Have you always thought about trying scuba diving to see what all the fuss is about? Then a try dive might be the best option for you. This is a quick introduction to the underwater world without any official qualifications. You are literally trying before you dive. But there are a few things you need to know before you do a try dive; You need to be at least 8 years old, this is due to lung development. Children any younger are not suitable to take part in diving because their bodies haven't developed enough yet to deal with the pressures and complexities of diving so wait until they are a little older. It would also definitely help if you knew how to swim beforehand, as you might guess, scuba diving does involve a bit of swimming!
There will also be a self-assessment medical questionnaire to make sure you are fit and healthy enough to go diving. We can’t talk while we are underwater so we use hand signals to communicate but your instructor will show you these before you get in the water. You will have a quick physics and biology lesson at the beginning I’m afraid. This is so you understand the factors that will be involved when you're underwater and why you should take care in order to keep yourself safe and healthy when diving. Also when you take the plunge under the surface, due to pressure, you need to equalise your ears just like you would on an air plane. You will be shown how to do this, but it is something you should take into consideration if you've ever had problems with ear pressure. Your mask might get a little wet inside but it's nothing to be worried about, you can clear water out of your mask without coming up to the surface. You do this by looking up and breathing out through your nose. It is an easy skill that most divers do on every dive.
Again, your instructor will show you how to do it. Try dives are available at most local dive centres, you can find these with a good old internet search or contact scuba organisations to find the best course for you. Great people to contact are PADI, BSAC or NAUI. Have you ever done a try dive? Did it inspire you to continue scuba diving?