A large majority of active divers live in areas where boat diving is not always available. And even if it is, it is not always the most economical option for those who like to dive often. In the past, you may have overlooked shore diving because you were not sure where to go in your area or if you could battle waves to make it past the surf zone.
Or maybe you just dislike the dirt and sand associated with diving from shore? Whatever the case may be, making shore diving as effortless as possible will allow you to enjoy many more days of diving close to home throughout the year.
If you follow these simple yet effective ways to make shore diving easy, a whole new world of diving opportunities will open up to you. Go shore diving more and you will increase your bottom time in no time at all!
With a little bit of research, you can become familiar with the dive site before you arrive. Knowing what to expect will make things run smoothly and make your dive more enjoyable.
You can use SSI’s MyDiveGuide to find all kinds of details on your local dive sites, such as where to park, how long the surface swim will be, and what you will see on your dive.
Scouting the dive site is always a good idea before lugging all of your gear down to the beach or shoreline.
Take a stroll to the water's edge to check the surf and decide on the best entry point. It is also a good idea to see if there is a place you can assemble your gear near the entry point or if you need to kit up at your car.
A lot of shore diving occurs along the beach, where divers may have to contend with waves. Whether they are big or small, shore diving becomes easy if you know how to get through the waves properly.
Top tips to get through the surf zone quickly:
No matter what the forecast says, sometimes there are days when you show up to dive and the surf is just too big to contend with. Instead of having to cancel your day of diving, always have a backup site in mind just in case.
Having an alternative site gives you more options and allows you to stay safe by not attempting to dive in conditions beyond your comfort level.
Although every diver loves the water, many hate the sand. You can easily eliminate this issue by bringing what is known as a "gear mat."
Lay a gear mat on the ground near the trunk of your car to protect gear from dirt and sand.
Wearing dive booties may be common sense to most divers, but those who are used to diving off a boat in tropical locations may not be accustomed to wearing booties and using full-foot fins.
Choose booties with a good grip to minimize slipping at rocky entry points.
Wearing booties not only keeps you warm, but they will protect your feet while walking from your car over hot sand or rough terrain to the dive site entry point.
Most beaches and recreational areas offer public showers. Utilize this resource by rinsing your gear off before disassembling it and putting it back into your car.
If you are diving at a location without showers, consider investing in a portable rinse shower to carry in your car or carry a couple of freshwater gallon jugs for rinsing.
The best way to end a dive is with little to no surface swim, so plan your air consumption on your dive to allow you to swim all the way back to shore.
Following the sloping shore back at the end of the dive also takes care of your safety stop without having to hang in mid-water.
By following these eight tips, shore diving can become a fun, easy activity that will allow you to dive more often. If you are new to shore diving, find a buddy that already knows the ropes. They can help you with these diving tricks while showing you where all the best local dive sites exist.