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Casual, Core, or Committed?
Airworks - 4/21/2022 10:37 AM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 2
Casual, Core, or Committed?The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has categorized two types of recreational divers.

Individuals who dive 1 to 7 times a year are dubbed as "Casual", while those who get wet 8 + times a year are "Core" divers.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the word “casual” definitely defines a group of individuals who approach scuba diving in much the same way they approach life. Numerous other activities are participated in with equal zeal and zest — occasional scuba diving being one of them – but none of those activities is viewed as more valuable than another. Scuba diving is nice, but nothing special. One to seven times a year is about right for them.

And in full agreement with the “core” diver idea, there are individuals who fit that category perfectly. They are more likely to go on numerous dive trips per year, and buy a full set of scuba gear. More often than not, however, core divers tend to be "picky" in terms of WHERE they dive, usually preferring warm and comfortable waters. If the conditions are just right, they’re in!

Core divers also tend to pursue continuing education courses in their desire to become better and more informed participants. That’s great, and those motivations are to be commended. Unfortunately for some, the push to get more "official" certifications often appears to be a competition to see who can get the most!

For example, I remember buddying-up with two divers who had impressive credentials and an enviable assortment of certs, with over 1000 dives a piece, but demonstrated clumsy dive skills and levels of uncomfortableness in the water that made me decide never to dive with them again!

Having said all that, I’d like to offer a THIRD diver category.

Not only are there “casual” and “core” recreational divers, but there are also “committed” ones. Those are individuals who scuba dive for the sheer pleasure of the experience, and do so in a much more deliberate and consistent basis as a personal DISCIPLINE geared to overall LIFE-TRAINING. For the committed diver, getting wet on a regular, even WEEKLY basis, is normative. Rain (minus lightning!) or shine, pleasant ambient conditions or not, freshwater or saltwater, committed divers get wet a lot!

Where they dive is not that important. The key thing is the dive challenge for its own sake.

I don’t know how many divers fit that description, but allow me to illustrate it with my own experience.

Over the years I have become intensely committed to diving as "workout" that positively affects my physical and mental/emotional/spiritual well-being. The knowledge, skill-set, and discipline involved in safe and productive scuba diving help me in many ways even outside of my dive involvement. In my opinion, "fun" dives are so much more than mere recreation. Many divers, including myself, look at EVERY dive as recreation AND training. At the very least, we become more comfortable in the water and with our own gear, making us increasingly confident in our abilities.

At the same time, however, we need repeated reminders that though the underwater world is beautiful and compelling, it also presents some rather harsh realities. We must approach each dive excursion with great humility, knowing our individual strengths AND limitations. The physical laws at work in submerged habitats should never be taken for granted. They are not merciful, and bargaining with them is a non-starter.

Committed divers tend not to be that interested in adding to their cert collection just to get "more". If they believe a particular class will actually assist them in improving skills or gaining useful knowledge not otherwise obtainable online, then they may consider it. Otherwise, they choose to learn and improve as they go.

Maintaining a passion for living and a sense of wonder about the natural world tend to fade the older we get. That is an unfortunate reality. Life has a way of jilting us the more we live it.

Personally, scuba diving fuels my zest for life, and the sense of wonder at God’s underwater vistas, whether in fresh or ocean water, remains unabated.


Bmax - 4/22/2022 6:08 AM
I agree with your article. Very well written, and for me diving has been a way of life for 22 years. I do not plan on slowing down for a few more years. dive Safe, dive often! Brian
Airworks - 4/22/2022 8:14 AM
Thanks Brian. Sounds like you’re a quarry lake diver. HAIL TO INLAND DIVING!