By nature, all of us want to be the best that we can be at something. Maybe it’s a habit taught by our parents who instilled in us at a young age “if you’re going to do something, do it right.” In today’s world, very few people in society “go through the motions” when it comes to learning something new and something for which they have a passion.
When it comes to scuba diving, nothing is more powerful than knowing that you have had extensive training and that you are qualified and certified to make the dive at hand.
If you roll back the clock to when we first became Open Water Certified, it was an exciting time with a ton of information in the academic and the actual application field[JPL1] . However, very few of us when we made that first dive with a buddy and without an instructor didn’t think “am I really ready to do this without a professional?”
The scuba industry and its leaders learned long ago that most divers are always looking for additional knowledge regarding diving, and that the scuba diver met the demographic of one that would research and learn as much as they possibly could. Good divers are always learning, and the student would choose the next step in their dive training however it fit their personal needs.
All of us dive for different reasons. Some are history buffs and others love to view aquatic life in a marine environment. Some of us are camera enthusiasts and others like to harvest fish out of the water to feed ourselves. There are some that want to be comforted in the thought that we know where we are going and others that like to take it to the next level. These are just some of the popular reasons why we dive, and the list is long and thorough. Dive training absolutely does not end when you complete your Open Water certification, and the truth is, it’s really just the beginning.
Most instructors and dive shops help Open Water students get the additional knowledge that is relevant to what each diver wants by offering a certification or specialty in any particular field. This not only gives the knowledge and the training surrounding this field, but equally important, it provides comfort to the diver who wants to do it but may not yet have the confidence to proceed.
To help you decide what your next step is, what brought you to scuba diving in the first place? If it was a fascination with history, then nothing could be more important than becoming wreck certified. Maybe your love of animals draws you to a Fish ID specialist and adding an underwater photography certification?
The answer lies in you, and once you decide what your passion is in diving, take the next step and get the additional training. It will make you a better diver by helping you to refine your diving skills and adding an additional training component that not all divers can say they have.