Are you in love with the ocean such that whenever you are on holidays near the waters, you feel the urge to just don your dive gear and explore what’s underneath the ocean’s dazzling surface? Or are you interested in the gorgeous marine life and the coral reefs inside the oceans and want to spend some time in the water garden? Then it’s about time you got yourself an open water diver certification.
The easiest and only way to get open water diving certification is to undergo a diving course. Here you will learn the various diving techniques including scuba diving, snorkeling, free diving, to mention a few, so you can enjoy quality time underwater. We are going to discuss how to obtain an open water certification but first…
What Is The Open Water Course?
It’s true when scuba diving you stand a better chance to encounter marine life, reef systems, and wrecks that are beyond the reach of snorkelers. But for you to take your scuba tank for a dive, you will need to get certified first.
Open watercourse, the basic scuba diving training taught by all certification agencies, will get you to acquire beginner plunging skills like saving air when diving, maintaining buoyancy control, and the like. Some agencies will even get you acquainted with the basic scuba dive etiquette so you can blend well with other divers.
Who Can Enroll In An Open Water Course?
Any person aged 15 years and above are eligible to enroll in the open watercourse. Kids between 10 and 12 years can also join the Junior open water course, but this will depend on the country. However, all individuals who are willing to pursue the course must be in good health.
Kids, who will be certified as junior open water divers, will get upgraded to the standard open water diver level when they hit 15years and finalize the other parts of the course as required.
What Does An Open Water Diver Certification Course Include?
An open water certification course familiarizes the diver with all major dive equipment including scuba tanks, masks, fins, snorkel, dive regulators, wetsuits, drysuits, etc. It is administered in three sections:
1. Knowledge Development
In this section, you are provided with videos to watch and books to read on your own, with the instructor’s supervision or using guided e-earning tools. You will learn the basics of diving including the diving safety tips to follow underwater, how to select and maintain your dive equipment, and how to plan your dive effectively. You will then be required to take a test in the end.
2. Confined Water Priming
This will be done in a place like a swimming pool or a calm natural water body that is not too deep. Since this environment is not so intense, you will be able to learn and practice the dive techniques confidently and safely. Once you have learned the ropes, you can graduate to the deeper waters.
3. Open Water Training
This is the peak of all as you will have learned and practiced all the skills needed and now applying them in the open waters. Of course, you will be under an instructor throughout your practice until you have gained the confidence to go and explore the underwater world on your own.
How Long Will The Open Water Diving Training Take?
Normally, an open water certification course will take between 3 and 5 days. There are options for taking it as either a full-time or a part-time course. For part-timers, it can take weeks or even months. However, the content of both modes of training is the same, although full-timers will have a greater daily workload.
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If you have done all the 3 sectors of the course and passed your exams, then you can consider yourself a certified diver, as you will earn your open water diver certification immediately. Good thing? The certification does not have an expiry date, so you will never have to renew it. If you have taken a while before going for a dive, however, and feel like your skills need a little polishing, then you can take a short dive refresher course.
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