Every year more and more people are learning how to scuba dive and discovering the glorious feeling of sinking beneath the waves at some of the world’s most pristine dive sites. Nothing quite comes close to the experience of scuba diving because it allows you to explore a completely different world than that which is experienced on land.
The idea of taking scuba diving lessons, the process may seem a bit intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. To set your mind at ease, read on to learn what it’s like to go through a scuba diving course for the first time. If you already decided that you want to learn how to dive you might want to start looking for a dive center that suits your needs.
How Long Will it Take Me to Take the PADI Open Water Course?
In most cases, the course is taught in 3.5 to 4 days. Some people need a bit more time than others to get comfortable in the water. However, if you complete the theory portion of the course online via PADI eLearning you may be able to finish the course in just 2.5 days.
You may also prefer to take the course as a part-time student but, in that case, it could take you weeks or even months to complete.
What is a Discover Scuba Diving Course?
The Discover Scuba Diving course is a 1 day course designed to allow beginners interested in diving to experience the sport for the first time without having to complete the entire Open Water course. Under the direct supervision of a professional scuba dive instructor, you’ll learn how it is to breath underwater.
The discover scuba dive class does not certify you as a scuba diver, but is meant to give you an idea of what scuba diving is like so that you can decide if you like it enough to invest in the Open Water course.
If you’re at least 10 years old you can enroll in a Discover Scuba Diving class. You’ll begin with basic classroom instruction to give you some background knowledge about scuba diving. In this theory session you will learn more about what pressure does to the human body underwater and you will learn the basics about how scuba gear works.
As soon as you have finished the theory you will head for the open water to make an actual dive up to a maximum depth of 40ft/12m under the direct supervision of an instructor.
What You’ll Learn During a PADI Open Water Course
When you start the Open Water Course, you will learn all the basic skills you will need to know in order to go diving when ever you want. When you are a certified open water diver a dive master or instructor will not supervise you, therefore you will be thought to dive safe to a maximum depth of 60ft/18m with a dive buddy.
What will you learn during the course?
- How to get rid of water that has leaked into your mask
- How to recover your regulator (mouthpiece) if it somehow comes out of your mouth
- How to control your buoyancy
- How to share air with another diver
There are many more skills you will learn. All skills focus on teaching you how to become a safe diver and how to solve any problems that may occur when diving.
Taking the PADI Open Water Course
Using books and videos, you’ll study independently, online, or with the help of an instructor.
These materials will teach you the basics about diving, as well as how to select proper diving equipment, how to care for diving equipment, how diving affects your body, and safety measures that must be taken during each dive.
You’ll also be introduced to what you’ll be learning in the water ahead of time so that you’ll know what to expect. After you’ve completed the knowledge section of the course, (which are mostly done in class rooms) you’ll move on to actually performing your first dives in the confined water training segment of the course.
According to PADI, confined water means; an open water site that offers swimming-pool-like conditions with respect to clarity, calmness, and depth.
When it is time to go diving you will go to either a swimming pool or a calm cove or lagoon that has similar conditions to a swimming pool.
You’ll begin to practice the exercises in shallow confined water before moving into deeper water so that the learning process is gradual enough that you retain everything you learn.
Once you’re confident and able to complete the confined water section of the course, you will be able to go for your very first real dive in open water.
In the open ocean or a large body of water, and with the guidance of your instructors, you’ll put all of the skills you’ve learned to the test over the course of four or more dives. Once you successfully complete these dives, you’ll be a certified open water diver.