Why Do We Dive?

There are as many reasons for learning to dive as there are divers. Maybe you’re already a certified diver. If so, you understand that every diver, regardless of experience, has a subtly unique reason for journeying under water.

Some activities seem to be perfect precursors for scuba diving.  Avid swimmers, for example, are “naturals” at diving. Their comfort in the water makes using scuba gear a snap. People who enjoy snorkeling have an advantage. They have already seen some of the dazzling life beneath the sea.

But prospective divers don’t need to spend their days swimming laps, or be competitive swimmers. People who enjoy walking, running, tennis, bicycling, golf, hunting, hiking, snow and water skiing, fishing, and even bridge seem to gravitate to diving. As the folks at Dive Training Magazine point out, with its increasing popularity, scuba has become “chic.”
“Chic?” you ask. Of course. Take a look at an issue of Vogue, GQ, Elle, or any other fashion magazine. Witness the “bodies beautiful” clad in neoprene and wearing scuba equipment. Scuba diving is reaching a pinnacle in media pop culture.

Diving has evolved from an activity for a select few adventurous souls into a universal recreational activity, a neon-clad way to meet interesting people. If the fashion magazines are to be believed, diving is a sexy adventure, an activity to “help put excitement back into your marriage.” At the same time, it’s a sport that conservative church groups tout as “something entire families can enjoy together.” Nearly half of all new divers are women. Diving is used as non-discriminatory therapy for physically challenged individuals. Scuba diving has become “universalized.”

And then there’s the environment. Since the first episode of Capt. Cousteau’s underwater series, scuba diving and preserving the sea have gone hand in hand. In this age of recycling, composting, car-pooling, and receding ozone, saving the planet is a sentiment that is being touted in political speeches, battery commercials, soap ads, and boardrooms.

Age seems to be a non-issue with divers. Reports indicate that record numbers of teenagers are learning to dive. The same reports claim more mature individuals are taking up the sport. And sandwiched in the middle are the ever-present “baby boomers,” who continue to account for a majority of entrants into the sport.
So why do we dive? Scuba Diving is cool.  It is a lifetime activity that we can enjoy with our friends and family, and it never ceases to amaze.

This is a condensed, edited version of an article from Dive Training Magazine. http://dtmag.com/whydive.html
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