Try Dives – First Steps and FAQ

Kendal and Lakes Sub Aqua Club

Try Dives: Your First Step
It’s easy to get started with us. Simply arrange a Try Dive in the Pool and we will introduce the SCUBA equipment to you, give you the chance to breathe underwater and then take you for an underwater tour.

Try Diver

You may be surprised to know that little swimming is involved in scuba diving – we use our fins to propel us around, but we do need you to be reasonably confident in the water. You will receive: -
• A brief explanation on the major parts of a SCUBA set and their use
• A safety induction, so that your progression underwater is made comfortably and safely
• Instruction on key hand signals, so that you and your instructor can communicate in this silent world
• Instruction on fitting and demisting a mask
• Explanation and demonstration in breathing from an aqualung and an opportunity to try it yourself
• Explanation and demonstration on how buoyancy control works and a chance to try it yourself
• Once you are comfortable and happy, we can try swimming underwater and allow you to experience the weightless underwater environment
If you are confident enough and, more importantly, you want to, we will let you try some simple skills such as fin pivots, barrel rolls, or play Frisbee or catch…
You will need to complete a Try Dive Disclaimer and be at least 14 years of age (unless part of a specially organised group when the minimum age will be 12), and if you are under 18, we will need your parents’ consent. We charge £10 per try-dive (to help cover the provision & maintenance of the equipment etc), which we will fully credit against the initial club membership.
All you will need to bring:
• Swimming costume or shorts
• A ‘T’ shirt to wear in the water
Email or call our Try Dive Co-ordinator, Gary Davis on 07977 276276. Alternatively, you could join us at the Lakes Leisure Kendal on Tuesdays at 8:30pm (first Tuesday in September through to the last Tuesday in April) to arrange a session.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to wait until I am 14 to learn to dive?
Diving is quite a technical sport and needs a reasonable level of maturity and physical strength. BSAC (the sport’s UK governing body) has decided that most young people are capable of learning to dive safely from the age of 12. As a club we decided that we would prefer not to take under 14s as trainees for the time being (this policy is reviewed regularly). However, if you are aged between 12 and 14 you can undertake a try dive with KALSAC.

Is there an upper age limit? Am I too old?
No, there is no upper age limit. So long as you are reasonably fit and healthy (you may require a medical certificate – see below) you can continue to dive well into your 70s and beyond!

How fit do I need to be?
Diving can be quite strenuous and a reasonable level of fitness is desirable. However, you do not need to be a super-fit athlete (and most of us aren’t!). If you walk, cycle or run, or visit the gym occasionally you should be fine – after that, it’s up to you.

Do I need a medical?
Most people complete a self-certification form recommended by the UK Sports Diving Medical Committee. However, if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions or have a pre-existing medical condition you may need to consult an approved Medical Referee; we can provide a contact list of these should you need it.

It is an express condition of our membership that you have an up to date medical declaration and we cannot accept anyone for training or on a trip without one.

Is it dangerous?
There is an element of risk in many sports and diving is no exception. Humans do not naturally breathe underwater so we have to carry our air supply with us. The BSAC training enables us to function safely within the underwater world and, so long as we follow that training and dive within our capabilities the risks are minimised. The keys to all safe diving are training and practice – and we are doing this all the time – even while we are having fun in the water.

Do I have to buy my own equipment?

The club can provide all the equipment you need for your pool work, it is included in the price of your training. When it comes to open water training, we can provide all the equipment except thermal protection in the form of a semi-dry or dry suit.
Divers come in all shapes and sizes, so we cannot provide suits to match all trainees. The dive site we use for Ocean Diver training can rent suitable dry suits at reasonable prices.
Once you are convinced that diving is a sport you want to pursue, you can gradually build up your own equipment, having had the opportunity to try a range of equipment and see what works for you.
Once you are qualified, you can continue to rent club kit at a reasonable rate until you have all your own equipment. Other divers are always pleased to discuss (sometimes at length) their own choice of equipment

• Isn’t the sea around the UK cold, dark and empty of life?
It may surprise you to know that the waters around the UK are some of the most productive in the world! It is the cooler temperatures that allow a huge variety of life to flourish. When diving around the UK many divers prefer to wear a drysuit – which is a waterproof suit (sealed at the wrists and neck and with built-in boots), under which you can wear layers of warm clothing. However, it is also possible to dive in the summer in a 5 or 7mm thick wetsuit (and some hardier souls wear these all year round!). As to being dark: well that depends on the weather… and, at some times of year (usually in the late spring to early summer) plankton blooms can make the water rather murky, but this is what makes the UK waters very diverse.

Where do you dive?
o We dive all over the place, mostly in the Lakes the Northeast England and Scotland, also in Wales and along the South Coast from time to to, as well as occasional trips abroad, such as Egypt, Gozo, Ibiza etc. Nearer to home we also often visit Capernwray, Nr Carnforth for training and trying out new equipment.