Different types of diving

By Terry Tomalin, Outdoors Editor
Published July 6, 2007

Recreational scuba diving

Most scuba divers fall into this category. Recreational divers stay within the prescribed limits (less than 130 feet) and do not introduce any additional stressors, i.e., wrecks, lack of light, heavy current.


Many people learn to scuba dive just so they can spearfish. But shooting a fish underwater in heavy current is not simple. It is easy to lose track of time and place. Most dive shops offer spearfishing classes for advanced divers.

Spring or cave diving

One of the most dangerous forms of diving, this specialty is both expensive and time-consuming. To become a certified cave diver takes years of training and an investment of thousands of dollars. Do not enter a cave or cavern without the proper training.

Reef diving

Perhaps the most popular form of diving in the state, thanks to the world-class corals of the Florida Keys, reef diving is an open-water specialty that requires professional supervision to protect both diver and the fragile underwater ecosystem it involves.

Boat diving

Many people take the fact that you will be entering the water from a boat for granted, but this form of diving has its own inherent dangers. Before you head out on your own, take a trip on a charter boat to learn the do’s and don’ts.

Night diving

One of the most exciting forms of scuba diving, this specialty course will open a new world of opportunities. But once again, it is best to take a class and go with a group under the supervision of a certified dive master.

Mixed gas/technical diving

To go deep, 130 feet or beyond, divers need specialized training in the use of various mixtures of gas. This “technical” diving leaves little room for error and is not recommended for the casual participant.