At OpenWaterHQ.com, our goal is to provide people with the knowledge they need to get into the water quickly and enjoy their favorite leisure water activities, whether it is snorkeling, SCUBA diving, freediving, sailing, or kitesurfing.
Getting Started with Water Sports
Most of our planet is covered in water, and thankfully we’ve figured out how to make the best of it for our benefit and enjoyment. Nowadays, people literally ride the waves and swim with sharks, and you can do it too!
Some of these water sports require extensive knowledge to do properly and safely, and knowing what equipment you need is important. If you are snorkeling for example, you need to have a mask, snorkel, and fins (read our article on how does snorkeling work to learn more). Scuba divers need all of that and more, such as a properly-fitted wet suit, oxygen tank, and dive knife.
Without any help, finding the gear you need and learning how to use them can get overwhelming fast. That is why we have compiled a list of our latest articles on these topics to help beginners get started. Even if you’re a veteran, we’ve got some useful or interesting articles for you peruse as well.
Tips to Help You Pass Your Open Water Course
Just imagine how small you are in the vastness of the sea. The thought that, without your gear, there’s no possible way a human being could survive in this harsh environment for very long. And who knows what kinds of marine life you might encounter out there? As a beginner, the first time going out for an open water dive is nerve-wracking!
But don’t worry! As long as you are with other divers and a qualified instructor, it should be a fun and educational experience once you get over your nerves. And in a short time, you will be exploring the wonder that is the undersea world. Here are some tips to help you ace your Open Water Course.
Don’t panic. Unfortunately, staying calm and relaxed is difficult for novice divers, but it’s crucial if you want to safely dive. Just know that almost everybody finds it scary the first time, and instructors expect it, but do your best to follow your training.
Everything you are taught at an Open Water Course has a purpose, even if it is not immediately obvious. Don’t make the mistake of thinking certain tips are less important than others. Your instructor will generally tell you why something is important, and the time to use that knowledge could be during an emergency. So don’t neglect any details and pay attention.
During an Open Water Course, your instructor will be doing lots of demonstrations and explanations. Perhaps your instructor is going too fast, or your brain is being overloaded with information, or something wasn’t explained very well, but when this happens don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
This relates to the paying attention tip just above. Not understanding a concept is basically the same as if you missed that bit of information. Perhaps it was a crucial point that could save your life or somebody else’s in the future. So don’t feel bad about asking “dumb” questions. Don’t feel bad, don’t feel shy, and chances are you weren’t the only person with that question anyways.
It’s Not a Competition
Maybe you are a competitive person and like being the best. But when you are out in the open water, it’s a team effort and everyone should help each other out. People learn at different speeds, and if you or somebody else learns the concept first, it’s not a big deal.
When you are taking a scuba diving course for the first time, the goal is not to be the fastest at learning the theories; it is to give you the knowledge to excel on your first real dive. So as long as all the students (potential diving partners) understand the theory at some point, everything is peachy.
Don’t Give Up
Many students take the Open Water Course and think they know exactly what it is like to scuba dive. Yes, the course prepares you for it, but it is still not quite the real thing. For example, normally when diving you wouldn’t remove your regulator and mask underwater while performing fin pivots.
The course will instill in you the confidence and skills needed to be a scuba diver. But if you’re unsure if diving is for you, get through the course first and then go for an open water dive for yourself afterwards. That way, you can figure out if you enjoy diving or not once you’re not in an instructional environment.
Remember to stay calm and enjoy the experience. Don’t let the diving course scare you away from diving. Scuba diving is incredibly fun, and people enjoy it for a lot of different reasons. Once you’ve successfully finished the course and swim in the open water for leisure, you will know why diving is so popular.
Water Sports Gear Reviews:
- Oxygen Analyzers – A Must Have for Nitrox Divers
- Are Pagani Design Dive Watches Any Good?
- Best Low Volume Mask for Freedivers and Spearos
- Best Dive Light for Night Diving and Murky Water
- Best Frameless Scuba Mask Review
- Aqua Lung i300C Dive Computer Review
- Best Backup Dive Computer – Never Dive Without One
- Best Reef-Friendly Sunscreen to Preserve the Reefs
- Best Scuba Tanks Review and Buying Guide
- Best Snorkeling Gloves Review and Buying Guide
- Mini Air Tanks for Snorkeling – What You Should Know
- Best Mini Scuba Diving Tanks Review – Emergency Air!
- Best Scuba Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) Review
- Best Wetsuit Drying Racks – Dry Quickly and Avoid Creases
- Best Wetsuit Drying Hangers – Dry In Hours, Not Days!
- Best Dive Gloves for Scuba and Spearfishing
- Best Scuba Diving Hood Review
- Full Face Snorkel Masks: Dangerous or Safe?
- Best Full Face Snorkel Mask for Kids Review
- Best Full Face Snorkel Mask Review
- Best Digital Dive Watch Review – Accurate and Durable!
- Spinnaker Dumas Review – 70’s Inspired 300m Diver
- Best Rolex Submariner Homage – Affordable Look-alikes
- Best Dive Compass Review – Never Lose Your Bearings!
- Seiko Turtle SRP777 Dive Watch Review
- Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Review
- Orient Bambino Review – Top Notch Automatic Watches
- Seiko SNK809 Review – Is this the Best Watch Under $100?
- Orient Kamasu Review – Great Alternative to the SKX
- Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1AV Review
- Best Dive Watches Under $200 Review
- Seiko SKX007 & SKX009 Review – Iconic, Reliable, Affordable
- Orient Ray II Automatic Dive Watch Review
- Orient Mako II Automatic Dive Watch Review
- Loreo Submariner Automatic Dive Watch Review
- Best Automatic Dive Watches Under $100 Review
- Best Women’s Dive Watches Review
- Best Quartz Dive Watch Review: The Most Accurate Divers
- Best Dive Watches for Small Wrists (Under 40mm) Review
- Invicta Pro Diver Review: Best Watches from the Collection
- Citizen Promaster Diver Review – BN0151-09L & BN0150-28E
- Best Dive Watch with Depth Gauge Review
- Best Dive Watches Under $500 Review
- Best Underwater Flashlight Review
- Best Sidemount BCD Review – Perfect for Cave and Wreck Diving
- Best Yamaha Underwater Sea Scooters Review
- Fastest Underwater Sea Scooter Review
- Best Underwater Sea Scooters Review
- Best Cold Water Regulator Review and Buying Guide
- Best Scuba Regulator Review – Which One is the Most Reliable?
- Best Scuba BCD Review
- Best Beginner BCD Review
- Back-Inflate vs. Jacket BCD – Which Style is Right for You?
- Best Back Inflate BCD Review
- Best Backplate and Wing BCDs Review
- Best BCD for Travel Review
- Best BCD for Women Review
- Best Watch Dive Computer for Everyday Wear
- Oceanic Geo 4.0 Dive Computer Review
- Scubapro G2 Dive Computer Review
- Shearwater Perdix AI Dive Computer Review
- Suunto D5 Dive Computer Review
- Suunto Vyper Novo Dive Computer Review
- Oceanic OCi Dive Computer Review
- Mares Smart Air Dive Computer Review
- Best Air Integrated Dive Computers Review
- Garmin Descent MK1 Dive Computer Review
- Shearwater Research Teric Dive Computer Review
- Suunto D4i and D4i Novo Dive Computer Review
- Oceanic Geo 2.0 Dive Computer Review
- Best Freediving Watch Review & Buying Guide
- Aqua Lung i200C Dive Computer Review
- Atmos Mission One Dive Computer Review
- Mares Puck Pro & Plus Dive Computer Review
- Mares Smart Dive Computer Review
- Cressi Giotto Dive Computer Review
- Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer Review
- Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer Review
- Suunto Vyper Novo vs. Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer
- Mares Smart vs. Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer
- Cressi Giotto vs. Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer
- Cressi Giotto vs. Mares Smart Dive Computer
- Cressi Giotto vs. Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
- Cressi Leonardo vs. Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer
- Cressi Leonardo vs. Mares Puck Pro Dive Computer
- Best Dive Computers Under $500 Review
- Best Dive Computers for Beginners Review
- Best Freediving Weight Belt Buying Guide
- Best Freediving Snorkels Review
- Best Freediving Fins for Beginners
- Best Swimsuits for Snorkeling
- Best Anti Fog for Snorkel and Dive Masks
- Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling
- Water Ski Belt for Snorkeling Buying Guide
- Best Snorkel Mask for Small and Narrow Faces
- Best Sailing Shoes for Walking in Comfort & Style
- Best Snorkeling Sun Protection Against UV Rays
- Best Foul Weather Gear for Offshore Sailing and Fishing
- Best Waterproof Dry Bags for Snorkeling
- Best Prescription Snorkel Masks for Glasses Wearers
- Best Short Fins for Snorkeling and Travel
- Best Snorkeling Fins for Wide Feet Review
- Best Water Shoes for Snorkeling Review
- Best Neoprene Water Socks for Snorkeling Review
- Best Wetsuits for Snorkeling Review
- Best Snorkel Vest for Non-Swimmers Review
- Best Rash Guards for Snorkeling Review
- Best Flotation Belts for Snorkeling Review
- Best Snorkel Masks with Purge Valve
- Best Wetsuit for Kitesurfing Review
- Best Dive Knife Under $50 Review
- Best Snorkel Mask for Beards and Mustaches Review
- Best Sailing Knife Review
- Snorkeling Equipment
- Freestyle Men’s FS81324 Hammerhead XL Stainless Steel Watch Review
- OTS Guardian Full Face Mask Review
- ScubaPro Jet Sport Fins Review