13 Different Types of Diving Explained – Diving Types

7. 13 Different Types of Diving Explained1
Read Time:13 Minute, 34 Second

Try out some of these various types of diving in this guide if you want to diversify your diving experience!

Here are the various types of diving you should try now that you have your open water certification, from night dives to ice dives and cave dives.

Diving can be divided into two large categories: scuba diving and freediving. Scuba diving requires a breathing apparatus, whereas freediving is done at breath-hold. There are many different types of scuba diving, each defined as either recreational or professional. Let’s discuss the primary characteristics of each of the popular diving types.

Scuba Diving

Recreational Diving

Training: Instructors who are themselves certified to lead diving courses for particular levels of expertise provide training for recreational divers. The most well-known and reputable training organizations are PADI, SSI, NAUI, CMAS, and TDISDI. Operators of diving services all over the world will accept certifications issued by internationally renowned organizations.

Drift Diving

One of the most rewarding diving techniques is drifting, but it calls for caution and knowledge. Drift diving, in contrast to other types of diving, entails following the current rather than planning your course. Depending on where you dive, the force that propels divers may be an ocean current, a tidal current, or the natural flow of a river.

The most efficient way to reach your next point of interest is by drift diving, which is also relaxing. But you might end up somewhere unexpected if you let the current carry you. The ability to navigate well, scuba diving experience, and confidence are thus prerequisites for this type of diving. As you learn to go with the flow, it will almost be like you’re flying, as many divers describe the feeling of drifting.

There are a few things to think about when drift diving, even though it’s generally safe as long as divers are properly trained and equipped. To let the dive boat captain know where they are, divers need to use a surface marker buoy (SMB) or a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB). There are risks that should be considered, such as being taken away from the dive site and into uncharted waters.

Wreck Diving

Investigating enigmatic wrecks underwater is incredibly fascinating. For thousands of years, some have been submerged at the bottom of the sea, the ocean, or rivers. Many of them are among the last remaining visible evidence of tragedies that have occurred throughout history. The majority of these wrecks have been colonized by underwater vegetation and are home to fish ecosystems that give life to these man-made structures.

Even though not every wreck has something to be discovered, there are a lot of pirate ships and big ships whose mechanical parts and other cargo can still be seen after they’ve sunk. However, not all wrecks are vessels like ships or boats. Divers can also explore the wrecks of trains, buses, trains, submarines, airplanes, and naval radar stations in addition to other popular wreck types.

Even though wreck diving is generally risk-free, there are some dangers involved. An injury or getting stuck in the wreck could result from going inside. These are unstable, constantly disintegrating structures. Additionally, there is a risk that rigging, fishing nets, or even a wreck reel could entangle a diver. There is still a chance of getting cut when swimming too close to it, even if one doesn’t go inside.

Deep Diving

Depending on the scuba diver training organization, what is deemed a deep dive can vary, but a deep diving certificate typically allows for dives as deep as 40 meters (131 feet). For the purpose of diving wrecks, caverns, and caves, the majority of divers seek this certification. Or one might just want to swim alongside marine life that lives in deeper waters and see coral plateaus that are situated at depths of about 40 meters.

This kind of scuba diving does come with some risks, though. The main risk is decompression sickness, which happens because the nitrogen in the body dissolves more quickly as you descend deeper. In order to allow the body to release the inert gases during ascent, decompression stops must be made.

Cave and Cavern Diving

Cavern Diving

Cavern diving is done close to a cave’s entrance, where it is still possible to see the natural light and where it is simple to locate the exit. The typical depth for divers in these waters is 40 meters (130 feet), and they always keep the cave’s entrance in view. A specialty diver certification from any open-water training organization is needed for cavern diving, which is regarded as a type of recreational diving.

Cave diving is riskier than cavern diving, but it still carries some risk. The misuse of a guideline to open water, ignoring the rule of thirds, giving in to the allure of the deep, and going too far without the necessary skills and equipment are common mistakes that can happen during a dive.

Cave Diving

Technical diving involves cave diving, which calls for additional training, specialized certification, and equipment that is different from that needed for open-water and cavern diving. It is carried out as a dangerous sport, for scientific investigation, or to find missing divers.

The diver must swim the entire distance back out in case of an emergency, just like with penetration diving. They cannot swim straight up to the surface. With exit routes located at great distances, navigating complex cave systems can be challenging. Despite the fact that many people consider cave diving to be one of the riskiest sports in the world, this is largely due to the unqualified divers who enter caves without the necessary skills and gear.

There are many risks involved with cave diving, making it one of the riskiest scuba diving specialties. These dangers include coming into contact with an overhead environment that forbids one from making an unplanned exit to the surface in the event of an emergency, increased air consumption as a result of stress, sediment that reduces visibility to almost nothing, and a plethora of other dangers.

Night Diving

Little to no ambient light is required for night diving. However, it can also happen at dawn. It frequently happens at night. Moreover, night dives can also refer to diving in caves, in waters with very poor visibility or in murk, and when diving beneath overhangs. To be permitted to go on night diving excursions, divers must successfully complete a specialty course.

But why on earth would someone go night diving? For one thing, it’s a completely unique experience. Many nocturnal animals avoid the light of day, so you can only see them at night. Observing bioluminescent animals, which produce their own light, is quite magical. For underwater photographers, night diving guarantees some incredible pictures.

Divers should be aware of certain risks that come with darkness. The most obvious one is a failing flashlight, which results in the loss of visual references, the inability to regulate depth or read instruments, and the loss of buoyancy control. A strong main light with a lumen output of about 1,100, a backup light, and a signal light are necessary as precautions. Keep in mind that shining light into other divers’ eyes can impair their ability to see at night.

7. 13 Different Types of Diving Explained2

Technical Diving

There is some disagreement over what exactly technical diving is. However, there is widespread agreement that technical diving is a subset of scuba diving that uses variable gas mixtures, accelerated decompression, and depths that are greater than those permitted by recreational and commercial diving.

Tech diving also refers to exposure to a ceiling, either natural or artificial, that prevents the diver from ascending to the surface vertically. As a result, some people consider wreck and cave diving to be technical diving. Decompression requirements prevent a technical diver from making a quick ascent to the surface.

Risks that go beyond those typically associated with recreational or commercial diving may be present for divers when they dive technically. In comparison to other types of scuba diving, tech diving involves greater risks due to deeper dives. Decompression sickness, improper breathing technique, excessive exertion, and improper use of diving equipment are a few of the major ones.

Ice Diving

Ice diving, a penetration dive done under ice, is one of the most difficult types of scuba diving. To lessen exposure to below-freezing temperatures, the dive time is restricted to less than 30 minutes. Ice divers typically dive alone, with the other team members watching out for their safety.

But why on earth would anyone choose to dive beneath ice? To begin with, ice diving can offer uncommon opportunities to see animals, such as penguins and seals, that you might not otherwise be able to see in the summer. Divers in freshwater will also observe that because there is less water circulation in the winter, clarity tends to improve.

Ice diving carries a number of risks, the three main ones being hypothermia, getting lost beneath the ice, and regulator failure. Divers must always be tethered for safety, which requires them to wear a harness attached to a safety line that is fixed above the water’s surface.

Altitude Diving

Diving at altitudes greater than 300 meters (1,000 feet) above sea level is referred to as “altitude diving.” While the majority of divers only experience dives below the surface of the water, there are many high-altitude dive sites all over the world that provide a small number of exceptionally rare underwater experiences.

Divers who dive at sea level may not typically face these particular difficulties because of high altitude. The depth gauges are impacted by freshwater and decreased atmospheric pressure. Because diving at altitude has a more significant impact than diving at sea level would, altitude divers are also more susceptible to developing decompression sickness. Consequently, no-decompression times are reduced.

Professional Diving

Training: Professional divers receive training to learn the specific skills necessary for their jobs as well as to dive safely as a part of a dive team. Training is typically provided by licensed diving schools and varies depending on local legal requirements. The same armed force that the diver will be serving in typically conducts military diver training, which is delivered by a specialized training facility.

Commercial Diving

Commercial diving includes a wide variety of tasks and activities, and it is not always restricted to the offshore environment. They have demanding work schedules and operate in hazardous environments. For these careers to be successful and safe, extensive training is needed.

Most frequently, the oil and gas industry is linked to this kind of scuba diving. Commercial divers, however, also work in nuclear power plants, hazardous material environments, and land-based civil engineering projects. Among the popular categories of commercial divers are scientific divers and media divers (filmmakers and photographers).

Rescue Diving

A challenging and satisfying career is rescue diving. Most frequently, when other divers are submerged and in need of assistance, these divers respond to emergencies. These seasoned experts have training in emergency management, first aid procedures, depth rescue, surface rescue, and other fields.

However, you can become a certified rescue diver without being a professional. Anyone who wants to gain better diving buddy skills and learn how to deal with problems underwater can enroll in a specialized course at any of the diver training organizations that offer this option.

Military Diving

Military divers serve in the marines, army, air force, navy, and coast guard, among other branches of the armed forces. They perform tasks like combat, search and rescue, ship maintenance, underwater engineering, and bomb disposal, among others, and are crucial to many missions.


Training: Although freediving is not for everyone, those who are interested in taking it up for fun or as a sport can enroll in freediving/apnea courses offered by AIDA, Apnea Academy, PADI, NAUI, SSI, CMAS, FII, PFA, TDISDI, and other reputable diving organizations and agencies.

Freediving was first practiced by humans out of necessity, primarily to find food and other items they could sell later on as well as to recover items that had been lost at sea. It changed over time into a pastime activity and even a well-liked sport.

Apnea diving, also known as freediving, is the practice of diving while holding one’s breath without the aid of a breathing device. Freedivers can go deeper and stay underwater longer with different techniques and just one breath of air. Freediving is much more than what some people think it is—it’s an advanced form of snorkeling.

However, why would someone choose to freedive and expose themselves to risks that are reduced when using a breathing apparatus? Freediving is an exhilarating experience because there is no bulky equipment to hold you down, you can move around freely, you can get closer to marine life, and you can better understand your physical and mental self.

It takes a lot of discipline and excellent swimming abilities to freedive. It’s a risky activity that could be fatal. Drowning is a huge risk, and so is shallow-water blackout, which is the loss of consciousness due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
The fact that all competitions are held under the authority of AIDA, where strict safety regulations are imposed, makes competitive freediving a relatively safe sport.


Benefits of Diving

  • Increases your agility. You improve your agility by continuously propelling and paddling, especially in the feet and leg region.
  • Enhances your sense of focus. Your awareness and focus will improve while scuba diving. Despite the weight you are carrying, you manage to maintain your balance while swimming underwater by coordinating your arm and leg movements. Additionally, as you explore underwater, you make an effort not to harm the corals, fish, and other marine life that are nearby. Dive training helps you develop muscle control while maintaining awareness of your surroundings.
  • Relieves stress. In addition to the water’s well-documented ability to reduce stress, diving is a calming activity that helps your body’s circulatory and respiratory systems. Additionally soothing the diver’s mind goes hand in hand with this physical benefit. Drifting through the weightless environment of the ocean can make you feel peaceful and content. Similar to this, the underwater world is a brand-new environment that can effectively relieve anyone’s stress. There are no problems, worries, or work-related pressures there. You are removed from your demanding life by it.
  • greater understanding of the beauty of nature. Water covers more land than it does, and the underwater world is teeming with graceful, wonderful, and magnificent life. Only diving can give you an up-close encounter with these other gifts of nature because the aquatic environment is so diverse in terms of life. With such a diverse plant and animal population, you will find creatures you have never seen before. By diving, you will become more in tune with nature and develop a greater appreciation for it.
  • benefits to one’s social and professional life. Given that diving alone is among the riskiest activities you can engage in, scuba diving is unquestionably not a sport for loners. When you travel alone, you can be sure that a dive buddy will be assigned to you, and you will be forced to make friends quickly. You can actually learn to trust and value people you don’t know well through scuba diving. When you dive with a buddy, you have to be confident that they will assist you if something goes wrong and that you are familiar with all of their equipment and any other pertinent information about them.

What is Recreational Diving

Sport or recreational diving is diving done primarily with scuba gear for fun and relaxation. The term “recreational diving” may also be used in contradistinction to “technical diving”, a more demanding aspect of recreational diving which requires more training and experience to develop the competence to reliably manage more complex equipment in the more hazardous conditions associated with the disciplines. Breath-hold diving for recreation also falls under the term’s broader definition, but this article focuses on the commonly understood definition of scuba diving for recreation, where the diver is not restricted from performing a direct, nearly vertical ascent to the surface at any time during the dive and risk is regarded as low. (as reported by Wikipedia).

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? - What Should You Know?
Diving Knowledge

How Does Scoring Work In Diving? – What Should You Know?

Divers are graded in diving competitions using a points system based on a variety of criteria, such as difficulty level and execution.

Read More
Ocean Or Space - Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?
Diving Knowledge

Ocean Or Space – Why Have We Explored More of Space Than the Ocean?

You may have read or heard that 95% of the oceans on Earth have not yet been explored. Despite the slight exaggeration, we actually don’t know as much about the ocean as we would like to.

Read More
PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving - Differences & How to Choose
Diving Knowledge

PADI vs SSI Certification for Scuba Diving – Differences & How to Choose

PADI and SSI courses are somewhat comparable to one another. The way that lessons are taught varies the most. The course can be further customized or expanded upon by SSI instructors.

Read More