Your first time scuba diving is exciting, scary and memorable - all at the same time!
If you find yourself chasing adventures, then scuba diving will be an enjoyable experience. During your first dive you're going to experience a mixture of anxiety and excitement. It's common to show up to the beach feeling a little on edge.
Breathing underwater isn't in our biology. It's not natural and it will feel odd for the first few minutes of your intro dive. As I tell all my scuba students, if you're feeling awkward, then you're doing everything correctly!
As a beginner scuba diver, the biggest challenge to overcome is yourself. Since we can't breath underwater, once you start blowing bubbles your brain is going to be confused on how this is happening. To assure your mind that everything is okay, breathing calmly and taking steady full breaths will settle your thoughts and allow you to relax underwater.
To help you become comfortable in the water, we will take baby steps and slowly ease you into the water. Nothing will be rushed and there will be plenty of time to answer any questions or concerns you have. After you're comfortable on the surface, then we'll start your first dive in shallow water.
A Walk Through of Your Intro Dive
Sitting in the Shade
Scuba diving is a sport of leisure. To start your relaxing dive, we'll begin by meeting at the beach and taking a seat in the shade. After signing paperwork, your private intro dive will begin with an outdoor class a few steps from the beach. The first priority will be to ensure you scuba diving is safe, as long as you follow six basic rules:
- Breath at a slow steady pace.
- Equalize your ears as you descend.
- Don't take off your gear.
- Play "Simon Says" and stay with your instructor at all times.
- Anytime you want to come up to the surface or end your dive, just let your instructor know.
- Don't touch wildlife, each other, or the coral.
After reviewing the safety guidelines, you'll learn basic hand signals to communicate with your instructor underwater, how to maintain your buoyancy, and then you'll practice breathing from your regulator.
Four Baby Steps in the Water
After your introductory class, everyone will have a chance to use the facilities then gear up to go dive! When you enter the water you will likely feel a little nervous and excited. No worries, this means you're doing everything correct!
Once you're in the water you'll float around for a few moments, before putting on your mask and regulator. Once your mask is comfortable, we'll start taking baby steps to prepare you for your intro dive. Each step is intended to prepare for the next step, slowly preparing you for your first dive!
The four baby steps are:
- Snorkel on the surface with scuba gear and practice breathing underwater.
- Dive down to 6 feet to practice slow steady breathing and swimming around in circles.
- Practice safety skills and hand signals. (see below for more info)
- Go dive and have fun!
Enjoying the Dive
After becoming comfortable in the water, together we will slowly start kicking out exploring the underwater landscape. Your instructor will be keeping a close eye on you, as you swim along the reef looking for turtles, eels and manta rays!
To see an example of an intro dive, check out the video below!
Intro Dive FAQ
How long is an intro dive?
Time depends on how quickly you consume air. Since it's your first dive, you might breathe quicker than an experienced diver. Ideally, each dive is planned for a minimum of 40 minutes and maximum of 60 minutes.
How deep will we dive?
During your intro dive we will start shallow at 6 feet deep and gradually dive down to 30 feet. Since you're learning how to dive, we will be between 15-20 feet deep most of the dive.
Where is the best dive site to learn how to dive?
The south shores of Maui have the best intro dive sites. Both Makena Landing Park and Ulua Beach have sandy entrances, facilities, parking and beautiful reefs to explore! Both of these locations are prime locations to get comfortable in the water, while viewing the beautiful reefs. Google map links are below.
- Makena Landing Park in Makena: https://goo.gl/maps/eNAEgKJmWaN2
- Ulua Beach in Wailea: https://goo.gl/maps/92r2QjCQuB32
What should I bring on my intro dive?
You can pack light for your first dive. Your instructor will provide all of your scuba diving gear and tanks. All you need to bring is a water bottle, snacks, and a towel.
- You don't need sunscreen, we'll be underwater :)
- If you need a prescription mask, please rent or purchase one at Boss Frog's before our dive.
What Skills Will You Learn?
The primary focus on your introductory dive is safety. After your outdoor class and you're comfortable in the water, you'll learn how to kick properly underwater, breath calmly, and signal to your instructor if you're okay or not.
Then before swimming out deeper, you'll practice 2 safety skills in shallow water. The first skill teaches you how to recover your regulator and the second teaches you how to clear your mask if water seeps in.
The first skill you'll learn is how to remove your regulator underwater. In the event your regulator falls out of your mouth while diving, you want to know how to calmly exhale blowing bubbles, then reinsert your regulator back into your mouth.
This skill seems scary at first, but quickly you'll realize how easy it is. Before you practice removing your regulator your instructor will slowly demonstrate the skill, emphasizing each step of the process.
Partial Mask Clearing
The second skill you'll learn is how to properly clear your mask underwater. While diving, if water enters your mask you'll want to know how to safely purge the water from your mask. Otherwise diving with water in your mask is annoying.
This skill is very simple and the trick is to look up. All you have to do is tilt your head upward and press the top of your mask with your fingertips. Then exhaling out of your nose, you'll be able to purge all the water from your mask, while being underwater.
Before you practice clearing your mask underwater, your instructor will slowly demonstrate the skill, emphasizing each step of the process. Watch the video below to see a couple of beginner scuba divers practicing clearing their masks in shallow water.