Scuba Diving is becoming an increasingly more popular sport. You can take Scuba Diving Lessons in No Va or many other places around the world. How do you decide which Scuba Certifying Agency to utilize, which Dive Center to patronize and whether or not to take the on-line Scuba Courses like the PADI E Learning Scuba Course, or take the standard Open Water Course at the local Dive Center.
What Certifying Agency Should I Choose?
There are several very good Scuba Certification Agencies. While there are several of them the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is by far the largest. In addition the educational materials that PADI uses, Manuals, DVDs, CD-ROMS, etc are far superior to anything else on the market today. You can be sure that by completing your Scuba Diving Certification at a PADI Dive Center you are guaranteed the latest in technology and educational validity. The best PADI Dive Center is the PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center, like Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy in Alexandria Northern Virginia. The PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Center designation means that they not only teach divers how to Scuba Dive but they train all levels including PADI Scuba Instructor Training.
We have already decided that we want to restrict our training to a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center we also need to ask if the PADI Course Director, or Instructor Trainer, is on staff full time and not just putting in time as a hobby.
Should I take the PADI E Learning or Traditional Version at my PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center?
Each learning option has its own advantages and disadvantages. The PADI E Learning is convenient. You can go on line at your convenience and complete the classroom portion. It is easy and you can access the program at any time day or night. The disadvantage is this program is more costly then the traditional class and pool sessions taken at the PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center. In addition the E Learning is very generic and the student deals with a computer, while the traditional class has live Instructors to personalize the course and directly answer questions. Many Scuba students are taking the Scuba Lessons in Northern Virginia because they have a Scuba Diving Vacation planned and want to Scuba Dive while there. The traditional Scuba Classes in Northern Virginia are taught with live Instructors who can tell you what to expect while on this trip. That is not available with the E Learning course.
Lastly, when you complete your E Learning you no longer have access to the on line course. When you take the traditional Scuba Course you have your book and perhaps your DVD to look at in six months as a review when you go on your next Scuba Vacation.
At What PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Northern Virginia Should I Learn To Scuba Dive?
Selecting a Dive Center requires a little bit of homework on your part. First you can look on line or ask friends what PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Centers are in the area? Once you find a few look at their webpages. Today, almost everyone has a webpage but do they take the time to talk to you and answer questions right on line or do they make you call them for answers. Do they break down each class offered and what is involved? Do they tell you all of the cost involved? Many Dive Centers will list the cost of the classes but will not list the cost for accessory items like the student kit or training materials. Many will not tell you what to expect to pay for personal equipment. A Dive Center that cares will let you know up front “what it will cost and how long it will take to obtain your Scuba Diving Certification.”
Look to see if you know anyone who has patronized the Dive Center and get their input. A quality Dive Center, like Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy in Northern Virginia, will have a long list of happy customers to recommend their services.
Last, perhaps the most important part is to talk to them yourself. The best thing you can do is visit the PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Center yourself. A quality Dive Center will be clean and neat and will have a very good assortment of Scuba Diving Classes and will have on hand a very good assortment perhaps the best assortment of Scuba Diving Equipment Northern Virginia. Do they offer Scuba Diving Travel? Since we have decided that a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center is the best we want to make sure that the PADI Course Director or Instructor Trainer works at the Dive Center full time not just as a hobby.
When you speak with them are they knowledgeable about Scuba Diving and Scuba Dive Training? Do they answer your questions or just tell you what they offer not what you might want? Are they interested in your or just the sale? These might sound simplistic but if you find a Dive Center that passes all of these tests you have found a true keeper of a Dive Center.
Do I complete my Open Water Training Dives locally or On Vacation?
We said earlier that many people in this area are taking Scuba Lessons because they are going on a Scuba Diving Trip and they have the choice of completing their Open Water Course Dives either locally or while on their vacation. Which is better?
This is another issue of there are advantages to each option. Obviously diving in the Caribbean would be more fun but it is much more expensive to complete the Open Water Course dives on vacation then locally. In addition if you do the dives on vacation you will spend two of your diving days doing skills rather then exploring the reefs. When you complete your Open Water Course dives locally you are diving with the Instructor and Divemaster you had in the pool. You know them and they know you, your strengths and weaknesses and are better able to work with you individually. Lastly and perhaps most important, you will learn better by diving locally. Since Northern Virginia has colder water then the Caribbean you will wear a full wetsuit when Scuba Diving here. This will help you better learn your buoyancy and navigational skills then diving in the Caribbean would.
It’s Time To Get Out And Dive
Now that you know how and where to take your Scuba Diving Lessons, there is nothing stopping you. It is time to get wet and take your Scuba Diving Lessons. Remember your next Aquatic Adventure starts here.