Diving Lessons in London
If you wish to learn to dive then London surprisingly is a great place to do it. To understand why you should first understand the diving courses that are available:
Open Water Course
This is the world’s most popular dive course. It is designed for people with no or little diving experience, and once qualified you have a certification for life that you can use around the world. People often mistakenly call this ‘getting their PADI’.
There are three parts to completing the PADI Open Water course:
Some dive centres cover all of this in a classroom which we find can be more boring and students retain the information for a little amount of time. Instead we e-mail you an e-Manual to allow you to do most of the studying at home (or office if you can get away with it). It works on PCs, Macs and tablets.
Once we meet up for your pool dive with you then you just need to complete your quizzes and multiple choice exam.
- Pool session
Our pool in Soho, London is heated to a comfortable 27 degrees, plus to make it even more toasty we’ll give you a wetsuit.
Our pool sessions run every Tuesday from 6.30-9.30pm. Normally it takes 2 Tuesday’s to complete all of the skills but occasionally it can go to a 3rd week as some people need a little more practice – there is no extra charge for this.
- Open Water Dives
Once you’ve mastered the pool skills then it’s time to put your new diving skills to practice. We complete the 4 open water dives over 2 days on a weekend. We normally start at 9am and finish around 3pm.
You can also opt to do a ‘Referral’ course which allows you to complete your dives at any PADI Dive Centre around the world.
- What is the minimum age
- Do you have any other pool locations?
Yes, we also teach in North London/Hertforshire, South East London/Kent, Surrey/Berkshire, Oxford and Brighton and Hove. These pool sessions tend to run on weekends
- What if I’m very nervous and need more time in the water?
No problem. If you or your instructor decides you need more time in the pool then no worries, you can come back as many times as you like until you feel comfortable to hit the open water. If you are unable to finish the open water dives then you can either head back to the pool or repeat the dives again. Your PADI Instructor can help you decide what is best for you.
- What is the quickest I can complete the course?
The theory is completed at home and takes roughly 8-10 hours including watching the videos. So you then either have 2-3 Tuesday evenings plus 1 weekend. Or if you come to one of our other pools then you can complete the course in as little as one afternoon in the pool and 2 days of open water dives.
- Do you offer private courses?
Yes. It’s often more fun to learn as part of a group but we do understand that some people will benefit from private tuition for either individuals or couples.
- What if I don’t enjoy it?
Once you start the course it is non-refundable. However in the 10 years we’ve been teaching we have only had a handful of people who’ve given up. As long as you are determined to complete the course then we will help you.
If you’re not sure if it’s for you then why not try one of our PADI Discover Scuba experiences. This involves a 1.5 trial session where you get basic tuition in the comfort of the pool.
- How long does the Open Water Certification last?
Once received you’ve received your card it is valid for life. However most reputable dive centres will request that you complete a PADI ReActivate course if you haven’t dived within the last 12 months. The refresher can be completed in a few hours and you’ll receive a new card to show the dive centre on holiday.
- Is the water cold?
All of our pools are heated between 27-30 degrees plus you’ll wear a wetsuit.
During the winter months we provide all of our open water students dry suits for their open water dives. From May to October our 7mm wetsuits are plenty warm enough.
- Do I need to buy any equipment?
All of the equipment is provided in your course but there’s no denying it, having your own is better. You become more familiar with it, you can look after it better, you can service it according to the manufacturer’s instructions which ultimately means it’s safer. You wouldn’t see many golfers who don’t own their own gear!
We suggested that at minimum you own your own mask & snorkel as unless you can see properly there’s no point diving. Masks at dive centres tend to be treated poorly by students and used frequently so can leak.
Many countries including the Maldives will insist you dive with a computer. These cost as little as £150 but renting them is normally around £10-15 per day.
You can checkout dive gear at www.oysterdivingshop.com. Also, have a chat with your instructor who can help you decide what’s best for you.
- Do I have to pay upfront?
Yes, in order to secure your space we require full payment in advance. Once we received we’ll send you your online learning code so you can get cracking straight away.
- How do I carry on diving once I’m qualified?
There are lots of options here:
- Join our dive club and we’ll find you a buddy. We run trips in the UK and overseas all year round
- Dive on holiday. Many divers find a centre near their resort and then follow a dive guide to show them the best parts of the dive site
- Find your own buddy and book your own dives in dive centres around the world
12. What is the Open Water Referral?
This is when you complete the theory & pool work in the UK and then finish the 4 open water certification dives abroad.
There are normally 2 dives together so this can be completed in 2 days. They are dives but within them you’ll complete most of the skills you learnt in the pool. If you’re not sure then call us on 0808 253 0843.
13. Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes, as part of the open water course you will need to swim for 200m and float/tread water for 10 minutes. The good thing is there is no time limit for the swim and you can use any stroke you like.