Scuba Diving Course FAQ

1. Why do I need to do a scuba diving course?

Scuba diving is a fascinating sport that allows you to explore a whole new underwater world. Diving underwater without the correct training would be very dangerous and you will need to know how to use the equipment available and also the mandatory safety precautions.  You can begin your diver training by taking one of the entry level diving classes and courses available. Such as the PADI open Water course.  If you want to go on diving trips you will need to have completed a regulated diving course such as those provided by PADI.  This will show the diving group instructors that you are capable of using the equipment and diving safely. In all countries, having a dive certification is a legal requirement to be allowed to participate in diving as provided by business such as dive shops and resorts.

2. Where can I take diving courses?

Diving is a very popular sport and there are a wide number of professional diving schools all around the world providing tuition for all skill levels.  You can also find out more about diving courses in your local area by visiting dive shops or by doing some online research.

3. Are there any online diving courses available?

You can take online PADI diving courses.  These provide you with a convenient way to learn more about diving from the comfort of your own home.  However you cannot complete any official diving course without practical “in water “experience so these online courses are designed to cover the classroom section of your diving course only. You will still need to attend a diving school and receive practical instruction in both the swimming pool and ocean to gain your certification.  The online courses provide you with a way to get ahead in your course so that you can spend more time on the practical aspects of diving when you are with your instructor.

4. What do diving courses involve?

The content of a diving class will depend on which course you have enrolled on.  A beginner’s class will typically start with your instructor introducing you to the equipment and how it is used.  You would then spend some time looking for gear that can best suit your requirements. A large amount of beginner classes is about getting used to the equipment on dry land before you set foot in the water.  You will also learn more about diver safety in a classroom environment.  Once you have completed your on land training you will then move onto a confined water dive.  This will normally take place in a pool and will allow you to try out your equipment and breathe underwater for the first time in a safe, contained environment.  Once you have completed this section of the dive successfully you will then move onto the open water diving section of the course which you will need to pass in order to gain your certification. Continuing education course then build on this basic knowledge and skill. As you conduct extra course in the progression of your diving hobby, you will learn skills to increase the range of depths you can dive, hone and enhance your understanding of diving safely and introduce you to activities than can be undertaken whilst diving, such as wreck exploration, underwater photography and many more.

5.  Are there any courses for underwater navigation?

PADI offer a comprehensive Underwater Navigator Course.  This is a very useful skill to have as being able to navigate your own way underwater will increase the scope of your dives and allow you to be more spontaneous.  When you are diving you do need at least one person in the group who can navigate effectively underwater.  It can be too easy to get disorientated in open water and then it can be difficult to find your way back to your meeting point.  Dive time is very carefully calculated so being able to navigate underwater ensures you can get where you need to go quickly and effectively without getting lost or wasting time.  The PADI underwater navigation course is suitable for experienced divers and can be challenging as you will need to master speciality skills such as compass navigation, natural navigation (without a compass), estimating underwater distances and underwater map marking.

6.  Can you get professional tuition for wreck diving?

Wreck diving is a rewarding experience but it does present its own challenges and dangers.  To make sure you stay safe when wreck diving you can take courses in this field.  PADI offer a wreck diving course which can teach you the best techniques for wreck exploration and what additional equipment is required.  On this PADI wreck diving course you will need to complete at least four wreck dives under the supervision of your instructor to pass your certification.

7. Are there any exams in PADI diving courses?

There is a classroom section to PADI courses and for certifications such as the Open Water Diver Scuba course you will need to take a short quiz to show you have understood the main points.  This is not an exam precisely but you will need to be able to answer enough questions to satisfy your instructor you have learnt the basics.  The quiz will include questions on underwater pressure (and how it affects your body), how to operate and care for diving gear and also common hazards.

8.  What are confined water dives?

When you are first learning to dive it can be difficult getting the hang of using the equipment to breathe underwater. Confined dives are used for beginners because they allow you to practise using diving equipment in a safe, calm environment. Confined dives will be carried out in a swimming pool in most cases or a calm body of water (such as a very sheltered, clear shallow cove).  You will also practise your emergency skills in confined water dives such as how to replace your mask underwater or share air with another diver.

9. How long does it take to get certified for diving?

You can complete your PADI Open Water Diver Scuba certification in around five days. This will include your classroom training, confined dives and final open water dives.  You could do this certification in as little as three days if you complete the classroom section of the course yourself at home using online/home study PADI learning materials.

10. What equipment do I need to take on a PADI Open Water Diver Scuba certification course?

If you are just starting out in scuba diving then you will not have a lot of your own equipment yet.  The instructor will help you to choose the equipment you need.   When you first start out all you will need is a scuba mask, scuba fins , wetsuit booties and a snorkel.  As part of the course fees you will be provided with a regulator, scuba tank, dive computer, BCD and wetsuit.  This means you will not have to buy this more expensive equipment unless you decide you like diving and want to try it again. Though, industry professional all agree, the safest way to learn to drive is using all you own equipment, and should you be financially in the position to buy all your won scuba equipment to do your courses in, then it is highly recommended to have all your own gear. Imagine if you had been taught to drive in your own vehicle, not the one form the driving school, how much easier that would have been!