When to take an Inactive/Refresher Course — by Dr. Thomas Powell
Every day around the world, divers who have not been wet in a while get that urge. They desire to don the gear once again and venture back below the surface of the waves. This desire is often accompanied by a realization that it has been a while since that person hooked a regulator set onto a cylinder. For an individual who has not been diving in a while, the return to the water can be both exciting and nerve wracking. Anxiety and concern over what has been forgotten, or what may happen, can get to the nerves of anyone. A Refresher Course is designed for the diver who has taken a break, for whatever reason, for a long period between dives. The truth of the matter is that the skills we learn to use and perform underwater will deteriorate or get “rusty” if we do not practice.
For this reason, a refresher course allows a diver to hit the pool with an instructor and walk back through those basic open water skills to make sure that the rust falls away and the diver regains confidence. A scuba certification from most certifying agencies lasts for a lifetime. This does not mean that standards do not require all scuba divers to remain proficient and capable of performing basic skill sets. A refresher course is just a practice period during which a diver is allowed to ask for little reminders while working with an instructor. This type of program helps get rid of any anxiety or concern, and allows a diver to have more fun. It is much easier to work through any worries in the pool with a dive professional when compared to dealing with any concerns after jumping off the back of a boat while on vacation.
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