So you just got your first Open Water Dive Certification or you've been doing a few leisure dives across Southeast Asia (and beyond!) since your OW here and there. Congratulations! You've made your first step into the underwater life - it feels great, I know.
But, NEWSFLASH -- the things you learnt during Open Water course aren't everything and there are so many more ways you can better enjoy the diving experience. Remember that time you had issues with mask clearing? How about navigating through the current? Wouldn't it be so much better to master the skills to avoid these uncomfortable situations or to be able to have them under your control?
While you are free to enjoy your leisure dives up to 18m underwater and above, you can up your dive skills and experience by taking specialty skill courses. Even for our groups of dive masters and instructors, there are endless list of specialty skills they still sign up to learn and be certified.
Here are the Top Five specialty skills that will really enhance your future scuba diving experience, quality and safety.
Buoyancy control is not only important for maintaining a good dive posture, but also to control the diver's breathing gas consumption. Managing perfect buoyancy changes the quality of your dive experience, extends your time underwater due to stable breathing and less breathing gas consumption, and most importantly improve your comfort level under the ocean.
As Open Water divers experience more number of dives and get more comfortable & familiar with underwater, it comes almost as a natural desire to go to deeper dive sites. No joke, as you join the diving community, you will hear people wanting to dive 40m underwater and more. It is no secret that the deeper you go, you can observe more wonders of Southeast Asian corals and exotic marine life. To dive even deeper than 18m below, Deep Diving certification is what you need. Deep Diving skill is often a mandatory certification to move onto the next level of dive certification such as Dive Master and Instructor level.
Night Diving and Limited Visibility
Imagined what it would be like to dive at night? At the first thought, it might actually be quite frightening - in the deep sea without any lights, how will I survive? What if a shark appears?
Night Diving specialty skill course resolves all these concerns. This course covers everything including getting in and out of water, navigating using special equipments for night dives, and how to communicate with your buddy when there is limited visibility. So that you are all set and ready to go to see what nightlife lies under water - believe me, it's awesome and more chances to see sharks! (all diver's dream) Here's a video from DiveStack's trip to Tioman to give you a sneak peek.
Some of the greatest dive spots have ship wrecks that sunk through the many years and decades. There are some great destinations for wreck diving in Bali, Wreck Diving courses teaches you how to navigate through the wrecks safely and to enjoy the hidden treasures under water. NEWSFLASH, Titanic wreck diving will be available to the public from 2018 so better get your wreck dive certification ready before then. (Expectedly, the pricing is a fortune but we all know how diving can be an endlessly expensive hobby that we absolutely ADORE!)
Diver Stress and Rescue
Diver Stress and Rescue specialty skill is also a required certification in order to become a dive instructor. This course walk you through any stress and emergency situations and how to resolve them - it happens more often than you might imagine and can be very dangerous. Having the stress and rescue certification ensures not only your own safety but also your dive buddies, groups and students if you are intending to continue towards the professional dive career.
The best part is you can travel to amazing dive destinations in Southeast Asia and learn these specialty skills as well as enjoying your leisure dives as you want.
Ready to go for your next step up in scuba diving? Check out our newest guide on the Best Dive Spots in Southeast Asia where you can not only brush up diving skills but enjoy beautiful marine life and corals.