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Scuba Diving Season ISN’T Over – Tips for Keeping Your Skills Fresh Through the Winter

Just because the temperatures outside are a little colder doesn’t mean we should lose focus on our passion for Scuba diving.  In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do to keep your head in the proverbial Scuba game.  After all, you don’t want those skills you developed over the summer to rust.

DiverWire.com contributing writer John Flanders offers some key tips for scuba divers.

Following is a list of tips and ideas to keep you in the water (both mentally and physically):

1.   Take a refresher course.  Dive shops offer group and private refreshers to keep folks in the water and their skills fresh.  Also look for open pool nights or demo nights as a way of keeping in the water at your local dive shop.
2.    Buy a dry suit.  Dry suit diving is a great way to keep in the water throughout the year.
3.    Take a non-diving course.  Even though you are not in the water, a non-diving course is a great way to keep your head under virtual water.  You are learning new skills and meeting future dive buddies.
4.    Take a warm water vacation.  At least once, during the winter, I find my way to warmer climates and tropical reefs.  It’s a great way to recharge the batteries and do 10 or 15 dives.  Can’t take a week off in the middle of the winter, I am sure you can find a long weekend and a cheap dive boat within a two or three hour flight.
5.    Start a workout regimen.  Being physically fit will help you improve your diving, air consumption and enjoyment. Not only that, but you will reap the other benefits of living a healthier lifestyle. Focus on cardiovascular and core exercises.  Be careful, if you lose too much weight, you may end up having to buy a new wetsuit in the spring.  A great fitness idea for Scuba is swimming.  Find a good gym, with a heated indoor pool.
6.    Get social with other divers.  Many cities have shops or groups that host monthly dive club or meet and greet “get-togethers”.  Other social channels include online communities and “boards”.  These activities are a great way to learn what is happening in the dive community and meet new divers.
7.    Read everything you can get your hands on.  There are many regional and national Scuba magazines, online news and media sites, training manuals, books and more.  The more you read, the more you learn.  Reading about Scuba will make you a better diver.  It will expand your horizons and your knowledge.
8.  Make a plan.  Set some goals for the upcoming season.  Your plan should include; where you want to go, what gear you want to buy and what courses you want to take.  Also, start budgeting for these expenses.
9.    Support your local dive shop.  It’s not just a slow time for you as a diver, but a slow time for most dive shops.  Their health is an integral part of our community.  Whenever possible, support your local dive shop.  If nothing else, stop in and visit with them.  Let them know you are still a customer and supporter.
10.   Convince a friend or loved one to get Scuba certified.  Scuba diving is a very social sport.  Why not share it with someone you care about.  The more people you know that are divers, the more time you will spend below the surface.

Just because the regular dive season has come to an end, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about diving.  There is plenty to do during the off-season, to keep you in Master Diver shape.  Take some time every week to focus on diving and next season will be the most rewarding ever.

Dive safe and have fun!

John Flanders is the founder of Academy of Scuba in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a regular contributor to DiverWire.com

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