Underwater Adventures: 7 of the Best Scuba Diving Books

Underwater exploration, anyone? We’ve done the research, and based on the reviews, these are some of the top books about scuba diving! They aren’t in any particular order, but they span various subjects, and there’s something for everyone!

Learn about deep-sea diving and shipwrecks, find stunning sites across the world for diving, and even read about the business side of scuba diving with this comprehensive list of books about underwater exploration.

Top 7 Scuba Diving Books

Whether you’ve considered getting into scuba diving or you want to learn how to hone your skills, check out some of our top recommendations.

1. Scuba Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Better Diver

Author: Simon Pridmore 

Scuba Confidential gives you professional advice on how accidents happen and how to avoid them. You also get critical insight on exciting topics such as how fun it is to take a cave diving course, buy the right equipment, choose the perfect instructor, and even find the best diving sites in the world. 

There’s no shortage of helpful info here, whether you’re a newbie to underwater diving or experienced and looking to refine your skills. Dive into the mind of a seasoned scuba diver who’s been entrenched with the sport from all angles for the past thirty years. 

Here are some of the questions you can look forward to getting answered by grabbing a copy of Scuba Confidential:

  • What’s it like to dive inside shipwrecks and under the ice?
  • Which training courses are helpful and which are a waste of time?
  • How do the professionals seem to be so comfortable in the water?
  • Are you safer without a diving buddy sometimes?
  • Is it possible to reduce your air consumption? 
  • Should I consider a rebreather?
  • How do I know if I’d be any good at technical diving?

2. Scuba Professional: Insights into Sport Diver Training & Operations

Author: Simon Pridmore

Written by the same author, Simon Pridmore explores different, more technical aspects of scuba diving- training and operations. Described as the natural successor to Scuba Confidential, Scuba Professional looks at how dive operations are being conducted and how diving is taught. 

Fresh, out-of-the-box, objective ideas for dive operators and instructors alike, this book is a must-have if you want to understand what happens behind the scenes of scuba diving.

Contrary to its name, Scuba Professional is not just for professionals. This guide is for the aspiring diver who takes this sport seriously and wants to progress to the next level but doesn’t know where to start. 

The author takes a calculated approach to look at the bigger picture and delves into avoiding or handling accidents. This time he lays out a framework to outline and develop a safety culture within the world of scuba diving. He also shares his wisdom about the sport’s direction and what the future holds for the dive industry. 

3. 100 Dives of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Underwater Destinations

Author: Carrie Miller

Photos by: Brian Skerry

For the travelers of the world who also happen to love diving, this book was written with you in mind!

Featured in this book are 100 stunning scuba diving sites all around the world. Explore the beautiful cenotes of Mexico as well as the best wreck you’ll find in Micronesia.

Through the breathtaking National Geographic photos, you can imagine yourself under the waters and becoming the diver you want to be. There are some beautiful locations to add to your portfolio!

You’ll also receive expert tips and top of the line travel advice from professionals who know where you should go for a unique diving experience. 

Peruse over 350 images from 100 Dives and take a peek at divers who have joined the manta rays at night in Hawaii and the hammerheads in Costa Rica. Get a glimpse of what it’s like to explore the caves of Belize or go under Antarctica’s ice floes.

There’s truly something for everyone. 

This book has been thoughtfully organized based on diving experience and certification level. Each location presented offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone. 

Travel tips and expert diving advice from trusted National Geographic divers and explorers, 100 Dives is for both the beginner and the expert diver. Explore the world’s ocean from your home or grab your scuba gear and book your flight!

4. Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Author: Michael Ange

Read the real-life stories of various divers that have endured dangerous situations while exploring the underwater world.

After what seemed to be a brief time below water, one diver abruptly discovers that his gas supply has gotten dangerously low.

Another diver has become paralyzed and helplessly flails on the surface. When the poorly trained instructor tries a recipe attempt, it only makes matters worse. 

Picture two divers, enticed by the abundant undersea creatures of the Caribbean, who don’t seem to notice that a powerful current is pulling them away from their boat.

Diver Down tells you these true stories and more that involve diver errors on behalf of both divers and divemasters (instructors), and unfortunately ended in serious injuries or death. 

It’s crucial to understand how you can protect yourself by recognizing, avoiding, and responding appropriately to underwater disasters. Read about a variety of diving situations, including deep-water dives, cave, and wreck diving, decompression sickness, river and drift diving, and much more. 

Learn how to prevent a tragedy by:

  • Learning and also following established safety protocols
  • Inspecting and proper maintenance of your primary and secondary diving gear
  • Confirming the credentials and training of other diving professionals
  • Practicing your response to emergencies in real-world conditions 

Scuba diving is exciting, no doubt about it, but always be sure to follow established guidelines and put your safety first. This book is excellent for divers of all levels. 

5. Dive Atlas of the World

Author: Jack Jackson 

Like 100 Dives, Dive Atlas of the World offers divers the chance to experience some of the world’s premier diving sites.

The colorful and vibrant images allow you to dive into the Blue Hole at Lawson Reed to the Umbria wreck, located in the Red Sea. This book is your one-stop-shop for a global tour of the locations in the world that are sure to show you a good time during your exploration! 

What’s unique about this traveler’s guide is that you can learn more about the classic sites and newly discovered sites. Enjoy the feast of locations that you can choose from and the articulately-written mapped accounts of these sites from the experts. 

Award-winning photographers Jack Jackson and Lawson Wood give you extraordinary photos of wrecks, walls, reefs, blue holes, and caves in this awe-inspiring book that pushes you to discover the best the world has to offer for divers. 

6. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Author: Robert Kurson

Simply put, this book is a deep-sea diving thriller! Filled with suspense and intrigue, this book recounts how two recreational scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat in 1991. They spent six years after the discovery researching the identities of the submarine personnel. 

During this time, they also corrected historical texts and made groundbreaking discoveries along the way. Buyers have raved about this book and said that it really makes you feel immersed in the sport of scuba diving and gives you a fascinating account of real-life adventure. 

Get to know and understand the mission, the tragically last mission of this U-Boat, and the relentless dedication that two divers had to make sure the story was told correctly. This is an excellent gift for those who like suspenseful books and are also interested in deep-sea diving and underwater exploration. 

7. The Silent World: The International Bestseller by the Father of Underwater Exploration

Authors: Jacques Yves-Cousteau and Frederic Dumas

Presentation: Anything Brandt

Most anyone who loves to scuba dive knows the name Jacques Cousteau. 

Best known as an engineer and the inventor of scuba, Cousteau was a prominent French marine explorer, inventor, and conservationist. He spent much of his life in the late 20th century sailing the seas and exploring the underwater mysteries that many people were curious about. 

He educated millions and inspired the world’s inhabitants to protect the Earth’s oceans during WWII. Hardly any of this would’ve been possible without scuba gear. Cousteau, along with fellow engineer Emile Gagnan, helped to create the Aqua-Lung. This was a twin-hose underwater breathing appliance.

This piece of equipment enabled Cousteau and his crew to film and explore parts of the ocean that had never before been seen. These expeditions resulted in Oscar-winning movies such as The Silent World, which was praised around the world. 

Seize the opportunity to learn and understand the brilliant mind and dedication of the father of underwater exploration, Jacques Cousteau. 

Scuba Diving Books Worth Honorable Mention

Final Thoughts

Here are our top picks for some awesome scuba diving books to suit a variety of interests. Hopefully, you find one you love and maybe even grab one for a friend as a great gift idea. 

The world of diving is invigorating, and it’s a good idea to read one or two or all of these books if you really want to learn and understand how the sport works. Whether it’s a hobby, passion, or profession, there’s a book for you on our list!

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