How to Show Your Dive Buddy Some Love
There are a few pretty consistent rules when it comes to diving—don’t go alone is one of them. Our dive buddies not only ensure we stick to that rule, but they also watch our backs, help us with our gear, help us stay calm when needed, and celebrate our successes when we have them. After all, friends make a good time even better, and happy memories have that extra zest when shared with loved ones. So, whoever your dive buddy is—your parent, friend, sibling, significant other, or just another diver you get along with in your local dive community—show them you’re grateful for them in these super effective and loving ways!
Tell them! No one will ever tire of hearing, “I appreciate you,” and it’s a simple, yet effective way to let your dive partner know you see all that they do for you and that you’re grateful for them. You can keep it as simple as that, or you can really make their day by letting them know why you appreciate them. Letting someone know why you appreciate them makes the statement feel more personal and genuine, and your bond will strengthen because of it. It doesn’t need to be a big mushy to-do either. It can be a simple, “Hey man, I appreciate you being a great dive buddy. You always check my gear and never run off too far when we’re in the water. Thanks!” And that’s it. The moment has been had. You made someone feel appreciated and now it’s time to dive. Jump in!
Ask them how they’re really doing. Too often we wander through the world greeting folks like: “Hi, Bill, how are you?” and Bill says, “Good, how are you?” and you say, “Good.” But are we good? Is Bill? Possibly. You may see that Bill seems distracted or quieter than usual as he preps for his dive. Don’t be scared to ask, “How are you, really?” It could be nothing or something. But letting someone know that you really see them and care about how they are is one of the greatest gifts you can give. If they need to share, be ready and willing to listen without judgment and with compassion. If they don’t want to share, don’t push. Respecting their boundaries is also crucial in being a supportive and good friend.
Collaborate on dive plans and/or travel. It can sometimes be in our nature to take control of plans. This is what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it. But remember to keep the other person’s wants in mind, simply by asking, “What do you want to do on today’s dive?” If you do tend to take on the leader role for the dives, consider passing the baton to your dive buddy to make the decisions around the underwater journey. If appropriate, toss out the idea of going on a dive trip together to explore new seas. Traveling together is an amazing way to bond with someone, and the memories made on that journey can last a lifetime. Again, be collaborative with the other person rather than try to take the reins on the whole thing.
Be supportive. Part of being a good friend and dive buddy is being supportive. That means celebrating their successes as well as being understanding when they’re not feeling the dive today and have to cancel. Did your dive buddy just finish a specialty course? Show them how excited you are for them! Let them know how cool they are for the new certification or even take them out for a drink to celebrate. If you’re the competitive type, you may find this challenging. Love and support can take practice (just like diving!), so practice being a fan of someone else’s awesomeness.
Be There for Them
Have fun, but remember to take diving seriously. The closer you get with someone, the easier it can be to lose focus on the more important/serious points and find yourself goofing off at the back of the boat. Having a laugh is essential for friendships, but so is making sure you both have your safety points taken care of, too. Check their gear thoroughly. Stay appropriately vigilant during the adventure. Let them know you care through making sure they feel and are safe both in and out of the water.
Show up for them. Be present with your dive buddy. Show up for them on dive day—as in, be present with them rather than distracted. Depending on the depth of your relationship, you can show up for them on land as well. Do they have something big coming up (related or unrelated to diving) that they’ve invited you to. Go show your support!
Offer a Gift to Let Them Know You Thought of Them
Get a gift. This can be tricky, which is why this may be best avoided until you know someone better. These days, gifts come in the form of memes in your social media messages. This is actually a great way to show someone you care and want to make them laugh! So it doesn’t have to be an ordeal with a bow on top. Just let someone know that something funny made you think of them. If you did want to get them a physical gift, there are many ways you can do this. Maybe you noticed their dive boots or gloves or O-rings have seen better days. Picking up a new set for them while you’re doing your in store shopping at Divers Direct can be a really thoughtful gesture - practical gifts are often the best route. Or, you can get something totally impractical yet awesome nonetheless: a holiday ornament with a photo of the two of you diving! A manatee keychain (because they’re obsessed with manatees, of course) would be a great way to go. Anytime you come across something that makes you think of someone, it’s usually a great gift to let them know, “Hey, I thought of you and appreciate you.”
Basically, we can often get caught up in our own to-dos and forget to let the people around us know we care about them and are grateful for them in our dives and lives. It’s always a good time to let people know you appreciate them, and we’re glad you’re feeling the love and wanting to share it.
What is a dive buddy?
A dive buddy is someone who you pair up with on a scuba dive or freediving adventure. That way you have less risk of getting lost or in a bind, and you’ll be better prepared for potential emergencies with someone there. Remember, you watch each other’s back, your dive buddy is not your personal scuba bodyguard. An added plus? You have more eyes which means more chances of seeing cool marine animals.
How to get a dive buddy?
Getting a dive buddy can seem challenging if you’re an introvert and easy if you’re an extrovert. The best way to get a dive buddy? Recruit someone you already know and trust to get scuba certified so you can go out diving together regularly. Oftentimes, though, a dive charter will pair you up with another diver—this can often be the dive master.
How can I stay with my dive buddy on a scuba dive?
Keeping an eye on your buddy does not have to mean missing out on all the ocean has to offer. Even still, keep close (but not too close) and catch eye contact on occasion to check if they’re doing okay or communicate how you’re doing. It’s pretty easy to stay with your buddy, all you have to do is not drift off too far and make sure they don’t do the same.
How can I better support my dive buddy?
You can support your dive buddy by becoming a better diver yourself. Know the safety protocols, how to properly check gear, and how to stay calm in tense situations. The best way to support your dive buddy is to remain considerate and make sure they feel safe on the boat and in the water when they’re with you.
How do I know if getting someone a gift is appropriate or not?
If you’re asking, “Is it appropriate to get someone a gift?” it may be best to just avoid it altogether. But generally, if you’ve known someone for a while now and it’s an appropriate gift (not suggestive or crude in any way), you’re good to go!