Drives me nuts when someone says they are too old to learn to scuba dive!
In every sport there are those exceptions where an older person is the example of still going strong. The 80 year old shot put athlete. Or running a marathon at 88. They are news worthy because they are the exception. But, and please hear me, Scuba divers can easily go far into their later years without being an exceptional athlete or in that great of shape.
If you think you have to be in good physical shape then pay attention. We have divers that regularly travel with us that are 88. People dive a few months after shoulder surgery, handicap divers, over weight and out of shape with many different ailments. As a matter of fact, one of our older divers well into his 80's told me that the only time he doesn't hurt is when he is diving.
Scuba diving is a sport/hobby that almost anyone can do. There is little to no stress on the joints while in the water due to weightlessness. Weightlessness is fun and very comfortable. After every dive when I am climbing the steps into the boat, I have this funny thought that sometimes comes out of my mouth, Gravity sucks! So lets look a little closer.
What about scuba diving seems like it would be hard? Most likely the equipment. Tanks can be a little heavy while on the boat. Maybe sliding into a wetsuit seems daunting. Perhaps carrying your gear to the boat might seem a challenge. Ok, I get it but in reality we all adjust with age. Diving is no different. Most dives are from a boat. There is a crew that wants a tip. So, they help. Every diver of any age is helped by divemasters on the boats anyway.
Putting the gear on. First, everyone slides into their gear while sitting on a bench. No lifting at this point. The gear is supported by the bench. Once on, stand up and get into the water. If carrying it on your back is a challenge, then no problem. Simple, put your gear on in the water. Your BCD or vest is inflated and everything floats. Pull the straps on and buckle. Really it is very easy when you have done it a few times. Many people sit on the transom or the back edge of the boat and the divemaster holds your tanks and BCD while you buckle everything. Then 1 2 3 you jump in. When finished, take it off while in the water, the crew will grab it.
Wetsuits have come a long way. The rubber inside and out days are long gone. They are thinner, warmer, stretchier, and lighter today. And the more quality suits have a fabric liner inside that make them much easier to get into. The thinner it is and the stretchier it is, the easier to get into. So if your goal is to dive warmer water then no problem. Suits for warmer water are much thinner and easier to get into. Plus there are many tricks out there to help. Poly dive socks on your feet make the legs go on like butter. Conditioners for the inner lining make them slippery and easier to put on.
Carrying the gear. The tanks and weights are already on the boat waiting for you. The weight of the gear minus the tanks and weights is approximately about 15 - 18 lbs. Put that in a dive bag that has backpack straps and you carry the weight on your shoulders. If you are packing cameras or other equipment then it will be a bit more. If you can't handle the backpack then pull your gear in a rolling dive bag or rolling duffle, or even as I do a rolling locker. Mine has 4 wheels, and extendable handle, can be locked if need be, and I can sit on it if I get tired. The crew always puts it on the boat for me. Easy to travel with and easy to use. I love it.
Receive help. It is a blessing for people to be able to help others. Don't deny me the opportunity to be blessed by helping you. Sometimes we can use the help but pride gets in the way. I love to serve people. I want you to dive and am willing to do what I can to make that happen. If it means helping you carry some gear or carrying it to the water for you, then no problem. Come on, you would help me if you could right? Did you help others when you were younger, healthier, or stronger? Sure you did, so now receive little. Most trips the divemaster assembles your gear once on the boat anyway. Some even load and unload from your room. Common today to even leave your gear on the boat during the week.
The Reward. This is the reason we do this. Friendship, Adventure, Beauty, Travel, Camaraderie, Thrill. I could go on. Such a wonderful thing to share with others. My passion is the sea and the wonders of the deep. I want to share it with you. Nothing should stand in your way of being able to experience this. I will do everything I can to make it available to you.
We always encourage those with physical restrictions to join us on our group trips because we take excellent care of our divers. If you need a little extra help, no worries at all - It's included with a smile! Just keep diving!
Give it a try!