Failed my Day 1 PADI Pool Training

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Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
# of dives
500 - 999
I've bought good used stuff over my 16 years, mostly from the LDS here.


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# of dives
500 - 999
I've bought lots of good used stuff for diving. Regulators, cylinders, wings/BCDs, even fins.

Have to be a bit careful and be ready to get the kit serviced and be prepared to take the hit. Maybe I've been lucky?

The one time I bought a Halcyon wing where the outer just disintegrated, H did a great deal for a replacement; was very happy and happy to recommend them!


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San Francisco
# of dives
100 - 199
I think it's easier for newbies to buy new gear since there's an assurance that it's in working condition and there's a warranty if it isn't. However, new or old, I feel purchases are better left til more experience is gained, so rental might be the way to go for awhile.

I originally bought a used BC that had a corroded power inflator. It inflated by itself. I had no idea why, til I consulted here and got advice on how to diagnose and then whether it was worth repairing or calling it a loss. Well, everything else about the BC was good, so I repaired it myself with a $15 new inflator. It performs really well... but no utility pockets and only two D-rings, not the configuration I wanted...

I bought a brand new BC, after figuring out what I wanted ahead of time, picking out add-on pockets. It worked great until one day, while mid-trip, the buckle started to loosen. From the experience of repairing the inflator on the other BC, I felt confident enough to diagnose and repair. I ordered a new buckle from the trip dive shop and had it within a day.

The balance of having new and used gave me opportunities to better understand my gear.

That said, I wouldn't feel confident about buying used regs, as I don't feel they're easily repairable without proper training, and there are likely tests I wouldn't be able to perform without investing in equipment.

The rest of dive gear I would feel totally comfortable in buying used, especially dive computers, since I've gotten good deals.


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West Des Moines, Iowa
# of dives
50 - 99
Wow! So many responses I don't even know where to start my response.

I will definitely take everything into consideration that everyone posted.

Two of the hot topics here seems to be 1.The instructor and 2. My wife sharing her regulator with me, so I'll address these first.

While I wouldn't know what makes a good vs bad instructor, I can tell you that this instructor is very experienced, and does have a solid reputation amongst other instructors and divers that know them. I think on a one on one situation, things would be much different with them, and that is what I'm working on trying to figure out with them, and to see if something like that can be accommodated.

I completely understood that in a group setting I couldn't just expect the entire class to wait for me, nor can the instructor inhibit their learning.

The one positive thing is the instructor told me that they were like me when they learned to dive, and were not like the other students that have no issues.

From the experiences shared in this thread, including the journal shared with me, there are many divers, some of you, that had the same fears to overcome that I have, and are successful and safe divers now.

I will get there, but I have to find my path to achieve that. It may take a week, or it could take years, but as long as my lungs hold up, I'll keep trying.

As for my wife and the regulator/compressed air, it's something I would use my best judgement on. I'm not saying I condone this, and it will be discussed and thoroughly thought about, but as crazy as it sounds, my degree is in Respiratory Therapy, which a lot of it requires the use of cylinders, whether heliox, nitrox, O2, air, etc... I at least could administer, safely, to myself, however, it is always frowned upon to use your medical background to conduct/administer/medicate, etc.. on yourself. I will say that I spent many years of flying on O2, so I'm pretty confident I would have no issues with CA at Sea level or above.

Breaking out of that discussion, and reflecting more on the training I just went through, I'm trying to think of ways that might help me out.

I know this may be costly, but if there is anyway to make the breathing underwater get to as close to breathing without a regulator, that would be ideal.

I guess what I'm asking, are there some regulators that just feel like I can breathe better with less resistance? I would say that this would probably solve 90-99% of the fear I experienced.

If I have to spend $2000 on a regulator, then I'll do it if it means I can breathe easier.

Any recommendations would be great.

Going back to respiratory, I did one year as a RT working in Pediatrics and ICU.

I left because I was, very fortunately, selected to receive a Flight Contract for the Marines, and I had to go through and get cleared for all the same medical stuff I just went through for diving. My dream was always to be a fighter pilot and I wasn't going to pass up my chance at that.

While the fear hit me pretty hard under the water, that I never knew I had, my first landing and launch off a carrier felt the same way.

You gain the experience, and then you can land on it at night at 130 knots with 20ft swells. Well...If you call it landing... More like a very controlled crash.

Slow and steady, gain the experience, reduce my fear.

Thanks All!
You could try a full face mask. It is a bit more to deal with, but from a breathing perspective, it is the nearly the same as no regulator out of the water.


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Largo, Florida
# of dives
200 - 499
I think it's easier for newbies to buy new gear since there's an assurance that it's in working condition and there's a warranty if it isn't.
Agreed. As a new diver this is generally the safest route as the new diver doesn’t usually know how to properly evaluate used gear. An exception might be buying used gear from a shop. Presumably, the shop would make sure it’s working, and address any problems that might arise after.

A private seller is probably not going to offer after purchase support.
However, new or old, I feel purchases are better left til more experience is gained, so rental might be the way to go for awhile.
Really depends. I’ve never used rental gear. I did use shop gear for my OW checkouts and do use aquarium gear at the aquarium, but apart from that every dive has been on my own set.

Sure, there is some risk if the diver finds out very soon that the gear, or diving, isn’t right for them. They’ll most likely end up eating a bunch of depreciation when they sell barely used gear. After a little time, the rental fees saved will offset any loss when they sell it.


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Houston, Texas, United States
# of dives
100 - 199
Thanks for your post. I can absolutely relate. The first time I attempted to get SCUBA certified, I was a hot mess. I somehow managed to make it to the check out dives, but went into full blown panic when it was time to demonstrate skills. I had never experienced panic attacks prior to SCUBA diving so I felt like an utter failure. I wrote off diving and didn't even think about trying again until about a year later. Fast forward 12 years and I can't imagine my life without it.

The feeling of breathing underwater is a very foreign thing. I remember the complete brain f*#@k when I did it for the first time. We aren't programmed to do it and just because we have the technology to make it happen, doesn't mean it's going to come easily.

What I did to eventually go on to get certified was first, practice wearing a mask in the bath tub. No joke. I had never even snorkeled before so even this part was totally new for me. I literally got in the bath several days in a row and just practiced going under water. Eventually, I added a snorkel.

I've seen a few posters go pretty apeshit over this, but my certified husband got in the shallow end of the pool with me and let me breathe off the regulator until I felt comfortable. After we did this a few times, I was comfortable enough to try some skills...and get back in the water with a very patient instructor who gave me a lot of one-on-one pool time.

On my last dive trip, a very experienced diver said, "there are very few of us who don't know what it feels like to want to call a dive" and this really stuck with me. Breathing under water is not normal (even if it comes easily to a lot of people). Hang in there. If I did it, you can do it! Let us know how it all turns out :)


Reaction score
# of dives
50 - 99
As others have pointed out, the sense that a regulator is not giving enough air usually comes from very shallow breathing, which is in turn usually caused by a feeling of anxiety. Think of it as being as if the air you are inhaling is hitting a wall at the top of the lungs and bouncing back out. You don't get enough air when you inhale, and the carbon dioxide from the air you breathed previously stays in the body because you are not exhaling fully, either.

This initiates the panic cycle. Carbon dioxide causes panic to build. As panic builds, the breathing becomes even more shallow, making things worse. Do this long enough, and you will have a full blown panic attack.
I actually experienced the panick attack… I’m a psychologist so I knew at least what it was and ways to cope with it.
I love being in the water and if there is anything to see I am known to spend hours looking at the bottom. I was never actually afraid in the water before.
I had 2 previous discovery dives and all seemed well. On the third though…
I did not know how to fix my equipment, they did it at the dive center.
After 5 minutes we were down and all seemed fine, when my tank got loose. I was turned belly up, but first I did not panick, thinking that the guy will see and come help, so I just continued breathing. At some point I became worried and started struggling to turn. The weird position, my struggle and not knowing instinctualy what to do, breading strained and I got the exact same feeling like @Quicklynx, like I cannot actually inhale properly. At that point I really panicked and breathing became even choppier. The guy finally saw me and my issue, and came to my help. I remember clinically thinking that this is like a panic attack I know why this feeling appears and I know how to coach people with breathing techniques, why I can’t do it for myself???
The instructor started swimming up and modeled breathing with deep inhale/ exhale, I tried following it but my throat was constricted as if I had a claw. At the surface I kept breathing worse and worse, but at least I knew now how to start take control of my panic attack. After 5 more minute I calmed down and started listening to the instructor. He apologized for the equipment and for not paying closer attention. I really hated him at that point…
I said I want out now, he kept insisting to try one more time and not leave without trying again because I will then have a hard time convincing myself to dive again. He fixed my equipment and I tried again, expecting another panic attack. Him being with me, signaling what we were about to do and modeling breathing helped me focus and finally I was successful and managed a 20 min dive.
Keeping my focus on the instructor did the trick. After some months I went and took my OWD and I am a happy diver now.
I think that was my turning point and letting myself be convinced to dive again despite having had the panic attack taught me that I am resilient.

You know how to fly, you will learn how to dive, I am sure! Find comfy equipment, mask and fins, don’t buy new ones, try to rent something in which you feel ok. I am sure you will soon enjoy diving with your wife!

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