DEMA (Diving Equipment & Marketing Association) conducted a survey with over 24,000 scuba divers that showed 21.7% consider themselves as inactive divers, and another 11.8% were active divers who had not been diving in over a year. The inactive divers were asked if they plan to start diving again, and 97% said yes.
Family and other obligations get in the way and keep us from diving as often as we should to keep up with basic skills. The PADI ReActivate or a Scuba Review/Refresher course is an easy way to get back into diving.
If my certification never expires why do I need a refresher?
Short answer: Safety. Long answer: like anything in life, the longer you go without doing something you start to forget little things. With diving, these little things can become serious life-threatening problems. Even experienced divers don’t often practice important life saving skills. When is the last time you practiced orally inflating your BCD in deep water? Emergency weight drop? Sharing air with a buddy who is out of air? Swimming without a mask? These skills should be easy, comfortable, and muscle memory so if the situation happens and you are under stress you can react quickly, calmly, and safely. There is a big difference between knowing how to do it (in theory) and being able to do it easily (in practice). Hopefully these are skills we will never need to use, but until we grow gills we need to be ready in case of an emergency.
In the refresher course an instructor will go over important skills in a controlled and safe environment to make sure you are comfortable and ready to dive.
After what period of inactivity do I need a refresher?
This is different for everyone and depends on your previous diving experience. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) recommends divers refresh their skills after 6 months of inactivity. Other diving organizations have similar recommendations. If you are a new open water diver with only your 4 certification dives and you haven’t been diving in 6 months you probably have already forgotten a lot. If you have over 20 dives you still probably remember everything after 6 months but may not remember everything after 1 year.
The diving industry standard of when to do a refresher is between 1 and 2 years of not diving.
At Dive Friends Bonaire our policy is we recommend a refresher course after 1 year of no diving and we require it if it has been more than 2 years.
For questions or to make a reservation for a refresher course contact us.