Is it worth taking the PADI advanced open water course?
Naturally you would expect me to say ‘yes’. However it really depends on you and the type of diving you are going to be doing.
So first of all, what is the advanced open water course? It consists of 5 adventure dives and a small bit of theory. So it is much less time consuming then the open water course. There are compulsory adventures dives; navigation and a deep dive. A deep dive is considered anything between 18-30m. The other 3 adventure dives are then decided between you, your instructor and the dive centre. Often the dive sites can dictate the best options, for example you couldn’t do an ice dive in the U.K. in July (as we were once asked). The most popular adventure dives we conduct are drift dive, dry suit, SMB, wreck, peak performance buoyancy, night dive, full face mask and search and recovery.
So the main benefits are that you get extra supervised instruction which can build confidence and make you a better and safer diver. Many people take it because they want to be qualified to go deeper. It’s worth noting that if you go beyond the 18m depth limit of the open water course your insurance company are unlikely to pay out as you have gone beyond the depths of your current training level.
You don’t need to be an advanced diver to take the advanced open water course. In fact you can jump straight on to it as soon as you have finished your open water.
For some divers it is sometimes worth doing a few extra fun dives before signing up. This allows them to gain some experience in shallower water and enjoy being in the water without worrying about completing the skills briefed by an instructor. You don’t want your instructor teaching you how to dive, you want them to make you a better and safer diver.
Many dive centers and some countries will not allow you to dive many dive sites unless you are an advanced open water diver. Not only because they might be deeper than 18m but it as a sign that you are a more experienced diver.
Many divers don’t wish to go beyond 18m and it’s true the shallower you are the better the coral life. However some of the best dives are deeper. These can include famous historical wrecks such as the SS Thistlegorm in Egypt. Schools of hammerhead sharks are normally pretty deep, the famous caverns and caves in Malta and Mexico are best enjoyed when you have the option to go below 18m.
The Advanced Open Water course is normally completed over 2 days and as it is mostly all about the dives is great fun.
If you are interested in joining one of our courses you can either book online, or just give us a call on 0800 699 0243.