The decision to take dive classes is an important one. As you do your research, some can be confused by the choices they have to make and what is required to complete a scuba certification. It is important to remember that all certification agencies, (PADI, SSI, NASDS, IDI, TDI, NAUI, etc.) have the same basic requirements for beginning divers. A certification program consists of three basic elements; academic, pool, and open water training. The type of course and certification you choose will dictate the amount of time spent during each of the three elements.


     Let’s look at the academic element first. As the name implies this portion of your training is generally spent in a classroom learning the fundamentals of diving physics and physiology. Scuba diving is an activity where ignorance is NOT bliss, so having a clear understanding of just what impact diving has on the human body is an important element in keeping the diver safe. Some questions to ask are, to participate in class you should have a basic diving text with a helpful DVD and other support materials. Today most if not all academic training is done online at your own pace and if additional classroom training is needed e are here to support you.  Are these items included in the cost of your program or are you expected to purchase materials in addition to the course fee? How much classroom time will you be expected to attend? How much time DO you need? How flexible is your teaching facility to handling unanticipated absences? Is there a re-scheduling fee should you have to miss a class?  


     Along with your academic training, dive students will attend a number of pool sessions where you will learn the basic skills of diving as well as become proficient with the confusing array of equipment necessary to safely enjoy scuba diving. How many sessions will you need and what equipment is provided for you as part of your course fees and what equipment will you be expected to provide or purchase as part of your class? This should also be considered in your decision making. Most dive students can expect to have to provide their own mask, fins, snorkel and associated gear, such as boots and gloves. If you don’t already have this equipment or it’s not provided as part of your course fee (usually not) you’ll be expected to have these items for all your pool and open water training. If the program you select provides that equipment do you get to keep it at the end? If not, what will you be using when you actually go diving on your own? Relying on rental equipment at a faraway destination further complicates things when you have to consider whether they’ll have the proper size for you and has it been cleaned properly after countless other people have used it before. Not to mention that each destination you travel to, the equipment is sure to be different every time.


     Let’s assume the equipment issue is handled in a way you’re comfortable with.  Now let’s talk about the actual pool training. How many other students are in the class with you? What is the instructor/ student ratio? Remember, that the instructor’s time is divided among every student. Will YOU get the individual attention you may need? Just like the academic sessions, if you miss a class, are there additional fees? At the completion of the scheduled sessions what if you’re still not quite comfortable? (A common occurrence), can you get additional training time or do you have to purchase that separately? At Undersea Outfitters our pool training is done on your schedule, and there is never a charge for additional pool classes. There is never more that four students in a pool class, so you get the attention you need.


     Finally, at the completion of your training, you will be required to participate in a series of open water dives to earn your certification. How many? Where? What additional fees are there? And what equipment is provided vs. rented?  


     As you’ve just learned, deciding to become a scuba diver requires a lot of examination and decision. Do you plan to participate as a casual recreation activity of do you desire to explore and experience the underwater world more frequently? Knowing before you take a class helps the dive facility to understand your goals and suggest the right type of instruction to fit your needs. At Undersea Outfitters we strive to make you an informed, well –equipped and properly trained diver. Our course fees NEVER have hidden costs; our students are never brought in at an unrealistic price and then surprised with additional fees for books, training materials, extra classes or equipment rentals. Each student enrolling in a Open Water Diver certification program will receive complete academic, pool, and open water training. Need a little more time to get comfortable? Take as long as you need with no additional costs. Need to make up a class? Never a problem. Our goal is to properly prepare you for diving and then support you long after your classes have ended.


     Not every scuba program fits every diver, each student has goals and desires unique to them. Becoming a scuba diver requires not only the interest of the diver, but a commitment from the people providing your training. We have the area’s most experienced staff who are dedicated to helping you and your family obtain your goal of becoming a safe and knowledgeable diver. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, give us a call and we’ll be glad to discuss your options.

Continuing Education Courses

Undersea Outfitters has a continuous program of Specialty Classes to offer. Most are done online at a time that works for you. Call the shop for more information.