Learning to Dive After Retirement

If you are coming to the end of your working life, you might be starting to think about what to do with all the extra free time you are going to have. If scuba diving is something you always wanted to try but never got around to, retirement could be the perfect opportunity to pick up this new hobby. But have you waited too long to start? …Heck no! Scuba diving is suitable for all ages and abilities, and it is a hobby that many people still indulge in later in life. We are going to ease some of the worries you might have about scuba diving after retirement. Afterall, 60 is the new 20!

Worries you might have

1."I am out of shape"

So you are not twenty any more, maybe you suffer with some back pain or cracking knees. You might be wondering if your physical fitness is good enough to take up scuba diving now? …Those tanks look heavy!

Why this should not put you off

Scuba diving does not actually require much strength and fitness to enjoy. The equipment is a little heavy on land, but once you are in the water, you feel completely weightless. If you are worried about the equipment weighing too much for you to carry, most instructors would be happy to carry it for you, or help you in any way that you need. Before going scuba diving you will be asked to sign a medical questionnaire that states you are fit for diving. You can ask to see this questionnaire before the dive day, and if you feel you have a medical issue that might affect you while scuba diving you can go to see a doctor beforehand to get their professional opinion. 

Want to get prepared before your diving course? Here are 13 Hand Signals You Need to Know as a Beginner Scuba Diver.

2. "I am not a confident swimmer"

Diving takes place in the water so you might be thinking that you have to be an olympic level swimmer to go scuba diving.

Why this should not put you off

Yes, you will be in the water for scuba diving, however, the equipment that you will use for diving will allow you to float with ease. Other than some very light kicking to keep you moving on the dive (for which you will be wearing fins), not much swimming is involved in scuba diving. Having said that, you should be able to swim a short distance and be comfortable floating on the surface without panicking before signing up for a scuba diving course. But you absolutely do not have to be an advanced swimmer.

3. "I am worried about feeling out of place"

You might be worried that everyone else on the course or on dive trips will be young and uninterested in talking to anyone out of their age group.

Why this should not put you off

When scuba diving began it was a sport exclusively for young and fit men. But we have come a long way since then; Equipment became easier to carry and people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds began taking up the sport. You would probably be surprised at the diversity of people you can find on a dive boat. Not only that, but all of those people have one very cool thing in common… a love of scuba diving! So there is always something to talk about. The diving community is generally very open and welcoming, and people love to share their dive stories and underwater photos.

During your scuba course you will learn and practice various skills. Here are 15 Skills Every Scuba Diver Should Master.

4. "There must be so much to learn and remember"

There is a lot to learn and a lot to remember in scuba diving to stay safe and to dive efficiently. You might feel put off by the idea of all that theory and homework.

Why this should not put you off

Scuba diving courses are purposely laid out in a way that makes the information easy to learn and remember. It has been designed that way so that it is suitable for everyone (children as young as ten can take the Open Water Diver course). There is a lot to learn about diving physiology, safety, skills, and equipment etc, but most people actually find it all very interesting and just want to keep learning more and more. A scuba course does not feel like going back to school, it is a fun few days of working together, taking on new information, and putting into practice what you have learned. Your dive instructor will be happy to explain things in different ways, or practice things multiple times for you if you need them to. Once you have completed the course, you can take refresher courses to refresh your memory if you take a long break between dives, so there is no pressure to remember every little thing. If you find you have a thirst for diving knowledge, there is always more to learn and more courses to take, you can go on to do the Advanced Adventurer course, or choose from a multitude of specialties.

Here are some more Common Worries of First Time Scuba Divers.

Extra tips for enjoyable scuba diving over 60

Here are a few extra tips to make scuba diving as enjoyable as possible.

Stay warm: Staying warm on a dive and in between dives can make a huge difference in how enjoyable a diving day is. We recommend purchasing your own wetsuit that fits you well and is  a suitable thickness for where you will be diving. For in between dives, have a flask of hot tea or soup at hand, as well as a thick towel, sweater, or Dry Robe to throw over you while you are on the surface. Make sure to have snacks and water, too.

Do some yoga/stretching: You do not need to partake in any in-depth gym workouts, but regular stretching or yoga classes can keep you flexible and increase your strength. It is easy on the body and good for day-to-day life too.

Did you know that there are certain things you should not do right after scuba diving? Check out 4 Things You Should Avoid After Scuba Diving.

Buy your own equipment: If you plan to dive regularly it is worth investing in your own equipment. To start with, having your own wetsuit and mask can make diving much more comfortable, and then you can move on to other equipment if you wish.

Sign up for a Try Scuba course first: A Try Scuba course allows you to give scuba diving a try to decide if you like it, before signing up for a full course. The Try Scuba course teaches you scuba basics and lets you swim underwater with a professional closeby the entire time. If you love it (most people do), you can then continue to complete the Open Water course.

Brush up on marine life: If you are a little nervous about sharks or other "scary" marine life, it helps to research them before diving into the water. You will find that most sea creatures just want to go about their lives in peace and have no desire to hurt you, and it can be helpful to know what to expect in the area in which you will be diving. 

Choose easy dive sites: If you get sea sick easily, you might prefer to choose land-entry dive sites if they are available to you. If you are nervous to try scuba diving, pick an area to take the course that is not prone to strong currents or large waves.

We hope that we have eased any worries you might have had about scuba diving after retirement, and convinced you to sign up for your first course!