Why Scuba Diving Is The Best Sport/Hobby In The World

Why Scuba Diving Is The Best Sport/Hobby In The World

While preparing to write this article I realized it could easily be construed as simply “preaching to the choir.” Obviously, I know scuba diving is the greatest thing in the world, or I wouldn’t work in a dive shop and teach diving for a living. Obviously, you know it’s the greatest thing in the world, or you wouldn’t spend your hard-earned dollars on equipment, classes, and dive trips. Far beyond mere opinions, however, there’s actual scientific PROOF that scuba diving is the best sport/hobby in the world. Okay, it may be my version of “scientific,” but it makes perfect sense to me. It’ll make perfect sense to you, as well, after I lay out the reasons why.

A ridiculous level of exclusivity. Worldwide, there is no end of clubs, groups, organizations, brotherhoods, etc. that bring people together around a common love or interest in a certain “thing.” Motorcycle riders, stamp collectors, bird watchers, fishermen, classic car enthusiasts, and golfers (to name a few) all have their own brotherhood/sisterhood to which they belong, replete with events and trade shows (maybe even paid dues), as well as friends with whom they swap stories and camaraderie. Of all the groups in the world, however, there are only TWO that I can think of that are unique in using specialized equipment and training to put man where man is not supposed to be. Those two are flying and scuba diving. Of the two, I believe there’s a strong argument why scuba diving is the superior. Apologies ahead of time to any pilots in the audience…

An explorer’s heart and humility. Here I am talking about how much cooler we are than everybody else, but then I mention humility? Bear with me, and I’ll explain. First, the explorer’s heart: What do we know about the atmosphere above us? Um, pretty much everything. Why? Because there’s nothing up there but AIR. Okay, if you want to get technical, there are occasional birds and clouds, and smog if you’re flying over Los Angeles. Other than that, nothing but air. Yawn… What we DON’T know, however, is what’s down there. Only about 5% of the ocean (yes, there’s only one) has been explored, which leaves more than enough left for us to discover. New, previously unknown creatures and other life are being discovered all the time, and it seems like every dive we make we’re hoping to see that certain something we’ve never seen before, although we’re never disappointed with seeing the same ol’ usual critters simply because they’re so awesome.

Now, a bit about humility. I can’t really get into the psyche of someone as I’m not a psychologist; I just played one on TV (AND I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night…), but it seems that pilots want to put themselves ABOVE everything and look DOWN on the world. As divers, however, we are perfectly content to humble ourselves before this expansive, deep, unknown, alien environment, never knowing exactly what to expect but happy to take on whatever may come in stride (or, rather, in kick cycle). If that doesn’t make us cooler, I don’t know what does. Now, to avoid the inevitable hate mail, let’s just say that, if you’re both a pilot AND a diver, you have achieved a ridiculous level of cool that no mere mortal can possibly match. Happy now?

It’s all about the lifestyle. Learning how to scuba dive, getting better at it, and buying scuba gear are all just means to an end. That “end” is the lifestyle that goes along with it. Where do stamp collectors go to do their thing, some convention in Milwaukee?? We go to Cozumel, Roatan, Fiji, Thailand, the Galapagos, Chuuk, and Indonesia. We sip exotic drinks on beaches other folks have never heard of and share pictures with each other of life that other folks (only 1% of the world’s population are certified divers) will never see. Compared to other sports/hobbies, scuba diving is pretty darn affordable, too! Any specialized activity has related costs, but getting certified for $400-500 (depending on location) and buying a full set of top-quality dive gear for $1500-2500 (or less) makes diving cheaper to do than many other hobbies. You ever tried buying your own airplane…?

The people are the best. Sure, there are d(*&s in any walk of life, but they seem to be so much rarer in the scuba world. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s nicer people who are initially attracted to scuba diving, or if average folks just become nicer after getting certified. Hmm, chicken/egg… Regardless, for such a high level of exclusivity, divers are typically the most welcoming of all the aforementioned groups. Come to one of our lake weekends, walk up and down the shore, approach any random group of divers, and say to them, “Hey guys, I don’t have a buddy. Can I tag along with y’all?” I challenge anyone to find one of those groups who says, “no.” Try finding that among motorcyclists, pilots, or bird watchers!

So, there you have it, scientifically proven. Exclusivity, exploration, humility before an alien environment, an awesome but affordable lifestyle, and even “awesomer” people comprise the secret sauce that makes scuba diving the very best hobby/sport/endeavor/whatever in the world. Sure, it’s just one man’s opinion, but I’m right…

Until next time, never stop learning, never settle for “good enough,” and stay sharky, my friends!

Why Is Nothing Better Than Scuba Diving?

Best Sport Scuba Diving Superhero

We're Superheroes!

Think about how the rest of the “normal” population views scuba divers. We breathe underwater! We swim with sharks, moray eels, and stingrays! Yeah, we know they’re pretty much harmless, but they don’t…

Scuba Diving Better Than Flying

Even Cooler Than Flying!

Only flying and diving put humans where humans aren’t normally supposed to be. Exploration and humility make diving the better of the two. And don’t forget; there are more airplanes at the bottom of the ocean than there are ships in the sky!

Scuba Diving Vast Ocean

Open To The Unknown

The ocean makes up 70% of the earth’s surface and 99% of total land area if it was all drained, yet only 5% of it has been explored. That’s a whole lot of the planet left for us to discover. Who best to do the discovering? Divers!

Scuba Divers Are The Best People

The Best People!

Few hobbies or sports are more social than scuba diving. Good thing divers are the best people to socialize with! A love of the marine environment, travel, new experiences, and lasting friendships seem to be the common ground to bring together the best folks around.

6401 N Interstate Dr.

Ste 144

Norman, OK. 73069



Proud Supporters Of:

Dive More: A Resolution You Can Stick With

Dive More: A Resolution You Can Stick With

It’s that time of year again; time for the ol’ New Year’s Resolution. Vows will range from losing weight/getting in shape to cutting down on drinking or eating healthier. Most of these vows seem to start with the greatest of intentions but quickly fade into un-fun drudgery. How many of you have bought a new piece of exercise equipment on or around the first of the year that became a coat rack within a few months? The problem with most New Year’s resolutions is that they’re usually things you know you probably SHOULD do, but you don’t really WANT to do them. As a result, unless you’re very disciplined, it’s ridiculously difficult to stick with them. The fix? Vow to do something that’s good, healthy, and enjoyable. Vow to DIVE MORE! Here are a few examples:

Vow to take a continuing education course. If you have “just” your open water certification, you’re missing so many diving opportunities. Most reputable dive operators will not take you to the “cooler” dive sites without Advanced Open Water or above. Many wrecks, awesome coral formations, and even some specific critters are all found below the 60′ depth limit that the Open Water certification allows. Some of our dive trips (North Carolina, for example) require your AOW to even go. Even if you don’t plan to do much “deep” diving, the AOW certification will give you stronger skills, increase your knowledge, and make even shallower dives more enjoyable. If you already have your Advanced, take the Rescue course! If you’ve held off on Rescue thinking it’s about jumping out of helicopters into raging rivers to save drowning victims, fret not. The Rescue Diver certification is much more about simply expanding your scope of awareness to other divers around you, noticing things wrong or out of place, and nipping potential issues in the bud before they become big problems under water. Even if you never save someone’s life during your diving career (and you probably won’t), at least you’ll know how!

Vow to get specialized in some diving discipline. Getting your skills maxed out in a particular specialty of diving will greatly increase your knowledge and enjoyment when doing that, or any other, type of diving. Some of these are general, like Enriched Air Nitrox, which are beneficial to almost every kind of diving. Some are more specific, like Search and Recovery or Underwater Navigation. Skill in these areas can make you indispensible for making sure a group of divers gets back to the boat or shore safely after a dive or retrieving somebody’s heirloom watch (hopefully waterproof) that fell off the side of a boat. The Deep Diver course (AOW is a prerequisite) will get you trained to go to the maximum recreational depth limit of 130′. The best part of all these? They’re easy and can be done in a weekend or less!

Vow to dive somewhere you’ve never dived before. This could be somewhere far away and exotic or as simple as Beaver Lake instead of Tenkiller. Or go on one of our many group trips we organize every year! The far away and exotic part is a no brainer, obviously, but try to break out of your bubble. If you’ve only dived the Caribbean, vow to try the South Pacific! If you’ve only gone to Cozumel, vow to try Belize or Roatan or Little Cayman! And while we all want to dive in crystal clear, warm water with tons of fish, beautiful coral, and a great beach waiting for us when we get back to land, sometimes that’s not always possible. Although “real life” should NEVER get in the way of scuba diving, work schedules, finances, family committments, and other things have a tendency to do that from time to time. You might be surprised to find that there’s a lot more fun to be had than you might think in our local lakes! Plenty of friendly fish and scuba parks full of boats, cars, and airplanes are some of the staples to be found, and when it comes to increasing some of those skills we discussed in the last paragraphs, lake diving can’t be beat! One of the most important, and fun, aspects of lake diving is the social interaction. Every weekend that we go to Beaver, Tenkiller, or the Blue Hole, there’s all sorts of fun to be had out of the water as well as under, and new friendships are always made.

Vow to get someone else invloved in diving. “If everybody was a scuba diver, the world would be a better place.” That’s one of my favorite phrases, and I truly believe it. Scuba diving is SUCH a social activity, and it’s always more enjoyable with friends/family! Think about the difference between coming home from your dive trip and showing friends pictures of the cool things you saw as opposed to gathering together at the end of the day’s diving, comparing pictures, and talking about the cool things that you both/all saw! Tell your friends and family about how awesome diving is, get them involved, maybe even gift a certification course to a loved one if you’re able! If they’re feeling a little anxious or wondering whether it might be for them, talk to them about doing a Discover Scuba Diving experience. It’s cheap, has zero committment, and it usually makes life-long scuba converts. The bottom line (besides making the world a better place)? When you have a dive buddy(ies) you like to dive with, you’ll do it more!

Many, if not most, New Year’s resolutions fail within a matter of months, mostly because they’re not fun. Losing the spare tire is great, but who wants to lay off chips and cookies?! On the flip side, increasing your dive skills, knowledge, and experience are definitely positive things, AND the journey is a FUN one! There’s a reason we call it the “Lifestyle Upgrade.” So, let’s all vow to DIVE MORE and make 2023 a great year with at least one resolution we can stick with because it’s not only beneficial, it’s fun as well.

Until next time, never stop learning, never settle for “good enough,” and stay sharky, my friends!

Why is it so hard to stick with resolutions ?

New Year Resolutions Are Hard

They're Not Fun!

This is too often the case. We start off with the best of intentions but quickly lose motivation. I can neither confirm nor deny that my workout room has ever looked like this…

PADI Continuing Education Course

Learn Something!

Your Open Water certification is kinda like a driver or pilot license; it’s a license to learn. So, learn! Increase your skills while having a lot of fun, and guarantee you don’t have to sit on the “kiddie boat” on your next dive trip.

Enjoy Lake Scuba Diving

Don't Forget The Lakes!

Is it 100′ visibility? No. Are there sharks, morays, and sea turtles? No. But diving lakes, quarries, etc. are more fun than you might imagine! If you haven’t tried it already, you might be surprised at the number of fun things there are to see and interact with! And every skill that you learn and master in a lake? They’re a lot easier when you do them in the ocean.

Scuba is More Fun With Friends

Bring Your Friends!

Most activities are more fun with friends, and scuba diving is no exception. If your friends and family aren’t certified yet, tell/show them what they’re missing! When you have great buddies to dive with, you’ll want to do it more. Then then more you do it, the better you get. The better you get, the more you want to do it. See what we did there…?

My Top 10 Reading List

My Top 10 Reading List

          I never get tired of diving. I never get tired of talking about diving, learning about diving, teaching diving, or reading about diving. Whether it’s a trade publication, consumer magazine, blog, novel, or instructional manual, any chance to stuff my brain with more knowledge and information is always welcome. Sometimes it’s important to my job as an instructor, and sometimes it’s just a fun diversion. Sometimes it’s both! Here’s a list, in no particular order, of my Top 10 favorite books about diving (at the moment). Each of these books, as well as others, adds one layer or another to the way I dive and think about diving. I think you’ll enjoy them and get a lot out of them. There are many others not on this list, but some of them do get a bit technical. If you’re interested in those, drop me a line and I’ll share those too!

1. Shadow Divers by Rob Kurson

Deep wreck-diving legend John Chatterton discovers an unknown submarine off the New Jersey coast, thus beginning a six-year, odds-against-them journey to identify it. New friends are made, friends die, marriages are strained, and dive skills are put to the test. Kurson writes so well that this book reads like a novel with cliffhangers all over the place. However, it’s all true. This is the book that got me into technical diving, and I was lucky enough to learn tech and deep wreck diving from John himself.

Shadow Divers Robert Kurson

2. Pirate Hunters by Rob Kurson

The further adventures of John Chatterton. This time, he and John Mattera are seeking the lost pirate ship of Joseph Bannister, the Golden Fleece. If they can find and identify it, it will be only the second pirate ship officially discovered since the Wydah off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But of course, they’ll have to deal with nations, governments, and rivals along the way. It’s not quite as good as Shadow Divers, in my opinion, but Kurson’s definitely still got it.

3. Deep Descent: Adventure and Death Diving the Andrea Doria by Kevin F. McMurray

The Andrea Doria (named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral) was the pride of the Italian cruise fleet until bad weather and bad decisions got her broadsided by the Swedish icebreaker, Stockholm, in 1956. Now lying in about 240 feet of water, she’s long been called the “Mount Everest of Scuba Diving.” While providing an exciting and profound diving experience to those properly trained, equipped, and careful, the Doria has certainly earned her “Mount Everest” moniker by claiming the lives of many divers over the decades. A great read.

4. On the Bottom: The Raising of the Submarine S-51 by Edward Ellsberg

The collision and sinking of the S-51 off the coast of Long Island, New York, in 1925 was a terrible accident that resulted in the tragic loss of 33 submariners’ lives. The salvage operation, led by then-Lieutenant Commander Edward Ellsberg, however, is a storied tale of heroism, innovation, and hard work. This is a great book, detailing US Naval salvage operations at depths that seem relatively tame today. But in 1926, in the infancy of hard hat diving, and in the cold, low-visibility waters of New York, the work these men did is absolutely amazing. One of the principal divers, Chief Gunner’s Mate Tom Eadie, went on to write his own book about the operation, as well as the salvage of the S-4 submarine in 1928, called “I Like Diving.” Good luck finding that one…

5. Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War II by Herbert A. Werner

While not really about diving, per se, this was one of the books I read to get in the mindset of diving deep shipwrecks. It’s a fascinating read. I’m not sure which was scarier, being in the torpedo sights of a German U-Boat during WWII or being aboard one. I do know that if you had to be on one, you wanted to be on the one Werner was on. This guy was apparently charmed. Commander Werner details the shift from the time when U-Boats owned the ocean and were the terrors of the seas to the time when they found themselves on the run from great advances in American and British technology and tactics. Toward the end of the war, very few U-Boats returned to their home ports.

Iron Coffins Herbert Werner

6. Dark Descent: Diving and the Deadly Allure of the Empress of Ireland by Kevin F. McMurray

Although less well-known than the Andrea Doria, the Empress of Ireland is yet another case of mistaken intentions and poor decision making that led to the loss of over a thousand lives when she collided with the Norwegian cargo ship, SS Storstad, in the wee hours of May 1914. Now in 130 feet of water in the frigid, dangerous waters of the St. Lawrence river, the Empress provides thrilling dive opportunities to those qualified and daring enough to try. McMurray is always a fun read.

Dark Descent Kevin F McMurray

7. Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them by Michael R. Ange

Mike Ange is quite the biggie in the scuba industry. He’s authored numerous publications and has served on the training or safety boards of many of the biggest scuba training agencies. In this book Mike lets you learn from others’ mistakes by detailing dozens of dive accidents, mostly resulting from diver error. Many of these ended in serious injury or death. Ange then teaches you how to avoid these same situations with many what-to-do and what-not-to-do explanations. This is a great read for safety-conscious divers.

Diver Down Michael R Ange

8. Titanic’s Last Secrets by Brad Matsen

Another book that doesn’t really have a lot of actual diving in it, but it’s still a fascinating peek into the world of shipwrecks by going into great depth (no pun intended) with the most famous wreck of all, RMS Titanic. Diving legends John Chatterton and Richie Kohler are tasked with discovering whether Titanic was truly built to be “unsinkable” or not. Read the book to find out what they discovered! Matsen may also put to rest some myths you’ve come to believe about Titanic and her sinking…

Titanic's Last Secrets Brad Matsen

9. The Last Dive: A Father and Son’s Fatal Descent Into the Ocean’s Depths by Bernie Chowdhury

Many of you may think to shy away from this book since it does end in tragedy and death. No, that’s not a spoiler; it tells you right on the cover. Nonetheless, I encourage everyone to read it. Not only is it a well-written and fascinating story, but it’s also full of very important lessons for life. If you take nothing else away from it, never allow poor planning, cost-cutting measures, bad attitude, or ego to have any place in your future dives!

The Last Dive Bernie Chowdhury

10. Deco for Divers by Mark Powell

This is the one “technical” book I’ve included in the list because it’s not really ALL that “technical.” Powell is one of the foremost experts in decompression theory, gives countless lectures and teaching presentations around the world, and is the Director of Global Development for Technical Divers International. This book is pretty much required reading for anybody interested in decompression theory. It is indeed aimed primarily at the advanced diver, but it’s full of knowledge and information that anybody can understand and find useful. I’ve taken his 12-week course based on this book, and interacting with Mark throughout the course certainly increased my knowledge far beyond what I thought would be possible. Not just for tech divers, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in deco theory and just what’s going on in your body every time you dive.

Deco For Divers Mark Powell

Happy reading!

Until next time, never stop learning, never settle for “good enough,” and stay sharky, my friends!