Learn How To Dive: Open Water Certification
Before getting into the open water, its necessary to feel comfortable in aquatic conditions. The goal is to understand the basic conditions for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience as a guest in an alien ecosystem.
Open water refers to underwater diving in an unconfined water environment. That includes the ocean, lakes or flooded quarry pits.
Before starting the course, you need to fill out a medical form that declares you fit for fight, assuming you are. Doing some training in the period before a trip is not a bad idea. If you have some type of medical condition, you will need your doctor to sign off on it.
The PADI open water certification is the most common course, but its not the only game in town. There are quality schools under the SSI, SDI, NAUI, CMAS, and BSAC umbrella issuing the C-card to newly-trained scuba divers the world over.
All certifications will teach you essentially the same skill-set you need to become a scuba diver.
Play Your Favorite Sports And Games
Scuba diving is fun on its own, but theres certainly no harm in adding a few extra underwater sports and diving games. Indeed, buoyancy courses often use simple obstacles like hoops. In the UK, youll find the worlds first underwater escape room with themes including a murder mystery and princess rescue. Meanwhile, escaping the undead with Zombie Apocalypse Diver is a no-brainer for kids at Halloween!
For more serious competitors, plenty of land-based team games also work well underwater rugby and hockey included. In colder climates, theres even underwater ice hockey! Put your navigation skills to the test with underwater orienteering, take a ride with a scooter, or pause and relax with diving yoga.
How To Start A Scuba Diving Career
For many people, a desk job is anathema. Even a job on land is not all that great. Some of these people get into a scuba diving career and end up loving it. Whether it is digging for forensic evidence in a riverbed or working in underwater archaeology, there are actually three general categories of professional divers.
The broadest category of scuba diving careers is commercial diving. But even within this category there are a lot of options.
The most obvious is probably being a diving instructor or guide. Instructing combines the same stresses of any kind of teaching with the additional element of students sometimes being nervous and the environment being potentially dangerous. Teachers and guides take responsibility for new divers safety a big job. Potential teachers must get certified in teaching scuba and will learn rules to do the job well.
There are also things that need cleaning up or hauling out of the ocean like shipwrecks and other debris. A scuba diving career in salvaging involves raising shipwrecks. They may be modern shipwrecks that are in a shipping path, or they may be old wrecks. There are salvage companies that just prospect old shipwrecks looking for whatever treasure they can.
A scuba diving career can also be part of engineering. Companies need divers to help them build and maintain underwater structures like bridge pilings and dams.
Public Safety And The Environment
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Post Open Water Scuba Certification
Youve passed your theory with flying colors, aced all your underwater skills and logged all the bottom time required to complete your Open Water certification. Way to go you are now part of the club!
But your scuba diving should not stop there. Once you become a diver, its important to keep active in the diving industry and perfect all those skills you learned during the course. Try and find a local club to join and sign up for their online scuba diving newsletter to stay current in the diving world. Keeping your diving skills sharp and your scuba diving knowledge cutting edge will ensure that you have a fabulous and safe dive!
For all those non-divers contemplating getting their certification what is the one thing holding you back from taking the plunge into the world of scuba diving?
Writers Note: This post was created in collaboration with Globo Surf. Globo Surf is a website for snow, land and water sports equipment and reviews. Their mission is to personally help as many people as possible to get the right gear in order to have the best day out in the water as possible.
Additionally, this post may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. See full disclosure and disclaimer policy here.
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Organizing a dive vacation can be a challenge. To help, keep these four questions in mind when planning your next scuba diving vacation.
A Breakdown Of The Open Water Scuba Certification
Are you thinking about getting your Open Water scuba diving certification? Youre not alone as you embark on this quest to explore the underwater realm.
Ive been certified for over ten years and counting and let me tell you it was the best decision of my life.
Every year thousands of people all over the world get scuba certified. Scuba diving is a fast growing hobby that has captivated the hearts of many. With seventy percent of the planet resting underwater, youve got to dive in to truly see what the world has to offer.
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Can I Dive Without Getting Certified
Yes, but just on a trial basis under supervision. There are non-certification programs offered by resorts and dive operators for those uncertain how they might react with a mask underwater.
Some students are afraid theyll be overwhelmed by nervousness or start to panic.
Taking one of the discover scuba diving options offered at dive centers gives you the chance to see if being underwater freaks you out before committing to a full open water course.
A discovery dive doesnt count toward your open water certification but itll definitely make your first open water dives easier and more enjoyable.
Professionals in a swimming pool or in shallow coves will assist you in a pool with scuba equipment. You get a small taste of the demands of a scuba dive without committing to a plunge into the open water.
If youre nervous or anxious about starting scuba diving certification, this is the best way to find out if it isnt something for you. Some people find pool-side try-dives in less than 6 feet of water exciting enough without needing to try anything deeper.
Scuba Diving For Beginners: Open Water Course
This globally-recognized certification program is the best way to begin your life-long adventure as a certified scuba diver.
Personalized training is combined with in-water practice sessions to ensure you have the skills and experience required to become truly comfortable underwater.
You will earn the SSI Open Water Diver certification, which allows you to dive anywhere in the World and go down to 18 meters / 60 feet
Open Water Diver Facts & Requirements
- Minimum age: 10
- Academic Sessions: Classes with your Instructor + Online learning
- Water Training: Pool / Confined session + 4 Open Water Dives
- Total Program Length: 3 Days
- Max. Depth: 18 meters / 60 feet
There are more than 6 million scuba divers worldwide, exploring the marvels of the underwater world.
Join now and begin your adventure!
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Make Sure You Are Certified To Dive
Some dive operators require you to have proof of dive certification and/or specialty competency depending on the type of dive. Always gain your dive certification from a licensed dive operator before you travel or before you start diving on your trip.
Some operators offer introductory dive courses , however, these are not a green light for you to dive whenever and wherever you want. If you do dive uncertified or if you are uncertified and dive without a certified diver , you won’t be covered by travel insurance.
Travel insurance policy wordings contain information around cover for scuba diving. Read this carefully before you dive to know and understand what you are covered for. If you have any questions around cover, please ask the insurer for help.
Are There Any Other Requirements
There is a medical form which needs to be completed before you can start diving. The form queries many conditions which can have implications while diving. Just because you answer yes to an item listed doesnt mean that you cant dive, it means that you need to have a doctor certify that you are fit to dive.
It is worth noting that not all doctors have the same level of understanding of dive physiology and it is possible that a physician who specializes in dive medicine will clear you to dive, whereas a doctor with limited knowledge of the subject may just say no to err on the side of caution.
Also remember that if you plan to learn to dive while on holiday, you should have a look at this form before you go. If you have any of the conditions listed, get the required clearance before you go.
The form also asks if you can walk a mile in 12 minutes. This question is about your general level of fitness. You dont need to be super fit to learn to dive but if you are overweight and out of shape you will find diving harder, and you do put yourself and those you are diving with at greater risk.
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Padi Open Water Diver
Youll need to get the PADI Open Water Diver, the first level of scuba diving certification. Its pretty easy to pass if you read the study material and practice the concepts, just like other exams.
The PADI Open Water Test begins with a theoretical exam for which youll be given study material and various DVDs. Once you pass the theory exam, the next step is the pool practice and yes, its every bit as fun as it sounds.
Youll be swimming around the pool learning basic techniques. Once your instructor passes your basic swimming skills, its time to take some divesfor the exam. The final part is the most fun you get to scuba dive in still water and practice your diving skills.
Remember that the next two weeks are the most crucial. You should regularly practice your scuba diving skills and techniques. Learn the fundamentals and best practices from your instructor regarding descending, clearing your mask, and clearing your air regulator.
After about 12-15 days, you should have a certificate that authorizes you to dive up to 60ft underwater. You can increase your maximum allowable depth by taking the Advanced test, but I strongly recommend experiencing actual scuba diving at 60ft for some time at first. Youll be amazed at what you discover in the underwater world.
At this point, the essentials of scuba diving should be at your fingertips, including working buoyancy, nitrogen absorption, and equalizing your ear.
Almost Anyone Can Become A Scuba Diver
Yep, thats right. Scuba diving is available for almost anyone and probably also for you. From the age of 8, children can practice scuba diving in shallow water. And from the age of 10 and older, everyone can start their journey in learning how to scuba dive in the ocean and lakes. Theres no height or weight limit and equipment comes in all sizes. Everywhere around the world there are dive shops that offer try out dives, often called the Discover Scuba Dive. The shops will be happy to guide you on your first steps in the magical world of scuba diving.
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Diving Isn’t Scary But It May Scare You At First
There are many advantages to becoming a diver. It was truly a life-changing experience, giving me a new sense of confidence as an adult. After all, you’re learning a new skill, and after feeling cooped up at home amid the pandemic, it reminded me just how much I’m capable of.
Of course, there’s an inherent fear that’ll creep up on you if and when you decide to get your scuba-diving certification: What will I do in an emergency?How will I be able to take my mask off underwater, clear it, and still see out of it? Could I really get attacked by a shark? Will I muck it all up and drown? Know that these feelings are natural.
Breathing and communicating underwater might not feel natural, but you have to learn to trust the process, technology, and training, and accept that all that is first and foremost designed to keep you safe.
If you’re still apprehensive, start with a Discover Scuba Diving course, though it’s important to note that these do not count toward your certification. “This is an introduction course with a little instruction on dive gear, buoyancy, and pressure. a swim on the surface and eventually breathing underwater. Finally, an underwater swim takes place in confined water before doing a shallow dive. This experience helps to overcome fear, as it covers how easy and safe scuba gear and scuba diving is,” Rivero told me.
Which Agency Should I Learn To Dive With
PADI, SSI, BSAC, CMAS, NAUI, SEI, SDI, STI, NASE, PDA the alphabetti spaghetti of training agencies.
The argument about which is better has raged across Internet dive forums for as long as scuba diving forums have existed. Heres the simple answer: It does not matter.
When it comes to choosing an agency under which to be instructed, its mostly going to boil down to what is available in your chosen diving destination. If youre on holiday in a typical tropical diving destination where the industry flourishes, SSI and PADI are the biggest players. In North America, NAUI in the UK, BSAC in Europe, one of the agencies listed under the broad umbrella of CMAS relative newcomer RAID has a growing presence worldwide.
All agencies follow the same basic standards of training, but have slightly different approaches to its application. If conditions in a certain area require a particular skill set to be learned , all agencies are required to teach it, if necessary.
Most entry-level certifications from one agency will be accepted as a basis for taking a continuing education class with another for example becoming certified as an entry-level SSI Open Water Diver in one location will qualify you to take a PADI Advanced Open Water course if there is no SSI centre in your next destination.
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Locate Your Local Dive Store
Now youve got some information under your belt , you can start exploring where youll begin learning. You may be more inclined to start closer to home or you may want to start on your next vacation abroad. To locate a dive store anywhere in the world, the easiest starting point is the PADI Dive Shop Locator.
In using the dive shop locator, youll only be shown PADI dive centers adhering to the PADI standards. Therefore, you can rest assured that the teaching is legitimate and of high standards. Plus, the instructor teaching you will have had to go through all of their PADI courses and pass the thorough exams in order to be certified to as a PADI Instructor.
Its important to note that although you may consider dive centers to be something only seen in tropical countries, youll likely find many around your local area, too. There are more than 6,600 PADI dive centers and resorts in 186 countries and territories around the world.
Does Scuba Diving Hurt Your Ears
Its a common misconception that scuba diving hurts your ears unless youre not following best practices.
Scuba diving doesnt hurt your ears, provided you equalize them. The water pressure acting inwards against your eardrums increases as you go down, which can cause mild to severe pain if you dive headfirst. The trick is to equalize your ears by opening eustachian tubes to avoid pain.
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Meet The Physical Requirements Criteria
Theres one pseudo-step before DSD: meeting the physical requirements to become a certified scuba diver prepared for the open waters.
Most everyone can scuba dive these days thanks to constant scientific advancements. You just need to meet the criteria physically fit, healthy, and comfortable enough for an underwater dive.
Few medical conditions prevent you from diving underwater. Go check them in this detailed guide:
Essentially, the seriousness of your condition and current physical health are the major determining factors because were not dealing with absolutes here. If your physician gives you the green signal, youre good to go.
How To Calm Yourself Once You Are In The Water
An instructor will help, but its important for you to know how to help calm yourself as well. Use a calm breathing technique by simply breathing in with a count of 5 and breathing out for a count of 5.
Repeat a mantra telling yourself you are doing something you have always wanted to do or accomplish and that you are succeeding, no matter what your brain is telling you. Combine the mantra and the breathing technique.
Listen to the sound of the regulator if you need something to focus on outside of what your brain is telling you and you cant get yourself to focus on your mantra. If these things dont work, use hand signals to communicate with your instructor, but do not wait until it is too late and you are panicking.
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How To Start Diving The Difference Between Padi Discover Scuba Diving Scuba Diver Open Water Courses
Scuba diving is an incredible experience, that allows you to explore amazing new environments and discover a beautiful underwater world. However, choosing the best way to get started isnt always easy. Here at Diving the Crab we have gone through the 3 most common ways people start diving and broken them down into a short and simple review to help you make that choice.
PADI Discover Scuba Diving Course
Duration: 1 afternoon + 1 morning Minimum age: 10 years
The DSD is a fantastic introductory course for those with limited time. This is not a certification, but a one-time experience with a scuba instructor. You will do an afternoon session with basic dive theory and a few skills in the swimming pool. The following day you will be able to head out for 2 fun dives with your Instructor at a depth no deeper than 12m.For those wishing to start their Open Water Course within 12 months after completing their DSD, this experience can be credited.
PADI Scuba Diver Course
Duration: 2½ daysMinimum age: 10 years
The Scuba Diver Course is the first step to receiving a certification. It is for those who wish to begin their Open Water Course but have limited time. In other words, the Scuba Diver Course is literally the first few days of the Open Water certification course.
PADI Open Water Course
Duration: 4 daysMinimum age: 10 years
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