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Are there people who just CANNOT dive?

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Colombo, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. Salamandra

    Salamandra Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    I have a very hard time learning dance moves for what sound like similar reasons. I can eventually get it, it just takes me much longer than everyone else to get it into my muscle memory.

    If being in the water is something you enjoy, then I think it would be worthwhile to keep trying. Maybe starting with an emphasis on swim technique and stamina. That would also let you work with different teachers, and maybe one on one. You can also keep practicing breathing without a mask on the surface.

    My thinking is that if you enjoy being in the water, all of this should be pretty fun for you as long as it's low stakes, and can be combined with healthy exercise. Even if it doesn't lead to successful scuba diving, I bet you'll be glad you did it and get other benefits from it.

    But building up those skills would make it easier, I think, to get to scuba diving. It also makes the actual training and practice much lower stakes emotionally, which could make it more doable long term. Also probably cheaper than scuba diving instruction.

    Can you look for an instructor who has experience working with neurodivergent people? People with things like ADHD can have different experiences with our bodies and coordination, but also even if you don't have anything like that, an instructor like that should have the skills and patience to really see YOU as a student and work with you on what you need, not just ticking off steps in a manual.

    It's possible that diving can't be a short term goal for you, but that doesn't mean it can't be a long term one, especially if you'd enjoy the process.
    turtlegurl, Regulatrix and Bob DBF like this.
  2. Joris Vd

    Joris Vd Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    You seem very defeatist.
    It is what it is, and if you're content about it, there's no reason to change it.

    You mention you dislike people who encourage you, when you don't think you need any encouragement saying things like "Come on, I'm sure you won't be as bad as you say you are" or "Everybody can do this" etc etc.

    Often it is really a case of everyone can do it, but it's a psychological barrier that has to be crossed.
    That doesn't mean the instructor telling you this is helping you in any way, but it's not unreasonable of people to try this approach.

    But sadly, wether you like it or not, you might actually be the one that's completely wrong about yourself without realising it.
    Everyone falls prey to that to some extent.

    You talk about knowing yourself and being **** at basically anything sports-related. But it's such a generalisation, that if you approach a new sport with that angle, you might actually miss out on something you might be naturally talented for.
    It's virtually impossible that you'd be **** at all sports because each sport has a completely different requirement to be succesful or gifted at it.
    The only thing that every single sport in the world needs that you can't ignore, is some effort.

    If you really want to dive I'd say stick with the third, fourth, heck even a fifth course if you really want it.

    There's no issue in needing more time to get the hang of things than others, but ask yourself if you actually want it.

    Because the actual physical issues you mention are easily solvable and could be fixed by sitting in a normal pool with a swimming instructor.
    The inhaling water through the nose thing is something we often see with beginner swimmers in childrens courses.
    If you've never really gotten accustomed to being underwater or swimming in general, It's real basic stuff that your diving instructor should know as well. Some people naturally block this with the glottis and soft palate, others need to learn it.
    Same goes for the body position. Has anyone ever properly tought you how to swim? That might help with getting some feeling of body position in the water.

    We dive with paraplegics in my club, and they can maintain somewhat of a proper trim after a while. There's even a whet wheeler club where I live that does dives with severely physically and (mildly) mentally handicapped people. It just takes more patience and time, but they all manage to dive comfortably after a while. So some people might say it's not possible, but it actually really is possible for almost anyone to dive.

    I wouldn't say that about cave diving and all that mumbo jumbo, but normal recreational diving with modern equipment is acessable to almost to basically anyone.
    Raphus, mc42, Kriet and 2 others like this.
  3. Scuba-74

    Scuba-74 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
    While I do believe that some people wouldn't be able to dive for one reason or another, physical or psychological, the entry requirements for your run of the mill warm water diving are pretty low.

    Recreational diving is not a sport, and from all outdoor activities or sports I participate in, diving has by far the most people that I would guess wouldn’t be able to do anything else in terms of being active. Some divers I encounter can’t even move around the boat or put their wetsuits on without coming to the brink of a heart attack, yet they manage to fall over board with their gear on and do fairly adequate diving.
  4. ICatchBadGuys

    ICatchBadGuys Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    Yes! There are people who simply can't dive due to some physical limitation. However, the only thing really preventing anyone from diving who wants to dive is mindset and effort. You seem to have the mindset that you want to dive, and you're putting in the effort, but are having some issues with things that A LOT of new divers/students have when they start out. Things like body control, awareness in the water and trouble with skills such as mask clearing, etc. My encouragement to you is to focus on the skills at hand and practice A LOT. While it seems you have an instructor with a good local reputation, he may be the wrong person to teach you specifically. That's not a knock on either of you. It happens. Personally, as a dive pro, I don't focus really hard on a diver's trim, etc. if they are having issues with other basic skills that will prevent them form certifying. Let's face it, your trim in the water won't prevent you from being a decent entry level diver. You can work on that with experience. But not being able to clear a mask or perform life saving skills, will prevent you from getting certified. Keep at it and maybe a private course (1 on 1) might be an option if you really want to do it. You'll get all the attention you need and are paying for. But, in the end, even with all the effort in the world, it just may not be for you. But I wish you luck, my friend!
  5. Jake 10

    Jake 10 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ICatchBadGuys likes this.
  6. beester

    beester DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Belgium / Italy
    To answer your question..."YES".

    However with the right motivation and the right instructor a lot is possible.
    Bob DBF likes this.
  7. Murky Waters

    Murky Waters Contributor

    Diving is not really a sport, more of a leisure activity, so.....relax. I do not say that flippantly. Relaxing is very important to diving well and enjoyably.

    If you have no fear of being underwater, nor are claustrophobic, you may be able to exorcise your insecurity. When I did my practical OW exam, there was another guy doing it with the instructor and me. He could not take his mask off underwater. He just couldn't. He bailed. That's the fear.

    Your positioning in the water, otherwise known as trim, requires practice. It may be improved with some adjustments to your equipment as well as technique. I usually travel along underwater with my arms folded out in front of me. This may help you to get more horizontal. Not sure your instructor is being helpful in this regard, but you will need to get used to what position you think you are in versus the reality. Head position may help; look down, not forward. If you need to look forward, lift your head, let your legs fall and get vertical, then back to default.

    Many divers seem to be in constant motion. Flailing for lack of a better word to try and stay somewhere or get somewhere or into a position. Contorting sometimes. I think of diving more as floating. This comes back to the idea of relaxing. So try keeping the goal of relaxation in mind.
    Akimbo likes this.
  8. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Yes there are those that cannot dive, whether you are one of them remains to be seen. I am one who believes you should take the time to find an instructor that can help you with your issues rather than give you the same class again. One on one training may be helpful, with an emphasis on helping you learn to dive, not an entire class.

    Good Luck
    Diverlady13, HKGuns, Antonios and 4 others like this.
  9. MaxTorque

    MaxTorque Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United Kingdown
    My suggestion would be to just spend some more time in a pool, no scuba or wetsuit or anything, just getting used to being in the water. You can snorkle and use googles, try see if you can swim a width underwater, try that without the mask.

    Try and swim down to the bottom of the shallow end and lay horizontally on the bottom, get used to the feeling of being horizontal, get used to the feeling of being u/w, get used to kicks and your physical posture as you swim u/w

    This ime, make a HUGE difference to people before they add the complications and weird feelings of all the scuba kit and things to remember when scuba-ing!

    basically,just try to get comfortable in the water. You don;t need to become a world class freediver or snorkler, just swim and splash around,have fun, experiment, and doing it in the shallow end means you can at any point just stand up :)
  10. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    I offer these observations:
    1. It is an important to have an instructor who you get along with and who is patient with you. Sometimes, capable instructors have trouble with certain students that other instructors do not.
    2. Advice upthread to seek out 1:1 instruction rather than a class with other students present, is good advice
    3. I don't believe anyone on scubaboard can accurately comment on whether you will be able to overcome the various difficulties you face, without spending some time in the water with you
    4. The specific problems you describe are not uncommon
    chillyinCanada, Bob DBF and Kriet like this.

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