The most common scuba hand signals are shown on the picture chart below.
All PADI beginners should find the review of underwater scuba hand signs and symbols a useful resource, especially when you want to recall the language and gestures used in diver communication.
You use PADI dive signals and hand movements to interact because you cannot speak through a conventional scuba regulator mouthpiece.
You need an electronic system or full-face mask to have a reasonable conversation by voice while you are submerged.
Even though you learn how to communicate and get attention underwater using standardized scuba signals and plastic writing slates, it is worth noting that surface and underwater diving signs vary among different training agencies.
Therefore, it is prudent to review common hand gestures and an appropriate emergency recall system during your pre-dive safety check, and especially when diving with a new dive buddy.
Being able to understand finger and hand gesticulation or body movement underwater increases safety and helps to reduce confusion and anxiety.
The most established diving PADI dive signals and common arm gestures are used on all dives as part of the buddy system of diving.
The okay hand sign is probably the most frequently used of all body signs underwater because it is the method of confirming that you are fine - ok in sign language - and you do not have a problem.
We also use basic PADI hand signals to show our intended direction (e.g. let’s go up, go down, or stop), if you have low tank pressure (50 bar), when you want to share air supply, and to remind your buddies about the procedures for making a safety stop.
We use fingers to indicate in numbers how much air we have remaining. Some divers also use some really cool scuba hand signals and funny body movements to represent fish family species and aquatic animals as well as the recognised PADI dive signals.