Discover and Enjoy Scuba Diving Over 50

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Scuba Diving Over 50

Yes You Can Go Scuba Diving Over 50

I recently returned from a fantastic holiday in the Yucatan Peninsula and wasn’t the slightest concerned about going scuba diving, and I’m now 57!  Now, based on your overall personal health and fitness levels, there are a few things you should consider before taking the plunge.

Know Your Limits and Stay Within It

The Scuba Diving Craze is Consuming Baby Boomers

PADI Logo

Recent surveys in the diving industry and according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, us baby boomers are just itching to go scuba diving! It is also one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 32% of all British divers are aged 45 or older and this seems to be the trend these days, not just in the UK, but globally.

Well no wonder, what with over 78 million baby boomers in the United States and over 9 million in Canada alone, we are the future of recreational activity around the world! In fact, many professional diving companies are now focusing on classes designed specifically for those of us over 50!

Experienced Trained Diver

Experienced Scuba Diver Tulum Mexico

Scuba Diving Over 50 With Common Sense

I’m no doctor and in my younger days while living in Victoria British Columbia, I used to deep water dive on the average of 2 to 3 times a week. These days, I dive only while on vacation a couple of times a year. So, knowing my limitations both with experience and physically, I choose my dives accordingly.

Before even considering diving, I strongly recommend having approval from your family doctor and taking a diving course and becoming a certified diver. It really is like any other sport where there is risk involved. Would you hop into a race car and drive over 200 miles an hour without knowing what you were doing? Would you go skydiving solo without becoming well trained and experienced? Would you hop into an airplane and try to fly it without proper training first?

It’s just common sense!

Diving does come with its risks if you are not properly trained, but on other hand, it can be incredibly fun with very little chance of injury or death if you are trained and accompanied by professionals and experienced divers.

PADI Professional Dive Shop in Mexico

PADI Professional Dive Shop Mexico

Know Your Limits and Stay Within Them

Here’s a classic example of a diver that did not stay within his limits, who accompanied us on 2 very easy reef dives in Mexico. I hate to use this as an example, but if not for our very experienced dive instructor accompanying us, this gentleman could have run into some serious problems. Only because it was quite evident that he was out of his comfort zone, both physically and with his lack of diving experience and / or training.

Diver in Distress

Inexperienced Scuba Diver Mexico

Without going into great detail, this was considered a very easy reef dive, with an average depth of 35 to 50 feet, and the reason why I chose this type of boat dive, then that of deeper water or cave diving. I knew my limits and stayed within them, even after having years of diving experience in my younger days.

This gentleman appeared confused and flustered, was floating to the surface quickly and dangerously on numerous occasions, and was having continuous problems with managing his equipment. I could not help but think why he would choose to scuba dive when the options of a snorkel excursion would have been so much more enjoyable!

Having Fun on a Snorkeling Tour Boat in Mexico

Snorkeling Tour Boat Mexico

Testimonials from Elder Divers

Below are a few testimonials I gathered from people over 50 that do enjoy scuba diving as much as I do, and continue to do so in their 70’s and beyond!

“I started diving last year, shortly after my 50th. I did check with my doctor first who had no concerns.”
“Hate to admit it but I’m a card carrying AARP member myself, and I out dive a lot of the youngsters in my dive club. The real question is your fitness level, medical history (you should talk to your doctor before engaging in any new strenuous activity) and comfort level in the water. If you have green lights in all three go for it! I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, in fact I’m getting a few new certifications next month to move me up to the PADI Master Diver level.”
“There is a man in our area who certified the owner of my dive shop (she’s in her 50’s). He must be around 70! That is what I want to be doing when I am his age.”
“Older people may be at more risk for decompression illness due to a less efficient circulatory system, being out of shape or carrying excess body fat. You can always dive more conservatively, just to be safe. I don’t see any reason not to dive, unless you have health issues that would prevent it.”

So there you have it! You can enjoy scuba diving as I do, well into your senior years. Take the necessary precautions suggested and get out there and have fun!

A very good resource for medical related dive questions is the Divers Alert Network (DAN). They have a free, searchable archive of information about all sorts of medical questions.

Safe travels under the Sea!

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