- FAQs - Open Water Diving Course
FAQS - Open Water Diver Course
- Do I have to be a good swimmer to be certified?
Not necessarily. We are looking for "reasonable comfort" in the water. You should have basic swimming skills, and have a measure of comfort in deep water. The course requirements are that you must float in deep water for 10 minutes without using and swim aids, and be able to either swim 200 yards non-stop, or use mask, snorkel and fins, and swim for 300 yards.
- I am taking a trip over the winter months, can I do my open water dives on my trip?
Yes, once you successfully complete the classroom and pool diving phases of the course, you will be issued "referral documents" that attest to the fact you have completed all the preliminary work. Once you reach your destination, your instructor will review these documents, and may have you review some skills in the pool before conducting your open water dives. We always recommend contacting the dive center or resort where you are headed to ensure they know you need to do your open water dives. They will let you know how and when they do the dives, or if any special arrangements need to be made.
- Do you provide all the gear for the course?
We provide all necessary scuba gear for the course, including a wetsuit for the pool. Students are responsible for their own mask, snorkel, fins and boots. If you do not have the basic gear, we do offer a student discount when you purchase your mask, snorkel, fins and boots from us.
- How long do the training dives last?
The four dives for certification must be done over at least two days. Typically we will complete two open water dives locally in about four hours. This includes travel time to and from our training sites, gear cleanup and completion of logbooks and certification paperwork. Most times we will do two dives per day, and other times, three dives in one day and one dive the next. Local diving conditions will dictate what the schedule will be.
- My schedule doesn't allow me to attend all three days of your pool/classroom weekend...what can I do?
Easy....give us a call and explain your situation. We'll do our best to see that you complete your course in the most efficient and convenient manner. You may need to attend sections of the course at a later date or at another of our three locations.
- What is the minimum age for getting scuba certified?
Currently, the minimum age is 10. At 10 or 11 years of age, the student is certified as a Junior Open Water diver, with a maximum depth of 40 feet, and must dive with a parent or Instructor. From 12-14, they are still Junior Open Water Divers, but must dive with a certified adult of legal age. At 15, they are certified as Open Water Divers, and may dive with any other certified diver.
- Do Open Water Divers invest in their own gear?
YES! Most of our Open Water students will elect to purchase all their own gear, so they can be comfortable with the fit, operation and maintenance of their equipment. Yes the gear may seem expensive at first, but current scuba gear is designed to last well over 15 years if cared for properly.
- Is the book hard to understand?
The Open Water Diver Manual is written at about a ninth-grade reading level. There are lots of pictures and graphics to help clarify important concepts. The course DVD is also well done, to help you grasp the details of the course.
- When can I do the four open water dives for certification?
You have two options: First, you can join us for local training dives during scheduled sessions May through October, or you may elect to do your four open water dives on a vacation during our winter months, or on a store sponsored trip. When you are in your classroom/pool weekend, your Instructor will discuss training dive options with you.
- How can you do all the classroom work and pool dives in one weekend? Don't scuba classes take weeks to complete?
When you sign up and pay for your course, you will receive the course materials for home study. You have the advantage of reading the course manual and viewing the course DVD before coming to class, so you are better prepared for the weekend, and you spend more of your class time actually diving, rather than sitting in a classroom.
- To what depth am I certified? Do I have any depth restrictions?
As an Open Water diver, you have a recommended maximum depth of 60 feet. It is also recommended that you dive in conditions equal to or better than those in which you were trained. The Advanced Open Water Diver course has a recommended maximum depth of 100 feet, and the Deep Diver Specialty course will certify you to the recreational depth limit of 130 feet.
- I have a medical issue, or I take a prescription. Can I still learn to dive?
The best way to answer that is to speak with your personal physician. We require a medical clearance for anyone who has a medical issue or takes any type of prescription medication before any in-water work can be done. This is for your safety and our liability. If you are unsure, ask for one of our Medical Forms to take to your doctor.
- How long does my certification last?
Once you are certified, it is for life. However, there are some recommendations if you haven't been diving in a while. Taking a scuba refresher course is always a good idea when you haven't been diving in an extended period of time.