Frequently Asked Questions
Snorkeling Seems Easy, Do I Really Need Training?
You probably don't if you're comfortable in the water. However, even if you are, PADI Professionals and snorkeling tours arranged by a local PADI Dive Center or Resort can take you to some of the best snorkeling spots.
I Have Always Wanted To Learn To Scuba Dive (or Snorkel). How Do I Get Started?
The best way is to call us at the dive store and ask for the schedule of upcoming classes. A new class starts about every 6-8 weeks beginning in Feb. We usually do not start any new classes for entry level divers after the end of Sept.
My Ears Hurt When I Dive To The Bottom Of A Pool. Won't They Hurt When I Scuba Dive?
Your ears hurt because of the water pressure on your eardrum. In your scuba course, you'll learn simple techniques to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Scuba Diver?
PADI courses are performance based, which means that you earn your certification when you demonstrate that you've mastered the required skills and knowledge. Because some learn faster than others, course duration varies. Most students complete in the standard 6 session course time frame. Our standard PADI Open Water Diver course runs six sessions and meets usually one session per week. At times an instructor may run two sessions per week and finish in three weeks. Private or small group lessons to meet your schedule are available as well, for an additional fee.
How Old Do I Have To Be To Become A Certified Diver?
You must be at least ten years old to receive a Junior Open Water Diver Certification. Ten and 11 year old Junior Open Water Divers must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional and are restricted to a maximum depth of 12 meters/40 feet. 12 to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification. Students under age 16 must have prior approval from the instructor that is teaching their class or the head instructor before being enrolled.
Are There Any Special Qualifications or Considerations To Participate In A Scuba Class?
No. Generally speaking, anyone in good average health and at least 10 years old can participate. You will, however, complete a medical questionnaire. If anything on the questionnaire indicates a reason to be cautious about diving, you'll need check with a physician to make sure you can dive.
Do I Have To Be A Great Swimmer To Be Certified As A PADI Open Water Diver?
No. You need to be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 meters/200 yards nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement or a 300 meters/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel. You'll also perform a 10 minute tread/float.
Is Scuba Diving Expensive?
No. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest however much you want, depending upon your interest level. You can invest in equipment over time, renting what you don't have. There's probably good diving not far from where you live, so travel costs can be flexible enough to accommodate even the tightest budget. Most people find the costs of scuba diving similar to the cost associated with snow skiing or mountain biking.
What Equipment Do I Need Before I Take Scuba Lessons?
Generally speaking, you'll want to own a mask, snorkel and fins. Take precautions that this MUST be SCUBA DIVING QUALITY equipment. Determining a good fit on a mask is sometimes hard to until you’ve used it in the pool. Because of this we offer all students who purchase from us the ability to exchange and try a different mask in order to get a comfortable fit with no leaks. A student discount on these items is available to any student enrolled in one of our classes.
What's In A Scuba Tank? Oxygen?
Recreational divers breathe air, not oxygen. The air in a scuba tank is like the air you're breathing but is also specially filtered to remove impurities and moisture.
How Long Does A Tank Of Air Last?
Since people breathe at different rates and as you go deeper you consume air faster, there isn't any one answer. Because of this, divers carry a gauge that lets them know how much air is in the tank. However, divers in calm, warm water from 5-10 meters/15-30 feet can spend about one hour underwater with an average tank.
Is Learning To Dive Difficult?
No, it's probably easier than you imagine -- especially if you're already comfortable in the water. PADI's entry-level course consists of 3 parts. Knowledge development in the classroom , pool diving, and actual diving in open water. The course is performance based, meaning that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.
In Movies And On TV, Divers Are Always Running Into Sharks or Eels. Should I Be Concerned About Marine Animals?
Most aquatic animals are passive or timid. A few do bite or sting, but you can avoid these by not touching them. Divers aren't natural prey for sharks and therefore shark attacks are rare. For the adventuresome, we have dive sites in the Bahamas that we specifically visit to dive with the sharks in a controlled setting. Yes, these dives do cost extra and they are exhilarating.
Is Scuba Diving Dangerous?
No, but there are potential hazards, which is why you need proper training and certification. Diving is like driving a car. You need to know the rules and procedures associated with the activity to keep safe.
I Need Vision Correction. Is That A Problem?
No. Wearing soft contact lenses shouldn't be a problem while you dive. However, if you wear hard contacts, you'll want to dive with gas permeable lenses. See your eye doctor for more information. Another option is to have prescription lenses put into your mask. Many divers use this method. Lenses are ground to your exact prescription and bonded to the lens of the mask of your choice. Lenses are available in single, bi-focal, or tri-focal.
I Want To Learn About PADI; What is PADI?
I want to learn about PADI; what is PADI? PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba certification organization in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your diver certification credentials. In addition, PADI maintains various support services for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Since its inception in 1966 PADI has grown to have members in more than 175 countries and territories and international service offices in nine countries. Approximately seven out of ten North American divers are certified by PADI, and approximately 55 percent of all divers worldwide are certified by PADI.
I'm Already A Scuba Diver And I've Lost My Certification Card. Can I Get Another One And How Long Does It Take?
To replace a lost card you can go to your local PADI Dive Center or Resort, or you can go to the replacement card area at padi.com. It takes about two weeks to replace a certification card so if you are diving sooner than that, have the PADI Dive Center or Resort you're diving with call PADI. PADI will transmit your certification information. If you were certified after 1984 in PADI Asia Pacific, PADI Americas, PADI Canada, PADI International Limited or PADI Europe territory, PADI Dive Centers or Resorts can usually verify your certification through the computerized Dive-Check system at any time.
I'm A Certified Diver Through Another Training Organization. How Can I Become A PADI Diver?
- Start by visiting an authorized PADI Dive Center or Resort and present your certification card. After an assessment of dive skills and knowledge, a PADI Instructor will guide you to the appropriate course. Here are some general course prerequisites:
- PADI Adventures In Diving Program and Most PADI Specialty Courses: An entry level scuba certification and documentation of at least four open water scuba training dives as part of the certification course completed.
PADI Rescue Diver course: Certification beyond entry level and documentation of at least 20 open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation.
- PADI Divemaster course: Certification from a recognized training agency specific to scuba rescue and documentation of at least 20 logged open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation. Additionally, you'll need a CPR and first aid certification within the past 24 months and need to be at least 18 years of age.