Open Water SCUBA Certification

Overview

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 enjoy the underwater world.  Once completed, you will be able to enjoy SCUBA diving in many locations all over the world.  You will gain knowledge and experience that you will allow you to advance in many areas of SCUBA Diving. 

Prerequisites

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 great swimmer or an athlete to learn to dive.  As long as you are in good health and average physical shape, you should have no problems learning how to SCUBA dive.  

Course Structure

The typical Open Water SCUBA class is broken up into four section.

  1. Independent Study
    This is when you read the manual or complete the online training portion of the class.
     
  2. Classroom Training
    The classroom portion of the course usually takes around 4-6 hours to complete.  This can vary depending on the size of the class and the training agencies' curriculum.

  3. Confined Water Training  
    The confined water portion of the class is done in a pool or confined (shallow) water setting.  In the summer months we typically do the confined water portion at Lake Phoenix in Rawlings Virginia.  In the cooler months we use either an indoor pool or we take students to Florida for their water work.  
  4. Open Water Training
    The final segment of the class if the open water training.  This consists of 4-5 open water training dives over a 2 day period.  The training is typically done at Lake Phoenix or in Florida but can be done in conjunction with a dive trip as well.  

What do I need?

Course Materials
Upon registration, students will receive their PADI Open Water Diver Manual or manual from the training agency of the class being taught (SDI, NAUI, etc).  Students are required provide their own log book (paper or digital is acceptable).  


Paperwork
Students will have to complete all required paperwork and, if applicable, have a medical statement signed by their physician prior to any water training.   The forms are available for download a the bottom of this page. Please read over and complete each form BEFORE the start of your class.  

Personal Gear
While we highly recommend students use their own "personal gear"  (mask, fins, snorkel, booties and wet suit) student are given the option of using our rental equipment for their personal gear.  The use of the SCUBA equipment (BCD, Regulators, SPG, Tanks and Weights) is always included in the Open Water SCUBA course.  


Other Recommended Items

Students are encouraged to have their own dive computer and become familiar with it prior to their in-water training.  Computers are optional for PADI and NAUI classes but are REQUIRED for SDI and TDI classes.   

Hood & Gloves are recommended for diving in water colder than 70f.  We also encourage students to have their own mask defog, equipment bag and Save-a-Dive kit if using their own equipment.  

Cost of the course

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of the Open Water SCUBA course is $395.00*.  This includes the tuition, SCUBA equipment rental with tanks (air fills) and weights, personal rental equipment if needed, entrance to the training facility and certification agency processing fees.   We also include the Open Water Diver Manual.


Divers Beware
Some dive shops may advertise a lower cost but then require the students to purchase or rent their equipment and pay the additional cost for entrance and registration fees.  The average cost of these additional expenses can be as much if not more then the tuition for the class.  


What is not included

Transportation and meals are not included in the cost of the course.  


Online eLearning.  eLearning is available at an additional expense from the various training agencies.  eLearning is an option that will replace the classroom training but will not reduce the cost of the course.  


 Remedial Training - Students that require additional training sessions in order to complete their course will be responsible for the additional cost including entrance fees, equipment rental, etc.  


Discounts

Group discounts  are available for groups of 4 or more students.  


Payment Plans

We are the first dive shop to offer FlexPay.  FlexPay allows you to break up the cost of the training over several payment allowing you jump in the water for less upfront cost. 

(see store for details).

 

* The PADI Open Water Certification Course  price will increase after August 1, 2018.  If you sign up prior to August 1st the cost of the class is $395.00.  You do not need to start the class prior to August as you will be given 12 months to finish the class.

FAQs

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.


  1. Aren't you afraid of sharks?
    Nope, not at all.  Seeing sharks underwater is fairly common and something most divers love to see.  While there have been encounters or "attacks" by sharks on divers, this is VERY rare and usually because the shark was provoked or felt threatened.  Of the VERY FEW shark attacks each year, over 90% of them happen near shore in shallow water.  Sharks usually mistake people from prey because they cannot see very well in rough, cloudy water like you will find in most surf zones.

  2. How long can you stay down on a tank?
    That is a hard question to answer.  There are many variables that you have to factor in such as the persons air consumption rate, their depth and the size of the tank.  On average though, most divers can stay down for almost an hour on one tank in water less than 60 feet.

  3. How well do I have to swim?
    While there is a swim test involved in the course, it is not to make sure you are a great swimmer.  The test is designed to evaluate your comfort level and ability in the water.  

  4. How long is my certification good for?
    A SCUBA certification is good for life.  While you should always consider taking a refresher course if you have not been in the water in a while, your certification will not expire.