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How to Dive Again After an Extended Break

Let’s talk about the possibility of needing to refresh your scuba skills after getting yourself PADI certified. It can happen for any number of reasons. These include a long gap between your certification and your first fun dive or simply because you lost a little confidence after finding yourself in the open water.

I had a 19-month break from diving after getting my Advanced Open Water Diver certification. Here are five things I did in preparation for and during my PADI ReActivate program to build a little more confidence and a lot more excitement to dive again.

1. Get comfortable in water again

I enrolled in swimming classes for 20 days just to get comfortable being in and around water every day. While diving with scuba gear is very different from swimming, the latter is often the best available option before you actually go on a dive trip, especially if you don’t live geographically close to a dive site (discover your nearest diving here). Furthermore, practicing swimming is always a good idea as it only improves your skill and technique.

2. Combine diving with other activites you enjoy

My plan was to take the Reactivate program on an island where I also wanted to cycle and visit a particular spot 100 meters (328 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean. Having something planned for before and after the dives certainly helped me stress less about diving after a long gap. The combined trip also becomes one that’s both memorable and exciting.

3. Brush up on your theory

If you are someone who prefers an amount of preparation before taking up any major task, skimming through the theory you originally read for your certification courses will help. Reviewing basics, such as gear safety checks, the buddy check (BWRAF) and important hand signals, should help you feel more confident.

4. Be honest with your instructor and buddy

If you are diving after a long time between dives, it’s good practice to communicate clearly and honestly. Be sure to share any inhibitions or doubts you have regarding the procedures and dive plan itself. This could be the fear of water entering your mask, issues with buoyancy maintenance or anything else which causes concern. By sharing, your instructor and dive buddy can help you to enjoy a smoother dive experience.

5. Give yourself time once the dive begins

Just like riding a bike, you never really forget the basics of scuba diving. So once you are in water, give yourself some time to focus and remember why you love diving. Then follow your instructor, stay with your dive buddy and feel the dive. Before you know it, you are back!

Ready to get back in the water after a prolonged absence from diving? Sign up for a PADI ReActivate Scuba Refresher Program to refresh your skills and review the theory of diving.

And, because we believe getting back in the water should be a seamless experience, we want to remind you that PADI Club members get free access to the online portion of the PADI ReActivate program.


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