Scuba Diving: Most Popular Articles
Are sea urchins poisonous? Learn sea urchin facts, how to safely dive and snorkel urchins, and the first aid for sea urchin stings.
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.
Ear barotraumas are the most common injuries experienced by recreational scuba divers. Learn how to recognize, avoid and treat scuba diving ear barotraumas.
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.
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 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.
What do you wear under your wetsuit when scuba diving? Here are 10 options, from rash guards to pantyhose.
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,
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.
An overview of Decompression Sickness, including causes, types, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Do you have trouble getting into your tight-fitting wetsuit? Here are seven tricks to putting on a wetsuit more easily.
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.
During the PADI Open Water Course , one question causes student divers to tear their hair out in confusion.
What are five benefits to scuba diving with nitrox? Why is the use of nitrox in recreational diving becoming more and more popular?
Answers to your basic questions about Open Water Certification.
Scuba masks are one of the most important pieces of scuba diving gear. Here are six important things to know about scuba masks.
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.
An overview of scuba diving as a sport and profession. All about the what, who, why, where, and how of scuba.
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 . . .
Learn about the basic equipment required for scuba diving, and what dive gear you should buy first.
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 signals that she is ready to begin the open water mask clearing skill. Mask clearing is an important open water skill.
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.
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.
During a dive, a scuba diver's body absorbs nitrogen. Understand the concept of nitrogen absorption when scuba diving using the sponge analogy.
Nitrogen narcosis affects most scuba divers at depths below 100 feet. Also known as inert gas narcosis, rapture of the deep, and the martini effect, nitrogen narcosis can be dangerous to divers. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for nitrogen narcosis here.
Do you consider flying dangerous? Most people will agree that while there are certain risks associated
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Learn all about the thrilling world of deep diving.
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.
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.
Skin bends, or cutaneous decompression sickness, is a frequently overlooked form of decompression sickness in scuba divers. Divers should be able to recognize the common sings and symptoms of skin bends as they may require treatment and can precede other, more serious types of decompression sickness.
Adjust and select scuba diving gear to achieve proper trim (horizontal position in the water) using these seven tips. A diver's trim is affected by his weight distribution, wetsuit, fins, regulators, tank position and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase.
Lightweight and Compact travel buoyancy compensators (BCDs) are making dive travel easier. Three great travel BCDs are the Aqualung Zuma, the Cressi Travel Light, and the Seacsub Airone are now on the market.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. Page 12.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is an easy starting point to learn about BCDs and Scuba Diving. This page discusses: â¢ What Does
Buoyancy is used differently in freediving than in scuba diving. Learn about buoyancy considerations for constant weight and no-limits freediving.
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?
A description of each of the water skills taught during the Open Water Diver certification course.
Tipping is so confusing. Who should divers tip after dive, and how much is appropriate? Here are some tipping guidelines for scuba divers.
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.
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.
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!
What is the difference between a vest-style and a back inflation BCD?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is the differnce between full-footed and open-heeled scuba diving fins, and which is right for you?
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.
Different parts of a scuba diving mask with labels.
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.
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.
Long hair can be very annoying when scuba diving. It floats in front of your face and your mask, and shifts around, altering the position of your mask strap. Here are my tips for securing long hair when scuba diving. Page 6.
Formulas for calculating a scuba diver's surface air consumption rate (or SAC Rate) in both Metric and Imperial format. Page 8.
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.
Review of scuba diving the local reefs of the coast of San Pedro, Belize. Ambergris Caye is a Caribbean island off the coast of Belize.
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.
Side Mount scuba diving is an increasingly popular way for divers to enjoy the underwater world. Learn basic facts and information about side mount equipment configurations for diving and side mount scuba systems.
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.
How to perform the Open Water skill 'Free Flowing Regulator'
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.
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.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. Click through a short lesson and photos of this island of trash, and learn what you can do to help.
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 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.
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 residual nitrogen time in scuba diving? This explanation will help divers to understand what residual nitrogen time represents and how to use this number in recreational diving when calculating repetitive dive parameters.
High levels of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) can cause a variety of dangerous symptoms in scuba divers, such as narcosis and unconsciousness. However, high carbon dioxide levels are avoidable if a scuba diver follows safe diving practices and avoids behavior that may predispose him to hypercapnia.
How you know that you are addicted to scuba diving. Read various readers answers of how they knew they were dive obsessed scuba addicts.
What is enriched air nitrox? Enriched air nitrox is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen that has an oxygen percentage greater that 21%. Enriched air nitrox is used by scuba divers in recreational and technical diving.
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.
Why does spit keep a mask from fogging? Spit keeps a scuba diving mask from fogging because it acts as a surfactant . . .
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.
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.
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.
Learn to treat fire coral images. First aid for fire coral images. Page 6.
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.
Scuba diving masks can be created for use with corrective lenses. Learn about scuba diving mask styles and features. Page 8.
Learn how to attach a snorkel to a mask. 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 10.
Blood shift and the spleen effect are two aspects of the mammalian dive reflex experienced by freedivers. These responses of the body to pressure increase during a freedive can help to improve a freediver's abilities
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.
Most stinging hydroid injuries are painful, but not dangerous. Blisters and rashes are common results of contact with a stinging hydroid. Divers who experience allergic reactions should contact a doctor. Page 4.
What is the difference between a long hose and a short hose scuba diving regulator. Read about the pros and cons of a long hose vs a short hose regulator for recreational and technical scuba diving.
Oxygen toxicity is a medical condition caused by exposure to oxygen at high pressures. Oxygen toxicity may be experienced by scuba divers who dive beyond recreational dive limits, used mixed gasses such as enriched air nitrox, and decompress using oxygen. These divers must take precautions to avoid oxygen toxicity.
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 can you avoid it when freediving?
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'
Scuba diving mouthpieces come in a variety of styles. See an illustrated list of common types of scuba diving regulator mouthpieces.
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.
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.
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.
What is a pressure group in scuba diving? A pressure group is an alphabetical representation of the amount of nitrogen a diver has absorbed after diving or after a surface interval. For safe diving, a diver should
Learn about rigid 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 7.
A diver who experiences nitrogen narcosis should ascend until the narcosis subsides. Learn tricks to avoid and reduce nitrogen narcosis here.
Innovative scuba fins. Photos and explanation of the features an styles of scuba diving fins. Learn about scuba fins before deciding on a purchase. Page 11.
What should you do if you hyperventilate when scuba diving. Here is advice on how to deal with shortness of breath caused by hyperventilation or exertion underwater.
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.
Can you eat and drink underwater while scuba diving? Yes, scuba divers can consume food and fluids underwater. Here is information and facts about what to eat and drink underwater, and how to do it.
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
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.
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.
The current recommended surface intervals before flying after diving.
The coral in Xcalak, Mexico, unlike the coral in many other diving areas in the Caribbean, is still healthy and colorful because Xcalak is part of protected marine reserve sanctuary. Page 2.
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.
Nearly every time I meet divers at a dive site, I receive a few strange looks as I unload my truck. I
Some divers do not realize that they closer they are to the surface, the more rapidly the pressure changes. This basic concept, but often over-looked, concept is essential for safe scuba diving.