Learn about scuba diving   

Total escape, calm, fulfilment and freedom... These are the best ways to describe scuba diving. Are the depths calling to you already? Find out more about this unique sport.

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Far from the commotion of a team sport and not too physically taxing, diving is a low-intensity sport that offers total escape. One not-so-insignificant side bonus: you get to discover the wonders of the underwater world. What more could you want? What's its history? What equipment do you need to get started? What are the rules? Get started by diving into this article.

scuba diving history subea decathlon

What is diving? 

Despite millions of years of evolution, humans unfortunately still haven't developed fins or gills. It's probably why we've yearned to breathe underwater for so long.

It all started on a Tuesday, in 322 B.C. Alexander the Great himself went underwater and began to breathe using the first diving bell in history. Take that Jules Verne! The rudimentary device looked like a glass barrel, open at the bottom, that created an air bubble inside when immersed. Proof there were some pretty brave people back then. And because fortune favours the bold, Alexander the Great was able to explore the sea floor of the Mediterranean several meters below the surface. Fortunately, we've got a few centuries of innovation between then and now.~Today we can breathe underwater using special, very sophisticated equipment comprised of a bottle of compressed air and a regulator that goes in your mouth. Free diving is very different from traditional diving. With free diving there's no equipment for breathing, the diver has only their ability to hold their breath for as long as possible. It's riskier, but free diving makes up for it by offering total freedom of movement. You can also go snorkelling by getting yourself and mask and snorkel to breathe in air above the surface.

Whatever you choose, all recreational diving has the same goal: to explore the world that exists under the water's surface and take in the beauty of its flora and fauna.

What are the rules? 

Scuba diving is a recreational sport that really ought to rhyme with fun! But to enjoy it safely, there are a few rules to follow.

If you want to get started, you absolutely must get proper training. There are many clubs and organisations in France that can help you get started easily. Generally speaking, you should never dive alone and always keep your equipment well-maintained. Your life depends on it!~To avoid any negative effects on your body, instructors will teach you to respect maximum recommended depths according to your level, and above all to respect the different decompression stops.

Did you know? In the hours that follow a dive, flying and ascending in altitude are strongly discouraged. Be sure to plan accordingly.

Diving: what are the benefits? 

As far as recreational sports go, the benefits of diving are mainly psychological. Underwater landscapes, the beauty of the flora and fauna there, freely exploring shipwrecks: it's a total escape! The unique ambiance under the water will surround you and transport you far from the chaos of everyday life. You'll find total relaxation.~Diving is not an overly-physical sport. But doing it does have some benefits to muscle development and endurance. Regular diving will also teach you to better control your breathing and stress.

Diving requires a good basic level of fitness. Don't hesitate to get your body ready by swimming, running, or mountain biking, which are all beneficial to cardiovascular and pulmonary function.

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Is diving right for you? 

Looking for something different and a sport that's calm? Diving is just the thing. It's a low-intensity sport that anyone can do, as long as they've got a good basic level of fitness.

As some parts of the body aren't sufficiently developed yet, diving is not safe for children under 8. Children over 8 should not dive below 6 meters, and always be accompanied by a professional.

 

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What equipment do you need to dive? 

- Mask: since opening your eyes underwater is pretty uncomfortable, a mask is essential so that you can see around you.~- Fins: they allow you to move easily underwater. ~Wetsuit: water cools your body 25 times faster than air. A neoprene wetsuit is recommended to keep you warm when diving. Its thickness will depend on the temperature of the water you're diving in. ~- Buoyancy compensator: Managing your buoyancy, carrying your gear and holding your air tank in place: These are the advantages of a buoyancy compensator, a must for divers.~Regulator: Unless you're an experienced free diver, this is an essential accessory that attaches to your tank.~- Safety equipment: parachute, diving computer, etc. 

A final word

If you're desperate for something new and different and water seems like your thing, diving could well become your new favourite sport. With more than 2500 clubs and organisations in France and overseas territories, it's easy to get started in the right conditions.

How did you learn about diving? What do you love about the sport? Want to share your story? Tell us in the comments.

maud dialogue leader subea decathlon

Maud

Subea dialogue leader - padi rescue 

 

I'm Subea's Dialogue Leader. My father is a PADI level Divemaster and gave me the diving bug when I was 8, and since then scuba diving has become a true passion. Today I've got my PADI Rescue level.