Scuba Myths & FAQs

Maybe you think breathing underwater on scuba sounds awesome (it is!), but have some questions or have heard some stories that make you unsure. Let's talk about some of the common questions and misconceptions about scuba!

If you want to scuba dive, every reputable dive center in the world will request that you verify that you have had scuba instruction that meets certain standards. There are many reasons for this, the most important of which are to protect the dive center from liability and to ensure that you (and your dive buddy) are going to be safe underwater. The verification process usually means that you will present your certification card to the dive center. Some dive centers may also request to see your logbook to verify dive experience, log books are important to keep up to date (whether paper or digital) When you take scuba instruction from Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba, we provide you with PADI certification card when you have completed the necessary training and have mastered your skills as demonstrated in our open water training dives.

Learning to scuba dive with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba and PADI is an incredible adventure! With PADI as your training organization, your path to breathing underwater is accomplished in three segments:

Knowledge Development

Through independent study via PADI eLearning you learn at your own pace about the basic principles of scuba diving. You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives. You briefly review what you have studied with your instructor and take a quick review quiz to be sure you understand the key concepts and ideas. You and your Instructor will review anything that you don't quite get until it's clear.

Confined Water Dives

This is what it's all about – diving. You develop basic scuba skills by scuba diving in a pool or body of water with pool-like conditions. Here you'll learn everything from setting up your scuba gear to how to easily get water out of your scuba mask without surfacing. You'll also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air or replacing your scuba mask. Plus, you may play some games, make new friends and have a great time. There are five confined water dives, with each building upon the previous. Over the course of these five dives, you attain the skills you need to dive in open water.

Open Water Dives

After your confined water dives, you and the new friends you've made continue learning during four open water dives with your PADI Instructor at a dive site. This is where you fully experience the underwater adventure – at the beginner level, of course. You may make these dives locally or at a more exotic destination while on a Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba group trip.

Our typical confined water class schedule involves up to 6 3 hour sessions over a 4 week span (1 Orientation/classroom session and up to 5 pool sessions). It is not uncommon for students that are confident in the water to require as few as 3 pool sessions.

After the confined water portion we do 4 open water training dives spread out over 2 days. This typically means a weekend at Beaver Lake with 3 dives on Saturday and 1 on Sunday morning.

It's possible to complete your confined and open water dives in as few as three days by completing the PADI eLearning and signing up for a weekend Full Open Water Course offered by Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba. Contact us for details and to schedule.

The PADI Open Water Diver course is incredibly flexible and performance based, which means that Dive Rinse Repeat can offer a wide variety of schedules, paced according to how fast you progress.

PADI standards are based on skill mastery and your instructor's interest is in you learning to scuba dive, not in how long you sit in a class. So, training is based upon demonstrating that you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do. This means that you progress at your own pace depending upon the time you need to become a confident scuba diver who dives regularly. You can start learning to scuba dive online right now with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba.

Your PADI certification does not expire. However, the skills you learned in your class and water sessions get rusty if you do not use them with some frequency. It is important to keep in practice; which means you should dive more than once a year. If you have been away for diving for a year or more, you should take a scuba refresher course to remind yourself of safety considerations and practices.

If you haven't gone diving in a long time you may consider taking a PADI ReActivate Course, it will take you through eLearning to freshing up your knowledge with advances in scuba and includes a thorough skill review in the pool.

Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba is proud to be able to offer the PADI Open Water Course from $545 per person, not including some basic required gear.

When compared with getting started in other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities, learning to scuba dive isn't expensive.

For example, you can expect to pay a similar amount for:

  • a full day of private surfing lessons
  • a weekend of rock climbing lessons
  • a weekend of kayaking lessons
  • a weekend of fly-fishing lessons
  • a day of private golf lessons
  • a day of private water skiing lessons

Learning to scuba dive is a great value when you consider that you learn to dive under the guidance and attention of a highly trained, experienced professional - your PADI Scuba Instructor. From the first day, scuba diving starts transforming your life with new experiences you share with friends. And, you can do it almost anywhere there is water. Start learning  with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba and get ready to take your first breath underwater!

Choosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba will help you find the right gear. Each piece of scuba equipment performs a different function so that collectively, it adapts you to the underwater world.

When you start learning to scuba dive, as a minimum, you need your own

  • scuba mask
  • snorkel
  • boots
  • scuba fins
  • Mesh bag (to pack everything in)

These have a personal fit, and Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba will help you choose ones that have the fit and features best suited to you. Included in the cost of your PADI Open Water Diver course, We provide a:

  • dive regulator
  • scuba BC
  • dive computer
  • scuba tank
  • weight system and weights

The only optional gear you may want is a scuba wetsuit, which can be rented at the lake or purchased.

Check with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba to confirm sizing available for your course package. It's recommended that you invest in your own scuba equipment when you start your course because:

  • you're more comfortable using scuba gear fitted for you
  • you're more comfortable learning to scuba dive using gear you've chosen
  • scuba divers who own their own scuba diving equipment find it more convenient to go diving
  • having your own scuba diving gear is part of the fun of diving

The kind of gear you will need depends on the conditions where you dive. You may want:

  • tropical scuba gear
  • temperate scuba equipment
  • cold water scuba diving equipment

Whatever we sell, of course! Just kidding, the real answer is that there is no universal best gear. But, there is the best gear for you. The professionals at Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba are trained to help you find scuba gear that best matches your preferences, fit, and budget. We can get you set with the right stuff, plus they provide service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.

If you have an appetite for excitement and adventure, odds are you can become an avid PADI scuba diver. You'll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

Minimum Age:

  • 10 years old
  • Students younger than 15 years, who successfully complete the course qualify for the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15.

Physical Fitness:

For safety, all students complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, you sign the form and you're ready to start. If any of these apply to you, as a safety precaution your physician must assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms that you're fit to dive.

Waterskills Assessment:

Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskill comfort by having you:

  • Complete a continuous surface swim. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want. There are two options for the distance:
    • 200 yards with no swim aids
    • 200 yards with mask, snorkel, and fins
  • Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you want.

About Physical Challenges:

Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Some of our instructors have taken special training to be able to understand these challenges so they can safely & effectively train using adaptive techniques. Call us for more information.

You can dive practically anywhere there's water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your:

  • experience level
  • accessibility
  • conditions interests

Don't limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think.

Our local dive sites can range from Beaver Lake or Bull Shoals in Arkansas to local quarries. Some of these waters may not be crystal clear and sometimes not the warmest temperatures, but it's not always about great visibility because what you see is more important than how far you see.

If you want some local crystal clear diving, check out the mine in Bonne Terre, MO. It has crystal clear, but prepare yourself for the brisk 60 degree year-round water.

That isn't to say there aren't amazing destination with fantastic diving, check out our travel page for some of our upcoming travel destinations!

The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the scuba diving training and experience appropriate for diving there, and that you have a dive buddy to go with you. Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba can help you organize great local diving or a dive vacation. Visit today to get started.

Yes, you can still become a scuba diver (assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses). The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

In fact, this is one of the first skills we work on when you start your confined water training. We will show you how to avoid ear pain and how to learn to “equalize” your ears as you descend so that there is no discomfort. This task may take some focus when you first begin, but as you gain experience it becomes second nature and often you don't even realize you are doing it.

Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function, or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person's individual risk. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. 

DAN and The Diver Medical Screen Committee have information available online if you wish to do some research.

Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing gloves and an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.

We strive to teach students proper diving skills to avoid issues with marine surfaces and life.

Contact Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba for information about exposure protection needed for any of your diving.

Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare for divers. Most commonly shark encounters primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which can trigger erratic feeding behavior. Sharks' main food source is fish and who doesn't like free food!

Hollywood has greatly exaggerated sharks to make then an ever-hungry predator of humans. If you think sharks are dangerous beware before you pet a dog: In 2018, there were 38 fatalities from dog bites in the U.S. compared to 4 world-wide fatalities due to shark attacks (source: Florida Museum Intl Shark Attack File).

So, if you are lucky, then you'll get to see a shark!

Most of the time, if you see a shark, it's passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy.

Some myths, about sharks, that you have heard may be dispelled by checking out PADI's Shark Myths Debunked and the World Wildlife Foundation's Shark species page and article on Shark Facts vs. Shark Myths .

PS: We are both dog and shark lovers!

With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 130 feet. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower, above 60 feet unless you are a Junior Scuba Diver then it is 40 feet. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 40 feet where the water's warmer and the colors are brighter.

That's not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times. This way, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. But to answer the question, if you run out of air, your buddy has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you'll learn in your PADI Open Water course with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba. We will do our best to instill in you the importance of regularly checking your air supply and signaling your buddies when it is time to end your dive safely.

We find that most divers that deal with some level of claustrophobia usually discover that scuba gives them more of a sense of space than they expected. While there are some that find it to be too much, imagine being in the ocean and being able to clearly see 80 to 100 feet around you, now look around where you are sitting, unless you are in a park you probably can only see 20 to 40 feet in any direction.

Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training with Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.

Dive Rinse Repeat Scuba keeps classes small so that we can give you more time to get comfortable with the amazing world of diving.