A change of scenery, calm, plenitude and freedom, that’s how one could describe scuba diving. Do the depths call you already? Discover this atypical sport.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of a team sport, not physically demanding, diving is a gentle and very exotic sport. A small bonus not to be neglected: you discover the great richness of the seabed. What more could you ask for? Its history? The equipment you need to get started? Or the rules to follow? Well here we go, dive into the rest of this article.
What is diving?
Despite a few million years of evolution we still don’t have fins and even less gills, too bad. This is why the desire of men and women to breathe underwater goes back a long way.
It all began on a Tuesday in the year 332 BC. Alexander the Great, himself, descended underwater and breathed with the very first diving bell in history. Jules Vernes can go get dressed! The rudimentary device resembled a glass barrel, open at the bottom, creating a bubble of air inside when it was submerged. It took a lot of courage for those days. But as luck favours the bold, Alexander the Great was able to explore the Mediterranean seabed from a few metres below the surface. Fortunately, a few centuries of technical developments separate us from this era.
Today, breathing underwater is allowed thanks to specific and very sophisticated equipment including a compressed air bottle with a regulator to be put in the mouth. Freediving (or snorkeling) is very different from classic diving. Here, there is no equipment to breathe, the diver relies only on his ability to hold his breath as long as possible. More risky, freediving offers in return a total freedom of movement. You can also do surface diving (or snorkeling) by equipping yourself with a mask and snorkel to breathe the air above the surface.
In all cases, the objective of recreational diving remains the same: to explore the seabed and contemplate the beauty of the fauna and flora.
What rules should I follow?
Scuba diving is a leisure sport that must rhyme with pleasure! But to have fun without risk, a few safety rules must be respected.
If you want to get into the practice, it is essential to follow a training course. Many clubs and structures exist in France to allow you to start in complete peace of mind. In general, never dive alone and always use well-maintained equipment. Your life depends on it!
To avoid negative effects on the body, the instructors teach you to respect the maximum recommended depths according to your level and, above all, to respect the different decompression stops.
Did you know that? In the hours following a dive, it is strongly recommended that you do not fly or climb to altitude. Therefore, remember to get well organized.
Diving: what are the benefits?
As a discovery sport, the benefits of diving are above all psychological. Seascapes, beauty of the underwater fauna and flora, exploration of wrecks in complete freedom: the change of scenery is total! The special atmosphere of the depths envelops you completely and transports you far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You are totally relaxed.
Diving is not a very physical sport. But its practice still brings you benefits in terms of muscle development and endurance. Diving regularly will also help you to better control your breathing and better manage your stress.
Diving requires a good basic physical condition. Don’t hesitate to prepare your body with swimming, running or mountain biking, which are beneficial for cardiovascular and pulmonary function.
Is diving for you?
Do you have a desire for discovery and would like to discover a calmer sport? Then yes, diving is for you. It is a gentle sport that can be practiced by anyone, but only if you are in good physical shape.
As some parts of the body are not yet sufficiently developed before this age, diving is not allowed for children under 8 years old. Beyond this age, they are advised not to go below 6 metres in depth, while being accompanied by a certified instructor.
Quel matériel pour plonger ?
– The mask: opening your eyes in the water is not very pleasant, the mask is absolutely essential to see underwater.
– Fins: they will allow you to move around underwater.
– The wet-suit: your body cools down 25x faster in the water than in the air. A neoprene wet-suit is therefore recommended to fight against the cold when diving. Its thickness will vary according to the temperature of the water in which you dive.
– Stab vest: managing your buoyancy, carrying your gear and keeping your scuba tank in place, these are the advantages of the stab vest that make it a diver’s must-have.
– The regulator: Unless you are an experienced freediver, this is an indispensable device connected to your dive unit.
– Safety equipment: parachute, dive computer, etc…