Diving courses may be offered at a tropical resort you visit or you may see them advertised at your local secondary school if it has a pool. Taking such a course can be a good option if you want to try diving during your next vacation as it's usually a legal requirement that you have some type of certification before you're allowed under the water. Note a few quick considerations about diving courses and everything involved with them so you know how to choose one for you and know what to expect.
1. Why are diving courses necessary even for shallow water?
Even if you plan on diving in what might be considered relatively shallow water such as in a gulf rather than the open ocean, you may still be required to have completed a diving course. This is because such a course covers, among other things, the safe use of equipment needed for any diving no matter the depths. It's also vital that you understand how you are physically affected when underwater of any depth; the weight of the water pushes against you so that you need to resurface slowly and allow your body to adjust to the change in pressure. These are just a few things covered in a diving course and which you need to understand no matter the depths of a dive.
2. Is equipment included or can I use my own?
When taking a diving course you want to know if they will provide equipment for you, or, if you have your own equipment, if they'll allow you to bring it to the class. In some cases a class may prefer you use their equipment so they know it's safe and in good repair, but other classes may allow you to bring your own. You may even be interested in purchasing the equipment used in class so you know you have everything you need for your next vacation, but in any case, be sure you know the requirements and restrictions.
3. A certification can be good for life
Unlike a driver's license or other such certification, a diving certificate may be good for life. If you're not sure if the expense of a diving course is a good investment for you, consider that just one course can mean being able to try diving for years to come without having to worry about renewing the certificate, taking new classes, and so on. Be sure to ask about the certificate offered by a class but remember that you can be ready to dive for the rest of your life with just one course.