From claustrophobia to a fear of sharks, people give a lot of reasons why they won’t get scuba certified. Here’s a list of some of the most common hesitations people face and how to address them head-on. Who knows? Your non-diving best friend may end up being your next dive buddy.

I’m claustrophobic.

The ocean is the largest open area on the planet. When you take a look beneath the surface, any fear of small spaces quickly dissolves. You’ll realize that you’ve never felt freer than when you are gliding over a coral reef or drifting along with a current.

I don’t have any dive gear.

Dive gear can add up, but there are ways to dive without breaking the bank. Plus, properly maintained equipment could last a lifetime, so while the initial purchase may seem hefty, it will pay for itself in the long run. If you’re not ready to buy your gear, many dive operators offer rental equipment from some of the industry’s most trusted brands. And it’s also a great way to check out different styles to find the right one for you when you are ready to take the next step.

Having a friend to dive with you gives you an assurance of a kind of having a trusted buddy by your side

Travel is too expensive.

Yes, some of the world’s most bucket-worthy trips can cost a pretty penny. But with such a vast ocean to play in, there’s an endless number of dive-friendly trips that can be easy on the budget too. What’s even better: Many dive packages offer discounts for groups. And that’s just another reason to turn a friend into a dive buddy.

I have problems with my ears.

Many people suffer from sinus problems when they dive. And it’s never recommended to dive if there is any pain in the sinus areas including the ears, eyes, and nose. If you suffer from ear pain during a dive, slowly ascend a few feet until the pain subsides. Once the pressure equalizes, slowly descend at your own pace. If any pain doesn’t dissipate, make your controlled ascent and sit out the next dive until you have seen a medical professional. If you need some helpful tips on equalization techniques, here’s what you need to know.

I’m scared of sharks.

Many people think sharks are swimming in the ocean waiting to chomp into their next victim. And thanks to movies such as Jaws, Hollywood doesn’t always help. In most cases, sharks want nothing to do with divers. When they notice divers in the area, they typically swim in the other direction. For divers, it’s not about hoping we don’t see a shark. It’s getting luck if we do.