Why People Scuba Dive

The Power of YES!

Why people scuba dive

If you ask people why they scuba dive, you’d naturally expect people to answer:
“To see underwater life” 


“To visit wrecks” 

But as a dive centre owner and a PADI instructor I learned that it’s a deeper need than that. 

It’s much more about being part of a community. 

The power of YES!

"Yes" or "No"?


Yes is the word I used most once I became a Scuba Instructor.

I had just opened my new dive shop in Essex (UK). I was so excited!

My old club answered every question with the word “No”.
And it didn’t matter what that question was.
“Can I dive at the weekend?”
“Maybe I can finish my course next week?”
“Can I take the Navigation course?”
The answer was always “NO”  followed by a weak excuse, putting off most activities until later.

A lesson learned

Knowing how frustrating the word “No” could be;

“Yes” soon become my favourite word.

Surprisingly, answering “yes” taught me a lesson I would never forget.

It led me to find precisely what people wanted.

The real reason why people scuba dived.
And that turned out to be a big surprise to me.

What people REALLY want

I thought that people wanted to buy equipment.

I thought that people wanted to buy courses.

Well, of course they did buy those things, but deep down they wanted something much more important. 

They craved an escape from day to day life.

They wanted to be included and accepted into a group where they could share adventure. 

Above all, they wanted laughter, fun and the diversion from life that our regular diving activities brought.

After all, the name of my dive centre was “Adventures in Diving”.

I stopped advertising Open Water Courses

People bought the dream

Once I realised that people needed a diversion from day to day life, I stopped advertising Open Water courses, I also stopped asking people if they wanted to learn to dive.

Instead, I gave people a real reason to scuba dive, a reason for adventure.

Oh we sold equipment, and we sold courses, but most of all,
people knew that we sold dreams!

Dreams that came true.

Even for first timers!

I’d point to a screen showing a video of our last Red Sea holiday and say:
“See those divers there?

A month ago they were just like you.

They also had never dived, they’ve now decided to change their lives.”

Then I’d explain how the Open Water course could work for them, and how they could join us for the next adventure.

In addition they could be the star on our next video!

Give people a reason to dive

We had trips to the coast most weekends.

In addition we’d run 3 or 4 Red Sea trips per year.
There was always a lot of options for people to choose from.

It doesn’t matter what you offer, just make sure that it’s an escape from everyday life. 

People would often choose to take courses on these trips. 

It’s why people scuba dive! 

Speciality courses

In fact I’d often run trips specifically for Specialty Courses.
People would come along for the adventure regardless of which speciality they took. 

They knew that they’d have fun, they also knew that they’d be better divers afterwards.

Most of all they knew that they were escaping “normal” life and having adventure.

But you're no different!

You’re no different! 

Whenever you’ve bought a new piece of dive equipment, or taken a course, it’s because you imagined yourself having a better life. 

Even when you became a professional

Why did you become an instructor in the first place?

Try this simple exercise:

Close your eyes, go back in time and try to remember why you became an instructor in the first place.

How did you imagine your life would be? Most instructors saw themselves:

  • Leading dives on wrecks
  • Lots of marine life
  • Surrounded by fish
  • Generating fun
  • Having adventures
  • Sense of achievement

In fact, your non-diving friends and family probably still imagine that this is your life right now.
So you see?  

Your vision of yourself was not that far away from the desires of your customers.

In fact in a recent survey divers were asked what they loved about diving. This is what they said:

  • Escaping from daily life
  • Part of a fun group
  • Enjoying adventures
  • Camaraderie
  • Sense of achievement
  • Learning new things
  • Laughter

The lists are very similar. All that needs to happen is for you to offer experiences that will excite your customers.

You’ll soon find that people will come back time and again, they’ll also book courses and buy equipment. But first they need a reason!

Are you planning on becoming a PADI professional?

Find out how you can prepare for your PADI IDC and how to make sure that you’re fully up to speed for all exams in both dive theory and PADI standards. 

Complete PADI IDC Preparation Course

If you are planning on crossing over from another agency to become a PADI Instructor, the

Full PADI IDC Preparation Course. 

Will catch you up with all things PADI!
It’s packed with great tips to bring you up to speed with the PADI way of doing things. 

PADI qualifications


24 Videos

30 Quizzes

Dive Theory, using PADI terminology

Teaching Skills

How to teach PADI skills in confined water

5 Mock PADI IE dive Theory Exams

5 PADI Standards Exams (using the 2023 instructor manual).

This online course is perfect for you.

  • Explained in simple terms
  • Jargon Busting sections!
  • Lots of practice exams
  • Videos (not taught in the “PADI” way!)
  • Quizzes to help you understand the PADI System
  • The most “up to date” PADI questions
  • Standards questions based on 2023 PADI Instructor Exam
  • All Standards exam questions found in 2023 version of PADI Instructor Manual

If you have found traditional teaching difficult to understand, then this course is for you.

It’s packed with simple videos and quizzes to help you with any subjects that you find difficult.

I explain things in very simple terms. I try to break through the “jargon” and also give tips on how you can pass this information over to others.3

Last modified: 10th January 2023
Author: Steve Prior