Take a look at any of your scuba certification cards and you will see there is no expiration date, that must mean it lasts forever, right? I like to think about it like a driver's license. If you learn to drive and maybe get a handful of times behind the wheel then proceed to not drive again or even be a passenger in a car or even see cars driving for the next 5 or 10 years, do you still think you would be a safe driver? Likely you would be pretty dangerous. This is why you need to dive to be a diver.
What do I need to get back into the water?
- Less than a year since your last dive: No additional training is required however some divers may feel like they need some extra practice to get comfortable. Pool practice or a pool refresher with an instructor are great ways to brush up. Another option for getting out diving in the lake with some help is to hire a Dive Master.
- 1-5 years since your last dive: The current minimum for a diver to maintain their experience to dive is at least once a year. If you can't get in some dives over the year then you can take a refresher course with an instructor. This only takes a couple of hours and covers common practices, skills, safety and can improve skills. The refresher can be completed in a swimming pool so it can be done year round.
- 1-8 years since your last dive: Some divers need or want a little more help than a short refresher. If you have been on a long break from diving or feel rusty may need to relearn skills rather than refresh. A course audit of the pool and class training for new divers take a weekend and covers everything from putting together the dive equipment to decompression theory.
- Over 8 years since your last dive: We have found divers that have been dry for this long are needing to re-learn all the skills by taking the open water diver course again. They often will find that some things have changed as well for example the use of dive computers may not have been available when they learned to dive. This is also a great time to re-learn all the skills needed to be a successful diver.
How to keep up your training:
Get out diving. This can be done locally in the summer months in the local lakes. A short trip to Vancouver island for something more interesting and is available to dive all year if you are a dry suit diver. Pool practice is available throughout the year as a great way to keep up your skills and it can give you a chance to test out new dive gear.
How to improve your skills:
For those divers that have been diving recently but are struggling with a skill may need a specialty course. Lots of options are available to focus on a particular skill set or style of diving. A popular one for a diver that is fighting to control their buoyancy the Advanced Buoyancy Control course will show them the finer points of weighting, trim, finning and more.