5 Types of Divers You Don’t Want To Be

5 Types of Divers You Don’t Want To Be

October 24, 20136245Views100Comments

SCUBA diving is such an eye-opening experience, particularly for people who never imagined in a million years that they would voluntarily don a tank and regulator and learn how to breathe underwater. Learning to dive enhances your poise under pressure, critical thinking, patience, and respect for the sea…or at least it should. There are some divers who just don’t seem to get it, from a lot of different angles, and diving with them can really sully your experience if they’re bad enough. We are never done learning when it comes to SCUBA diving, and we all have our faults, but the following are 5 types of divers you don’t ever want to be.

The Know-It-All

know it all diver

This type of diver doesn’t particularly care what anyone else says — she or he’s already done it, dove it, learned it, and taught it. They will often be doing their own thing on the boat while everyone else is getting ready to dive, or even worse, will talk over the dive guide as he briefs the rest of the divers on the boat. They disregard any guidelines set out by the leader, shame other divers who don’t meet their high standards, and basically act like the SCUBA industry owes them something. Don’t be this diver.

The Sticky Fingers

sticky fingers diver

If you paid any attention at all in your training, you would remember that one of the main tenets of responsible diving is, “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles,” but the sticky fingers diver obviously slept through that portion. This type of diver chases marine life, thrusts his hands into holes and crevices, and thinks riding a manatee is a great photo op. Don’t be this diver.

The Panic

panic diver
Good grief, these poor divers. The panicky diver presents a threat to anyone around them, because you have no idea if or when they are going to freak out on the dive and rip your mask off your face or your regulator out of your mouth. Now, we’ve all had those panicky moments, but that’s why our training tells us what to do beforehand, and our skills tests allow us to act out scenarios which could incite panic. If you find yourself getting panicky on a dive, remember your training and focus on remaining calm, instead of shooting to the surface or otherwise endangering yourself and others. Don’t be this diver.

The Lone Wolf

lone wolf diver
The lone wolf is a guide’s worst nightmare, as they tend to disregard the dive plan entirely and just do whatever they want. This could be because they are part know-it-all, or part sticky fingers, but the only thing they really are is irresponsible. Peeling off onto your own journey is disrespectful to your buddy, the guide, and the rest of the group, but more importantly, it puts you at risk of getting into a situation you need help with and not having the backup you should have. Don’t be this diver.

The Drag

drag diver

We’ve all dived with the drag at least once before, and a certain amount of slack does get cut to newbies, because they are usually so task loaded they don’t even notice. But an experienced diver should always be aware of his or her buoyancy, and take care to tuck away gauges and accessories so they don’t silt up the dive for everyone else. Luck be with you if you’re with the drag in a cave! Don’t be this diver.

Original images via TripAdvisor, Serge Melki, Simple Life Divers, Tim Sheerman-Chase,


  1. These are good but you forgot one — the photo hog! That’s the diver with a camera who feels his getting a shot preempts everyone else’s opportunity to observe whatever is being seen. These guys show little (or no) consideration for other divers.

  2. How about the guy that swims from behind you, barely over your back and kickes you in the head – twice. Or the guy that shoves others out of his way. Or are those sub-groups of the know-it-all?

  3. All these senarios assume that the only way to dive is following a dive master. Who made that rule? Recognized agency training is supposed to create a broader skills base and knowledge level than that. Why take high quality training and then not really use it?

  4. “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles” That’s impossible. We all leave our pee contribution

  5. How about, the veteran Diver of 30 years, who hasn’t Dove for a year or so. Buddy up with a Diver who has had several Dives very recently. Trust me the old Diver has in some cases a self reliant trait built into him/her. I have 50 years of experience and I consider myself a terrible Buddy Diver. Black Water Diver.

  6. These are great! Other types: folks that go to Palm Beach and have to kick like crazy in a 6mph Gulf Stream, missing everything. Or the folks that freak out in night dives that constantly shine their lights in your eyes during the dive!

    1. Inland Static Lake Divers are in some cases over-whemled at the Ocean Currents. They get so exhausted in some cases forget to inflate their BCD and let the Dive Boat Personnel help them. Mike Carpenter

  7. Don’t jump off the boat and then put your fins on. A complete failure of the first stage can be “panic time” for a less than proficient swimmer. Inflate Your BCD before entering the water.

  8. Ever had a valve stick on your BCD in the open (fill) position at 30.’ It could happen are you ready to take the necessary steps to deflate your out of control ascent? Rental equipment has to be suspect as well as personal gear not used in quite some time.

  9. With over 2000 dives, I still do equipment checks before hitting the water and run through emergency procedures in my head before each dive. Never take a dive for granted, that’s why the training procedures are taught. Complacency has killed even the best divers. I know of several instructors and dive masters that are no longer with us because of the “I know it all attitude”.

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