to dive is a fantastic and rewarding
experience. Classes are fun and easy
and can become a new family experience.
For most certification agencies, you
must be 15 years of age for certification.
However children 10 -15 may earn a Jr.
Certification. Jr. divers must complete
the same class and meet the same physical
and aptitude reqirements, but they must
dive with a certified adult. Children
under 12 cannot become diver certified,
but there are a number of courses
and programs available that introduce
them to the underwater world.
There are introductory classes to give
you just a taste of what diving is all
about, or you may choose a full certification
courses that can be completed while
you are on vacation. And if you have
already started your course and just
need the open water dives, you have
a great excuse for a great trip to complete
your class in a tropical location?
Resort Course or Introduction to
This course is designed to give you
a diving experience and the opportunity
to "try it before you buy it".
The class includes a short lecture to
give you some basic knowledge, a pool
session to acclimate yourself to the
equipment and breathing underwater,
and finally a open water ocean dive
on a shallow reef in calm conditions,
under the supervision of a qualified
dive instructor. This class does not
lead to certification.
If you are ready to take the plunge,
the Basic or Open Water course can be
completed at your local dive center
or while on vacation. If you take a
local class, you have the flexibility
to sign up for weekend or evening classes
that fit your schedule. You can also
complete a class while on vacation and
become certified in as little as 3 -
While courses may vary a little among
different certification agencies, most
of the content is similar. You will
be required to sign a medical statement
to assure that you are able to dive.
If there is any question, you will need
to get clearance from your doctor (standard
forms are available from your instructor).
Generally you will be required to have
the ability to swim 200 yards and tread
water for 10 minutes. You will undergo
academic training in the classroom which
may include bookwork, lectures, videos
and slides, pool sessions to practice
and reinforce what you have learned,
and a series of open water dives to
fine tune your new skills in the diving
Many people begin their scuba training
with their local dive center where they
complete the classroom and pool portions
of the course. Then while on vacation,
you can complete the open water dives
portion of your course and receive your
certification. This is an excellent
and popular way to become certified,
and is called the Referral Program.
Your local instructor or dive center
will provide the necessary paperwork
to show that the initial portion was
completed satifactorily and the instructor
at the open water location will conduct
your dives and issue your certification.
Enjoy the warm clear waters of a tropical
location as you complete your dive training.
The open water dives can be completed
in two days, then your off on your own
for more diving.
Remember to check ahead to make sure
the referrel program for your agency
is available. Your local dive center
should be able to help with this.
So which is best certification agency
to certify with? All major agencies
are members of the Recreational Scuba
Training Council (RSTC) and adhere to
the same general rules and course contents.
Classes vary in length, and reqiurements
to continue your diving education may
differ, but what you learn to become
a diver will generally be the same.
The best advice is to check with local
dive centers and find out who they are
affiliated with. Remember, you will
probably be using them for advanced
and specialty training later on. As
for travel destinations, most accept
all major certification cards. We have
included a list of major agencies below
to help you get more information.
Your diver certification card is your
ticket to fun and adventure. But don't
stop with an entry course. There is
a whole new world awaiting down there.
Continue your education to become more
comfortable and experienced, learn underwater
photography, fish identification, explore
wrecks, and much, much more.
Cost for Dive Gear
The costs of scuba diving equipment
can easily run over $1,000 dollars.
Although renting is always an option,
for a diver that is developing a long
term interest in this sport, purchasing
is worth your while, not just in money
but also in the quality of your scuba
Without going into the pros and cons
of renting vs buying the scuba diving
equipment, let's talk about the various
types of scuba equipment that you should
consider buying and how much you should
budget for spending on them.
Mask: a mask can range from $20 to $150.00
dollars. A mask has relatively little
travel inconvenience compared to other
scuba equipment so packing it in a suitcase
and walking around in it will not be
a big challenge.
Snorkel: They should not run you more
than $50.00, and the lower end will
be around $17.00
Fins: Although they are not as easy
to pack as a pair of snorkels, they
range from $30 to $150.00 and are more
affordable than many other scuba diving
Regulator: They range from $150 - $500,
sometimes even more and are at the higher
end of the price range than other scuba
Exposure suits: They vary according
to type (ie wetsuit vs drysuit). Check
here for types and prices.
BC: Typically from $150 to $500.00 and
like regulators, are also at the high
end of the price range than other scuba
Weights: $1.70 a pound.
Tanks: Between $100 to $400.
Remember, the last two are heavier to
carry around than the others. We recommend
buying tanks and weights last, and the
others before as they are less expensive,
and easier to pack and travel with.
The maintenance for scuba equipment
is astonishingly the same. Although
there is specific preventative care
that is required for only for dive suits,
tanks, or BCs, there are some things
you can do to all your scuba gear that
will insure a long life for them.
After every dive, make sure to give
your all of your scuba gear a good rinse
with fresh water.
After rinsing the scuba diving gear,
allow it to dry, but not in direct sunlight.
Most of the scuba equipment that you
carry is made of neoprene rubber, which
can be broken down when exposed to direct
sunlight. Extra care should be taken
between dives, when they are most vulnerable
to the sun, especially in tropical climates
Whether you have a wet or a dry suit,
neoprene exposure suits should be hung
on a non-wire hanger to dry. Wire hangers
can cause unnecessary creases.
All your scuba diving equipment should
be stored in a cool, yet dry place.
Separate your neoprene related equipment
from your other scuba gear, especially
if they are damp. Over time, they can
stick together and tear when pulled
After you return from your dive trip,
make sure to unpack as soon as possible
to prevent any compression or flattening
of the scuba equipment that you paid
good money for.
For More Information Contact Your Local
Here For Certification Agency Information