In the waters of this sea we find spectacular immersion sites, such as the waters that bathe Hondarribia or Zarautz, which are spectacular both seen from the surface and from the depths. The environment is surrounded by nature and mountain ranges very rich in vegetation and fauna, and they are locations where diving is widespread.

In the Atlantic:

In this ocean of colder waters than the previous ones, we can highlight El Hierro, in the Canary Islands, an island well known by divers from all over the world who come to dive into the Canarian waters, and it is not surprising, since that the water temperature could not be more pleasant and the color of the sea is almost transparent.

A benchmark in the diving world


Jaques Cousteau (1911)

Also known as the father of diving, he has gone down in history as the world's greatest oceanographer and the great explorer who invented the first Scuba equipment.

At the age of 20, Cousteau broke both arms in an accident and his dream of becoming a naval pilot was dashed. Instead, they recommended swimming as a rehabilitation practice. This sport completely changed his life as it was the vehicle that led him to discover his passion for the sea, which he accompanied with his love for cinema and photography. Cousteau developed extensive knowledge of diving and began conducting underwater archaeological expeditions. A great advance in the world of research and diving that Jaques made was to design an autonomous immersion device at the hands of engineer Émile Gagnan. With this mechanism, the diver could breathe independently, without having to rely on equipment to supply him with oxygen from the surface. As a result of that moment, Cousteau decided to dissociate himself from the French navy, to which he belonged up to that moment and with which he carried out the vast majority of his expeditions, in order to organize his own.

Cousteau became a benchmark in sectors such as marine biology, helped raise awareness in society about the conservation of life in the sea and disseminated the knowledge that he was acquiring about the sea for years through cinema, photography and literature.

We hope this post has helped you get started in the world of diving and we have provided you with some keys to start practicing this sport with some basic guidelines. The sea is waiting for you and we are sure that you will love to discover it!