Hello to all you incredible scuba enthusiasts! Recently, I've been thinking about how we all strive to become even better, more skilled divers. Having just wrapped up an HSE Scuba Course with Commercial Diver Training, I thought it would be engaging to share a video detailing the top 10 traits of elite divers. This list encapsulates key practices and habits that top-notch divers consistently demonstrate, both in and out of the water. So, if you're looking to elevate your scuba game, stick around and let's dive into it!
This article is sponsored by scuba.com, a huge scuba online dive shop with locations on both the East and West coasts of the States.
Watch The Video
1. Check Their Gear
Pro scuba divers check their gear meticulously. Our breathing apparatus and buoyancy devices are the only things that separate us from freedivers. All top-tier divers do a thorough check of their equipment. They invest in their own equipment, carefully select each piece of gear, and maintain it properly. There's never a time when checking over your gear is a bad idea.
2. Always Honest
Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to scuba diving. If you're low on gas, then you're low on gas. There's no shame in it. If you have a bad feeling about something, it's best to voice it. Scuba divers are nice and honest about most things, except maybe when it comes to peeing in wetsuits.
3. Clear Communication
Miscommunication can easily lead to mistakes and accidents. Both in and out of the water, it's better if you are very clear and concise about what you are trying to say. Also, messages received should be repeated to make sure that the recipient has understood correctly.
4. Always Prepared
As scuba divers, you can never prepare and plan too much. If you forget something, you can't just pop back to the surface to grab it. So, plan your dive and share that plan with the group or at least your buddy.
Pro divers always dive, or are prepared to dive, as if they are going to be alone. Should something happen, a pro diver will have everything they need on them to fix the problem without relying on their buddy.
Routines are really useful to build a repertoire and help prevent you from missing anything out. That's why acronyms like BWRAF are drilled into you so much from the first course to try to get you into a routine of checking your and your buddy's equipment.
One of the most common characteristics of a pro diver is being calm under pressure. Now, this typically comes with experience. The more things that go wrong in front of you the less likely you are to freak out the next time something happens.
One thing that will indirectly make you a better diver is a bit of enthusiasm. Especially if you're planning on becoming an instructor, you'll notice that a lot of the best instructors, or at least the ones that students love will be fun and bouncy.
9. Frog Kick
Frog kick is probably the most practical and efficient fin kick style for scuba diving. If frogs are doing it, then it must be good. Unlike other fin kicks, the frog kick keeps your fins nice and tight so, it’s great in confined spaces. It keeps your wash straight behind you so you’re less likely to kick up silt. It also uses powerful muscles in your legs and you get plenty of power.
One of the better things about the frog kick is that it gives you good control in the water and not just going forwards. With a frog kick position, you can rotate on the spot with a helicopter turn and also swim backwards. Most divers when they first start out use a flutter kick, it’s most similar to what your legs do when you’re taught to swim. But you can look at a group of divers and pick out the pros because while everybody else is doing this, the pros are just cruising doing this.
A pro diver will know and stick to their limits. Diving just that little bit deeper, making your dive computer less conservative, surfacing as soon as the timer is up on your dive computer, swimming into overhead environments without the proper training or equipment… These are really easy ways to find yourself in trouble and pro divers know and respect their own limits.
It can be right at the start of the dive during the briefing. If there’s something you don’t feel comfortable with, voice it then and there. When you’re in the water, if your buddy suddenly decides to swim into the wreck when that isn’t part of the plan, have the confidence to tell them no. You could literally be saving their life.
What other pro diver traits and skills have you seen or adopted that have made you a better scuba diver? It can be something as simple as a particular knot you learnt to tie to secure your cylinders from rolling around or investing in more dry bags to keep your kit dry.