20 Unexpected Changes After You Learn to Dive

20 Unexpected Changes After You Learn to Dive

Becoming a SCUBA diver is more than just taking a course, you go through a metamorphosis that tilts your entire world. The strange thing is that the shift happens imperceptibly to you but to those around you it can seem like a different being emerged from the water.

Don’t know what I mean? Take an honest look at these 20 points and see how many you recognize!


  • You become an evangelistic eco-warrior and find yourself tut-tutting at friends who use straws, plastic bags, and buy Evian. Your friends and their kids will tire of you to a point where they will acquiesce, but they will also call you, ‘the crazy plastic person’ behind your back!

 Plastic Litter


  • The smell of slightly fusty neoprene will have a similar effect on your brain to the smell of just baked bread.



  • You no longer even consider a vacation in the city unless it’s a stopover on the way to diving.

 City Hammock


  • You choose your swimwear based on how comfortable it will be under your wetsuit and whether it matches you dive gear trim.

 Swimsuit Choices


  • Slathering yourself in baby shampoo to get into your wetsuit seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.


  • You find yourself, on more than one occasion, explaining to a complete stranger that sharks are not dangerous.

 Scared Shark



  • You can’t understand why non-divers think you have oxygen in your scuba tank and you get frustrated when they glaze over as you try to explain why oxygen would kill you. After a few years, your need to explain will diminish as you realize you are wasting your breath!


  • You will have adult diaper rash at least once!


  • You start working two jobs to feed your new diving habit.

 Working Hard


  • Your booger tolerance shifts, as a good buddy you need to lose the politeness and are clear with your partner if they have surfaced with ‘dive make-up’. No one wants to get back on the boat with snot attached their fringe like a sub aquatic version of that Something About Mary scene.


  • You will need to equalize in an elevator.


  • The term ‘mouth-breather’ stops being an insult.



  • Hand signal sub-titles supplement your speech.

 Hand Signals


  • When you have the spare cash to go to the bar you’re no longer the last one standing, in fact, you’re usually the first to leave because you’re diving in the morning.


  • Your obsession with being able to equalize means that you run for the hills if someone sneezes close to you. Any friends with small children are now only communicated with via Facetime.

 Sick Kids


  • You (finally) clear out that cupboard of crap that you have accumulated since high school so that you have somewhere to store your dive gear.


  • Social norms disappear; as a scuba diver, you find that discussing toilet habits with a complete stranger is perfectly acceptable.


  • You become a fish expert or fish bore to your non-diving friends. You actively plan your diving and vacations to see specific creatures.

 Diving for Fishies


  • Your mind immediately drifts to nudibranch when you see a slug in your garden.



  • You speak fluent acronymish and understand sentences like ‘A PADI OWSI wearing a BCD worked out his NDL using an RDP’.


Did we miss anything?  What other changes have YOU experienced since you started diving?



John on

Nicely done. I’ll be sharing your link with my flock of divers (as opposed to my flocking divers, although I suppose a lot of times, it’s the same thing).

Ken Kurtis (NAUI Inst #5936 - Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co., Beverly Hills, CA) on

Not sure about the baby shampoo thing – even if 100% reef safe, wouldn’t you leave a/another trail of bubbles that could be misconstrued?
I pick my swimwear based on whether it fits nicely under my wetsuit, e.g. halter tied tops don’t! ?

Lucinda Reid on

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