10 & 2

Before we talk about Scuba Diving, I want you to answer one question for me. And be honest!

By James Weber

Ready? Ok.

Here it is.

When you drive your vehicle, do you honestly keep your hands at “10 & 2”? 

I would bet the answer is probably “No”. I would also be willing to bet that those of you who were honest and answered “No” would share at least some of the same reasons for not doing so.

“You forget “10 & 2” most of the time.”

“You can drive perfectly well with just one arm up on the wheel at 12 o’clock.”

“You’ve never been in an accident even though you don’t drive with your hands at “10 & 2”.”

While those may seem like good arguments, there’s actually an even better one! No, really there is! 

According to StateFarm (You know, the people who cover car accidents every day) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), you should actually keep your hands at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position! This is because since the invention and standardization of modern day airbags, having your hands at good old “10 & 2” can be very dangerous in the event of an accident.

So, how many of you keep your hands at “9 & 3”?

I’m just kidding. I’m not here to guilt trip you about your driving. I’m here to guilt trip you into DIVING! 

“What’s all that nonsense have to do with diving?” I hear you ask. “Super simple.” I reply.

Some of us, not nearly all or even most, take one Drivers Ed Class before we’re 16 years old. Then we take our Drivers License Test. If we pass, that’s it! We’re good to get out on the road and tear up the asphalt in metal boxes that weigh over a ton. We hardly ever think about it again. Driving is just something we do in our every day lives. All the time. No problem. I wonder how many of us on the road who fall into that category, still think “10 & 2” is the safest way to drive…

The same can be said for most Divers.

The sad fact is this: Open Water Scuba Diver Certification, your basic, first level dive course, makes up the majority of all diver training the world over. 

As with Driving, most folks learn to Dive, take their exam, and that’s it. They just go on and dive, and never look back. Entering an environment we as human beings are not built to survive in with the help of scuba equipment and a bold attitude! It’s part of their daily lives. They don’t even think about it. It’s a largely practical skill after all, just like driving a car. 

There are divers in their 90’s who carry only an open water diver certification. Now, they may be the worlds greatest diver, and they may follow all the latest innovations, they may know the new “9 & 3” rules of diving. I’m not knocking those guys, they’re incredible. But, to borrow some phrasing, “Aint nobody got time for that!” I certainly don’t want to spend the next 70 years doing all the leg work by myself to keep up with current standards and best practices! I want them laid out for me by the people who know, so I can have the best time possible when I do my giant stride!

That’s why I, a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, someone who spends his time training other Dive Pros, and a diver of nearly 20 years, still make time every year to take a new dive class!

Scuba is constantly evolving. Ten years ago we were teaching all SCUBA in classrooms with books and videos. Today most SCUBA is a combination of E-Learning and Review! 

Twenty years ago no one trusted dive computers because electronics underwater seemed like a bad idea! Today most dive professionals recommend a computer purchase to new divers before a wetsuit! 

Things change, technology improves, safety procedures that were gospel back in the day have been proven to be downright silly now.

Like keeping your hands at “10 & 2”.

Don’t be that diver. Sign up for your next dive class today. See what all you’ve missed since your open water course 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 40 years ago and have some fun along the way!