Dive Right In Scuba - Scuba Diving Blog

Over the past number of years an increasing number of SCUBA training agencies have adopted curriculum and certifications for divers who wish to dive alone. Whether they are termed “solo diver” or “self reliant diver” courses, the aim is the same…to be proficient enough to safely dive without a buddy. This trend hasn’t been without its fair share of controversy or debate, from breaking the old rule of diving in pairs to is two brains really better than one when exploring the underwater world. Despite the debate, there is one thing that most of us can agree on…solo/self reliant diving is now a reality and will be for the foreseeable future. The big question is, will it make us better divers to take these classes?
The answer to this question may very well lie in the attitude of the individual diver. Does the diver desire to attain the solo/self reliant diver certification to become a safer and more proficient diver whether alone or with a buddy, or does the diver simply want to dive alone because he or she simply doesn’t want to dive with anyone? While SCUBA diving has traditionally been a social sport with all of us sharing our sub aquatic adventures with like minded individuals, solo diving has always lurked in the shadows of dive sites the world over. It is the heavy burden of the solo/self reliant diver course instructor to accept students based on positive motivations.
Solo/self reliant diver courses are aimed at giving a diver a basic skill set that equips them to better handle issues that may arise on a dive without the aid of a buddy. However, they also have a side benefit of making the course graduate in fact a better buddy. By learning equipment redundancy and self rescue techniques the solo/self reliant diver course graduate is better equipped to assist a buddy that may have an issue during a dive as well as to be less dependant on the buddy and more confident to handle situations that may arise during the course of a dive. In addition to that a solo/self reliant diver course graduate is better equipped to handle the dreaded “instabuddy” situation that has most assuredly every diver who practices the sport regularly will encounter.
With that in mind, the question of whether or not you should undertake a solo/self reliant diver certification. Most training agencies set minimum standards for course entry like prerequisite certifications and/or number of logged dives and those standards should be followed. The final decision on whether or not to undertake a solo/self reliant diver course should be a mutual one between you and your instructor. As the years go by, the debate over solo/self reliant diver certifications will remain and training agencies will further develop curriculum for these courses. In light of this. the solo/self reliant diver certification has the one goal of making graduates safer and better divers.