What is the PADI Open Water Course?

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, discover new adventures or simply want to see the wondrous underwater world beneath the waves, this is where is starts. The PADI open water diver course is the world’s most popular scuba diving course, it has introduced millions of people to the adventurous exploring the underwater world.

Once you’ve completed your open water course you will receive a life-long certication that enables you to dive all around the world to a maximum depth of 18 meters.

There are 4 steps to the PADI Open Water Course:

1. Theory

2. Pool / confined water training

3. Open water dives

What to look for when choosing an Open Water Course

Like most walks of there are some diving centres and instructors that are great and some that are not so good. So here are out top 10 points to consider when choosing which company to do your open water course with:

– Look at their website – Normally a professional looking website means that they are professional
– Price – Like most things in life you generally get what you pay for. There are one or two dive centres out there who sell their open water courses very cheaply. They can normally do this for one or more of the following reasons:
  1. They cut corners i.e. spend less time than you need in the pool or classroom
  2. They haven’t included materials in the price of the course
  3. They don’t use PADI materials and make cheaper/inferior materials
  4. They have lots of students in the pool at the same time which often resembles ‘diver soup’
  5. They have large groups of students to one instructor
  6. They have a tiny pool
  7. They are in an inconvenient location
– Read reviews on the dive centres through independent forums such as www.scubaboard.com
– Have they won any awards?
– Look at their phone number and see if they have an 07 number then it is likely to be a one man band
– Look at the size and depth of their pool. Some dive centres with their own onsite pool can be very small and cramped
– Talk to them on the phone and see if they have got time for you and can answer all of your questions
– See how many students they have to each instructor
– Do they offer the online course – This is more expensive than doing it by manual but in our experience means you learn more and maintain the knowledge for longer than doing it by manual
– Will they allow you to go back to the pool if you are unable to complete your pool dives?

 What do I need to do to pass?

  • Have a spare afternoon or two for a pool dive
  • A spare two days (mostly over the course for a weekend) for the open water dives
  • Be able to swim 200m and float for 10 minutes
  • Complete some theory and take an easy multiple choice exam. Oyster Diving make it even simpler by allowing you to complete all of the theory online
  • To be at least 10 years old

What Do I Get if I take the course with Oyster Diving?

  • How to choose Dive Computers Manuel
  • E-learning pass
  • Blue logbook including training record
  • PADI Open Water certification
  • Use of all the expensive scuba diving equipment (wetsuit, weight, cylinders, BCD and regulator)

Steps to the course

– Knowledge of how the basic principles of how scuba diving works. This can be completed online in as many sessions as you like, at a time and place that suits you. This online course also means that you can learn at your own pace and access the E-learning after you are certified to keep your knowledge up to date.

– Confined water dives takes place in a swimming pool. You’ll learn how to use the scuba equipment, before you start your open water, and complete some dive skills including how to become totally weightless while underwater.

– Finally you can do your 4 open water dives to review your skills and explore, this will be done in either a lake or the open sea! The open water referral scheme gives you the option to complete these dives while on your holiday or we can complete them over one weekend (2 dives a day).

The Scuba Gear You’ll Use

During the PADI open water course, you’ll learn how to use the full scuba gear including a BCD, regulators, fins, mask, dive computer, and standard accessories. However once winter comes perhaps you should stay warm and cost in a drysuit, which will also supply you will another qualification.

The Learning Materials You’ll Need

Over the years we have taught 1000’s of people to dive we find that PADI’s new ‘E-learning’ is the easiest most comprehensive and effective method to learn the theory. PADI’s open water e-learning lessons cover what you need to know about basic scuba diving skills, terminology and safety procedures. For each session you’ll read a description, watch a video demonstration and rake a short quiz. Then you’ll jump in one of our heated pools to practice these skills with your instructor. Later, as a certified diver, use the e-learning pass as a reference guide for future diving adventures and to review what you’ve learned. All the equipment is provided, so all you would need to bring with you is your swimwear and a towel.

Oyster Diving have several swimming pool times and locations to choose from so there is something convenient for you:

Surrey & Berkshire – Saturday afternoon in Old Windsor

Soho, Central London – Tuesday evenings

Brighton & Hove – Sunday evenings

Oxford – Sunday lunchtime

If none of these are convenient then please check with your local dive centre.

Open Water Referral Course

For those who don’t fancy diving in the UK and/or prefer to complete their 4 open water training dives on holiday, then the Open Water Referrals is for you.

This allows you to complete the theory & pool skills in the UK and then finish for four open water dives on holidays. After the referral course in the UK you will be provided with a training log book which you can take to any PADI dive centre around the world. You have 12 months in which to complete the course from the time you finish the pool work and theory.

How to enroll on a PADI Open Water Course

Most dive centres require payment in advance. Simply call them up or if they have an online booking system you can select the date and location there. To book with Oyster Diving in any of their venues you can call 0800 669 0243 or book online via their website.

What’s after the PADI Open Water Course?

The open water course will allow you to dive anywhere around the world to a maximum depth of 18m. However if you wish to go even deeper so you can explore wrecks, caverns and other marine life then you should take the Advanced Open Water Course. Please check out our blog for our article on the Advanced Open Water Course.

If you haven’t dived in several months or years then we would advise that you take a PADI Scuba Review. An article on this will follow on our blog in a few weeks.

For more information on PADI or to find your local dive centre please visit the PADI website.

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