The definition of recreational diving varies among scuba training organizations. In general, a recreational dive may be defined by the following parameters:
• no deeper than 130 feet
• allows a direct ascent to the surface
• does not exceed no-decompression limits
Some diving associations extend the definition of recreational diving to include diving in an overhead environment (such as in a cavern or shipwreck or under ice) within a specified distance from the surface, provided the divers have proper training and follow safety protocols. For example, PADI allows certified recreational cavern divers to swim into a cavern as long as they remain within 130 feet of the surface.
• The most common recreational scuba diving certification is the open water diver certification.
• Technical dive training teaches divers to safely exceed recreational dive limits.