• Renato Alves

Try Scuba Diving, your entrance door for a new world. 2020 complete guide.

Actualizado: 16 de sep de 2020

It’s most likely that you already wonder to go scuba diving during your holidays, but you may be skipped it for many reasons, that can be the fear from the unknown, how complex the activity look, the lack of time for a course, the unfamiliarity with the sea or even not knowing to swim are some reasons people hold on to never go scuba diving.

I can tell you there is a really simple option that going to bring you the JOY and the FEELING of FREEDOM that the underwater world brings to divers, this experience is the TRY SCUBA DIVING.

So, forget the mystery and the damage that movies like JAWS bring to the sea and focus on discovering a new world and maybe a future PASSION.

So if you never dived before and want to discover the TRY SCUBA DIVING can be an excellent option for you, during this post I will explain the whole process for the first time underwater.

Take a look at our topics:

- What is a TRY DIVE?
- Who can enroll at a TRY SCUBA DIVING?
- How much does it cost to TRY SCUBA DIVE?
- Kinds of TRY DIVE?
- TRY SCUBA DIVING at Pura Vida Koh Tao - Thailand.
- 8 Tips to enjoy your TRY SCUBA DIVING experience.
- Reasons to become a certified diver.
- TRY SCUBA DIVING a worthwhile experience.

First steps at Koh Tao - Try Dive with Renato Alves

What is a TRY DIVE?

The Try dive is an intro dive, totally supervised by professionals, bringing fun, excitement, and safety for the first-timer.

- No certification &  previous experience needed!

The try dive is an experience that can be done in a short period so you can add and plan your holiday, in most places with a half-day you can enjoy the underwater world.

For this activity, the professional will be in touching distance from you all the time, and most likely you will have physical contact with your guide during the experience for safety reasons.

By standards of the Scuba Diving Association, this activity can be enrolled for 4 divers for instructor maximum, but you will find a lot of places with a maximum of 2 divers by professional. Here in Kon Tao, the ratio maximum is 2x1 by local regulations.

So, your mission as a diver in this experience is to relax, breathe, enjoy, and follow professional guidance.

Who can enroll at a TRY SCUBA DIVING?

As a first-timer experience, the try dives doesn’t have many requirements, but we will take a look in some aspects:

What is the starting age to enroll in a TRY SCUBA DIVING?

The diver should be at least 8 years old, so it’s always a family-friendly experience being able to provide fun from kids to seniors.

If the diver is younger than 10 years old, then there will be a depth limited and the dives will be all in confined water with max 5 meters/ 16 ft depth.

Health and condition for a TRY DIVE

For scuba diving in general you don’t need to be super fit, but there are always medical checks and statements that should be taken into consideration.

Normally, previous the activity as a participant you will fill and sign the medical form. At most of the Dive operators if you can comply with all the questions you can dive.

In different words, if you are in okay shape it should be enough and you are welcome on board for the adventure.

If you have any medical condition the best option is always to check with your doctor and bring the medical certification: “fit to dive”.

Is it necessary to be a swimmer for a TRY SCUBA DIVING experience?

Different than the Open Water course that demands some water skills, the TRY DIVE has the mission to introduce this great activity for everybody independently from the capacity of swimming.

You will be under the supervision and responsibility of a professional, that need to make sure that you are okay and that you are enjoying the moment.

How much does it cost to TRY SCUBA DIVE?

The price for an intro dive/ try scuba dive can vary from location to location, points that can affect the price of the activity can vary from a distance for dive sites, access to a swimming pool, type of boat, or even the need of a boat, kind of equipment needed, number of dives in the experience, etc.

But from my experience from working and diving in different locations, I normally see a prince range from 60 US$ to more or less US$ 180.


Traveling and diving around the globe I encounter that the try dive is done in different ways but what essentially separates the experience is the final goal from the dive center to the diver.

To explain this better I will block the intro dive experience in 2: TRY SCUBA DIVE and BASIC DIVER.


This is a pretty basic way to do an intro dive, the ultimate goal is to take everyone to witness the underwater world, this experience is very popular in summer holiday destinations, it's a quick and uncomplicated option for the diver.

During this experience you will have a short brief or class explaining the rules and procedures during your dive, you will enter in the water with a professional that will always guide you with physical touch and he/ she will handle your equipment bringing you safety but less autonomy, it’s difficult to feel the real scuba diving experience during this experience, but this will allow you to be free to enjoy the ride and look all the marine life around.

For this activity, the maximum depth is 5 meters in calm and confined water regulated by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).

A lot of time this experience is sold within a pack and a trip to a different location, where you dive and enjoy, normally you will complete one dive that can vary from 20 minutes to one hour.


The basic diver experience is most complete and displays the ultimate goal that the new diver feels and experiences the real drill of becoming a scuba diver. It’s great for people eager to become a certified diver in the future and want to try it before taking the giant step for the Open Water Diver certification.

The great difference between the two experiences is that during the basic diver program the participants have some goals and obligations to reach and be prepared to enjoy “more” freely the experience and for diving down to maximum 12 meters in open water.

For the Basic Diver program be complete the diver need to fulfill a couple of requirements:

1. Complete a knowledge review after the academic class, that should be more extensive than the TSD brief.

2. Complete with a certain level some skills in shallow water (+ or - 1,5m) before being able to dive deeper than 5 meters.

These 2 steps completed success will help your instructor decide if you can dive deeper than 5 meters in this experience. If you can’t complete all the requirements, it’s all fine, you are there to enjoy, so your instructor will keep the experience rolling but no deeper than 5 meters in a calm and nice water.

The greater advantage of the basic diver is that it counts credits to your Open Water certification until 6 months after your trial, also you can enjoy and experience the real feeling and drill of being a scuba diver.

If you are looking to enroll in a basic diver experience, I recommend you make sure and ask at the front desk of the dive center how the experience will be conducted. Many Dive Centers focus on the try scuba diving experience as the first and only option for the new divers. It’s easy and cheaper to the Dive Center to operate so make sure that what you are paying is what you expect.

Basic Diver at Pura vida Koh Tao

TRY SCUBA DIVING at Pura Vida Koh Tao - Thailand.

At Pura Vida Diving Koh Tao, We face every intro dive as a Basic Diver for instance, from our perspective it’s a better way to be introduced to scuba and brings more joy for the diver that can experience the zero-gravity feeling and dive as a buddy with an instructor in touching distance.

So we encourage the diver to complete all the steps that can make them able to explore and enjoy the sea.

Every class during the intro dive experience in Pura Vida focuses on a complete guide of how to be and enjoy the underwater world for the first time. The academic session would cover the follow subjectivities:

  • Underwater changes

  • Diving Rules

  • Adapting to the new environment

  • Pressure changes

  • Equalization of air spaces

  • Basic equipment and functionalities

  • Safety procedures

  • Underwater behavior and body movement

This session is similar to the first day of the Open Water course bringing to the diver a great panorama from what gonna happen, when, where, and how to act during the basic diver experience and at any diver afterward.

TRY DIVE organization and schedule at Pura Vida Koh Tao

You can enroll the experience every day at Pura Vida Koh Tao, it starts at 11 AM with an academic session (so make sure to book it before) during this one-hour session you will meet your instructor and have direct contact with the diving gear in the dry zone of our shop.

At 1 PM you will board our boat and sail to a shallow bay or beach, that combines the safety of a protected area and the excitement of the sea, making it possible to complete the skill session already with marine life and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

During the first in-water session you will enroll in the skill session (around 20 min) and go for an intro dive reaching a maximum of 5 meters for 30 min - 40 min completing more or less one hour in the water.

Don’t worry if a skill looks challenging you don’t need to do anything you don’t want. You still can enjoy the second dive with limited depth.

After the boat moving for a new dive site and a break with some coffee, tea, and fruits. You will jump for the second dive where the mission is just to have fun applying the knowledge from the classroom and the skill session in a more realistic environment. Being able to reach up to 12 meters if your instructor is happy with your performance in the first dive and you are eager to go deeper. This dive is a complete fun dive that can be up to 50 minutes of joy ride along the most beautiful reef and fishes in Koh Tao.

Around 5 PM we are back at the dive center to celebrate, get your reward shirt from Pura Vida and enjoy an ice-cold drink at La Latina sharing our impressions and experiences.

If you enjoy the experience and wish to keep going and conquer your first Diving certification with two extra days with us you can do it.

Scheule at Pura Vida Diving Koh Tao:

- 11 :00 until 12:00
Theoric seasion

- 13:00 - 17:00
In-water training + dives

How much does it cost to try dive with Pura Vida Koh Tao?

The full experience with an academic session and 2 dives are 3500 THB ( more or less 110 US$), if you are on a limited budget and wanna something cheaper you can enroll and dive only the first session for 2500 THB (more or less 80 US$).

Remember this great deal and an amazing day out in the sea includes everything you need as equipment, boat ride, instructor fees, insurance, snacks in the boat, and a free t-shirt for all the divers.

8 Tips to enjoy your TRY SCUBA DIVING experience.

Enjoy your dive

Scuba Diving for the first time can be nerve-wracking but at the same time can potentially be one of the best experiences you can enroll in.

During my 10 years diving and 8 years teaching I collect some tips so you can enjoy fully your experience:

Be positive and enjoy the dive

It’s your first time and it’s a different environment with new gear, so don’t expect to have full control, give time to the activity and to adapt with the equipment, here an open mind and positive attitude can be the difference for embracing and making unforgettable memories.

Don’t go further than your well being allows.

You are there underwater to enjoy, so if in any case you are not feeling well or even pushing your limits, it’s okay to let your instructor know and cancel. Sometimes people enroll in the activity to make a friend, family, or a couple happy and it is clean for the instructor. It’s okay to try but be honest and let the professional know and help you.

Rest and be prepared.

You will enter a new world full of joy but need you 100% at that moment, so sleep well before the dive and be hydrated to fully enjoy the moment. If you have a cold on your diving day it’s better to wait and dive another time.

Listen to your diving instructor.

Diving instructors are professionally trained to introduce you to this new environment, normally they have plenty of intro dives experience and they share precious knowledge to make your dive even more enjoyable. So don’t let the holiday vibe fool you, still, a new activity, follow the rules and instructions, and have fun.

Look for a responsible Dive Center and connect with your diving instructor.

There are plenty of options and some locations have numerous dive centers, so look for recommendations from friends and families or at forum websites of reviews from customers, I normally use Tripadvisor to choose my operator. Your instructor is the main component to make the experience worthwhile and safe so create a bond with the professional, trust, and connect. Don’t go to the water with someone that you are not comfortable with.

Respect the underwater environment.

You are a visitant to a new world, so behave like one. Avoid touching marine life, there are marine animals that can be poison and some corals are sharp or can irritate the skin. There is a motto that divers use: “ Take only pictures, kill only time and leave only bubbles.”

Turtle at Koh Tao

Be aware that maybe it involves a boat ride.

If you are not a boat person and get seasick, prevent it. Take a seasick pill 30 minutes before and don’t let the little issue annoy your day.

Be present and enjoy it.

It’s your first time, you should be there 100%, so in many places, the underwater cameras are not allowed. I as an instructor highly recommend you to be free from distractions and focus on your dive. The no camera policy will make your dive even better. If you want to register some memories most of the dive center offers underwater pro pictures with a designated photographer to capture the moments for you. So you are free to breathe, relax, enjoy, and pose.

Reasons to become a certified diver.

During my trajectory as instructors, I saw many divers that are almost professional TRY DIVERS, sometimes people keep in the loop of doing 3, 4 or even 7 try dives in different locations just because of the fact of lacking time for the Open Water Course.

Here I will list some reasons to go forward to the course:

Unlock new limits for your dive experience

As a try diver you are limited at 12 meters depth and certain dive sites suitable for beginners, once you get certified you can unlock a new world of dive sites and depth, the recreational diving depth limit is 40 meters, so there are plenty of adventures waiting for you.

Proof of diving experience and time-consuming.

The try dive itself it’s not a proof of experience, that means that every time you go dive you will be treated as a fresh beginner, you will need to listen to the class, make the knowledge review, go for the skills session, and be limited during your dive. In the end, extra try dives are time-consuming.

In the end, it can be cheaper becoming a diver.

It’s understandable to try diving in several locations, but in the end, it’s a more expensive way to enjoy your holidays and dives.

Like I said before every time you do a try dive you will pay from 60 US$ up to almost 200 US$ per dive, one you are a certified diver your fun dives price can be dropped for less than 30 US$ depending on the location.

So if you see scuba diving as an activity for you, it’s worth taking the step and getting certified.

TRY SCUBA DIVING a worthwhile experience.

Doesn’t matter which kind of try dive you will enroll and where, but as a passionate diver I can only say grab the opportunity to scuba dive as many times you can.

There are numerous reasons to be in the sea making bubbles, it can be the contact with nature, the decrease of stress and blood pressure, exploring new feelings, face fears, taking nice pictures and selfies for any social media, etc…

So take the plunge and explore the sea.

Any questions about trying or learning to scuba just contact me. I am always happy to help new divers.

For questions and bookings for scuba diving in Koh Tao - Thailand, just click in the image below.


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