When I was first certified for Open Water SCUBA, my non-diver friends and family were quite impressed. Most of my uncles and cousins are fishermen, but they’ve never braved the depths in a dry suit with an air cylinder strapped to their backs. They just couldn’t comprehend diving in the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest, and thought that I was a certain kind of tough to be doing so. Now that I look back and think about it, they had a point. SCUBA is a hearty endeavor, not for the timid. In short, SCUBA is badass. But not every diver is a badass diver. To achieve that status, one must go a little further.
What is a Badass Diver?
The word “badass” might make you think of risky behavior way outside the limits of what you would consider sensible. But that’s not what I mean here. I’m not talking about someone who takes risks out of pure cockiness. I’m talking about a diver who knows his stuff, someone who is ambitious, determined, prudent, and absolutely competent in their skills. A badass diver has his trim down pat, uses the proper kick at right time, can hold a stop in any condition with minimal movement.
A badass Diver is someone who pays it forwards, sharing knowledge and tricks with newbies. A badass diver is someone who inspires people to improve their skills. They might be engaged in activities that seem dangerous—for you. They might even make those dangerous things look easy. When other divers see them, other divers say “I want to dive like that”.
Anyone who gets up at 4am and drives six hours for a dive. Anyone who is not daunted by ice and wind. Anyone who is willing to carry gear across a parking lot the size of two football fields. Anyone who will traverse the globe just to dive. In short, those who are committed to SCUBA.
What a Badass Diver is NOT
They don’t act better than anyone else, even if they are better. Anyone who thinks of himself as badass cannot be badass. Only a diver who, despite his high skill level, believes there is still more to learn is badass.
Badass doesn’t mean bravado or arrogance. Badass divers are soft spoken. They are constantly analyzing what they do, and figuring out new ways to do them. Diving new challenging wrecks, new cave passages, pushing new boundaries and depths, safely or someone who was a true pioneer. Clearly these activities are risky but someone who understands these risks and plans for them is a badass diver.
There are plenty of high ego divers out there. These people are good at what they do, but they are usually full of themselves. This is not what a true badass diver is. Don’t be that arrogant diver whom everyone admires yet hates at the same time. Be prepared. Be confident. Be bold. Be a badass diver.