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PADI Open Water Diver Course

The PADI Open Water Diver course certification is the most well known and respected in the world, opening the world's oceans, rivers and lakes for exploration and adventure. 

Our course provides new divers with the knowledge and training to safely explore the exciting undersea world.

This is a performance-based curriculum, enabling students to progress at their own speed. The course includes academic, confined water and open water instruction.

State-of-the-art teaching techniques and tools are included in the curriculum, in order to ensure that the content is up to date and exciting.

Below we answer the most common questions about learning to dive. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us

Squalo Divers offers complete course flexibility by allowing you to choose one of the programs listed below.


Our Flex course option allows you to set your own schedule and generally takes a total of three days. We will conduct your pool session in the store during regular store hours (most students complete this part of the course in one day). After you complete the pool session, we will do four open water training dives (which will take two additional days). These sessions- pool and open water dives- do not need to run consecutively. Pool sessions and open water dives can occur any day of the week during store hours. The price for one person is $599 plus tax. Get a friend or family member to sign up with you, and the price drops to $549 per person plus tax. (Available for students 10 years and older. Cancelation Policy for this option is 48 hours).


If our regularly scheduled course format doesn't meet you needs, private sessions will give the one-on-one instruction time that you desire. 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). This course generally lasts three to four days. Price $999 plus tax (Available for students 10 years and older, Cancelation Policy for this option is 24 hours).

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 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 medication 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.

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. 

  • 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 our heated pool, conveniently located on 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. This section of the course consists of four dives conducted over two days. Each guided dive, under the direct supervision of your instructor, will give you the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in the pool.

Once you’ve completed your academic/pool session and open-water training, you’ll be awarded your PADI Open Water Diver certification! But remember, this is only the beginning. Once you've experienced the underwater world, you'll be hooked! You'll be eager to further your diving education and get back in the water as soon as possible. Our newly certified Open Water Divers almost always immediately sign up for their Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Nitrox Diver courses. These two ratings will allow you to participate in a much wider range of activities, both here at home and on vacation. Your learning opportunities don’t stop there. Depending on your interests, you can further your training in a variety of specialties, such as underwater photography and wreck diving. By taking five such Specialty Diver courses, and earning your 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 pool sessions take place right here at Squalo Divers. We have our own heated swimming pool.

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. The sites we use on any given day will depend on weather conditions.

When can you start?

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. 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 45 minutes for the orientation. Here is what we cover:

  • Fill out waivers/releases and medical history forms
  • Issue learning materials and explain self-study/homework assignments
  • Discuss required equipment 

Orientation is an ideal time to purchase all of the personal equipment items you will need. Getting through the self-study materials and doing the required homework takes the average student approximately fifteen hours. For this reason, it is a good idea to complete the Orientation at least one week prior to the start of class.

What is included in the cost?

The course includes:

  • Study materials
  • Academic and pool training
  • Open water training
  • Use of all equipment, except as noted below
  • PADI open water diver certification, upon successful completion

Students are responsible for supplying all of the equipment items listed below, plus:

  • Transportation to and from all dive/training locations
  • Food and drinks

        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. Fewer things can ruin the investment you make in learning to dive safely than not having the right equipment. We're happy to provide most of the equipment you need for your pool and open-water training dives, including BCD's, cylinders, regulators, dive computer and weights. All of our gear is top of the line and in excellent condition.

        Students in our beginning scuba courses are required to provide the following items:

        • Scuba mask, scuba snorkel, and scuba fins
        • Wetsuits (available for rent or purchase)
        • Signal marker tube
        • Silicone mouthpiece
        • Mask defog
        • Gear bag
        • Bathing suit and towel
        • Additional recommended items: rashguard, mask scrub, neoprene mask strap

        Fit and comfort are extremely important for the personal gear items listed above. These are all also items that dive operators will expect you to own. In other words, you do not want to go anywhere as a certified diver without them.

        It’s also important to understand that scuba masks, scuba snorkels and scuba fins must meet a very different set of requirements than the gear one might use for casual snorkeling. Therefore, we recommend that you do not purchase any equipment without talking to us first.

        We have a large selection of scuba masks, scuba snorkels, scuba bootiesscuba finssignal marker tubes, silicone mouthpieces, gear bags and wetsuits for sale online and also at our physical store. Wetsuits are also available for rent.