A Discover Scuba Diving course can be a great way to see if the sport is right for you before you commit more time and money.

Many prospective divers are apprehensive about dipping into the underwater. Luckily, many dive organizations offer a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course, which aims to dispel common misconceptions about scuba diving under professional guidance. Signing up for a DSD helps people determine whether diving is right for them in a closely supervised environment.

Taking a Discover Scuba Diving course

Dive schools only allow students over 10 years old to take the course. Instructors typically conduct the class in a shallow, sandy area with a maximum depth of 18 feet (6 m). The instructor will offer one-on-one focus, conducting basic skills and preparing students for the ocean environment. Organizations stress that the DSD is not a qualification course. You will not be allowed to dive alone after the one- to five-hour session. In fact, many people decide to conduct the experience multiple times, gaining confidence in a one-on-one environment. Subsequent open-water dives may include other divers, however, once people have finished their first DSD. May DSD divers progress on to an open-water course after enjoying the session.

What should you bring on your DSD?

Most dive schools will supply prospective students with all necessary diving equipment, but you should consider buying your own mask. While fins, wetsuits and other accessories are somewhat interchangeable, a foggy or odd -dive school mask can ruin your entire experience, especially before you learn to clear it of water or defog it.

What will you learn?

Students in a DSD class learn plenty of facts and figures about the underwater world and scuba diving. Instructors particularly stress the fundamentals, such as equalization, breathing and hand signals underwater. While the instructor or DSD leader will constantly monitor your buoyancy, it is crucial that you understand how to equalize the pressure on your body and breathe in the right way. You’ll learn basic signals such as ‘ok,’ ‘go up,’ ‘slow down,’ and ‘I have a problem,’ to help avoid any potential miscommunication issues.

Dependent on your instructor, each person can enjoy a variety of different learning techniques. These variations can encourage them to progress through the diving courses. Because of this, prospective divers should read reviews of dive schools and particularly the DSD reviews for any dive center you wish to patronize. If possible, visit the dive center before you commit to the Discover Scuba Diving course, especially if the activity is for children. Either way, a DSD can be a great entry into what may turn into an obsession.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.
New stuff
marbled grouper

Marbled Grouper Spawning in French Polynesia

The yearly marbled grouper spawning in Fakarava, French Polynesia attracts thousands of grey reef sharks.
by Chris Vyvyan-Robinson
Jill Heinerth

Scuba Diver Life Interviews Author and Explorer Jill Heinerth

“If I die, it will be in the most glorious place nobody has ever seen.” So begins the breathtaking book, Into the Planet part of our personal interview with famed cave diver, Jill Heinerth.
by Beth McCrea

Preserving America’s Underwater Battlefield: the Tamaulipas

This year, Scuba Diver Life and NOAA are partnering to profile 12 different ships in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This month we visit the Tamaulipas.
by Guest Author
dive industry

New Brand Partnership Advocates for Stronger Dive Industry Collaboration

A new brand partnership advocates for stronger dive industry collaboration to catalyze exploration, ocean awareness, and inclusivity
by News Release