Black woman and man scuba diving underwater in the Bahamas. Woman is wearing pink bunny ears and doing the bunny ears hand sign behind the man. The man is giving the thumbs up sign.
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As a new scuba diver, there’s so much to learn. It can get a bit overwhelming. Before taking a course, read as much as you can online. Here are 10 scuba diving tips for new divers. I wish I had known these beforehand, but it’s never too late to learn.

Scuba Diving with Stuart Cove Dive Shop in Nassau, Bahamas

1. Scuba Diving Tip: Don’t Rush to Buy Scuba Gear

If you’re anything like me, the first thing I began doing after receiving my Open Water Scuba certification was to start looking at gear. I spent hours noting gear recommendations and looking up prices. The problem is that scuba gear depends on your body and personal needs. A mask that everyone raves about may be terrible for your face. And price doesn’t necessarily make something better. And to make things even worse, some dive shops are just trying to make a sale, and they won’t help you find that perfect fit.

In my case, I bought a mask that seemed cool, but when I jumped into the water, my mask was constantly flooded. Thinking I was doing something wrong, I became disillusioned and anxious, but a great dive instructor named Robin at Stuart Cove Dive Shop in Nassau immediately caught the issue. After replacing my mask with a low-profile mask better suited for narrow faces, I had zero floods for the rest of my dives.

So what does that mean for you? It means you don’t know what you don’t know. Dive a few times with rented gear to see what works for you.

2. Focus on honing your skills before you take out a camera

It’s so tempting to take out your GoPro, but please hear me out….

Staying alive > cute photos of turtles

Practicing your buoyancy is super important. You don’t want to accidentally step on coral or kick your dive partner in the face. I would advise waiting to around dive #15 before taking out your camera. Although, I’ve seen people do it much sooner than that, I think it’s important to really be comfortable underwater before doing it for the gram. It also gives you time to learn photography etiquette by watching more experienced divers take photos. For example, you don’t want to chase after cute animals because they are still wildlife and can feel easily attacked. You also don’t want to be the annoying person holding the group up by taking photo #378 of a baby shark. And remember, you can always ask someone else to take your photo.

3. Scuba Diving Tips: It’s Better to be Over-Weighted than Under-Weighted

I didn’t realize how essential weights were until my air got low and I felt myself floating towards the surface. I tried exhaling and dumping air, but nothing worked. I went into panic mode because I could not do a safety stop. Decompression sickness is real and that’s the last thing I wanted to experience. After freaking out and thinking I was going to have to run to an oxygen chamber, my divemaster explained that I just needed more weights. It could have been a lot more serious than that, so I advise everyone to be over-weighted rather than under-weighted. We live, and we learn.

4. Scuba Diving Tip: Relax

I feel the most at peace when I’m underwater. But when I was starting out, my diving entry was the most stressful part of a dive. I would feel nervous, and my body would respond to that. I had a hard time equalizing due to this stress. It comes with time but relaxing while descending is important. Don’t forget to take deep breaths, and don’t forget to exhale deeply. Focus on your breathing, and in time, relaxing will become natural to you.

5. Dive Safe and Dive Often!

Black woman and man scuba diving underwater in the Bahamas. Woman is wearing pink bunny ears and doing the bunny ears hand sign behind the man. The man is giving the thumbs up sign.

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