Five tips to get started

Summer is the perfect time to throw yourself into the Big Blue and learn how to grow there with complete peace of mind. Throughout the urban coast, scuba diving clubs offer courses and christenings. A family activity for learning from the age of eight.

Take into account its shape (more than its age)

If there’s an activity that’s not a lifetime brake to it, it’s scuba diving. why ? Simply because evolution is in 3And Dimension makes it possible to forget about body weight and does not harm the joints. There is no risk of orthopedic trauma such as for example tennis, squash, running or climbing. Be aware that the legal minimum age for children is eight years.

Are you hesitant? Seek advice from your attending physician, who is authorized to conduct the examination and issue a CACI medical certificate as there are no contraindications to the activity. If he is not familiar with diving, show him the papers produced by the French Federation for Underwater Studies and Sports (FFESSM). Are you stalling again? Consult a diving specialist (list on the federation website) who will be able to reassure you. Aside from a few ENT and heart conditions, you should get your CACI without any issues. This certificate is not obligatory to conduct an upbringing (“baptism”) this summer on the beach, but it is necessary to start a diploma course.

Forget your worries

Fear of heights, fear of catching abyss, fear of crossing a strange animal, fear of running out of air are classic but easy to face fears.

  • Afraid of the emptiness of the abyss? Rest assured, no newbie is thrown into the open sea, and sometimes it is better to learn to dive in the pool, get acquainted with the equipment or in a few meters of water, with a beautiful sandy bottom. Pedagogy has evolved greatly and teachers have adapted to the stress level and ease of their students. If you don’t like the trainer or things are going too fast for you, change it up without worry! The French clubs are countless. Go through the feel, with the coach that works for you.
  • Afraid of crossing an exotic animal or plant? Fish are infinitely afraid and will hide instead of coming towards you. Your club won’t take you into the middle of a kelp forest either, so forget that worry quickly.
  • Afraid of running out of air? A 200 bar cylinder (computation unit) contains enough compressed air for a diver to stay 90 minutes in 8 to 10 meters of water. The baptism lasts 25 minutes at 5 meters (which is less for children). Do you understand why the fear of imperfection is unrealistic? Our secret: Don’t even think about breathing. Air flows easily and naturally into your mouth. Focus on the environment around you, the rocks, the starfish lying on the sand and you will see that everything is going well. When you start diving, the teacher is always your brain, not your muscles.

Forget about your swimming skills

For diving, the legal minimum age for a child is eight years. Martin Carrett / Le Figaro

Are you 60 years old and have never learned to swim? Don’t panic. You can dive to the fullest. It will be easier, because you will learn the correct movements the first time. Realize first that the arms are completely useless for diving. The correct position is to cross it, which also avoids breaking something or putting your hands on a sea urchin. It’s obviously not that easy, but after a few lessons, you’ll find that you’re wasting energy rotating your arms. legs? You are not on a bike, you do not pedal and you do not swim with breaststroke. The hips are the impetus for the kicking movement, not the knees. The movement is wide, flexible, and never surprising. The legs are used to move forward and the hips to turn.

To get down, there too, forget about preconceived notions. The rule of the ears. Balancing the eardrum by gently blowing into the mask (the Vasalva maneuver) is undoubtedly the most important gesture to learn. This gesture is controlled to allow descent. Underwater, we communicate by signs, with easy-to-remember basics: I’m up, I slip, my ears hurt, I’m cold, everything is fine.

Do not be afraid of the material

At first glance, the material seems heavy, bulky and open. Know that trainers prepare it from the ground up for beginners. But what should you know? The mask should not press on the face too much, because with pressure it can do harm. The fins and suit should fit snugly without any damage.

The device you put in your mouth is called a regulator. It is he who brings the compressed air in the bottle in continuous flow. The buoyancy compensator colloquially inflates and deflates “stab” allows for an ideal hold at a certain depth. The coach runs it. In class, we learn how to use it correctly. On the surface, a neoprene wetsuit and buoyancy compensator ensure easy buoyancy.

Start abroad and abroad

Snorkeling with glass-nosed dolphins in Tiputa Passage on Rangiroa Island, Polynesia. Greg Lecour / Le Figaro Magazine

The French overseas territories are gems for beginners: semi-transparent warm water, multi-colored fish. Whether in French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, Martinique or Mayotte, you will encounter ideal conditions. There, too, all FFESSM coaches hold state certification, ensuring they can supervise beginners.

Abroad (and sometimes abroad), diving clubs are associated with other bodies, the most common of which are American PADI and SSI. The cleanliness of the club premises, the room, the course materials (books and videos), the quality of the equipment and the boat are indicators of the seriousness of the club. Feel free to inquire before enrolling in the course. Trust, for example, PADI, which certifies its clubs with stars.

Finally, be aware that certificates obtained in a foreign country generally benefit from level “bridges” that ensure that you can dive in France on your return.

More info

I have :

French Federation of Underwater Studies and Sports (FFESSM)

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)

Scuba Schools International (SSI)


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