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Ice Diving

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Ice Diving Overview

Photo: Pete Nawrocky

Some people may ask why you would ever want to dive in 32 degree Fahrenheit water under a sheet of ice. There are several reasons why divers descend into the frigid water and explore below a sheet of ice with a hole cut in it.

One of the reasons is the clarity of the water. With reduced sunlight, lack of movement, and the temperature of the water all combine to create some of the clearest water that can be found. The clarity of the water attracts photographers and videographers.

Another reason why you might want to take up ice diving is because of where you live. If you live in the north where lakes freeze every year and traveling to warmer, tropical locations is not in the budget, taking up ice diving can be a great way to get in the water in the winter without having to travel great distances.
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Ice Diving FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
What is ice diving?

Ice diving is cutting a hole in thick ice on a lake or other body of water and descending underneath the ice. Ice diving is obviously diving in very cold water and requires special equipment and procedures.

Why would you want to ice dive?

One of the reasons is the clarity of the water. With reduced sunlight, lack of movement, and the temperature of the water all combine to create some of the clearest water that can be found. The clarity of the water attracts photographers and videographers.

Another reason why you might want to take up ice diving is because of where you live. If you live in the north where lakes freeze every year and traveling to warmer, tropical locations is not in the budget, taking up ice diving can be a great way to get in the water in the winter without having to travel great distances.

Finally, the thrill and excitement of ice diving is a big reason divers get into the sport. The challenge and lure of descending below the ice draws drivers from around the world to give it a try.

Do you need a special certification to ice dive?

No, you don’t need a special certification, but you do need special training. Training agencies like PADI and NAUI offer ice diving training, which you should take before trying to dive below the ice.


Do you need special equipment to ice dive?

Yes, special cold-water regulators, ropes, and either a very thick wetsuit or dry suit is required. You also need descent lighting because it is very dark below the ice. Some divers opt for full face masks for added warmth.


What do you see below the ice?

One of the primary reasons to dive below the ice is because of the clarity of the water.  You will see a variety of life that you can not experience otherwise.

Ice Diving Training

Ice diving is cutting a hole in the ice on a lake or other body of water and descending below the ice. There is a good bit to learn before you should start ice diving. A good team that is knowledgeable about every aspect about ice diving is important. There is some special gear and procedures that must be practiced before ice diving. Getting the proper training before you decide to ice dive is essential.

Some training agencies offer ice diving training, such as NAUI and PADI. Ice diving training includes planning, organization, techniques, and potential problems as well as site selection, preparation, special equipment, and safety diver procedures. Contact your instructor or training agency to determine exactly what they offer.