Is Scuba Diving Hard?

Is Scuba Diving Hard?

When we go scuba diving we are kind of defying nature. Humans are not meant to breathe underwater.

So, surely scuba diving must be hard right?

Is scuba diving hard and is it hard to learn? Recreational scuba diving is not difficult at all. It is surprisingly easy. Also, learning how to scuba dive is relatively easy and in some cases, can take only 3 days for a complete beginner to get their certification. With all of that being said, commercial diving is extremely difficult.

You can’t easily defy nature, can you?  well, let’s take a look.

In this article, we are going to talk about the difficulty of scuba diving. We will start by talking about the scuba diving course and then move on to discussing some of the hardest things about scuba diving. Finally, we will briefly discuss commercial diving.

So, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

Dare I say…Let’s dive in!

Is Learning How To Scuba Dive Hard?

I would say that scuba diving is not hard. When you look at a scuba diver who is just about to jump in the water it may look extremely technical and I guess, you could say that it is but it is a lot less technical than what it looks like.

In fact, as far as most recreational activities go, scuba diving is one of the easiest to learn. Let’s take a look at a list of how a scuba diving course might look. Please note that some courses differ.

  • Theory: Some diving centres are offering their theory courses online. It covers the physical and psychological impacts of scuba diving. The theory also includes knowledge of the ocean.
  • Pool sessions: In a pool session, you will learn how to move in the water. You will also learn the most important skills such as buoyancy control, clearing your mask, and much more.
  • Shallow water dives: This is where you take everything that you have learned and apply it in the ocean. You will have an instructor with you so don’t be nervous.

Going on a scuba course, you will notice that it is rather informal and often very relaxed.

Scuba diver showing "awesome\" hand signal

How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Scuba Dive?

This depends entirely on you and how much time you invest into your course. For a busy person who works all week and only has a minimal amount of time during the weekends, the diving course can take up to six weeks.

With all of that being said, you can finish a scuba diving course in a few days. Some people finish their diving courses in 3 days. 

It is best if you don’t rush your progress unless you need a certificate in a hurry.

The more time you take to understand everything that you are learning, the safer all of your future dives will be.

That is just something to keep in mind.

What Are Some Of The Hardest Challenges while Scuba Diving?

  1. Buoyancy control
  2. Clearing your mask
  3. Replacing your mask
  4. Trim control
  5. Staying focused

Once you become certified, you will be able to travel and dive some of the best spots in the world.

However, just because your training is complete, it doesn’t mean that you are not going to face any challenges while diving.

Before reading the rest of this section, I want you to understand that even though these are the challenges that you are going to face, diving is still not hard especially when you compare it to other recreational activities.

1. Buoyancy Control

Buoyancy is achieved by displacing water. All of your gear and your own body weight contribute to how much water you displace.

These are constant which means there is a point where you stop displacing water and start floating up.

In diving, you need to control how much water you displace. This is achieved with a BCD, a buoyancy control device.

Learning how to properly control your buoyancy is one of the hardest things about diving and it is something that even a lot of intermediate scuba divers still struggle with at certain depths.

The only way to get better buoyancy control is to practice and have patience.

2. Clearing Your Mask

You aren’t always going to have to clear your mask however, there are times where it will need to be done. Clearing your mask is quite the process.

First, you pull the mask slightly away from your face. This allows water to come in and clear out any fog that might have built up.

You then have to bring the mask back to your face. While breathing through your mouth and exhaling through your nose, you clear all the water out.

While it may seem easy when you just read about it, some people find it difficult and it actually causes them to get anxious because they don’t want to get water in their eyes.

Here is a video of a PADI instructor clearing his mask:

3. Replacing Your Mask

In some cases, you might have to replace your mask. Doing this underwater can be quite tricky.

However, if you master how to clear your mask, replacing it should be quite easy.

Here is a video of an SSI dive instructor replacing her mask while underwater: 

4. Trim Control

Trim control is similar to buoyancy control and they actually link together. However, trim control includes other things.

It includes the way you align yourself, your positioning, and almost any movement that you have to do as a diver.

5. Staying Focused

This one is kind of personal.

When you go scuba diving, you will see a lot of new things and experience a different world. This can make it hard to focus.

Staying focused while diving is extremely important for safety reasons.

If you lose focus, you might lose your group or you might forget proper buoyancy control.

Do I have to be Fit to Scuba Dive?

So, this one had to be included in its own section because it’s not really something that makes scuba diving hard.

That being said, if you don’t stay relatively fit, you might struggle not only to dive but even to carry your equipment.

Most recreational divers only dive a few times a year, mostly when they go on vacation.

If this speaks to you then I need to say that it is extremely important that you are relatively fit before you set out on your vacation.

Once diving though, Scuba diving itself is a good workout!

Is Commercial Diving Hard?

Commercial diving is a high-paying job.

Most people start out on $25 to $30 an hour. This makes it rather tempting especially when you consider the fact that you don’t need many qualifications other than your commercial diving qualification to start.

Well, as tempting as it is, training to become a commercial diver is daunting, not only on your body but also on your mind.

You are put through rigorous training and testing. All of that is before you even set out on your first job.

Once you are qualified to become a commercial diver, you need to understand that you are going to be doing things like welding underwater.

You could also be fixing oil rig pipes, cleaning ships, and things of that nature.

It is extremely difficult!

Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!

Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.

Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:


Diver Alert Network (DAN)

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Well, hopefully, you found all the information in this article helpful.

I think it is safe to say that we can close off this article by saying that recreational scuba diving is not difficult.

I also think it is safe to say that the most difficult thing about scuba diving is the time you spend out of the ocean.

It is very easy for normal life to pale into insignificance once you’ve been touched by those salty delights!

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Is Scuba Diving Hard? FAQs

Paul Fulbrook

Paul Fulbrook is a writer, scuba diver, ex-science teacher and marine biologist. He has a passion for coral reef biology, diving on coral reefs and writing about diving. He also loves cats and his children (sometimes).

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