OPEN WATER DIVER
If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Get your scuba diving certification with the PADI Open Water Diver course – the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba course. Millions of people have learned to scuba dive and gone on to discover the wonders of the aquatic world through this course.
During the first phase of your scuba lessons, you’ll learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as
- What to consider when planning dives.
- How to choose the right scuba gear for you.
- Underwater signals and other diving procedures.
You’ll learn this valuable information by reading it in the PADI Open Water Diver Manual or by using the PADI Open Water Diver eLearning. At the end of each chapter, you’ll answer questions about the material to ensure you understand it. Along the way, let your PADI Instructor know if there is anything you don’t understand. At the end of the course, you’ll take a final exam that ensures you have thorough knowledge of scuba diving basics.
You’ll also watch videos that preview the scuba skills you’ll practice in a swimming pool or pool-like environment. In addition to the video, your instructor will demonstrate each skill for you.
- Knowledge Development ( online, independent study or in a classroom) to understand basic principles of scuba diving
- Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills
- Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore!
To get your full PADI Open Water Diver certification, you have to enroll in a PADI Open Water course and complete three components.
The first part of the course is theoretical, you will learn the fundamentals of scuba diving from video or textbook followed by knowledge reviews, quizzes, and a final exam. There are a total of five chapters in the textbook which you must complete to finish the course.
PADI Open Water Course Textbook Chapters
The second step is to complete five confined water (pool) dives where you will practice and master new skills with your dive instructor. The third step is four open water dives including performing some important dive skills underwater.
Depending on how you choose to do your dive course, you can either complete all your classroom work before hitting the water or work through the course day by day completing knowledge reviews, confined pool dives, and open water dives the same day. It’s good to give yourself four days or more to complete your Open Water course.
In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you learn to use basic scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device and a tank. The equipment you wear varies, depending upon whether you’re diving in tropical, temperate or cold water.
If you have a passion for excitement and adventure, chances are you can become an avid PADI Diver. You’ll also want to keep in mind these requirements:
The minimum age is 10 years old (in most areas). Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. Children under the age of 13 require parent or guardian permission to register for PADI eLearning.
All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course. Download the scuba medical questionnaire.
Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water, including:
Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. 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.
Any individual 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 your PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information.