Becoming a scuba diver is a great adventure! Getting your Open Water Diver certificate involves three stages
1. Developing your understanding of the basic principles of scuba diving
2. Getting into the pool and going diving!
3. Taking your new skills and knowledge learnt in the earlier stages of the Open Water Diver course and putting them into practice during your open water dives at the coast.
Your Open Water Diver course is usually conducted over two weekends. The first weekend will focus on your knowledge development and learning scuba diving skills in the pool that you will practice during your open water dives.
The following weekend you will head down to the coast where you will enjoy four dives over the weekend. The last dive will be a boat dive where you will get to enjoy the amazing life that is available when diving from a boat.
Chosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. Each piece of scuba equipment has a different function so that together, it adapts you to the underwater world.
When you start learning to scuba dive, as a minimum, you will want to own:
These items have a personal fit and we can help you choose gear with the best fit and features for you.
During your PADI Open Water Diver course, you’ll learn to use a regulator, buoyancy control device (BCD), dive computer or dive planner, scuba tank, wetsuit and weight system.
Consider investing in all your own scuba equipment when you start your course because:
You’re more comfortable learning to scuba dive using gear you’ve chosen.
You’re more comfortable using scuba gear fitted for you.
Scuba divers who own their scuba diving equipment find it more convenient to go diving.
Having your own scuba diving gear is part of the fun of diving.
If you have a desire for excitment and adventure, chances are you can become a enthusiastic scuba diver.
The minimum age is 12 years old. Student divers who are younger than 15 will earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification. This certification can be upgraded to a PADI Open Water certification upon reaching 15.
Before undertaking any diving activities, as a safety precaution, students are required to get a medical clearance from a diving doctor. This is an Australian Standards requirement.
Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water.
As part of the pool diving sessions you will need to:
Swim 200 metres (or 300 metres in mask, fins, 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.
Anyone 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 us if you want any more information on this.
No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ear drums. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.
Sunburn, seasickness and dehydration, all of which are preventable, are the most common problems divers face. Injuries caused by marine life, such as scrapes and stings, do occur, but these can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.
When you’re lucky, you get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very rare and, with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s just passing through and a rare sight to enjoy.
Aside from pregnancy, no. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on the fetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Menstruation is not normally a concern.
With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than 18 metres. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is shallower than 12 metres/40 feet, where the water’s warmer and the colors are brighter.
Your dive kit includes a gauge that displays how much air you have. You’ll learn to check it regularly, so it’s unlikely you’ll run out of air while scuba diving. However, if you run out of air, your buddy has an extra regulator (mouthpiece) that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you’ll learn in your scuba diving training.
People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training we give you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. We will work with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.
Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory or heart function, or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a doctor can assess a person’s individual risk. These questions should be raised with the doctor who conducts your diving medical.