The SCUBA Diver or Open Water Diver Certification course is the first level of SCUBA certification. This is an exciting course that will teach you the skills you need to safely enjoy the underwater world. Once completed, you will be able to enjoy SCUBA diving in many locations around the world. You will also gain knowledge and experience that will allow you to advance in many areas of SCUBA Diving if you so choose.
SCUBA diving is an activity that the whole family can do together. A word of warning though.... SCUBA diving is addictive! You may soon find your kitchen table littered with dive magazines and brochures about dive trips to exotic destinations. Your garage may become filled with dive gear and your car, plastered with dive stickers. You will have to start additional albums on your Facebook page for all of the awesome dive adventures you go on too. Your friends will be jealous and your co-workers will be envious. Welcome to the sport of SCUBA Diving.
The minimum age to become SCUBA certified is 10 years old. There is no maximum age. Students must be in good health and able to demonstrate their proficiency in the water. You do not have to be an Olympic swimmer or an athlete to learn to dive. As long as you are in good health and comfortable in the water, you should have no problems learning how to SCUBA dive.
Some preexisting medical conditions may require you to have your doctor complete a medical evaluation prior to your in-water training. You can download the medical questionnaire at the forms section of this website.
The typical Open Water SCUBA class is broken up into four section.
The first step in the process is to complete the online academics course. The online course creates a foundation of knowledge that the rest of the course will be built upon.
The classroom portion of the course is broken up into two parts, the Orientation and the Fundamentals. Both parts are usually completed in one session of around 4 - 6 hours depending on class size.
Confined Water Training
The confined water portion of the class is done in a pool or confined (shallow) water setting. Students will participate in 2 or more pool sessions prior to their Open Water training. Each session will last around 3 hours.
Open Water Training
The final segment of the class is the open water training. This consists of a minimum of 4 open water training dives over a 2 day period. The training is typically done at Lake Phoenix but can be done in conjunction with a dive trip as well. In the cooler months, November through April, you can join us on one of our Florida Springs trips to complete your certification. Open water students receive a discounted rate on our Florida Springs trips.
Upon registration, students will receive their new student information package and will be registered for their online course.
Students will have to complete all required paperwork and, if applicable, have a medical statement signed by their physician prior to any in-water training. The forms are found in your SSI account or can be downloaded. Please read over and complete each form BEFORE the start of your class.
Students are required to use their own "personal gear" (mask, snorkel, fins and booties) during their training. Students are given the option of using our student wetsuits or providing their own. The use of the SCUBA equipment (BCD, Regulators, SPG, Tanks and Weights) is included in the Open Water SCUBA course.
Open Water students receive a 10% student discounts on all equipment while enrolled in their class. This can be used to purchase their personal equipment and SCUBA gear.
Tri-City SCUBA also offers 12 month interest free financing on all of our gear.
Other Recommended Items
For fit and comfort, students are encouraged to have their own wetsuit for the open water dives. Wetsuits can be provided for those students that do not have their own. We also encourage students to have their own mask defog, equipment bag and Save-a-Dive kit if using their own equipment. Many students also prefer to have their own dive computer in order to become familiar with it. Dive computers are provided to our students for use during their open water checkout dives. We use and recommend the Shearwater Peregrine for all new divers. Shearwater computers are very easy to use and are the most popular computer line in the industry.
How Much Does it Cost?
Regularly Scheduled Classes
The cost of the Open Water SCUBA course is $695.00 when done during a scheduled class.
What is Included:
What is Not included:
The additional cost of a private class is $100.00 per student per day plus instructor and student entry fees if applicable. Private classes are generally held during week days.
We happily accept referrals from most any other training agency including SSI, PADI, NAUI, SSI, SDI and more. The cost will vary depending on what the students have left to complete their certification. We charge $495.00 for students needing confined water training and open water checkout dives or $395.00 for open water checkout dives only. SCUBA equipment (BCD, regulator, tanks and weights) and entrance fees are included.
Some dive shops or independent instructors may advertise a lower cost but then require the students to purchase or rent their equipment and pay additional cost such as entrance fees, tank rental, air fills and certification fees. The cost of these additional expenses can be as much if not more then the tuition for the class.
How does the training schedule work?
Students will need to complete their classroom, confined water and open water training, in that order. Once a student has completed their online course, they can attend any upcoming classroom session. We ask that you contact us to be put on that class roster. Open water classroom sessions are typically held twice per month. Students only need to attend one session. At the end of the class, students will be given a final exam which they must pass prior to attending any in-water training.
The confined water or "pool" training is usually held on Saturday evenings from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Quest Swimming off of Hull Street. Students are required to attend at least two confined water sessions prior to their Open Water checkout dives. Times and dates are listed on our calendar.
Open water dives are conducted at Lake Phoenix located in Brunswick County from May through October. In the colder months students usually join us on our numerous Florida Springs trips to complete their training. Times and dates are listed on our calendar.
A student has 1 year from the date of registration to complete their SCUBA training. Once a student starts their training it must be completed within 6 months of their first training session. There can be no more than 30 days in between any training session.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to any classroom or water training session so that our classes can begin on time. If you are unable to make it to class or running late, please call and reschedule your class.
Learning to SCUBA dive is an exciting adventure that has a lot of misconceptions we try to clear up in training. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions or misconceptions people have.
With SSI (SCUBA Schools International) you can sign up and start learning right now! Click the link below, choose the course you want to take, register with SSI and affiliate with Tri-City SCUBA. That's it. You can get started today for FREE!