Now that you are a Certified Open Water Scuba Diver you naturally want to go diving and put that training to good use. Believe it or not, the Open Water Scuba Course is just the beginning of your scuba diving education. During the Open Water course you learn the basics of diving. While the use of basic scuba diving equipment and the basic scuba diving skills is enough to get you started in your scuba diving there is a lot to learn beyond the basics. For instance there are a host of different types of diving beyond the entry level that will add to your enjoyment of diving and the underwater world.
Most divers will take the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course immediately after completing the Open Water course. The Advanced Open Water Course picks up where the Open Water Course leaves off. In the first course you are taught to dive to a depth of 60 feet. This sounds deep but there are a lot of reefs, ship wrecks and sights to see that are deeper then 60 feet. During the Advanced Open Water course you complete a deep dive and learn to dive to a recommended maximum depth of 100 feet. In addition you complete an underwater navigation dive where you add to the firs steps in navigating from the Open Water Course by using and Underwater Compass to navigate patterns while scuba diving. Three more dives are included in the PADI Advanced Open Water Course. These are usually dives in something that interests you like PADI underwater photography, wreck diving, multi-level diving
or even night diving. The PADI Advanced Open Water Course can be completed in as little as one weekend and is well worth while.
One of the great things about the Advanced Open Water course is that it includes dives in several different types of diving. These dives even count as the first dive of the corresponding Specialty Diver Course for these specialties, and divers who like this type of dive can go on to complete these Specialties and learn even more about them. PADI Wreck Diving, where you learn to dive in and around ship wrecks, PADI Night Diving where you learn to dive at night when many nocturnal animals not seen during the day are out, and Underwater Photography, where you learn to safely take photographs of the sealife are among the more popular. These can be done locally with the PADI Dive Center where you learned to dive. Many of our former Open Water Dive Students will go on a Scuba Diving Vacation with us and complete several of these Scuba Diving Specialty courses while on vacation with us.
Divers who live or dive in cold water environments will benefit from taking the Dry Suit Diver course. This allows you to dive in areas that might otherwise be too cold. It also allows you to dive either earlier or later in the season when the weather and water is colder then normal.
Many great diving destinations like Cozumel offer great dives in areas with currents. These dives are called Drift Diving since you follow the current instead of navigating back to your entry point. This is a fun Specialty Dive Course and is often completed on Scuba vacation in these types of areas.
A fantastic course to take is the PADI Rescue Diver Course. In this course you learn about the types of problems that can occur when diving. By being aware of them you naturally take steps to prevent them from happening but should they occur you know what to do to minimize any problems.
The PADI Equipment Specialist course is a fantastic course even though it does not include any dives. It focuses on the Scuba Diving Equipment that you use. It shows you what features to look for in your Scuba Diving Equipment. It will train you to get the most out of your equipment and even how to do field repairs and preventive maintenance.
A diver who has completed the PADI Rescue Diver Course plus any five PADI Specialty Diver Courses and has 50 or more logged dives can be certified as a PADI Master Scuba Diver. This is a recreational diving certification that signifies that the diver has achieved experience in several different types of diving and is also prepared for emergencies. It is a recreational certification not a professional certification or rating.
Those divers who are really hooked and want to get into diving in a deeper way (no pun intended) might want to look into the professional area of recreational diving. Start with a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center. At this type of Dive Center you will be able to go beyond just recreational courses and add the professional level of courses designed to show you how to teach the recreational courses. The first professional diver course to take is the PADI Divemaster Course. This course reinforces dive theory and skills and teaches you to assist in teaching situations and to lead certified divers on their dives. The Divemaster Course is followed by the PADI Assistant Instructor Course then the PADI Open Water Instructor Development Course or the IDC. There are even courses designed to teach Scuba Instructors how to teach the Specialty Diver Courses we mentioned earlier. The most popular of these is the Master Diver Trainer Prep Course where Scuba Instructors are taught to teach the Specialty Dive Courses by a PADI Course Director or Instructor Trainer.
What ever direction you decide is right for you it will offer many benefits. Taking more Scuba Diving Courses will make you a more skilled diver. It will increase your comfort level and your level of dive safety. The more comfortable you are the more you will dive and that is the whole point. To be an active and capable diver.