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Is it possible for me to dive even though I don't know how to swim?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by jazzyw11, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. jazzyw11

    jazzyw11 Guest

    I'm very much interested to get open water certification. Is it possible for me to dive even though I don't know how to swim?
  2. ScubaAddictedLisa

    ScubaAddictedLisa Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: New York City
    I'm sure the more experienced divers will weigh in, but I do remember that part of my certification requirement was swimming laps in the pool. LOTS of laps in the pool! And the treading water part too.

    When you say you don't know how to swim, do you mean not at all, or that you're not a "good" swimmer?
  3. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    I'm thinking the answer to that is No, but honestly I've never thought about it before......Answer this question, why have you never learned to swim ???....
  4. Jimmer

    Jimmer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brantford, Ontario
    Go talk to a local shop and see if they are having a pool session that you could try and see how you make out. Yes there is a swim test, but with PADI you can do the test with mask fins and snorkel. Go try a session in the pool and see. You might need to look at some swimming lessons or swimming practice, but I would be surprised if you couldn't eventually get your certification.
  5. ClayJar

    ClayJar ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baton Rouge, LA
    You'll need to be able to swim in order to dive, but you don't have to be an Olympic swimmer or anything. Being able to float or tread water for a few minutes is generally required, as is being able to swim to the other end of the pool and back. Speed isn't an issue, so once you can float and swim to the other end and back, you'll be able to handle whatever swimming you need to do.

    If you truly cannot swim at all, or even if you can swim a little but you're not at all comfortable in the water, I'd *highly* recommend taking a beginner swimming class. Places like local YMCA, health clubs, and other such groups are an excellent place to learn to swim, and they even have classes for new-to-swimming adults, if you fall into that category. And by classes, it's more like recess. :D

    I know many divers who have only the most basic swimming abilities. You don't need to be... um... well, whoever a good swimmer is. You *do* need to be able to float or tread water and to swim at least a little distance before you can become a diver, as you certainly want to be safe on the surface should it ever come up. Being comfortable with yourself on the surface of the water is important for your safety, and there are plenty of people around who would be delighted to help you get there.
  6. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    Remember to read his question(s) carefully.......he did NOT ask about getting certified, he only asked "to dive".........I guess anyone can get 50 #'s overweighted & "walk on the bottom" and be pulled up by a rope of some sort.......

    EDIT: excuse the edit, no reason for one.....:)
  7. bamamedic

    bamamedic Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Somewhere between "hold my beer and watch this!" a
    Hi, jazzyw11

    I had a friend introduce me to scuba diving in a small pool and at the time, I didn't know how to swim. I spent the next three months teaching myself how to tread water, float, and swim a backstroke (really easy to learn), in order to take an upcoming open water class.

    If you don't know how to swim at least a little, odds are you won't be all that comfortable in the water. Comfort in the water is essential to learning how to scuba dive, because some of the things you're going to learn how to do in your scuba diving class will be much more difficult if you're not comfortable in the water.

    There's a swim requirement for most of the various agencies' basic scuba diving course. The only exception I can think of is PADI. For PADI, you can either swim 200 yards, or snorkel for 300 yards.

    One thing you might want to do to prep for the open water class, especially if you haven't spent much time in the water, is practice snorkeling in your local pool. Snorkeling did wonders for my comfort in the water, and set me on the path to learning how to swim. The more I snorkeled, the more comfortable I became, and the easier it was to relax and swim.

    Hope this helps!
  8. covediver

    covediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Alaska
    Swimming is a prerequisite skill to diving, in part, because it indicates a certain familiarity and comfort with the water. It is a predictor of the physical fitness that you have for diving, that is, movement in the water which is quite different that activity specific fitness on dry land. You may have general physicial fitness and even be active in other sports, but water is a medium quite unlike any other. I agree that you do not have to be a competitive swimmer to be a diver, but you should have a basic competency.

    Luckily, many places such as the YMCA and community pools do offer adult swimming lessons that should help get you to the goal.
  9. SlowRain

    SlowRain Instructor, Scuba

    Irregardless of what a course's standards require, to dive, and to be safe about diving, you should be able to swim. There are potential circumstances where not knowing how to swim would create a risk. I am assuming of course that your interest is in obtaining an open water certification.

    SSI's current standard for Open Water Diver is either a 200 yard surface swim or a 300 yard surface swim with mask, fins, and snorkel. In addition you must be able to perform a 10 minute survival swim/float without mask, fins, snorkel or any other swimming aid. Standards can vary by agency.

  10. DivingPrincessE

    DivingPrincessE Great White

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Miramar & Fort Lauderdale, FL

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