Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent and Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent and Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses
Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions that you may have when deciding to enter into the world of scuba diving. It is a magical world, but it is unknown. Below is a list of the frequently asked questions that we’ve answered here at the centre. This document is intended to help with your curiosity in taking the first step to becoming a certified scuba diver! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at the dive centre. We’re here to make sure you enjoy yourself and that you are comfortable

Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?
  • As far as active recreational pastimes go, scuba diving is one of the easiest to learn. While you’re gliding around enjoying the underwater sights, you’re engaged in only three basic skills: floating, kicking, and breathing. Of course, there’s more to it than that – becoming proficient at using the equipment, developing knowledge of scuba concepts, and learning safety procedures – but if you breathe through your mouth, chances are you can learn to scuba dive.

    Learning to scuba dive is mostly a matter of attitude. If you are motivated to step through the door into an exciting new world, then the experience will prove both energising and confidence-building.
Are the skills for scuba diving difficult to learn?
  • The necessary skills are not tough for most people to master. During scuba certification class, you’re taught about safe diving practices and you rehearse equipment related skills in a pool until you feel comfortable, as well as practicing what to do if things don’t go as planned. We always have several instructors in the water with you, and you are unlikely to ever have more than 4 students per instructor. This way we can ensure that you get very close personal attention, to ensure your safety, enjoyment and success.
Isn’t the equipment heavy and difficult to learn how to use?
  • The bulky scuba gear worn by many divers may seem intimidating, but learning to use it is straightforward. If you’ve snorkeled, you’re already familiar with the mask, snorkel and fins. The scuba unit consists of an air cylinder containing compressed breathing air, buoyancy compensator (BCD) jacket to help you float on the surface or to maintain your desired depth underwater, and you’ll have a regulator for you to breathe through. The wetsuit keeps you warm when diving in cooler water. Whilst it is a little awkward on the surface it is practically weightless underwater

Do I have to be a strong swimmer?

  • You don’t need to be a strong swimmer or an athlete to scuba dive, but some degree of comfort in the water certainly helps. Even if you enter scuba training with less than total confidence in your water skills, by the time you receive your first certification card, your comfort level will be greatly increased. After your certification you will find yourself being one of the many enthusiasts who scuba dive for the sheer pleasure of floating weightless in an environment as close to outer space as the majority of us will ever experience
Does it hurt your ears?
  • This question comes from people who have snorkeled before and tried to swim beneath the surface – aka free dive. They swim headfirst down to about 6 – 12 feet (2m) and suddenly develop a stabbing pain in their ears, sending them shooting back to the surface. They unknowingly assume that they have an ear problem that precludes them from scuba diving. On the contrary, the problem is due to a lack of knowledge about the effects of pressure and can easily be prevented. If you can fly in a plane without serious ear discomfort, then your ears should not present an impediment to scuba diving. The remedy for scuba diving is to “equalise” the pressure (caused by going deeper in the water) by gently pinching your nostrils shut, lifting your chin and gently try to blow out through your nose. Some divers even equalise by simply moving their jaw or tongue. Unless your ears are blocked by a cold, or have allergy symptoms, or you are one of the few people born with a narrow eustachian tubes, ear pain is not an issue.
What do you see down there?
  • A whole new world of incredible sights awaits the scuba diver, no matter what the underwater environment – fresh or salt water; tropical or cold water, ocean, quarry, lake or river. It shouldn’t be hard to envision your self gliding effortlessly through a crystal-clear tropical ocean, marveling at rainbow coloured fish flitting about a vibrant coral reef. You have already been treated to underwater scenes such as this on TV, in movies or perhaps a friend’s underwater video or pictures. You may have even caught a glimpse of this while snorkeling on a Mediterranean holiday. In each underwater setting there is plenty to see. There are obviously many fish, but also corals and other water animals such as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. In warm water there are many different types of reef animals such as sea cucumbers. Living creatures aren’t the only wondrous things under water, there are many shipwrecks and this is particularly true in the UK where we are blessed with literally hundreds of wrecks to see and explore.
How deep do you go?
  • The industry standard maximum depth limit for recreational divers is 40m. However most people don't get anywhere near this depth as there is plenty to see and do at much shallower depths. During basic scuba certification, the pool work (confined water)is typically carried out in water at about 3m, this obviously helps in building up confidence. The open water element of the course is usually carried out in a local lake at maximum depths of about 7m. After certification you are able to dive up to a maximum depth of 18m. To go deeper requires additional qualifications. For this reason a deep dive is considered to be below 18m, to an absolute maximum of 40m.
Is there an age limit to scuba dive?
  • Scuba diving is a nondiscriminatory activity. Anyone with the physical ability to handle the equipment and the emotional maturity to comprehend the rules and take responsibility for his or her safety and that of his dive buddy, can scuba dive safely and enjoyable There is no upper age limit on learning to scuba dive. Certain conditions my preclude those of any age from diving, temporarily or permanently, especially conditions associated with lung functions. As long as you maintain relatively good physical and mental conditioning, it’s never too late to learn scuba diving. Many divers continue into their 70’s and 80’s.
    Minimum age restrictions do apply. For children eight and older we offer a Seal Team programme. This exciting new programme is built around action-packed AquaMissions! An AquaMission is an underwater pool adventure where kids learn scuba activities. Take AquaMission: Inner Space Specialist for example, here kids learn how to float underwater like an Astronaut. And AquaMission: Snapshot Specialist, this is where PADI Seal Team members take pictures of each other scuba diving in the pool.
    To be able to dive in the ocean, children must be 10 years old to be certified as “junior” divers. These divers may dive only under restricted conditions, such as limited depth and supervision by a scuba professional or certified adult diver. At 15, students receive the same certification as adult divers. For more information about junior courses please follow this link
How do I get certified?
  • You must take an open water certification course to get certified. The basic scuba certification course, called the PADI Open Water Diver, is divided into three sections; classroom work, confined water and open water. The classroom portion develops the knowledge base necessary to understand the principals behind diving rules and procedures. You practice dive procedures and learn to use the equipment in a confined water section, usually in a pool. The open water section consists of four or more supervised dives in a local lake, during which you will demonstrate your mastery of scuba skills in an actual dive setting. Typically this is done in depths no deeper than 7m
How long does it take?
  • Traditionally this involves one day in the classroom followed by two week end sessions - one in the pool and one at the lake. Don't be put off by the the classroom element of the course. This is carried out in a very informal and relaxed way and led by our very experienced instructors. You do not have to be a genius to complete the work, just interested. If any aspect does cause a difficulty we will ensure you understand before you complete the course. The second week is usually spent at the lake where we go through the open water portion of the course. This gives you another opportunity to practice all the skills you have learned in a very controlled environment. We always have several instructors in the water with you, and you are unlikely to ever have more than 4 students per instructor. This way we can ensure that you get very close personal attention, to ensure your safety, enjoyment and success.

    Alternatively we can offer you the option of breaking up the weekends and the pool work for a schedule that works for your time. We also offer private classroom instruction, just check with any member of the Sussex Scuba team.
Isn’t scuba diving expensive?
  • Like many sports or leisure activity it can be as expensive or as low cost as you want. It is not necessary to buy lots of equipment to enjoy scuba, though it is probably a good idea to invest in your own mask, snorkel and fins. If you dive with Sussex Scuba you can rent the required equipment at relatively low cost. Similarly if you dive on holiday you can chose a package that includes all the equipment. Purchasing a set of scuba gear – BCD, regulator, exposure protection – is no more expensive then getting started in golf or skiing. For the infrequent diver, renting equipment may be an attractive alternative. Of course, as in all worthwhile pursuits, you may choose to expand your scuba “must have” list with items such as a dive computer, underwater camera and other accessories
Where can we travel once we’re certified?
  • Scuba diving vacations are available to suit every budget, from weekends in bunkhouse accommodations with shore diving, to luxury dive resorts in exotic locations. The price of airfare is a major factor in considering vacations to faraway destinations, whether it’s for sightseeing or diving, or a combination of both. Live-aboard dive boats offer the opportunity to visit remote dive destinations and do as much or little diving you desire for an all inclusive price. Check with tour staff or look at our notice board for a variety of dive trips and dive weekends already scheduled! More details of our trips can be found by following this link
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Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses


Sussex Scuba is a PADI 5 Star Centre based just outside London providing scuba diving classes in Surrey, Sussex and Kent plus drive trips, taster sessions and dive holidays further afield.
Want to learn to dive? Contact Sussex Scuba and join us on one of our upcoming scuba diving courses.

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