Diving Distination

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For proper certification, you should contact PADI, which stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. 

You can be certified as a young diver in most countries. You don't have to be near the ocean to get started. You only need a few days and a few hundred dollars. Here's what you need to know.

The first question why do I need a certification to scuba dive ?

You have to remember that the human body was never designed to be underwater for prolonged periods of time. Because of that, we need to be trained in the special equipment used the special knowledge, and the special techniques needed, to be able to safely explore underwater. This is all packaged and done in a scuba certification class. To which you end that class you complete it successfully and you'll get a scuba certification card.

Who can dive and what are the prerequisites ?

Healthy and fit

First you need to be healthy and fit to dive .healthy means that you need to be physiologically and psychologically fit to dive. How are we going to tell that and determine that well. first at the beginning of your scuba class you're going to receive a medical questionnaire.

This medical questionnaire is really looking at your medical history both in your past and present, and what you're going to do is look over that form and see if you have any of the conditions that are listed or have had any of the conditions listed on that form. if so you're going to put a yes response to that you have had that condition.

At that point you're going to need to get a physician to clear you to be able to go through that training, this is a really important screening process because you might have a condition in your past, that it's never been a problem for any other sport you've done but with diving it actually might be a problem. So this is really important that you're very accurate and honest and open on that medical questionnaire. So that it can be determined whether you're properly able to dive and your doctor can give you that clearance.

For fitness to dive, you really do need to be fit to dive there's going to be times when you're gonna be underwater and maybe have to go against a current or whatnot, so we're looking at go cardiovascular health we're looking at good fitness levels .this is one of those times when people say hey can I smoke and dive well actually you could, but let this be the opportunity for you to give up smoking.

Smoking and diving do not mix so give it up for diving its worth. It now let's say you have a condition and you want to know ahead of time if that's going to be something that's problematic , you ca always contact divers Alert Network. Divers alert Network or dan has a non-emergency hotline that you can actually call and talk to a diving medic. And tell them what conditions you have or what medications you're on or anything like that, and they can go through all kinds of information with you and share information, before you even sign up for a class or meet with your instructor for the first time .so Dan is an excellent resource and I highly recommend you contact them if you want to know about some conditions and diving.

Comfortable in the water

You also need to be comfortable in the water and able to swim.

Comfortable in the water that is where you should be liking the opportunity to be in and under the water. This is not the time to get over a fear of diving or fear of water or a fear of drowning. So if you had a near drowning experience as a kid, a scuba class is not your exposure therapy to get over that fear.

Do something else aquatic Li but do not engage in diving as that thing to get rid of your fear.

Ability to swim

The ability to swim is also an important piece of this now with that you're going to go through a prerequisite swim test many of the agencies adopt the rest see that's recreational scuba training councils minimum standards and so that's gonna look like about a 200 yard or meter swim followed by a 10-minute tread or float in the water.

That swim is not anything where you're going to be required to perform butterfly or do it for time  necessarily, most of the agencies just maintain that this is a non-stop swim, you just can't stop during the swim and that really any stroke is okay to use, you can't have floating aids like a wetsuit or swim ease or floating you wouldn't want that. So that's a nonstop swim and then your tread of water is ten minutes to just red or even float in the water.

You have to be able to swim, if you're not able to swim then you would not be a good candidate as a scuba diver.

You don't have to be great Olympic swimmer you just have to be able to swim and comfortable in the water.


We’re often asked about ages well there are different ages and there're different certifications that go with them, so for instance if you are ten years old to 14 years old, that would be a junior scuba diver certification. And the junior scuba diver certification does have some limitations to it, but it is an opportunity for kids to engage in diving.

At the age of 15 and higher than we get into the regular scuba certification, now here's a note about ages and diving there are individuals that are 10, 11, 12 that don't have the maturity to really participate in the don't think that if your child is one that is really
Great in the water that that means they're going to be a great diver.

Actually what's more important is their maturity level because there are rules of diving, that if they're not done or followed they can lead to serious injury or death. So you need to have a child really aware of what can go wrong, an understanding that and that's the kind of person you're looking for to be a good and responsible diver. So really look at that for the proper age of a child to begin their scuba certification training.

What’s the beginner diving certification ?

Open water diver

For most agencies that's called open water diver.

Some agencies do use the term scuba diver, and other agencies do have that term too but it might be limited, such as the case with Patti the scuba diver certification with Patti is actually kind of restricted certification, whereas open water diver is the one that most divers want to achieve, that's the one that gets you on dive boats and gets your gear and so forth so open water diver is the one we look at.

What does this card allow you to do ? 

Go on dive boats

It allows you to go on dive boats, and so they're gonna check every time you get on a dive boat that you've got a scuba certification card, they'll even look at your logbooks, to make sure that you are certified to be on that trip.

Rent scuba equipment

You can also rent scuba equipment with a scuba certification card. This allows you to go places and try on different gear, and that card is your ticket to be able to do that. And then finally if you were to buy your own scuba equipment, and you get a scuba tank they're going to check your scuba certification to make sure that you did get certified, to properly issue you compressed air.

What scuba training agency should I go with?

When you look at the variety of agencies that are out there, it's kind of overwhelming who do I go with ? What agency is best ? Well here's the thing what's important to note is that these agencies that you see here on this screen all ave standards of training.

What happens in between those standards is there are slight differences within those training standards.and with those training standards most of the agencies follow a minimum that is established by the recreational scuba training Council the rest C. and those minimums are what kind of guide our industry and what should be taught at the various levels of certification.

The agencies get the opportunity to exceed those standards so you will have agencies that pride themselves on exceeding industry minimum standards and so each agency has a different flavor on how they do those standards. Now the more important thing that you should really focus on, is actually the instructor not necessarily the agency, because the instructor is the one that's going to pour in those standards and educational concepts into you. so you want to have a wonderful competent great instructor, that is going to pour into you so that you can learn the best you can.

That's the most important thing to look for, and you'll find these agencies all over the place many of which are our STC members themselves, but again they can do what they want with their own training standards as long as they're going above those minimum industry standards.

How do I find a scuba instructor or class ?

One of my recommendations is to ask another certified diver. This could be a friend a relative a colleague. But ask them who they got certified with and you might find that they really like this particular dive center, or they really like this particular instructor, and they can recommend that person to you, that's a great way to start.

Otherwise, you can look at agency websites, and to do that you just simply go online and when you go online you can go to the different agencies that are out there. And then you'll find on their dive sites, you can find where they will have located a dive strap or resort.

You can even put your location in some web browsers and it will auto-populate's an alley now we locate an owwie dive center o professional, and so this one's interesting because not only can you find a dive shop or dive center but you can also find an independent instructor, and again with this you would just put your address or postal code in there and it'll bring up those different people and places.

 SSI scuba schools international same thing wit them dive Center locator. Just click on that and this one's Auto populated already, so they're finding all the different SSI dive centers near your location. Same thing you can go under dive centers find a dive center and it's going to bring up find a sti dive center near you by typing in your information.

How long does it take to get scuba certified?

There’s various ways to go through this, and there's different areas that you have to go through for your scuba certification.


First of all is your academic portion, that can be done in either the classroom or it can be done online. With the classroom you're going to be gettin books, and materials and study guides, and possibly videos you might watch those in class or get those to take home, and then you'll be lectured by an instructor. the online is where you're going to be doing most of that at home on your own computer, or tablet, or device and so with that you get to do your quizzes tests readings video all online.

Pool sessions

Then you've got your pool sessions are going to be where you get with your instructor the rest of the class and you're gonna go to the pool or confined water pool like conditions. And with that you're gonna do all the skills that you need to do to go through scuba certification training.

Open water dives

That is going to end in your open water dives. You’re gonna take all that you've learned and now apply them into the open water. the open water could be any location that is a natural environment, this could be your ocean, it could be a lake, it could be a river a quarry, a spring a sinkhole, you know wherever you're diving so this is your open water dives.

Again the industry standard for that varies mostly with for open water dives being given as the the minimum, but the agencies do vary with how many they give for the open water diver level as well as how many pool sessions are given to.

Modular and hourly training

The final note here is what's the difference between modular and hourly training now why do I throw this in here because if you look at these these other bullet points here between classroom pool and open water dives, these are all done in this package that we call a scuba class, and so that scuba class is broken down by different elements that have to be taught. Now some agencies are a modular program where you do modules, and you go through those modules.

Other agencies basically say well you have to meet a minimum hourly standard and you have to do so many hours now there will be modules within that but it's more hourly dictated than it is modular . so here's where that can be of issue where it can be of issue is that if a modular program is done as quickly as possible hitting one module right after the other.

That’s wher you're gonna see things like get certified in two or three days.

 I consider that and I call tha abbreviated training why ? because what you're going to do is you're going to go through one module right into the next module right into the next module, without a lot of time to digest let it sink in, let you come back for a different time and then you put those applications together. it's really a wham-bam course and then you're done whereas our lis courses or modular courses that are just done over a longer period of time that sinks in training a little bit better and actually, can produce a more confident and comfortable diver that has put more into their training, and they've gotten more out of their training.

I highly recommend that you do not engage in abbreviated scuba training courses that are crash courses of two days or three days go for longer more sustained courses over time.

How much does it cost to get scuba certified ? 

This is a big question that we always get right. 

Let me tell you actually what went into this particular this particular class with this particular dive Center a $99 course seems like a great value. but here's the deal when you went there they actually said okay great. now you'll need to buy your books and materials. you'll need to buy your scuba certification at the end of the class, you'll also need to buy mask snorkel fins bootie lead weight belt a dive slate a dive knife and then they threw this little part at the end that said and all four of your scuba dives are gonna be done on the beach. well that means that here in this area, they would have done all their dives in less than 20 feet of water, never stepping foot on a dive boat. To which they suggested that you should take your check out dives on a dive boat at leas one day of the dives and that was an upcharge of a hundred and 20 dollars.

You can contact different dive centers and you can literally ask them the same exact questions of what is included in the class, and what is not, and then you can ask how much will that be for me to purchase this or purchase that. That's a great way to do an apples-to-apple comparison from dive centered dive Center when you are checking out prices and values for classes.

Books package and elearning

So when we look at costs, it could be that the books package that you get or elearning might have a different price to them.

Pool sessions

Some places have pools where they're going to pay for like a municipal pool, and other places might get in their local apartment complex pool, and that's a free one. but that pool is six to seven feet deep, not a lot of good deep water training in that, but it's cheaper. 

Open water dives

Open water dives like I mentioned in the previous scenario, are you gonna be doing all your dives in à free location well that could have some limitations, you do want to step foot on a dive boat you
want to get on a dive boat at some point in your scuba certification. so that you can understand how to get on and off boats, and dive boat etiquette and all the things that go with that. that's important hey if you're landlocked and you're only dives are at the quarry no big deal you can get that education later on. but if you're in a location that does have the ability to go for dive boat.


Your certification are they going to include the certification card, in the price of the course.

Your instructor time when you have more time with your instructor yeah there's a little bit more to the course fee, because of that time but here is just a great piece that instructor is giving you a wealth of
knowledge. so the more contact time you have with your instructor, the better diver you're gonna be because of all the more education that's going to come from that contact time.


and then finally the equipment needed what equipment are they going to require you to purchase at the beginning of the class.

so what equipment will you need ? well it depends and it varies but for the most part here's what we see you want to look at equipment that is really about you your personal gear. very personal gear relies on fit and comfort to be the big thing. 

Mask and snorkel 

now the mask and snorkel is a really important piece that needs to be fitted properly. do not go to a large box department store, and go get a mass snorkel combination that's in a clamshell plastic case. no you want to fit these to your face just right we do that at a dive center where a dive professional knows how to fit your face for a mask.  look at that when you're taking your class this is a very personal and intimate piece of equipment.

Your fins 

Called full foot fins or pocket fins. and with the full foot fin we have a sizing that might not really really work with our shoe sizes. so it's super important that you get these fitted at a dive center as well . doing the online order thing with these might not work you really want somebody coaching you through  that .

Pen heel or strap fin 

now the open heel strap fin requires the use of a bootie to be worn with that. most scuba divers are using this fin it's also used in cold water applications and what's great about the bootie is that that bootie works well over rocks and hot sand, gives some protection to your your feet
there so those are the booties that go with the fins.


The wetsuit is another piece of very personal and intimate gear. this can be sized and fitted for you.

You want it to be snug but not too tight not too loose, it needs to be just right. so having a professional to tell you how to do that and size that is super important. and I like the purchase of your own wetsuit or rash guard or exposure shoot, I like it because remember there's an adage in the industry that says this. There are two types of divers those that be in their wetsuits and those that lie about it.


Accessories not so much personal fit and comfort type items, but some places want you to have them. Such as the lead. the lead that goes along to compensate for the buoyancy you'll have with wetsuits, possibly a belt that goes with the lead. then you've got your slate to write things underwater, and then finally a dive knife which is just used as a cutting tool .

Lots of people ask this does a scuba certification card expire ?

Well the answer is most of them do not but some do. And so what we look at is that the scuba certification card think about it as your high school diploma. it just measures what you have learned up to a certain point in time, and it gives you a credential for that.

But like with the high school diploma if you did not keep up with algebra for the next two years after high school, what do you think you're gonna remember about that. so the same thing with the scoob certification card if you're not actively diving on a regular basis, then you're gonna want to go through what's called a refresher. And a refresher is an opportunity for you just to get refreshed on your academic knowledge as well as your your physical work in the pool, and and working on some of those skills again to get that under your belt.

 Recommendations for you to become certified scuba diver

-Ask friends and co-workers about dive centers and instructors that they can recommend to you.

-You can go to training agencies web sites put in your location, and find the different centers and instructors that are in your area .

-Meet your scuba instructor .you may have signed up for a class or you're about to sign up for a class I can't stress this enough. 

-Meet the person that's actually going to teach you before you engage in the class or put down your deposit or anything like that, you really want to bond with this person and know that they are just totally invested in your education, and safety as a diver . 

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