• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

"clearing" ears? Other noob questions as well

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by lord1234, May 7, 2005.

  1. lord1234

    lord1234 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX
    986
    15
    18
    So, I have never dived before. But I have noticed that if in a pool i drop below 10 feet my ears start to hurt a little bit. I have no problem dropping down and staying down, other than pain in my ears. Is there a solution to this?

    Other questions are:
    I live in the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area. I am looking to find a place to learn how to dive. How much do diving courses run? What is too much/too little? What should they include for a good course? How long should it take to get certified for basic diving? What are the different levels of diving? Also, living in the MA/NH area, the water is cold, what should I expect for equipment costs? Also what should I do regarding purchasing/renting?

    --Lord
    Sorry for the 20 questions but i like being prepared.
     
  2. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    29,646
    376
    0
    as to the ears, yes!

    there's an easy and painless solution. you need to equalize your ears, so that
    the internal pressure equals the external pressure. if you don't do this, you will
    be in pain and you could do serious damage.

    how to do it? easy: hold your nose and blow out gently. you'll feel your ears
    "pop" and "hiss" as they equalize.

    do this as soon as you start descending. don't let the discomfort get too great.
    if you feel pain, you've waited way too long. in that case, ascend a little, and
    try clearing. don't blow too hard or you can hurt yourself.

    your instructor will go through this with you during class, btw :wink:
     
  3. lord1234

    lord1234 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX
    986
    15
    18
    well i am looking to figure out information before I go to an instructor and commit to doing this as a hobby...I am trying to decide on a hobby that I might find more interesting/cheaper than a current hobby. (brewing beer). I have yet to find a hobby in my life that does not require constant upkeep fees of some sort(I understand that here you have to fill tanks, but you don't have to constantly keep buying grains/hops such as brewing or paintballs for when I used to play paintball.
     
  4. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    29,646
    376
    0
    quite right... they are good questions
     
  5. ParamedicDiver1

    ParamedicDiver1 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingwood, Texas, United States
    287
    0
    0
    Another way to equalize your ears is popping your jaw...a little easier once you are breathing on scuba...in fact that is the only way I equalize my ears. :) The cost of the courses depend...here in Houston the cost usually runs b/w $225-$300 for you Open Water Certification. The cost should include the cost of gear rental for your open water skills testing. You will probably need to have your own "surface support" equipment: Mask, snorkel, weight belt, weights, & fins. Courses can run 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on your instructor and how often you meet every week. There are many different levels of diving and several different agencies that provide certification. I am a SSI diver, SSI's Levels of diving include Open Water, Specialist, Advanced, and Master Diver. Then there are the Professional levels, Dive Control Specialist (DiveCon),
    Instructor, Instructor Trainer. Hope that helps a little.
     
  6. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,022
    1,541
    113
    Diving is a great hobby, but be warned that if you're looking for a cheap hobby, diving isn't it. I don't know how much you spend brewing beer, but I'm sure diving is much more expensive. There are more expenses than airfills. Without getting into the reasons to buy vs. rent which is covered in many threads on this board - renting is not cheap and adds up, and if you buy your own gear (cost varies a lot but also not cheap), there are ongoing maintenance costs. It will be good idea to take certain classes after the basic certification. Dive insurance is a good idea. And there will always seem to be one more piece of gear that you want, it's the nature of the sport.
     
  7. markfm

    markfm PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Beautiful Baldwinsville, NY
    2,336
    6
    38
    Some dive shops have little Discover Scuba things, where for around $25 you get a really short intro and opportunity to try gear out in a pool, with very close supervision. It lets you feel what breathing through a regulator underwater is like. Cool intro, and shops may then credit the cost of that towards the full OW course.
     
  8. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,376
    818
    113
    Group classes as mentioned usually run between $225 - $300., I'm seeing some movement slightly beyond $300 but that's the neighborhood. If you have a demanding schedule or think you may be uncomfortable etc. you can have private clases usually in the $600. range. Plan on another $200 -$250. for your mask, snorkel, fins and Booties. You will need these personal items for hyiene and because you will be learning skills that can be influenced by their fit and style. You can spend a little less but it may not go the distance.
    There are number of good recent threads that list details. Pay particular attentoin to those posted by "Walter", I like his perspective.
    The activity mix varries from agency to agency and with some stuff being optional also from instructor to instructor. It will include 1. Bookwork, some mix of home study and class or 1:1 time. 2. Confined water, from skin diving (snorkeling) to SCUBA skills either in a pool or shallow calm open water. 3. Checkout dives where the instuctor takes you in the ocean (or you regions most significant body of water) and you repeat what you learned in the pool under actual conditions. For you I'd insist on the ocean, you may be offered lake depending where you are in NH. You will most certainly find your way to the sea and should be checked out there, that's my opinion.

    Don't get hung up on which agency, it's the instructor that is critical, ask around ask questions and be comfortable with your choice.
    The time to complete all of this varries, avoid anything that seems too fast. Life may be the limiting factor as much as anything, a cold, bad weather, you or a partner who needs a bit more time are examples. Don't rush, absorb all you can, here and elsewhere, be a sponge. Nearly everything, especially gear selection has some more than one viewpoint, in the end it needs to work for you. Getting a handle on the flavors of gear has been more duanting than learing dive skills!
    I'm in Maine and just ahead of you in the process. As far as geography your basic cost is slightly impacted. You will need to spend a little more than a tropical diver on exposure protection, assuming you start with a wetsuit. 7mm Suit/hood/vest/booties/gloves should come in under $500 in most cases. A tropical diver can get going for about half. Your BC, Regulator set and basic instumentation will probably be $1200. - $1500. These are all ballpark numbers. Add a gearbag, ballast wieights, knife and a few more accesories and you begin to see the common $2500 - $3000. amount. A drysuit may be in your future but set that asside for now.

    EBAY, buying used, buying turned over rental gear and buying online can all seem like savings. For a new diver be careful since you may not be able to try the gear, used regulators and BCs will need to be serviced for safety at a cost before use. There are ways around some of these pitfalls but for the new diver the support of your local dive shop (LDS) is a very valuable asset. It's good to shop around online though so you have some idea what you might try baragaining to!

    You will start as an Open Water Diver, this will give you training to go to 60 feet. That's where most of the color and shore diving will be. Through follow-up training and or mentoring you can go to the recreational limit of 130 feet before going techical. Specialties can include deep, nitrox diving (for deeper/ frequent back to back dives), night diving, UW navigation, rescue, photography etc. Some of these in some places will require you be certified even though a mentor may have taught you the skills.
    Advanced Open Water (AOW) lets you bundle a colection of specialties together and gets you certified and introduced to the new skills. Diving with a seasoned group can be very valuable for your safety and learning.
    IF you can rent good gear that you're interested in buying new it's a great way to try before you buy. You want to do this as much as possible. The truth I'm finding is that rental gear is usually very limited in variety and quality. Unless you rent the same items you will be constatntly re-learning buoyancy and where things are. I enjoyed that during my pool sessions as it forced me to keep paying attention but when I head out on my own I want to know my rig like the back of my hand.

    To answer what I think is your biggest question, find a shop you may use and ask about a Discover Dive. The cost is usally well under $100. They will give you some basic safety instruction, set you up in gear and an instructor will take you down for a shallow dive in a controlled enviornment. You're getting into the season where you can probably get this at a local pond as opposed to a swimming pool. This will let you experinece the thrill of diving and in a heartbeat I bet you'll know it's for you or not. You may not be entirely comfortable especially if you have not snorkeled but you will know if it's something you want to learn.

    Good Luck
    Pete
     
  9. divenut2001

    divenut2001 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: California
    253
    0
    0
    The biggest expense is going to all those warm water destinations you'll want to dive in.:eyebrow:
     
  10. lord1234

    lord1234 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX
    986
    15
    18
    seems like I may have to hold off on scuba for a little bit and keep brewing beer....
    i don't think I will spend near to 3000 dollars in 5 years of brewing(even if i buy some gadgets).

    Maybe after college
     

Share This Page