Learning to Scuba Dive is not difficult and is fast becoming more and more popular. There is some confusion about the process and that often keeps prospective scuba divers from taking the plunge. To help avoid this problem today we will discuss some of the more popular questions that prospective scuba divers often ask.
Do I Need To Be A Good Swimmer To Learn To Scuba Dive?
Not at all. You be able to swim non-stop for 200 yards using any stroke or combination of strokes that you prefer. You should also be able to tread water or float in place for ten minutes. It is not necessary to be an Olympic swimmer, just that you not be afraid of the water.
Do I need to have a physical examination before taking scuba lessons?
Once you have enrolled in your scuba course you will be given a student folder with a “Medical History” questionnaire. If none of the conditions listed pertain to you, then no further action is necessary. If, however, you answer, “yes” to any of the questions, you will be given a “Medical Release” to take to your physician. It is required that this release be signed by a physician prior to starting your pool or open water training. The purpose of the “Medical Release” is for your safety, to ensure that you would not be putting yourself at risk.
How long does my certification last?
Your certification card has no expiration date. It is, however, recommended that you stay proficient in regards to your scuba skills. If you have not scuba dived in awhile it would be prudent to take a “Scuba Review Course” to refresh both your scuba knowledge and skills.
What is involved in Learning to Scuba Dive?
In order to learn to scuba dive and obtain your Scuba Certification, you take the Open Water Scuba Course. This course has two distinct parts. The first is class & pool where you learn the dive theory necessary to safely scuba dive and the basic skills involved in scuba diving. Once you complete the class and pool portion you will complete 4 open water dives with your Scuba Instructor. This is like the road test and you will demonstrate that you have mastered the skills enabling you to scuba dive without an Instructor.
What happens during the Open Water Certification Dives?
The Open Water Certification Dives are not a test. You can only accomplish so much in the limited space of a swimming pool. The Open Water Dives are an opportunity for you to experience the vastness of open water and simultaneously perfect your scuba skills.
There are four dives for the Open Water Certification. While all of the dives are fun, the first dive is strictly a “fun dive.” You are taken on tour by your Instructor so that you can see what scuba diving really is. The next three dives will start with a few of the basic skills that you learned in the swimming pool. You will not be asked to do anything that you have not done before. After completing the few skills you will again go on a “fun tour” of the dive site, being accompanied by a member of our highly trained professional staff.
Where do I go To Learn To Scuba Dive?
You will want to find a reputable Dive Center in the area that you live or near where you will be traveling. The Professional Association of Dive Instructors or PADI is the largest scuba certification agency in the world and a PADI Dive Center is a good place to start. Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Alexandria, Virginia offers not only beginner certification but also offers all levels of PADI Scuba Certification from beginner through Instructor Level.
After obtaining my Open Water Certification, what course should I take next?
No question, take the Advanced Open Water Course (AOW) as soon after as you can. The AOW course is not restricted to advanced divers; it is a continuation of the Open Water course and is perfect for the newly certified diver. It is only one night of classroom and five dives under the supervision of your instructor. In one short weekend you will not only double your experience, but you will encounter new types of diving. Underwater navigation, night diving, deep diving and other areas of diving interest, such as photography and wreck diving await you.