Boat Diving vs Shore Diving: The Ultimate Guide
Whether you’re entering from the land or a boat, you can discover some pretty amazing sights and creatures within the UK’s underwater world. Both entry methods for shore diving and boat diving have some great advantages, but which one is the best method for you?
Here we take a look into both entry methods for shore diving and boat diving, what they are, their advantages, plus a few tips on how to prepare yourself for each. Ready? Let’s get started.
Boat diving is an excellent method for discovering new dive sites out in the open sea or places where you can’t access by the shoreline. It’s a great method for those looking to build up their confidence and jump straight into the ocean without the gradual build-up of depth levels as you walk into the sea through the shore.
Boat diving is usually a preferred choice at it cuts out the hassle of lugging your equipment to the dive site and decreases the risk of overexertion before and after the dive. The only strenuous part is having to load and unload your dive kit from the boat but once you’re on board, it’s pretty smooth sailing.
Advantages of Boat Diving
Meet new people: Boat diving is a great way to meet new people. Usually, on a boat dive, you and your buddy won't be the only people on board. So if you're looking to meet new divers or are still yet to find a diving buddy, boat diving is a great way to meet new people.
It’s a new adventure: Boat diving allows you to reach offshore places that aren’t accessible with shore dives. It allows you to discover new places and sea creatures that you cannot find near the shoreline. Boat diving is especially great if you want to discover more shipwrecks.
You have a boat crew: Most boats have a crew or someone on board to help you kit up and safely help you to enter and exit the boat. For those who aren’t so fit, you can take your kit off in the water and pass the kit to the people on board.
Safety Aspects to Consider When Boat Diving
Before you go on your boat dive, there are a few safety elements that you need to remember. Number one is that you should always listen to your dive guides and not enter the water until they say it’s okay to do so. Your dive guides assess sea conditions and determine whether it’s safe to enter or not.
Always remember to carry an SMB with you when diving. SMBs are designed so boats above you can find your location. Your divemaster will have one also but if for some reason you may get separated, it’s vital that you have one on you at all times during your dive.
Boat Diving Best Practises
- Listen to briefings on boat orientation and dive planning. Make sure you understand the conditions, location of emergency and exit/entry plan.
- Conduct a proper buddy check before entering the water (BWRAF).
- Stay hydrated to avoid seasickness.
- Bring extra layers to beat the wind chill
Shore diving is the simplest of ways to enter the water. After all, it’s just a short walk into the ocean and you're amongst the waves. It’s certainly one of the easiest for convenience as there’s no fuss in organising and booking a boat. But there are some things that you need to consider, such as special equipment needed for shore diving and safety points you need to remember.
Advantages of Shore Diving
First off, let’s discover some of the great advantage points to shore diving:
It’s the cheaper option: No need to book boat fees and arrange travel to the dive site and the site is on the shoreline. If you’re looking for a budget option, then shore diving might just be the right option for you.
It’s available at any time (when the conditions allow us): No need to arrange a boat that’s scheduled to go out at certain times of the day. Shore diving is available to divers morning, afternoon, evening and night! But make sure to check that conditions are safe before entering the water.
You can dive at shallower depths for longer: Depending on where you’re diving, the dive site will have shallower depth options. Therefore you can dive at shallower depths for longer! We think that’s a win!
Safety Aspects to Consider When Shore Diving
Before you go on your shore dive, there are a few safety elements that you need to remember. Shore diving can be more tiring due to the extra exhaustion from walking where you geared up to the ocean and back again. Remember to account for that, especially when you exit the dive and not dive beyond your limits. In addition, you may need to swim a short distance to the dive site, occasionally in surf conditions. Take into account your swimming abilities when opting to shore dive.
Another safety aspect that you need to consider is the conditions. Assess the water before entering and determine if it is safe enough for your dive. Take a look at the tide times and the weather forecast beforehand so you can determine whether you could potentially run into trouble mid-dive.
Shore Diving Best Practises
- Put your fins on once you've entered the water. Make a plan with your buddy to put them on when you're at least waist-deep.
- Make an exit plan. Assess the water and determine, Is it safe to get out once the dive is finished?
- Avoid getting sandy and dirty when changing by bringing a changing mat. We recommend the Fourth Element Changing Matt.
- Car parks will be your new changing room so bring a changing robe! We recommend the Zone3 Polar Fleece Parka Robe.
- Plan the dive to beat long surface swims.
We’re Here to Help
Whether you choose to dive on the shore or on a boat, both have some amazing advantages. Choosing what’s best for you really depends on the type of diving you want to do and what you’re most comfortable with. In most cases, boat diving is the preferred option because as they say “the world’s your oyster”, you have many more possibilities to explore and reach new places when travelling by boat. But shore diving is a preferred option for beginners and those looking for simpler dives without the hassle of arranging a boat.
Given more time and experience, you’ll decide for yourself whether boat diving or shore diving is right for you. But if you need any advice from us on what option to take, send us an email with your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to assist with your decision-making.