Are you ready to become an Open Water Diver? If you are the type of person that loves adventure and loves the ocean and swimming, why not combine the two and sign up for SCUBA lessons. SCUBA goes beyond snorkeling, allowing you to spend more time underwater, taking in all the thrilling sights beneath the surface of the waves.
You get to dive down, where you will encounter sea life, reef systems, wrecks, and caverns where snorkelers simply do not have access to. In other words, diving allows you to enter a whole new world that many people never get the chance to experience.
Are you ready for an adventure?
When you are ready to start with you scuba lessons, you should consider getting certified as an Open Water Diver. This course is the first course many certifying agencys will offer and it will give you access to just about every dive site around the world. Though there are some restrictions associated with an Open Water certification.
Who Can Take the Open Water Diver Course?
Anyone 15 years of age and older can qualify for the Open Water Diver certification course. There is even a Junior Open Water course that is suitable for children as young as 10 or 12 years of age, depending upon the country offering the course.
These children are upgraded to the standard Open Water Diver level when they reach the age of 15 and complete the extra parts of the course required. In general, you should be in good health, without any major health issues that would impede you from being able to dive safely.
The Open Water Diver Course: What You Learn?
The first step in the Open Water Diver course is Knowledge Development, when you learn all the basics about scuba diving. You can take this part of the course at home, online via E-learning or in a classroom. You will learn everything from what gear you will need, to how diving will affect your body, how to clear your ears, and more techniques and skills you will need to use in the water. You will also need to pass a test at the end in order to move on.
Scuba lessons in pool like conditions
The second step in the course involves Confined Water Dives, which get you into the water and put what you learned in the first part of the course to the test. You will start off in a swimming pool or a calm body of water that is shallow, and you will implement all of the basic things you learned in part one. As you progress, your instructor will take you into deeper waters and you will learn more techniques and skills required of divers.
The 3rd step of the course are the Open Water Dives. These dives are the last section of the course toward certification, and this is when you get to really dive for the first time. You will be in the ocean, exploring and you will demonstrate the skills you have learned during your Confined Water Dives.
With an instructor there, you will learn to gain confidence and dive with ease. Usually, the instructor will take you out over several dives until you are ready to go off on your own.
Lets go diving
Once you have successfully completed and passed all three sections of the course, you are officially certified as an Open Water Diver. This certification does not need to be renewed and it will last your entire lifetime, and you are now eligible to take more advanced courses.
When you would go on a dive trip and you have not dived for a while it is a best practice that you sign up for a refresher course. This will take a couple of hours and a instructor or dive master will repeat the basis knowledge development with you as well as some pool training.
What You Can Do With a Open Water Diver Certification
Once qualified, you will be certified to dive to 18 meters, or 60 feet, deep. You will need to be accompanied by a dive buddy of equal or higher certification. Junior Open Water Divers need to be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years old, and they are only allowed to dive down to 12 meters, or 40 feet.
What is your level of certification? Let us know in the comments below
Would you like to get your open water diver certification? Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages and scuba lessons.
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Blog written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.