Refresher or reactivate courses are instructor-led diving activities that allow us to regain confidence and remember basic diving skills in a safe and controlled environment.
In the case of PADI, they are called ReActivate.
This program is recommended for divers who have spent more than a year without diving, or even after 6 months, if you have little experience. The decision of whether or not you need it is up to you, but it is normal that a dive center requires you to do it if you have not dived in the last 12 months.
The refreshes usually include a short review of the Open Water Diver theory, some underwater exercises and a simple dive to get used to the sensations again.
The requirements to do a refresher course are:
- Be a certified diver (PADI or else)
- Minimum age: 10 years
- Duration: 1 day
- Dives: 1, additional dives can be added
- Maximum depth: 12 meters
- Price: starting at €80
1. Long time no diving
This is the main reason to do a refresher course.
Despite having learned to dive, after a while we may not be so sure about certain points such as: Setting up our scuba equipment, buoyancy control, signals… So doing a ReActivate individually helps us remember everything we need to know, without the pressure of diving in a group.
2. Regain confidence
Certain situations cause you to decrease or lose confidence in your abilities as a diver. Doing a simple dive with an instructor one-on-one is a good way to recover it, always in a safe and controlled environment.
3. Gain experience
Sometimes we may not feel comfortable enough with our abilities to perform certain dives or activities.
During these activities you can review the exercises and skills with which you feel less comfortable to gradually improve them. For example clearing your mask 😉
It is also useful if you are thinking of continuing your diving training but have somewhat forgotten what you learned in your Open Water Course.
4. New environment
Each diving area has certain conditions that can be very different from what we are used to.
In these cases, doing a refresher course in the area can be of great help before diving with a group, since we can get used to the new conditions at our own pace and without pressure.
5. After an illness or operation
Any of these reasons force us to be out of the water for a while, but they can also involve a physical change in our body that affects us when scuba diving. That is why it is considered a good option to do a refresher after an operation or illness, to be able to see the reaction of our body before doing more complex and challenging dives.