Frequently Asked Questions


How long will I be certified?

Your PADI SCUBA certification does not expire. It is highly recommended that you keep in practice. You should dive more than once a year. You may take a SCUBA Tune Up from any PADI instructor. PADI offers continuing education classes which are very informative. Continuing with your SCUBA education is an excellent way to keep in practice and learn more safe diving skills

How old do you have to be to get certified?

PADI requires you to be at least 10 years old to become a PADI certified Junior Open Water Scuba Diver. Ten and 11 year olds must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 40 feet. Twelve to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification

How deep may I go?

PADI is a recreational SCUBA organization. The maximum depth for a recreational SCUBA diver is 130 feet. I do not recommend you ever dive the maximum depth. You should not dive deeper than 60 feet without proper training. In the PADI Advanced Open Water course, divers are shown the correct and safe way to make a deep dive.

Will the fish bother me?

Most fish are afraid of you or will ignore you. It is very exciting to see fish. The larger the better. The prettiest and most abundant fish are in the ocean. The best place to see fish is near shipwrecks and reefs. Some fish will let you get close to them but will stay out of your reach, other fish are curious and will follow you around. I have been diving for a long time and have seen many sharks, eels and barracudas. The sharks and eels are very shy and are difficult to see. Barracudas are curious and might follow you around making it easy to photograph them. Game fish to know when you are looking for dinner. Grilled snapper or flounder taste great. Most of the time I just take pictures, but every now and then I get hungry for sea food. You are more likely to be attacked by a cow or a pig than by a fish. Be safe stay off the farm and go diving.

Do I have to bring my SCUBA gear?

You don't have to bring all your gear. Our dive shops rent gear and a complete set of dive gear rents for $15.

Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?

No, in fact, it's probably easier than you imagine -- especially if you're already comfortable in the water. PADI's entry-level diver course is split into knowledge development, confined water (pool) skill training and four scuba training dives. The course is "performance based," which means that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.

Does it only take three days!?

PADI courses are "performance based," which means that you only earn your scuba certification when you demonstrate that you have mastered the required skills and knowledge. Some people learn faster than others, so how long it takes you may vary. The PADI Open Water Diver course (beginning scuba) is typically split into five or six sessions with tremendous flexibility. The course may be scheduled over as little as three or four days, or as much as five or six weeks, or something in between depending upon student needs and logistics. The academic session takes about 8 hours, the pool a minimum of 4 hours, usually in three 4 hours sessions. You must master all the pool skills before going on the the 4 Checkout dives. The 4 checkout dives are completed over 2 days with no more than 3 dives completed in one day. So yes, it is rare but you could complete your PADI scuba certification in as little as 3 days.

Do I have to be a great swimmer to be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver?

No. All you need to be is a reasonably proficient swimmer who is comfortable and relaxed in the water. The swimming requirement for certification is an easy 183 meter/200 yard nonstop swim (with no time or specific stroke requirement) and 10 minute tread/float.

How long does a tank of air last?

This is a common question that, unfortunately, doesn't have a single answer. People breathe at different rates, and you breathe faster when you're swimming than when you're resting. Also, the deeper you go, the more you use your air, and, you can get different size tanks. So, the answer is "it depends;" this is why divers have a gauge that tell them how much air they have at all times. As an approximation, a diver sightseeing in calm, warm water at 20 to 30 feet deep can expect the average tank to last about an hour.

My ears hurt when I dive to the bottom of a pool. Won't they hurt when I scuba dive?

Your ears hurt because water pressure pushes in on your ear drum. In your scuba course, you'll learn a simple technique to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane, and they won't hurt at all.

Is scuba diving dangerous?

Not really. Statistics show that recreational scuba diving is about as safe as swimming. Certainly there are potential hazards -- which is why you need training and certification -- but like driving a car, as long as you follow the rules and use common sense, it's pretty safe. To put it in perspective, the drive in your car to go diving is more dangerous than the diving.


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