PADI Open Water Diver Course
Call to book (305) 940-0927
Your first step is earning your Open Water Diver certification — becoming what is commonly known as a “certified diver.”
Even if you’ve previously taken part in introductory scuba experiences (commonly known as “resort courses” or “Discover Scuba”), you are most likely aware that the best opportunities in diving await those who are fully certified.
Here we answer all of the most common questions about learning to dive, including Who can learn?, What is involved?, Where do you learn?, When can you start?, What is included in the cost?, and What equipment will i need? Nevertheless, if you have an additional question please contact us. We will be happy to answer it.
Who can learn?
Just about anybody who is comfortable and relaxed in the water — and who has the desire — can learn to scuba dive. This includes children as young as ten and seniors well into their seventies.
Do you have to be an athlete or a competitive swimmer? Hardly. The only requirement here is that you be able to swim 200 yards/meters (no time limit, any stroke); or 300 yards/meters with mask, fins and snorkel (no time limit). You also need to be able to tread water, drownproof or float in water too deep to stand for ten minutes. Rarely do we find anyone who has difficulty with this.
What about kids? Children ages 10 to 14 can qualify for Junior Certification, which requires they dive with an adult until age 15.
Don’t certain medical conditions disqualify you from diving? Only very few. So long as you are in good cardiovascular and respiratory health, and not on any drugs that might cause complications under water, getting a physician’s approval to dive is generally easy. And, if you can honestly answer NO to all of the questions on the Medical History Form, you won’t even have to get your doctor’s okay. You would be surprised at the range of people who dive. There are even special programs to help paraplegics and quadriplegics experience the underwater world. More than anything else, it just takes desire.
What is involved?
Becoming certified consists of three phases:
Self Study, Academic Review/Pool Training and Open water Training.
-Self Study. At one time, a beginning scuba class could drag on for weeks. These days, few people have that kind of time — nor is it needed. With PADI’s unique self-study materials, the adventure begins the moment you sign up. You will be able to easily complete most of the necessary academic learning when and where it is convenient, and at your own pace. Squalo Divers gives you three choices for completing the necessary self-study:
By far the fastest, easiest, most effective and most enjoyable way to do so is with PADI’s new eLearning program. It combines text, photos, illustrations, charts, graphs, animations and live-action video in a way that makes learning easy and fun.
Students who are more comfortable with traditional textbooks and classroom lectures can also choose to use our textbook-based learning materials. If you opt for this route, it is important you be good at reading carefully, taking notes and underlining or highlighting important information.
Students who are more comfortable with digital books and classroom lectures can also choose to use PADI's new tablet-based learning materials. If you opt for this route, it is important you be good at reading carefully and taking notes.
When you complete the self-study phase of the course, it’s time to get wet!
-Academic Review/Pool Training. Once you have completed your home study you join us for academic review and pool sessions. They take place on a regular basis. We offer convenient weekend schedules.
During your academic review, your instructor will review the information you've gained by working through the self-study materials. He or she will bring this information to life with first-hand examples of how divers apply this information on dive vacations and here at home. Discussions with your instructor and fellow students help you learn and add to the enjoyment.
In the pool, conveniently located in the store premises, your instructor will demonstrate and have you practice diving’s fundamental skills. Like all aspects of learning to dive, pool sessions are fun and enjoyable. They increase your comfort level and make the transition to open water diving easier. When you’ve completed your academic review and pool training, you'll be ready for the final and most important phase of earning your entry-level diver certification: your open water training dives.
-Open Water Training. Consists of four dives conducted over two days. Each of the dives consists of the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in the pool, and to make a guided dive under the supervision of your instructor. Throughout the year, Squalo Divers conducts a number of dives. Most of the dives take place at sites that are just 15 minutes away from the store.
And, when you are finished… Once you’ve completed your academic/pool and open-water training, you’ll be awarded your PADI Open Water Diver certification. Bear in mind, however, that this is only the beginning. As soon as possible, you will want to obtain (as a minimum) your Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Nitrox Diver certifications. These two ratings will allow you to participate in a much wider range or activities, both here at home and on vacation. Your learning opportunities don’t stop there. Depending on your interests, you can take further training in activities such as underwater photography and wreck diving. By taking five such Specialty Diver courses, and earning Rescue Diver certification, you can eventually obtain the coveted Master Scuba Diver rating (the black belt for scuba divers).
Where do you learn?
All of our classroom and pool sessions take place right here at Squalo Divers. We have a spacious classroom, as well as our own heated swimming pool. It provides unbeatable convenience and enjoyment.
As South Florida residents, we're fortunate to have some of the world's best dive sites right in our back yard. Several of these sites are particularly well suited for entry-level diver training. We try to give all of our entry-level students the opportunity to sample several sites. Which ones we use on any given day depend on weather conditions.
When can you start?
Strictly speaking, you can start whenever you want. With our modern learning materials, it can be as soon as you sign up for the PADI eLearning class or come into Squalo Divers and pick up your self-study materials. Our regularly scheduled academic review, pool sessions and open water training dives; take place every week throughout the year. They make it possible for you to get certified in as little as three consecutive days. Here is a breakdown of the class:
-Orientation. As soon as possible, you’ll need to schedule a one-on-one orientation session with one of our staff members. This can take place any time; however, the further in advance you can do this, the better. You will want to allow about 90 minutes for this. Here is what we cover:
Review learning agreements, waiver/release and medical history forms.
Issue learning materials and explain self-study and homework assignments.
Discuss required equipment and show what features to look for.
Orientation is a good time to purchase all of the personal equipment items you will need. Going though the self-study materials and doing the required homework takes the average student fifteen hours. For this reason, it is a good idea to complete the Orientation at least a week prior to the start of class.
The first day of the course is where we conduct the academic review and pool sessions. During day two and three, we conduct the four open-water training dives. The schedule is as follows:
First day: We will meet at the shop at 4:00 pm. You will be in the shop's classroom for the academic review. You will be done around 7:00 pm.
Saturday: We will meet at the shop at 8:00 am. You will participate in the pool sessions in the morning and complete two open water training dives in the afternoon. You will be done around 6:00 pm.
Sunday: We will meet at the shop at 8:00 am. You will participate in more pool sessions in the morning and complete two more open water training dives. You will be done around 6:00 pm.
Private Courses: If our regularly scheduled course format doesn't meet you needs, there is a good possibility we may be able to arrange for private instruction on a one-on-one basis with our instructors. This is the perfect learning opportunity for busy professionals and those who simply want the most in terms of individual attention. You and your friends and family get your own private Squalo Divers instructor and learn on a schedule that meets your needs (weekdays and irregular hours are no problem). Contact us for more information.
What is included in the cost?
The course includes:
Academic and pool training.
Open water training.
Use of all equipment, except as noted below.
PADI open water diver certification, upon successful completion.
What equipment will you need?
Diving is an equipment-intensive activity. This means that the quality of the equipment you use, and its suitability for specific diving activities has a tremendous bearing on your overall comfort, safety and enjoyment. Few things can ruin the investment you make in learning to dive safely than having the wrong equipment. The good news is, we supply most of the equipment you need for your pool and open-water training dives, including BCD's, cylinders, regulators, dive computer and weights. This is top quality equipment that we would not only be happy to use ourselves, but have our friends and loved ones use as well.
Students in our beginning scuba courses are required to provide the following items:
Scuba mask, scuba snorkel, scuba booties and scuba open heel fins.
Adequate exposure protection (i.e.: wetsuit).
Signal marker tube.
Mask defog and scrub.
Bathing suit and towel.
These personal equipment items are ones for which comfort and fit are not only important, they’re critical. They are also items that, as a certified diver, dive operators expect you to own. In other words, you do not want to go anywhere as a diver without them.
It’s also important to understand that, to be suitable for scuba diving, masks, snorkels and fins must meet a very different set of requirements than they might for casual snorkeling. Therefore, it’s important you not purchase any equipment items without talking to us first.
We have a large selection of scuba masks, scuba snorkels, scuba booties, scuba fins, signal marker tubes, regulator mouthpieces, dive bags and wetsuits for sale online and also at our physical store. Wetsuits are also available for rent.
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