Why does the cost for the same scuba course vary so much between different dive schools, locally?

Some dive schools & centres advertise “cheap” courses to attract customers looking for “bargain deals” These deals can come at a cost to you if you are not careful. Once you have booked a course, you may find you are training in large groups, have to share a public pool during confined water training and find there are “hidden extras” in the price of the course!

At Scuba in the Weald we offer you the highest quality scuba diver training in small groups, with experienced, friendly PADI Instructors, dedicated classrooms for theory sessions and a private, indoor heated pool for all the confined water training. On ALL open water dives, we offer “one to one” supervision for your safety and comfort. All course prices at Scuba in the Weald are fully inclusive and include everything you will need to complete your course, while having fun & enjoyment!

 Is my current level of fitness adequate?

You don’t need to be Arnold Schwartzennegger to appreciate the beauty of the underwater world. The prerequisite requirements for participating in this activity are more psychological than physical. You need to know how to swim, to be in a reasonable state of fitness and to not suffer from any illness that could be aggravated by scuba diving. It’s not a bad idea to have a check-up with your local doctor before going diving for the first time.

 Isn’t this an activity for people younger than myself?

Well, it depends on your general level of fitness. Look at Jacques Cousteau, even in his 80′s he never missed an opportunity to slip into his fins. The muscle used the most in scuba diving is actually the brain (oh yeah, it’s not actually a muscle at all, is it?). Anyway, it must be said that some of our instructors are keeping pretty quiet about their age…

 At what age can you start scuba diving?

Young! but, not too young… Our PADI Programs start from 10 years old with different courses for different aged youngsters. The really little ones can have a go at snorkeling as long as they’re supervised by an adult.

 I’m scared of running out of air underwater.

You’ll have more than you need… Modern regulators are designed in a way that ensures that air is delivered to the diver upon demand (breathing in!). Most beginners breath more heavily underwater than they would at the surface but once you get going you soon find yourself breathing in a relaxed way and your air consumption improves dramatically. All our regulators are equipped with an accurate contents gauge which allows you to frequently and easily monitor your air supply.

 I’m claustrophobic!

So what? There’s loads of space underwater? It’s hardly like being stuck in a lift… Most divers are also great lovers of the outdoors, there must be a connection somewhere…

 My ears hurt when I dive into the deep end of the pool.

Well, probably the first thing that you’ll learn as a beginner is how to ‘equalize your ears’. Blowing gently against pinched nostrils, swallowing, wiggling your jaw from side to side, or a combination of the above are the choices that will be presented to you. You choose – your instructor will help you find out which method best suits your ears.

I’m a smoker. Does that mean I can’t dive?

No, as long as you don’t expect to be able to smoke underwater and as long as smoking does not prevent you from engaging in other activities.

 How deep can we go?

Well, that’s not a one word answer. Experienced recreational divers are advised not to venture beyond 40 meters (that’s about the same as a 12 floor building). At that kind of depth you would use your air up rather quickly and you wouldn’t be able to stay at that depth for very long. A normal dive would probably be between 12 and 30 meters.

Of course, there are different maximum depth recommendations depending on what level of diving experience and certification you have. When you make your first dive you’re in just a couple of meters of water so you can relax and enjoy this great new experience.

How long does a tank of air last?

Well again that depends… With a 12 litre tank (like the ones at Scuba in the Weald), if you breath heavily and go deep, your dive will probably be over in about 25 minutes. However, with a normal, relaxed breathing rhythm and an average depth of around 12m, you would probably be able to enjoy a dive of 45 minutes or longer.

 I’m scared of some underwater creatures!

Well, we need to spend a moment on this subject because it’s one of the most frequently raised dilemmas amongst beginner divers. First of all, you should be aware of the fact that most underwater creatures are more scared of you than you could ever be of them. There is nothing underwater that will try to hurt you if you don’t try to hurt it. Your instructor will teach you to dive in an environmentally friendly way that will ensure your safety and make yours a positive interaction with the underwater world. You’ll love it.

What if my mask comes off?

You’ll just put it on again! No need to panic, our instructors are here to teach you to take care of all sorts of little things like that. Just a few hours into your course, you will know how to put your mask back on and clear the water out of it with ease (you’ll be amazed by how easy it is…).

 What’s a decompression accident?

It’s something that should never happen! Imagine a bottle of Champagne, Coke or beer (whatever your preference). For as long as it stays closed the bottle is under pressure. If you open it suddenly (pop!) you will see bubbles forming. However, if you open it slowly and carefully, (pschhhh…) no bubbles form. For a diver breathing compressed air (i.e. air under pressure) it’s exactly the same.

If you ascend too fast excess nitrogen in your system comes out of solution and forms bubbles in your blood that could lead to circulation problems. If you make a slow ascent, in accordance with the dive planning table or computer that you will learn to use, residual nitrogen escapes naturally from the body. With proper training and sensible diving practices it is highly unlikely that you would have any problems.

How can you recognize a reputable, safe dive school?

It’s easy! They should have full teaching facilities such as a classroom and a pool, and have decent looking (well maintained) equipment. They should offer a full range of courses to be taught by qualified instructors and have a true passion and love for their diving, Scuba in the Weald can offer you all of these things.

Do you have to first learn in a swimming pool?

In England yes, because a swimming pool is a safe, comfortable and controlled environment to learn in and there is nothing to distract student divers. Scuba in the Wealds pool training is conducted in a private heated indoor pool!

 Dive planning seems so complicated and I’m allergic to maths. Will I manage?

It’s true that dive planning tables have been drawn up through extensive research and calculation. However, you don’t have to worry about that. If you can read a train timetable you’ll find dive planning really easy and your instructor will take you through it step by step.

 If I’ve already got a diving certification can I dive alone wherever I want?

The answer to your question is NO but then again… yes. No you cannot go diving alone, we always dive in buddy teams irrespective of experience level. Your best insurance as a diver is your buddy. Yes, you can dive wherever you like, PADI diving certificates are recognized worldwide. As soon as you’ve completed your first course – PADI Open Water Diver - you will be certified to dive with your buddy, without the supervision of an instructor.