Top Common Diving Mistakes

Ahmed Khalifa,
PADI IDC Staff Instructor. SDI Specialty Instructor.
But above all, I’m honored to be a war diver, I have started my dive career as a war diver (Egyptian Special Forces, 777) and then continued my dive education as PADI professional.
Throughout this journey, I have witnessed many divers doing common mistakes but before we talk about them we need to know why we do mistakes!!

There are always 2 sides of the coin, either the trainer or the diver himself could be the rout cause of the problem/mistake,

1- The trainer; some of the trainers can be the reason of the diver’s common mistake, those only some examples:
– lack of knowledge.
– Lack of supervision during the course.
– Not complying with the standard.
– Ignoring the requirement.
– Being a bad role model.
2- The diver;
– Ignoring the dive standard.
– Use the shortcuts during the training.
– Not conducting scuba diving at least every 6 months.
– exceed the recreational diving limits.
Those are some examples of why divers do mistakes and I’m sure you can come up with 100 reasons more.
Now let’s discuss some common mistakes in scuba dive;
1- Using the Power Inflator Too Much Underwater
While many newer divers tend to forget about inflating their BCD at the surface, they never seem to forget about it underwater. Inflate, deflate, inflate, deflate — that seems to be the habit of most new divers instead of learning good buoyancy control. It takes practice to perfect, but that’s difficult to do if you’re always reaching for your power inflator.
2- Not Equalizing Soon Enough
Many new divers still wait until they feel pain or pressure before equalizing, some others feel embarrassed to quit the dive or delay the start of the dive, Aside from physical problems in the ears, this is the most common reason divers have difficulty equalizing in the first place. Once you’re experiencing pain, it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to equalize your ears. Even trying to do so could cause irritation and inflammation, making it even harder on the next dive. Equalize every meter on your way down, before you feel pain or pressure, and especially in the first 10 meters. If you do feel pain, ascend a little and then try to equalize. Don’t force it

3- Not Watching Air Consumption
New divers are famous for completely ignoring their air-pressure gauge, which is frightening since air is the single most important thing to a diver. I try to train my students to keep such a close watch on their air that when I ask them how much they have, they shouldn’t have to look to know. Watch your air and know at all times how much you have — there is absolutely no excuse for neglecting this. After your dives, chart your air consumption so that on future dives in similar conditions you’ll be able to estimate how much air you’ll need.
4- Lack of Buddy Communication
Whether it’s your friend or a family member, or even an insta-buddy, communication is essential. From early training classes on, I see divers who don’t even know where their buddy is at any given time. Keeping tabs on the person who may be called upon to help save your life — or whose life you may have to save — should be your top priority. Go over your hand signals so there’s less confusion down below; keep a watchful eye on your buddy’s location so you always know how far away they are; and keep tabs on their air as well as your own.
5- Skipping the Buoyancy Check
Whether you are over-weighted or under-weighted while diving, it happened because you didn’t do a buoyancy check at the surface. If anything has changed since your last check — weight loss or gain, new wetsuit or different thickness, Dry suit or even semi-dry suit, fresh water instead of salt water, new or differ++rent BCD — then you need to do bouncy check to make sure that you’re weighted properly. The wrong weights can cost you precious energy and air at best, or cause an out-of-control ascent at worst.
6- Over confidence
One of the fetal mistakes which novice and experienced divers can have, confidence is required but to the point of the respecting the safety and standards of recreational diving. It pushes the diver to ignore his safety to risk his life and others life as well. It’s always the two edges weapon, they key is to use it and not hurting yourself.

And as I said before, those are some examples, we will talk more about the common mistake next time we meet…
Now into my safety stop, see you soon 

Ahmed Khalifa


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