I’m Steve, one of the paddlers here at Robin Hood Watersports, and I recently took part in a discover scuba diving session, which is offered using our on site heated pool. As an official PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) training centre, our specialst staff are highly trained to guide you through the relevant qualifications. The discover scuba experience represents the first step in this journey and is a risk free way to find out whether exploring the underwater world is for you.
Prior to the day, I had undertaken one diving experience abroad but there was something about it that made me uncomfortable and slightly scared to try it again. As a result, when I finally decided to have another go I was more than a little nervous. I have to say that the dive instructors here at RoHo did a fantastic job of easing these nerves throughout the whole experience.
To begin with there is a short theory session to help understand how the session is structured, how to enjoy time underwater safely, and how the equipment functions. Perhaps most useful was a description of the hand signals. This is super important given that it's more than a little tricky to talk underwater! The instructors explain things in a way that is simple to understand. They make it clear that there is no such thing as a stupid question, which helps boost confidence.
Getting kitted up was easy and any questions about the equipment were answered. Being shown the basics of picking a mask (it's not just about the colour but I do like the black and pink one), sizing up for a BCD (the special diving jacket used for floatation on the surface and holding the kit) is as simple as putting the jacket on and seeing if it fits before the instructor installs the cylinder and regulators. Lastly, you find a set of fins (not called flippers apparently) that are comfortable on your feet and you are ready to go. It is now time to get in the water and put the kit on your person. It is actually easier to do this in the water than on land. Once you are kitted up the instructor will add the appropriate amount of weights to ensure you have the correct buoyancy to ascend and descend effectively.
In the water you get to go at your own pace, starting small with just submerging your face and getting used to breathing through a regulator. As confidence grows you can slowly progress to sitting on the shallow platform before finally going off of the platform and around the pool. After exploring the pool your instructor will take you back to the platform and talk you through some of the basic skills a diver would need to know. We covered how to clear water from a mask whilst underwater, how to safely remove and replace your regulator and how to adjust buoyancy trim. These were very well explained on the surface with multiple demonstrations under the surface before the instructor guides you through your own attempt. After the skills, it was just a pleasant swim around the pool until the end of the session.
I can highly recommend the experience here at Roho, from start to finish you are looked after and made to feel comfortable. If you have thought about scuba diving but would like the idea of a risk free taster session then this is the one for you.