FUN-damentals | Learn to SCUBA dive


This is your How To Guide to learning how to SCUBA dive.  

SCUBA stands for "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus".  Unlike snorkelling or skin diving, while you are scuba diving, you get to be "one" with the fishes, turtles, sharks, and colourful reefs.  

In order to learn, you need to be able to swim at least 200m confidently be able to stay afloat for 10 minutes, and be generally comfortable in water.  There are 3 sections to your certification: theory, confined water, and open water assessment.

  1. Theory - There is an open water manual that covers everything from skills, equipment, the underwater environment, and course breakdown. 10 year olds are allowed to take this exam, so it can't be that difficult, right?

  2. Confined Water - There are about 20 different skills to be learned for scuba diving but don't worry too much as most of them become second nature. All skills are explained and demonstrated in the pool by a qualified instructor then you repeat the skills back. Monkey see, monkey do. Simple as that.

  3. Open Water Assessment - This is the best part: going into the ocean and actually stretching your arms and legs in the deep blue sea! Most skills learned in the pool will be assessed in the ocean. Again, not to worry, the only difference is that the saltwater stings the eyes a bit more than chlorinated water.

Which agency should you get your entry level scuba diving certificate?
There are multiple agencies that certify scuba diving: PADI, SDI, SSI, BSAC, and GUE.  The most common is PADI.  The most technical is GUE.  The most comprehensive is BSAC.  In Southeast Asia, we recommend PADI because it is the most widely found and they have a complete structure for teaching the skills necessary.  However the most important consideration is which company to dive with.  Asia has arguably the best diving in the world and there are multiple hotspots to learn and fun dive in.  It is important that you take the time to find the most professional and safest dive centre in each destination.

Contact Chickenfeet Travels ( and our experienced diving instructor Jin can guide you on the best dive company in the location of your choice.

Scuba diving opens up a whole new world of adventure.  You are humbled every dive by the vast size of the ocean.  And you learn a whole new respect for the planet and its inhabitants.