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Calgary Scuba Diving - information about the sport



[ Background | Equipment | Where ]

Background

Diver amongst coral

Scuba diving was created by Jacques Cousteau who invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, which includes the air tanks, regulators, hoses and mask needed for effortless breathing under the water. Scuba diving is a great sport for seeing the undersea nature. When you have your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), TDI (Technical Diving International), or NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) scuba diving certification, you can dive almost anywhere in the world.

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Equipment

Scuba diving involves not just the cost of the equipment, but also travel to good & often execotic scuba locations. The equipment for scuba diving is life-critical and always top quality, though you can rent it (especially if you don't dive a lot) at almost any resort or dive shop when you have a recognized certification.

Typical diving gear includes: a mask, a snorkel, a full length wet suit, a hood, a pair of diving gloves, a weight belt, a BCD (Buoyancy Control Device), a primary regulator with an alternate air source (second stage), an air tank, instrument console, diving boots, flippers, a diving knife, dive tables, a slate and an equipment bag for carrying the gear. The equipment is not cheap to buy, with a BCD costing $300-$800y.

Equipment and lessons are available at one of the scuba diving shops here. Try on every piece of equipment before buying. Those with a pool on location, will even let you try it underwater to make sure it functions and fits properly. If you choose to buy used equipment, check it thoroughly, have it inspected by a professional scuba diving equipment technician and ask to test it out (remember, its your life support underwater).

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Where


To learn scuba diving, check with the scuba diving shops or at swimming pools around the city (Maps of Swimming Pools). University of Calgary (220-5038) or Mount Royal College (240-6517) offer programs for their students.

In the Calgary area, you can dive at lake Minnewanka, a shallow lake just inside Banff National Park, and advanced divers may try Ghost Lake (about 50 kilometres west of Calgary, 20 kilometres past Cochrane), where the Ghost River joins the Bow River. Ghost Lake is deep and COLD year-round, and on hot summer days be alert for windsurfers at the surface.

In town, there are a few man-made lakes: Sundance Lake, Lake Midnapore, Lake Bonavista and Lake Bonaventure (these are community-owned so you need permission beforehand).

You can also dive at larger lakes around the province, including some high elevation dives in mountain lakes (dry suit recommended) or consider taking a diving vacation.

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