Scuba Diving: Most Popular Articles
How do scuba divers equalize their ear pressure to avoid ear pain when diving? Learn about the Valsalva maneuver and other ear equalization techniques, as well as how to deal with common equalization problems.
Is scuba diving a safe activity? Read statistics and facts to put the risks of diving in perspective. Scuba diving is not dangerous if simple safety guidelines and procedures are followed.
What are the different types of rays a scuba diver may see on a dive? Learn about the difference between Stingrays, Manta Rays, Electric Rays, and Skate, as well as how to identify them on a dive.
Ear barotraumas are the most common injuries experienced by recreational scuba divers. Learn how to recognize, avoid and treat scuba diving ear barotraumas.
An overview of Decompression Sickness, including causes, types, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, and treatment.
The deepest dive on open circuit scuba was 1082 feet by Pascal Bernabe, however recreational scuba divers should not exceed 130 feet. Learn about the reasons for recreational scuba diving depth guidelines as well as the training is required to safely exceed them.
Are sea urchins poisonous? Learn sea urchin facts, how to safely dive and snorkel urchins, and the first aid for sea urchin stings.
Prevent scuba diving masks from fogging. New and used scuba diving masks need to be treated in different ways to prevent them from fogging.
What do you wear under your wetsuit when scuba diving? Here are 10 options, from rash guards to pantyhose.
Which fish and sea animals are dangerous to scuba divers, and which are not? Click through this list of commonly feared sea animals and learn which ones are actually dangerous.
Are you ready to start scuba diving? Here is a step by step guide to learning to dive, including medical requirements, courses, certification agencies, basic dive theory and frequently asked questions.
Water pressure increases with depth. Water pressure effects almost all aspects of scuba diving, include equalization, buoyancy, bottom times, and the risk of decompression sickness (DCS). Review basic dive theory regarding depth and pressure in scuba diving.
: What Does SCUBA Stand For? The term "scuba" was originally a capitalized acronym: SCUBA. These days,
Can I scuba dive? Learn about the prerequisites for scuba diving such as age, health, and swimming abilities and decide if you are able to scuba dive.
What is the difference between DIN and Yoke scuba regulators? The difference between a DIN and a Yoke regulator is the way it attaches to a scuba tank.
Learn about the basic equipment required for scuba diving, and what dive gear you should buy first.
Nitrogen narcosis affects most scuba divers at depths below 100 feet and can be dangerous. Learn about its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
What scuba diving mask should you buy? Here is a list of 10 the 10 best scuba diving masks according to About.com Scuba.
What is the difference between steel and aluminum scuba tanks? Steel and aluminum scuba tanks differ in their weight, capacity, pressure ratings and buoyancy characteristics. Learn how the differences between steel and aluminum tanks effect scuba divers.
A no-decompression limit (NDL) is a time limit for a scuba dive. If a diver exceeds the no-decompression limit for his dive, he can no longer ascend directly to the surface.
What is scuba diving like? The underwater world looks, feels, and sounds different from the terrestrial one. Here's an article for new divers about what to expect on their first scuba dive.
Do you have trouble getting into your tight-fitting wetsuit? Here are seven tricks to putting on a wetsuit more easily.
Scuba diving concepts: How does an object's buoyancy change from fresh water to salt water? An object is more buoyant in freshwater vs saltwater because . . .
An understanding of buoyancy is key to safe and easy scuba diving. While the concept of buoyancy may be confusing at first, it becomes clearer when we consider how buoyancy effects scuba divers and what divers need to know to properly control their buoyancy on a dive.
Jellyfish are more likely to sting swimmers and snorkelers than scuba divers because most species stay relatively close to the surface. However, divers do occasionally experience jellyfish stings. Learn jellyfish facts, symptoms of a sting, and information about first aid treatments/remedies.
Learn about the ocean's food chain, or trophic web. Every fish and animal in the ocean plays an intergral role in the health of the entire marine ecosystem.
Learn about stingray facts, information, how to scuba dive with them safely, and first aid for stings. Stingrays are not dangerous unless they feel threatened,
An average scuba diver on a forty foot dive can stay underwater about 45 minutes. However, the length of time the air in a scuba tank lasts will vary depending upon depth, tank volume, and the diver's air consumption rate.
Can you scuba diving on your period? Here considerations for menstruating scuba divers, including the liklihood of shark attacks, the risk of decompression sickness, and the use of tampons.
Reef fish identification guide for scuba divers to common and interesting species in Florida and the Caribbean. Learn to identify Sergeant Majors (Abudefduf saxatilis), Porkfish (Anisotremus virginicus), French Grunts (Haemulon flavolineatum) and many more reef fish species.
Answers to your basic questions about Open Water Certification.
Can people with poor eyesight scuba dive? Absolutely! Divers may use prescription masks, soft contact lenses, stick-in bifocals, and even laser eye surgery to ensure clear vision underwater.
What are five benefits to scuba diving with nitrox? Why is the use of nitrox in recreational diving becoming more and more popular?
An overview of scuba diving as a sport and profession. All about the what, who, why, where, and how of scuba.
Boyle's Law, PV=c, is useful in scuba diving because Boyle's Law helps scuba divers predict how air will expand and compress with water pressure. Read an explanation of Boyle's Law and how it applies to scuba diving.
Is scuba diving with moray eels dangerous? No! Moray eels are fascninating and harmless to scuba divers unless threatened. Learn about moray eel facts and information here. Page 2.
Should kids be allowed to scuba dive, and at what age? Read some of the arguments for and against children diving, and add your own opinion.
A guide to the basic levels of health and fitness required to scuba dive. Features a check list of common medical problems that may prevent you from being able to scuba dive.
Scuba masks are one of the most important pieces of scuba diving gear. Here are six important things to know about scuba masks.
Can asthma sufferers scuba dive? It can be extremely dangerous for some asthmatics to dive. Learn why asthma is sometimes a contraindication for scuba diving.
A scuba diver holds her mask, tilts her head back, and breathes out her nose to clear water from her scuba mask. Mask Clearing is an important open water scuba certification skill.
Divers without specialized conservation backgrounds can participate in conservation by becoming citizen scientists. Learn four ways that every diver can help.
The scuba diving pre-dive safety (or
Is scuba diving with sharks dangerous? No! In fact, a person is more likely to die falling out of his bed or injure himself using the toilet than to be the victim of a shark attack.
An overview of popular scuba certification agencies, such as PADI, SSI, BSAC and NAUI. Explanation of what a scuba certification agency is, what is does, and the differences between agencies.
Explanation of the PADI knowledge review question
Lean about the different parts of a scuba diving regulator. There are 5 basic scuba diving regulator parts, the first stage, seconds stage, alternate second stage, low pressure inflator hose, and submersible pressure gauge.
I frequently get questions on the difficulty of the water skills tests. The good news is that they're not difficult at all, and I've written some tips below to make them even easier.
The freediving (apnea) world records as of the beginning of 2013 are pretty incredible. Here is a list of freediving records in static freediving, dynamic freediving, constant weight freediving, variable weight freediving, and no-limits freediving.
A wetsuit helps to keep a scuba diver warm underwater by trapping a thin layer of water inside the wetsuit, which his body heats up.
Learn all about the thrilling world of deep diving.
Every scuba diver is at risk of a pulmonary barotrauma if he holds his breath underwater. However, other conditions and actions can cause a pulmonary barotrauma when scuba diving. Learn how to avoid and recognize a pulmonary barotrauma.
What is fire coral? See a definition and photos of fire coral.
During a dive, a scuba diver's body absorbs nitrogen. Understand the concept of nitrogen absorption when scuba diving using the sponge analogy.
Scuba divers risk oxygen toxicity when they expose themselves to high partial pressures of oxygen. Central Nervous System (CNS) Oxygen Toxicity causes convulsions, unconsciousness and even death in scuba divers. Pulmonary Oxygen Toxicity causes coughing, difficulty breathing and eventual failure of the lungs, and effects mainly technical scuba divers.
What is the maximum safe ascent rate for scuba diving? Some diving organizations list the maximum safe ascent rate as 30 feet per a minute, while others list it as 60 feet per a minute. What is the safest ascent rate?
In scuba diving, nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness are both caused by nitrogen gas. However, the two conditions have very different symptoms and treatments. Learn the difference between nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness in scuba diving.
Are you still turning your your tank valves 1/4 turn back before diving? This practice could be dangerous! Here is information about this antiquated technique.
What is the differnce between full-footed and open-heeled scuba diving fins, and which is right for you?
Several different formats of the Open Water Scuba Diver Course exist. Students considering enrolling in a scuba certification course should consider the different course options such as a referral courses and online learning options.
How old do you have to be to scuba dive? Most dive training organizations offer scuba diving lessons for kids starting at the age of eight. Kids older than 10 years old can enroll in a diving certification course.
A Maximum Operating Depth (MOD) is a depth limit based on the concentration of oxygen in a scuba diver's tank. Learn about the situations in which a scuba diver must calculate a maximum operating depth and see the MOD formula.
In scuba diving, a safety stop is a three to five minute stop made between fifteen and twenty feet during ascent. Recreational scuba divers should make a safety stop at the end of every dive.
Formulas for calculating a scuba diver's surface air consumption rate (or SAC Rate) in both Metric and Imperial format.
Many divers (even certified scuba divers) find descent the most stressful part of the dive because they have trouble controlling the descent. Learn techniques and hints to have a more enjoyable descent.
Does light or sound travel through water faster? Sound travels through water about 4 times faster than in air. Read-in depth answers to this and other PADI Open Water Course Knowledge Review Questions here.
A frequently overlooked form of decompression sickness in scuba divers, learn how to recognize the common signs and symptoms of skin bends.
Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase.
A description of each of the water skills taught during the Open Water Diver certification course.
How does a scuba diving regulator work? Learn about regulator first stages and second stages, and how they reduce tank pressure to a pressure breathable by scuba divers. This is the first in an installment of regulator articles for beginners by guest author Matt Dunne.
What is a reverse block in scuba diving? If a diver experiences increased pressure in his ears during ascent, the worst thing he can do is to continue to go up.
Are you afraid of getting water in your mask when scuba diving? You are not alone! Here are tips that I use to help my scuba diving students overcome the common fear having water in the mask while diving.
Scuba diving with enriched air nitrox has limitations and risks. The use of enriched air nitrox increases the risk of oxygen toxicity and explosion. Considerations for scuba diving with enriched air nitrox include depth, cost, availability, complicated dive planning, and the necessity of special gear.
Learn about dry top snorkels. See photos of snorkels and learn about snorkel features and styles. Snorkels are an important pieces of scuba diving gear. Here are photos and information to help find a snorkel that is appropriate for your needs. Page 4.
Freediving is a sport in which a diver descends in the water using a single lungful of air. Learn about the basics of free diving, as well has how it differs from scuba diving.
Information all about a unique relative of the seahorse - the Weedy Sea Dragon.
To prevent mask squeeze, a scuba diver must equalize the air space inside his scuba mask during descent by exhaling periodically through his nose. Doing so will prevent the mask from suctioning onto his face, which can cause bruising of his cheeks, forehead, and eyeballs.
What are some of the basic scuba diving skills and techniques? This review lists some of the typical skills and techniques learned in open water scuba diving certification courses and scuba classes.
Long hair can be very annoying when scuba diving. Some divers use head scarves to hold their hair back, but scarves tend to slip off. Here are my tips for securing long hair when scuba diving. Page 5.
Sea turtle home page for scuba divers. Learn about sea turtle species and identification. Find facts ad information about sea turtle habitat, eating, and conservation.
Lean about the different parts of a scuba diving regulator. There are 5 basic scuba diving regulator parts, the first stage, seconds stage, alternate second stage, low pressure inflator hose, and submersible pressure gauge.
What is partial pressure and what does it have to do with scuba diving? Partial pressure is a way that divers measure the concentration of a gas. Knowing the partial pressure of a gas is important because the physiological and psychological effects of the many gasses change with an increase in partial pressure.
Can you scuba dive with decongestants? It may be safe to scuba dive with decongestants, but there are several points a diver should take under consideration before deciding whether or not to use medication underwater.
Take the next step in scuba diving! Learn about how to advance your scuba diving certification with courses from 5 of the most popular scuba diving organizations. Learn what the required prerequisites and age limits for different scuba diving certification agencies.
Scuba divers commonly feel the need to pee in their wetsuits. This is a normal reaction to the underwater environment. Cold water immersion diaresis and the weightlessness of being underwater combine to increase a diver's urine production.
Here is an easy starting point to learn about BCDs and Scuba Diving, including the three main purposes of BCDs, what kind you should buy, and more.
Can you scuba dive with breast implants? Yes, after an appropriate recovery time, scuba diving after a breast augmentation surgery is safe. How do breast implants affect buoyancy? Do breast implants compress underwater?
What is the difference between a vest-style and a back inflation BCD?
How should you configure your scuba diving gear for optimal comfort and functionality? Learn 5 basic rules of scuba diving equipment configuration for all divers, regardless of their type of diving or scuba system.
See a diagram of the basic parts of a scuba diving regulator first stage. Learn about the different parts of s scuba diving regulator. Page 2.
This guide to how to choose a scuba diving mask will familiarize you with the common mask styles and features. Never purchase a mask before learning about the different types available. There are such a variety of high quality masks available that there is sure to be one that is right for you!
Learn how to frog kick, a finning technique for scuba diving. Here is a step-by-step illustrated guide to learn how to frog kick properly when diving.
Learn about snorkels with purge valves. See photos of snorkels and learn about snorkel features and styles. Snorkels are an important pieces of scuba diving gear. Here are photos and information to help find a snorkel that is appropriate for your needs. Page 6.
Can you vomit or throw up underwater. If you get seasick on boats, you maybe worried about getting seasick underwater. While becoming seasick underwater is highly unlikely, here is information that scuba divers should know about vomiting underwater.
Different parts of a scuba diving mask with labels.
The open water referral course allows divers to earn their scuba diving certification in segments. Student divers complete the theory and pool practice with a local dive shop before traveling anywhere in the world to finish their open-water check out dives.
The mammalian diving reflex is a natural adpative reflex which allows marine mammals, diving birds, and people to stay underwater for long periods of time.
Bearded Fireworms- Bearded Fireworms are beautiful, but can be quite painful to touch. Divers should stay well away from bearded fireworms, and be aware of appropriate first aid for bearded fireworm stings.
Scuba Diving Lights - Why Do You Need a Dive Light
Three great travel BCDs are the Aqualung Zuma, the Cressi Travel Light, and the Seacsub Airone are now on the market.
One of the most important skills you'll learn as a diver is how to properly wash your scuba equipment. It's very important to wash your scuba equipment thoroughly after every day of diving. Washing your scuba gear ensures that it all performs safely as it was intended to and it will also prolong its life.
State the most important rule in scuba diving -- open water certification questions. According to PADI, the most important rule of scuba diving is to never hold your breath underwater. Learn 3 reasons for this rule.
Learn about 7 tyoes of freediving equipment. Freediving gear includes masks, snorkels, fins, wetsuits, and as surface support station. Learn about freediving gear, and what makes it different from scuba diving gear.
Tipping is so confusing. Who should divers tip after dive, and how much is appropriate? Here are some tipping guidelines for scuba divers.
Nearly every time I meet divers at a dive site, I receive a few strange looks as I unload my truck. I
How does a freediver hold his breath for so long underwater? Learn about the basic physiology of freediving, including the roles of carbon dioxide and oxygen in increasing breath hold time.
Scuba diving lights for technical diving, photography, and videography
Learn about the different parts of a scuba diving regulator second stage. See photos and read a description of the parts of a seconds stage scuba regulator. . Page 3.
Alternobaric vertigo is a common type of vertigo experienced when scuba diving. Thankfully, it lasts a short period of time and resolves on its own. Here are tips for dealing with alternobaric vertigo and dizziness underwater.
Scuba divers should always fly a dive flag at dive sites where boat traffic is a possibility. Learn about the different types of dive flags and when to use them.
What is a surface interval (SI) in scuba diving? A surface interval is the time a diver spends above water in between two dives. To stay safe and comfortable, a diver should
The key to understanding how airflow can lower the work of breathing is a concept called the Venturi
Refresher courses make scuba diving safer and more enjoyable. Certified scuba divers should enroll in a refresher course to review emergency skills and important dive theory after a period of diving inactivity.
Pacific fish identification guide to the Puget Sound, Seattle, and Washington. Learn trivia and see photos of 20 common fish and animal species along the Northwest of the United States. Page 17.
The five point descent for scuba diving is: signal, orientation, regulator, time and descend. Here is an illustrated guide to the steps of the five point descent for scuba diving.
Review basic concepts essential to safe and easy scuba diving. Here is a list of important dive theory that all scuba divers need to know.
Proper trim is one of the most important scuba diving skills, but also one of the most overlooked. Here are 5 adjustments a diver can make to his body position to achieve proper horizontal trim in scuba diving.
What are factors that effect the visibility underwater when scuba diving? The PADI knowledge review lists several factors that influence the clarity of water, learn about these and other factors such as salinity.
Learn about the different styles and features of buoyancy compensators or BCDs. Scuba divers purchasing a buoyancy compensators should understand the different styles and features of buoyancy compensators before buying one.
There are three pieces of scuba gear that every scuba student and certified scuba diver should own. Learn about the basic styles and features of the three most important pieces of scuba gear.
What is the difference between a diaphragm and a piston regulator first stage, and which is better? The short answer is that both are very good, but there are some differences to consider when choosing a scuba diving regulator.
How can you learn to scuba dive online? Online scuba diving certification courses allow student divers to save time by completing the theory portion of scuba diving courses online.
Recreational Scuba Diving Lights
Hints and tips to improve your buoyancy control. Good buoyancy control is one of the most difficult skills to master in scuba diving, but also one of the most important. Here is a list of ways to improve your buoyancy.
See a diagram of a scuba diving low pressure inflator hose. Learn about the different parts of a scuba diving regulator. Page 5.
Do you find donning your wetsuit difficult? Is your hair always in the way? This list of my favorite scuba diving tricks and tips has been compiled from years of professional scuba diving experience.
Scuba diving mouthpieces come in a variety of styles. See an illustrated list of common types of scuba diving regulator mouthpieces.
Shallow water black out is a risk of freediving, but it can be avoided with proper procedures. What causes shallow water black out and how you can avoid it.
Read a review of BARE Wetsuits. Learn about fit, durability and features of the BARE Velocity wetsuit.
Trim refers to a scuba diver's body position. Proper trim is a completely horizontal position, with arms extended and fins elevated. Learn about the value of proper trim, why it is important to both recreational and technical scuba divers.
Images of Blade Scuba Fins. Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase. Page 5.
Learn about snorkels without purge valves. See photos of snorkels and learn about snorkel features and styles. Snorkels are an important pieces of scuba diving gear. Here are photos and information to help find a snorkel that is appropriate for your needs. Page 5.
What are the emergency decompression rules for scuba diving? Guidelines for emergency decompression state that a scuba diver should remain at fifteen feet for either eight or fifteen minutes, depending upon how long he exceed his no-decompression limit.
The different types of freediving (apnea) include static, dynamic, constant weight with fins, constant weight without fins, variable weight, and no limits. Learn about the these freediving disciplines and compare and constrast the differences between them.
Why does spit keep a mask from fogging? Spit keeps a scuba diving mask from fogging because it acts as a surfactant . . .
Images of Split Fins. Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase. Page 6.
Controlled Descents in Scuba Diving
An overview of the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program. A program that allows you to try diving under close supervision of a professional dive instructor.
Human eyes are made to see in air, not in water. A person who opens his eyes underwater has blurry vision due to the different refractive properties of water. A scuba mask or pair of goggles holds air against a person's face, allowing him to focus his eyes as he would on land -- just remember to use a mask (not goggles) when scuba diving.
Seahorses and Pipefish- Facts and Information for Scuba Divers
Images of scuba fins with closed heels. Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase. Page 2.
How to perform the Open Water skill 'Proper Weighting'
What is a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) and why might it increase a diver's chance of decompression illness or DCI? A patent foramen ovale as a hole in a diver's heart that has not properly closed during development. Up to a third of divers have this condition, which may increase the risk of decompression illness.
Every scuba dive is a decompression dive because every dive involves the compression and decompression of nitrogen in a diver's body. Shifting the way in which divers commonly view recreational diving may lead to more conservative diving practices and a greater emphasis on following safety guidelines.
Gas matching between dissimilar scuba tanks or cylinders may seem complicated, but there is s simple method to gas match that avoids math entirely. This article outlines how to gas match between dissimilar tanks or cylinders.
Stinging hydroids are members of the Hydrozoa class, which includes the portuguese man of war and fire coral.
See a diagram and explanation of the parts of a scuba diving regulator second stage. Learn about the different parts of a scuba diving regulator. Page 4.
Scuba diving masks can be created for use with corrective lenses. Learn about scuba diving mask styles and features. Page 8.
What is snorkeling? Learn basic information for novice snorkelers, including snorkeling prerequistes, who can snorkel, and where you can snorkel.