What Makes a Solo Diver?


Photo provided by: Bill Downey at Downey Diving

Diving and divers come in all different forms; some dive to see wrecks, others the deep walls and still others just for the marine life. Most dive to enjoy and share the experience with their family or favorite dive buddy(s), but there are those times when dives are better done alone.

Diving solo is not for everyone or for every situation. Divers who enjoy taking still photos or capturing the motion of underwater life on video will often prefer to be a solo diver, as it disturbs the environment less and allows them the time they need to capture the images. There are also those who like to solo dive for the safety aspect, such as those going spear fishing.

The final deciding factor for a solo diver is the diver’s own personal comfort level with the thought of solo diving. Besides the equipment and proper training, solo diving is a mindset. Divers who want to dive alone need to understand what they are about to do and accept the responsibility. A big part of a good solo dive plan is ensuring the diver is mentally prepared; this is a critical turning point in the dive or no-dive decision. Unlike divers who dive in the buddy system, there is no one there to provide an outside perspective or to use as a check and balance.

The solo diver is a well-trained, properly equipped and mentally prepared diver. He solo dives for a reason, creates a well-thought-out solo dive plan, and gives that plan to someone on shore. He has also done a risk benefit analysis and decided that the dive is worth the risks normally associated with solo diving.

To learn more about solo diving visit us at https://www.tdisdi.com/sdi/get-certified/Solo-Diver-Course/

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3 replies
  1. Jeffrey Bohemier
    Jeffrey Bohemier says:

    I see far too many people diving solo online that don’t have the proper equipment to conduct such dives. Having an alternative air source is absolutely vital to solo diving, as there’s nobody around that’s going to be handing you their octopus. My personal dive rig uses double 40’s (necessary for me due to a back injury) with a pony bottle mounted in between. Both the pony and doubles feed an air block which allows me to select between the two and then output that air source to my 2nd stage, which is part of my Ocean Reef Predator FFM. It’s the safest way to dive, as I can access my alternate air supply by simply flipping a lever from the main to the alternate air source. Additionally, in addition to my BCD, I use a backup buoyancy compensation device in the form of my drysuit. I also carry a spare knife, scissors, flashlight, and a really loud signaling device, along with a surface marker buoy. Lastly, I limit my depth to no more than 50 feet. I’ve found that Solo diving is the best way for taking underwater photography. And truth be told, a good chunk of everyone’s dive, even with the buddy system, may as well be solo diving. That’s because while you’re paying attention to one item, everyone else has moved on and left you to fend for yourself.


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