One of the best reasons to join a dive club is the access you have to new dive buddies. Each new dive buddy is an opportunity to learn something new. These are four important questions to ask your new dive buddy before you roll off the boat.
What’s your dive experience?
Whilst asking someone’s certification level may seem like the obvious starting point, it won’t necessarily paint a full picture of their dive experience. Questions like “what’s your dive experience?”, “when was the last time you dived?” and “where else have you been diving?” will give you a better idea of their experience.
What’s your limit?
You’ll need to establish both certification limits and comfort levels. If there’s a difference in your experience level, then try to be considerate of one another’s needs. As the more experienced diver you may have the opportunity to share some wisdom, and as the less experienced diver you may learn something new.
Set the pace and purpose
Check that you and your buddy are on the same page when it comes to the pace and purpose of your dive. If you’re someone who likes to meander along and analyse every crevice for nudibranchs, but your buddy prefers a fast paced swim covering ground and gazing out into the blue, you might not be the most compatible pairing.
How will you communicate?
Listen carefully to the signals during the dive briefing, and then review these signals in your buddy pair to check you’re on the same page. You can also establish how to get one other’s attention if necessary such as using a torch to pass a beam of light across their field of vision, or a gentle tap on the shoulder or pull of the fin – just make sure it’s something you agree on before the dive.