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The different types of scuba diving buddy you’ll come across

Finding a good dive buddy can take time as all divers are different and finding someone with the same style, pace and interests as you can be difficult. Dive buddies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are amazing divers and become lifelong friends, others make you wonder – did this person forge their certification card? The only real way you can find a buddy who works for you is to dive with them so there is a lot of trial and error until you find the dive buddy with whom you work best with but that prefect dive buddy is out there so it is just a case of just keep diving and you will eventually find the buddy who works with you. One way to speed this up is to first know what sort of diver you are so below I have put together a list of the different types of diver out they so that you can work out which type of diver you are and start looking for a similar type of diver as a buddy.


The Nature Guide

The Nature Guide has both the PADI Fish Identification and Underwater Naturalist specialty certifications or maybe even some sort of marine biology qualification, and a library of Fish ID books in their car. Throughout the dive s/he will regularly signal for your attention to point out juvenile fish, camouflaged cephalopods, and interesting rock formations. The Nature Guide is an ideal buddy for the photographer/videographer or someone who just loves looking at the fishes.

The Photographer/Videographer

There are pros and cons to having The Photographer/Videographer as your dive buddy. You’ll get great photos of your dive, but your buddy’s attention may be behind the lens a lot of the time. This is why it is good for divers who are into underwater photography to buddy together as you can both take turns in setting up your pictures and then chat about them when you are back on the boat allowing you both to learn for each other's experiences. But, the problem with underwater photographers is that their attention may not always be with their buddy so if you are going to buddy with a photographer or are one yourself, please, please, do try and keep an eye on each other so you don’t get separated.

The Swimmer

Ever have a dive buddy who wanted to explore the entire ocean floor on one dive? If so, you were likely paired up with The Swimmer. This type of buddy tends to run out of air quickly and utilizes a dangerous “same ocean same dive” philosophy. The reason they go through their air so quickly is that they tend to swim at 100 miles per hour trying to see everything. This is not always a bad thing and if the two of you are looking to do the same sort of diving that fine, you’ll probably get to the best bits first just please don’t kick up the bottom before the rest of us have a chance to catch up.

The Slow Poke

The Slow Poke can spend thirty minutes looking at a rock. If it weren’t for the occasional bubbles, you might wonder if a Slow Poke is still alive. This type of buddy isn’t for everyone (they drive Swimmers crazy) but are well-suited for photographers/videographers and Nature Guides. These type of divers tend to also be down for a long time and will get to see the things most of us would never even notice so if you are not one of these divers it can be an idea to let them go first so that you catch up with them when they find something awesome.

The Bragger

No matter where you’ve been diving s/he was there years ago – before other divers ruined it. The Bragger has never peed in their wetsuit ever and can make a three-hour dive on a single tank.

Don’t worry about bringing your compass, The Bragger once gave directions to a dolphin and know where all the cool stuff is. This is probably one of those types of buddy you don’t want to be with unless you are like them and then you will normally get along well with them.


Captain Shiny 

Another less-than-ideal dive buddy is Captain Shiny unless you are the patient and meticulous (has to be perfect) type of diver as these two tend to work well together as they will compensate for each other while bringing out the best in each other. These divers are easily distracted by marine life, their camera, shiny objects, etc. You may look up to find Captain Shiny diving right on top of you, or swimming away in the opposite direction. 

The “has to be perfect” diver

This is the type of diver who will spend ages making sure they equipment set up is just right and that they know exactly what the plan is and will dive the plan and be back on the boat at the exact time the plan stated. That is why they work really well with the Captain Shiny diver above.

The Tec Diver

When your dive buddy is a Tec Diver, you never have to worry about forgetting a piece of equipment – the Tec Diver has two backups…of everything. The Tec Diver gives great gear-buying advice and will follow you through any swim-through, no matter how small.

Just be prepared for this buddy to continually tell you why you should try rebreather diving.

The Time Capsule Diver

The opposite of The Tech Diver is The Time Capsule Diver. This diver hasn’t purchased new equipment since they started diving. Their BC leaks, their computer only syncs with their transmitter half the time and their faded wetsuit is one dive away from dissolving into the ocean. This dive buddy typically can afford new gear, but takes pride in diving their original equipment even if it has seen better days. Although the scuba equipment may be old it is normally well looked after, well it has to be otherwise how did it last this long.

The bottom crawler.

This diver is always at the bottom of the group, not normally because they went to be able to say they were the deepest but they normally will end up with that accolade. They will always be spotted below you and as such make it easy for buddies to know where they are, just look down.

The Castaway

You probably won’t know The Castaway is your dive buddy until the dive is almost over. After diligently following them and keeping close contact like good buddies should, The Castaway will turn to you and signal “where’s the boat?” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ At this point, you’ll both be wishing you’d taken the PADI Underwater Navigator specialty.

The Newbie

Being buddied up with a new diver has its pros and cons. Their air consumption might not be great, but their enthusiasm is often contagious. If you get a new diver as your buddy, do your best to be a good role model by staying off the reef and doing regular air checks. Avoid tight swim-throughs, and point out any hazards they might not be aware of (fire coral, titan triggerfish, electric rays, etc).

The Best Type of Dive Buddy?
A PADI Rescue Diver. Who would you rather have as a buddy? An Open Water Diver or a PADI® Rescue Diver?  The Rescue Diver course is “serious fun,” a rewarding way to learn safe diving skills and gain confidence.

Whether you’re a newly certified diver or PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, you can start the Rescue Diver program. You’ll start by learning to identify potential problems before they happen and, working with a PADI Instructor, you’ll role play emergency situations and practice how to respond. Along the way you’ll familiarize yourself with your buddy’s gear so you’ll be better prepared in case of a problem.

Divers who take the PADI Rescue Diver course frequently say it’s the best course they’ve ever taken, and many instructors say Rescue is their favorite class to teach because of the transformation they see in their students. To get started, follow this link or get in contact with us here at Underwater adventures