Aquanauts’ Guide To Scuba Diving Specialities

February 19, 2024 4 min read

wreck diving

If you've recently become open water certified or are a seasoned diver who tends to stick to normal boat or shore dives, embracing scuba diving specialities can be a great way to diversify your dive experience and learn new skills. PADI offers a range of speciality courses, all of which can be defined as ways of diving much different from the norm. The skills developed through these kinds of dives can also be necessary for your future diving plans like diving in winter or on your next scuba diving holiday.

Even after you’ve passed different PADI specialities, keeping up with regular speciality dives is also a great way to hone and refresh your skills, all in the company of new and friendly divers. Ultimately, speciality diving is an extension of the community diving experience and the perfect way to become an even more advanced diver when you’ve caught the bug!

Types Of Scuba Diving Specialities

So you want to give a speciality dive a go but aren’t sure where to start? There are lots of PADI speciality courses available and you can see a full list of the options available at Aquanauts here. However, if you have no idea what kinds of dives this list might include or want to get some inspiration about which might appeal to you, we have summarised some of the most popular scuba diving specialities below.

Wreck Diving

Wreck diving requires specialist skills to make sure you can safely navigate hazards, know how to plan and organise the dive and penetrate the wreck itself if you wish. It’s well worth taking the time to gain this expertise to tackle this scuba diving speciality, as wreck diving is undoubtedly one of the most exciting experiences you can have as a diver. There are over 37,000 shipwrecks in England alone, and each offers a unique dive with plenty of marine life and an insight into maritime history that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.

Here in Plymouth, we’re particularly lucky to have an abundance of wrecks close by due to the city’s rich maritime history. If you try wreck diving with Aquanauts, you’ll get to pay a visit to two of the best, HMS Scylla and the James Egan Lane, though we should note that we don’t penetrate the Scylla wreck.

Night Diving

Night diving is a type of speciality dive with a whole range of merits. It’s an experience typically associated with the thrillseekers among us, but knowing how to dive at night can also be invaluable in winter when the window of daylight hours for diving is less. To master diving in the dark, effective communication is key and regularly practising the speciality or taking the PADI speciality night diver course is the perfect way to develop this skill. Once you’re confident in embracing the uniqueness of the nighttime experience, you’ll get to enjoy seeing a whole new side of the ocean after dark!

Drysuit Diving

Trying new scuba diving specialities can also help you get comfortable diving with different equipment, such as with a drysuit. Drysuit diving is a particularly popular type of diving as a drysuit allows you to stay warmer for longer and therefore spend more time in the water enjoying yourself. Of course, learning this skill is not without its challenges as you’ll have to master the preparation, maintenance and management of your drysuit, but practice makes perfect and drysuit diving is a fantastic skill to have under your belt.

Enriched Air Diving

If you’re heading off on a liveaboard trip, or planning any kind of adventure that might involve repetitive diving, it’s important to get the Enriched Air Nitrox speciality ticked off as soon as you can. Because of how useful enriched air nitrox diving is for expanding your dive horizons, it’s no surprise to learn that this scuba diving speciality is PADI’s most popular. Essentially, it involves learning how to dive with nitrox air (air with higher oxygen and lower nitrogen) so that you can stay down for longer and get back in the water sooner with shorter surface intervals. Even if you’re not planning on repetitive diving, trying this speciality can be a great way to diversify your dives and be able to reduce your no decompression time.

Deep Diving

Deep diving is another great scuba diving speciality to try. Much like enriched air diving, this speciality develops skills that can extend your everyday diving experience as you’ll have a greater range of dive sites you can visit when not restricted by depth. Specifically, deep diving involves learning techniques to dive in the deeper range of up to 18-40 metres. At these depths, careful planning, good communication and buoyancy control are all essential.

Try Speciality Diving With Aquanauts

If you’d like to try a speciality dive or take a PADI speciality course, you can do so with Aquanauts in Plymouth. With a full calendar of dives scheduled for the year ahead and dive club member discounts on select dives each month, there’s never been a better time to take your skills to the next level and try something new!

To get more information about any of the scuba diving specialities we offer or to book one of the scheduled dives, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and expert team who will be more than happy to help.

Noeleen Smith
Noeleen Smith

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