Frequently Asked Questions


Is rental gear included?

The Open Water course includes the following dive equipment:

Buoyancy vest
Regulator
Air tank(s)
Wetsuit

All advanced courses do not include rental gear.

What personal dive equipment am I required to have?

Because everyone has unique size/fit, we do not provide the following:

Mask
Snorkel
Fins
Gloves and boots

We will be happy to meet with you before your pool session at the local dive shop to provide assistance with buying this gear.

Can I take a class with my friends and family?

Of course! We offer different price schemes for groups that are typically less expensive per person. These classes take longer and are slightly more challenging to schedule but can be much more fun with the right people.

Are there sharks?

Southern California periodically gets shark visitors, how exciting! If you ever get to see a shark in the wild you’re a lucky diver.
Sharks rarely attack divers and will most likely ignore you during typical dive activities or swim away quickly once they notice you.

How do I learn to scuba dive

1. Classroom instruction

Typically we can do all the classroom instruction in one day at the local dive shop. Some topics we’ll cover include:
Choosing gear
Planning dives
Dive procedures and communicating underwater
You’ll learn this valuable information by reading it in the PADI Open Water Diver Manual or by using the tablet version – PADI Open Water Diver Touch™, or online with PADI eLearning®. At the end of each chapter, you’ll answer questions about the material to ensure you understand it. Along the way, let your PADI Instructor know if there is anything you don’t understand. At the end of the course, you’ll take a final exam that ensures you have thorough knowledge of scuba diving basics.

You’ll also watch videos that preview the scuba skills you’ll practice in a swimming pool or pool-like environment. In addition to the video, your instructor will demonstrate each skill for you.

2. Confined Water Dives

This is what it’s all about – diving. You’ll develop basic scuba skills in a pool or in confined water – a body of water with pool-like conditions, such as off a calm beach. The basic scuba skills you learn during your certification course will help you become familiar with your scuba gear and become an underwater explorer. Some of the essential skills you learn include:

Setting up your scuba gear.
How to get water out of your mask.
Entering and exiting the water.
Buoyancy control.
Basic underwater navigation.
Safety procedures.
You’ll practice these skills with an instructor until you’re comfortable. When you’re ready, it’s time for your underwater adventure to begin at an open water dive site.

3. Open Water Dives

After your confined water dives, you’ll head to “open water,” where you and your instructor will make four dives, usually over two days. On these dives you’ll get to explore the underwater world. You’ll apply the skills you learned in confined water while enjoying what the local environment has to offer. Most student divers complete these dives close to home, but there is an option for finishing your training while on holiday. Your PADI Instructor can explain how you can be referred to another PADI Instructor in a different location.

How long does it take to get certified?

The PADI Open Water Diver course is flexible and performance based, which means that your PADI dive shop can offer a wide variety of schedules, organized according to how fast you progress. It’s possible to complete your confined and open water dives in three or four days by completing the knowledge development portion online via PADI eLearning, or other home study options offered by your local dive shop or resort.

Your PADI Instructor will focus on helping you become a confident and comfortable diver, not on how long it takes. You earn your certification based on demonstrating you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do. This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need – to become a competent scuba diver.

Do I need to be a good swimmer?

Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water. Your PADI Instructor will assess this by having you:

Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.
Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to your PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information.

What do I need to do to learn?

If you have a passion for excitement and adventure, chances are you can become an avid PADI scuba diver. You’ll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

The minimum age is 10 years old (in most areas). Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. Children under the age of 13 require parent or guardian permission to register for PADI eLearning, or to use PADI Open Water Diver Touch™.

All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course. Download the scuba medical questionnaire.

Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water, including:

Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.
Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to your PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information.

Each diver must have a personal set of the learning materials to use during the course and for reference after the course. There are several options available, depending on your learning style and technology preference, including:

PADI Open Water Diver Online (web-based)

PADI Open Water Diver Touch™ (combines manual and video in tablet-based learning)

PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and watching the Open Water Diver Video on DVD either on your own or with your instructor

Your local PADI dive shop can provide one of the options above as part of the course enrollment process. You’ll also need a logbook and a dive-planning device such as a dive computer, RDP table or eRDPMLTM. Your instructor will have you use the PADI Skill Practice and Dive Planning Slate during training, and you’ll find this tool useful once you’re certified.

How much does it cost?

Compared with other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities, learning to scuba dive isn’t expensive. For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for:

a full day of surfing lessons.
a weekend of rock climbing lessons.
a weekend of kayaking lessons.
a weekend of fly-fishing lessons.
about three hours of private golf lessons.
about three hours of private water skiing lessons.
one amazing night out at the pub!
Learning to scuba dive is a great value when you consider that you learn to dive under the guidance and attention of a highly trained, experienced professional – your PADI Scuba Instructor. What’s more, you receive a certification to scuba dive at the end of a PADI Open Water Diver course (few other activities can offer that).

From the first day, scuba diving starts transforming your life with new experiences you can share with friends. And you can do it almost anywhere there is water. Start learning online and get ready to take your first breaths underwater! For specific costs, ask at the PADI Dive Center or Resort where you’d like to get certified. All PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are independently owned and operated, and prices can vary depending on location, class size and other factors.

Are there any additional fees such as a boat fee or certification fee?

We do not charge additional certification fees. If you would like to purchase eLearning or include boat dives as part of your class there are additional fees. Please contact us to get an accurate quote if you have specific needs.


Are the course materials included in the price?

Yes, all materials required for the informational learning are included in our price. If you would like to utilize PADI’s eLearning, there is an additional charge.

What happens if I miss one, or multiple days of class?

If you would like to reschedule your entire class, we will refund you in full if you give 48 hours notice. If you miss a pool or dive day without prior notice, there is a $100 rescheduling fee. In the event that you are unable to complete your class (but have already done classroom, pool sessions, or beach dives) you may not be eligible for a refund of any kind.

Still have questions?

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