Diver Propulsion vehicles or underwater scooters were once available only to military and commercial divers. Today they are widely used by tech divers and even recreational divers seeking to add speed to their dives or simply play with a fun underwater toy. I have been quite intrigued by underwater scooters so the decision to take the DPV course with Freestyle Divers was an easy one to make.
Benefits of DPV Diving
DPVs allow divers to dive with minimal effort which is essential during deep dives or when currents are present and are especially handy for tech divers. Underwater scooters allow to cover a larger range which is an advantage during certain dives like wreck dives when ships are too big to cover in a traditional way.
With the DPVs divers can easily circulate around the wreck or other area and focus on what interests them most. They also allow to see more marine animals, especially big ones like turtles although they may scare the sharks.
The Course Outline
Darryl from Freestyle Divers walked us through the theoretical part of the course and explained how to handle the vehicle, enter the water, stay with the group, turn, stop and so on.
We had loads of fun practicing different maneuvers and getting a good feel of the underwater scooter. It seemed quite easy when we watched Darryl do the moves but way trickier when we had to do it ourselves.
Getting used to the underwater scooter required some focus, patience and loads of repetitions of skills but once I could control it, I quite enjoyed it. Turning was a bit challenging especially using one fin but persistence definitely paid off. Viz was not great during our training which added to the necessity to stay close to the group as getting lost was much easier when going fast. One of the most fun parts for me was practicing the scenario of DPV failure when Darryl pointed to the rock wall and made us go full speed into it just to turn last minute. I was scared a little as it seemed a bit suicidal to drive into the rocks but mastering the skill of rapid turning is essential in DPV training.
After two dives required by the PADI standards I could comfortably drive a DPV although I would definitely love to practice more.
Start DPV Diving
If you decided it is time to level up your skills and learn to dive with DPVs, contact Freestyle Divers to book your course. The price is 1050 AED including the C card hand you will need one day to go through theory and do two dives to complete the course. Once you are more comfortable, you can rent DPVs from Freestyle Divers for your recreational or tech dives.