Diving for the first time and diving for the first time in the Maldives call for some extra forethought and preparation.
Taking our bodies to depths under the sea puts our bodies in a vulnerable position; minimizing risk and maximizing glorious exploration is the goal we should aim for as new divers. Being a novice doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. Certification should provide you with the skills and knowledge to dive safely and effectively.
The reality is, on a 7 day trip there is no time for trial and error. To get off on the right foot and avoid some of the rookie mistakes, check out these first timer tips before you dive for a successful, enjoyable scuba diving experience in the Maldives:
Never go it alone in scuba – This is a golden rule in diving and is the reason why the buddy system exists. Buddy up at all times!
Don’t skimp on equipment – quality is safety. Cheapest won’t be best in all cases. Save on your dive package instead by picking up a great deal on our website. On now are deals for…
Do your research, check reviews and look for good value, good quality equipment.
Get a good start – For your first dives it’s best if possible to dive in good conditions – warm water with good visibility and relatively shallow points of interest. Building up your confidence and general scuba experience is important, focusing on your buoyancy control and breathing will prepare you for increasingly difficult dives in the future.
On that note, taking complex photography and lighting equipment on your first dives is not recommended. Focusing on the fundamentals first, is preferable.
Hydration – Alcohol causes dehydration and that’s the opposite of what you want for your body when scuba diving.
Don’t get lazy – Double checks of equipment by a buddy has been shown to save lives.
Suit up accordingly – Pick the right suit for your destination. For the Maldives, recommended dive suits are as follows:
3mm full-length suit – to protect your knees and elbows
5mm full-length suit – if you get cold easily and want maximum protection
You want temperature control as much as protection from the elements. Research and reviews will help you make the best choice. If your neoprene suit is too thin your dive could be very uncomfortable and not enjoyable. You should focus on the surroundings not your suit during your dive.
Regulate – don’t hold – your breath – Relaxed, slow, full inhalations and exhalations will use your air more efficiently and make you a better overall diver. Naturally, without our scuba training, holding our breath underwater is habit. It’s not good practice in scuba however.
Settling the sinuses – the deeper you go the more pressure on your sinuses. Every 3 feet or so you can equalize your sinuses to release that pinching feeling. By pinching and blowing through the sinuses the pressure is kept level and you can avoid the problems that come with descending too quickly.
Follow bubble indicators – Moving upwards should be done carefully with your safety and the rules of ascent in mind. A general rule on moving towards the surface it to never swim faster than your bubbles. There are additional rules set for ascending and avoiding the bends to keep in mind from your training.
Pesky hair – Hair sneaking into your mask can cause leaks and be a real annoyance when it pokes you in the eyes. This includes beards guys! They can prevent your mask from sealing properly.
Happy on the horizontal – Unlike on land, movement underwater while scuba diving is about staying horizontal. Your head position is your steering wheel so standing up will lead you up – not good practice for a seasoned diver.
Hands free – Again, unlike on land, moving your hands is not part of balanced, efficient movement. Underwater, moving arms and hands can stir up debris, limit your visibility and even cause inefficient use of your air. To go up in scuba, good practice is to adjust the buoyancy compensator.
Ask, don’t assume – Take advantage of your dive guide and instructors, even your fellow divers with more experience of diving and the region that you’re in. The more you can find out about the area and general diving experience, the better for you and the extent to which you can get the most out of your dive experience.
Buoyancy do-over – Any change to your equipment, including your suit, require a buoyancy test. Don’t for get to conduct the test to make sure all is adjusted appropriately.
Down low to up high – Going from marine depths to sky highs takes some adjustment time. Be sure to plan sufficient time between plane transfers or flights and your last dive. The amount of wait time depends on how deep the dive was but general advice states a wait time of 24 hours before flying.