7 Types of scuba divers you don’t want to meet

By Julius
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Large group of divers at shore

Scuba diving is a lot of fun and most divers are pretty cool people.

However, just like in any other sport…there are those you wish to never be around for too long.

From those who disregard their own and others safety, to those who are just super annoying or rude.

Here are top 7 types of scuba divers you don’t want to meet above or underwater.

1- The Bottom Plower

Scuba diver on reef bottom alone
A Bottom Plower before touchdown.

Good buoyancy is incredibly important to being a good scuba diver and protecting the environment.

The Bottom Plower, on the other hand, can always be found on the bottom of the reef with no regard to the well-being of the environment.

Good diving etiquette is not important to them and they are often on dives that are way above their skill level.

Of course, taking additional training is never an option as they are entirely oblivious to the damage they do.

2 – The Mask Behind the Head Guy

Old cave diver on the surface
A friendly version of the mask behind the head guy.

The mask behind the head guy is not a bad diver per se.

He/she just still dives like in 1992 and doesn’t plan on changing that ever.

Stories that predate the age of the dive computer are not rare and they can tell you about diving at pretty much every dive spot in the world. Over…and over…and over again.

Oh and they have great tips for you. Like how to clip your scuba fins the right way, or that extra special Trimix they used last week. Over…and over…and over again. 😉

3 – The Fighting Couple

Scuba divers making heart with their hands underwater
It’s not always love and nitrogen.

Sigh…couples are always a mixed bag. 😄

As an instructor, I have taught hundreds of students over the years and the worst breakdowns always happened with and between couples.

The way it usually goes is that one of them is not 100% convinced of the dive spot, the course, or whatever they are doing…and then the fighting begins.

My personal observation is that when women don’t enjoy the diving, they get very frustrated with their partner…while men get very frustrated with the instructor. 😃 (This is true for hetero and same sex couples by the way)

In the end, this also applies to other constellations than couples.

It also applies to buddy teams who dive together and others.

4 – The Cheap Skate

Scuba diver in murky water
Diving is fun…but should not cost anything!

Cheaper is better for these divers.

A dive should never cost more than a few dollars at most and anything above is a pure rip-off.

Tipping the dive guide or the crew is completely out of the question. After all, they should be grateful someone took the time to dive with them, right?

They can be spotted with the ultra-budget versions of every equipment piece and they like to talk price before anything else.

If they get rejected by a dive operator, they are usually quick to get angry and like to repeat the “but at dive center xyz they did this for way less!” mantra.

My favorite example: The person who assumed our courses included a full kit of scuba gear since the prices were “super expensive“…

How to not be like this: We all like to save money on scuba diving and that’s totally okay. In fact, check out our current deals on travel and liveaboard diving to browse the best ones we found!

However, scuba diving and travel should be good for everyone, and that includes the providers.

After all, the money you spend usually goes into keeping up the diving operations, caring for the environment, and fair pay for the staff.

5 – The Online Diver

The online diver is someone who likes to share their opinion online…a lot.

They are active in forums, Facebook groups, and other social media channels where they reply to each and every topic and thread.

Mind you, it doesn’t matter whether they actually know anything about the topic so you can often find helpful comments from them such as “That’s a good question!“, “I don’t know the answer to your question, but I have another thing I’d like to mention“, or “Interesting“.

They are dead set on just the things THEY find appropriate, so in each scuba gear thread, they like to recommend exactly their setup and bash the rest.

It makes you wonder whether they actually dive or just like to chat online.

How to not be like this: Social media is great and also super helpful in finding a good dive buddy. However, it is also a place of a lot of misinformation where everyone can just post whatever they want without any checking it for facts.

If you participate in online discussions, please remember that there are always newbies who have no clue about scuba diving and rely on factual information and guidance.

Just like you would not let a non-diver join you on a decompression dive, don’t give out poor advice to those who might not know any better.

6 – The Touchy One

Scuba diver laying on seafloor

Don’t touch anything is a credo all scuba divers should know.

All…except for the Touchy One. They like to pick up critters, snails, corralls, and anything else.

They like to do so with a big grin on their face and see absolutely nothing wrong with their behavior.

How to not be like this: Simply follow the old scuba diving saying: Take pictures, leave only bubbles, keep the memories, touch nothing but your scuba gear.

7 – (W)Reckless One

Cave diving stop sign

The last and maybe most dangerous one to be honest.

The reckless diver is the one you should stay away from to stay safe.

They grossly overestimate their skills, and like to attempt dives that are out of their league.

60m / 200ft on air? Yes! Let’s go!

Cave diving without a certification? We can do it!

The list goes on…

According to DAN, scuba diving is a relatively safe sport. However, most diving fatalities occur in divers aged 30 to 50 due to human error.

Bottom line is, before you go scuba diving, make sure you are ready, able, and certified to do so.

Do not attempt any stupid challenges like touchdowns to 100m on a 12l tank, cave diving without a course, or attempt useless diving records.


These are 7 types of divers you don’t want to meet, and subsequently don’t want to be yourself.

Though we played with some stereotypes here, these are the kinds of divers we sometimes meet while diving.

What bad diver types have you encountered so far?

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃



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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

©2024 Social Diving. All rights reserved. The content presented here is the exclusive property of Social Diving and may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Social Diving.

Social Diving is your #1 online source for scuba diving, scuba travel, water sports, learning, and having fun in and under water. We have scuba online articles, review plenty of (scuba) gear, and regularly post travel guides around the world.


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