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Short Feature: Choosing a Good Dive Partner

Diving is a sport that involves a great deal of responsibility and the ability to have complete control over your mind and body.

It also entertains a certain level of consciousness, as it is not a solo sport, from dive to dive. Whether you are an Open Water Diver or a Scuba Instructor you need to be 100 percent aware of your surroundings and most importantly the location and well-being of your dive partner (Buddy).

When you enter the water, the person that you choose as your dive buddy; be it a friend or stranger needs to be looked at in a whole new perspective. Consider this person as your ticket for a ride to the surface and if you were in trouble, your life-line or your redundant air supply. This is why it is so important to do a little investigation into your new dive partner. You just need to know a few simple things about this person, so that you can be comfortable and know what resources you have. Consider the following basic questions to ask:

1. Certification Level?
– This gives you their raw knowledge of diving.
– Also determines where you should go and what dives are appropriate along with depth.

2. How Many Dives?
– How many dives your partner has shows true experience, but easily exaggerated.
– This is not about who has the biggest muscles.

3. When was Your Last Dive?
This question will enforce all of the information you have up until this point.
– The more recent the dive, the fresher their training and skills are.
– Diving is a sport that relies on repetition of basic skills to maintain fresh.

4. How Frequently Do You Dive?
Just because they dove a month ago, that could have been the first dive in 2 years
Shows awareness and again the repetition of basic skills.

5. What Type of Diving Have You Done?
Wrecks, Walls, Cave, Boat, Dry Suit, Current, Night, Deep, Enriched Air
– This will decided the limitations of your dive group and again shows experience

There are many more questions you can ask your new dive partner, but these are some basic things that can help you determine what you’re up against or if you should consider pairing with someone a little more experienced. This is not intended for you to turn down every diver that wants to go with you, or be rude to people about not diving with them. It gives you an arsenal of information to decide if you are prepared to make a commitment to the person. Also, this is not a military interrogation… Ask the person what places they have been, what their most exciting experience was, why they dive and ask them if they are excited to go diving with you now!

Asking questions of your buddy is going to make you more comfortable to dive with the person and you never know… You might make a new friend out of it too! Safe Diving, and as always comments are appreciated!