Frequently asked questions
These are some of the questions we often hear. If you don't find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to call, email, or drop by the shop and ask! Contact Us!
Snorkeling seems easy, do I really need training?
You probably don't if you're comfortable in the water. However, even if you are, PADI Professionals and snorkeling tours arranged by a local PADI Dive Center or Resort can take you to some of the best snorkeling spots.
I've always wanted to learn to scuba dive (or snorkel). How do I get started?
Is learning to dive difficult?
No, it's probably easier than you imagine -- especially if you're already comfortable in the water. PADI's entry-level course consists of pool diving, knowledge development and open water dives. The course is performance based, meaning that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.
How long does it take to become a certified scuba diver?
PADI courses are performance based, which means that you earn your certification when you demonstrate that you've mastered the required skills and knowledge. Because some learn faster than others, course duration varies. Typically, the PADI Open Water Diver course is comprised of classroom and in-pool sessions over one weekend and open water dives on two evenings.
How old do I have to be to become a certified diver?
You must be at least 10 years old to receive a Junior Open Water Diver Certification. 10 and 11 year old Junior Open Water Divers must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet. 12 to 14 year old's must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification.
Are there any special qualifications or considerations to participate in a scuba class?
No. Generally speaking, anyone in good average health and at least 10 years old can participate. You will, however, complete a medical questionnaire. If anything on the questionnaire indicates a reason to be cautious about diving, you'll need to check with a physician to make sure you can dive.
Do I have to be a great swimmer to be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver?
No. You need to be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 metres/200 yards nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement or a 300 metre/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel. You'll also perform a 10 minute tread/float.
Is scuba diving expensive?
No. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest however much you want, depending upon your interest level. Because most dive centers and resorts rent equipment, you can invest in equipment over time, renting what you don't have. There's probably good diving not far from where you live, so travel costs can be flexible enough to accommodate even the tightest budget. Most people find the costs of scuba diving similar to the cost associated with snow skiing or mountain biking.
What equipment do I need before I take scuba lessons?
The only equipment you'll need to purchase are your mask, fins, snorkel and dive boots. We will provide any additional gear you need for class and the open water dives, including your PADI Open Water book. Some people do prefer to purchase their own gear in order to become comfortable with it while learning to dive. Sign up now for Open Water training and receive 10% off your purchases in the dive center before class.
What's in a scuba tank? Oxygen?
Recreational divers breathe air, not oxygen. The air in a scuba tank is like the air you're breathing but is also filtered to remove impurities.
How long does a tank of air last?
Since people breathe at different rates and as you go deeper you consume air faster, there isn't any one answer. Because of this, divers carry a gauge that lets them know how much air is in the tank. However, divers in calm, warm water from 5-10 metres/15-30 feet can spend about one hour underwater with an average tank.
My ears hurt when I dive to the bottom of a pool. Won't they hurt when I scuba dive?
Your ears hurt because of the water pressure on your eardrum. In your scuba course, you'll learn simple techniques to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane.
In the movies and on TV, divers are always running into sharks or eels. Should I be concerned about marine animals?
This is a common question. The best answer I can give you is that most of the time when a diver sees a shark, the shark swims by not even paying attention to the diver and the diver ends up chasing the shark trying to get a closer look.
Is scuba diving dangerous?
Scuba diving is a very safe sport, there are just a few things that you need to know. Just like needing to know what the different lights mean at a stop light before you drive a car. In our open water course we teach you what you need to know in order to dive safely.
I need vision correction. Is that a problem?
How do I find out more about diving or snorkeling?
I want to learn about PADI; what is PADI?
PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba certification organization in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your diver certification credentials. In addition, PADI maintains various support services for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Since its inception in 1966 PADI has grown to have members in more than 175 countries and territories and international service offices in nine countries. Approximately seven out of ten North American divers are certified by PADI, and approximately 55 percent of all divers worldwide are certified by PADI.
I'm already a scuba diver and I've lost my certification card. Can I get another one and how long does it take?
To replace a lost card you can go to your local PADI Dive Center or Resort, or you can go to the replacement card area at padi.com. It takes about two weeks to replace a certification card so if you are diving sooner than that, have the PADI Dive Center or Resort you're diving with call PADI. PADI will transmit your certification information. If you were certified after 1984 in PADI Asia Pacific, PADI Americas, PADI Canada, PADI International Limited or PADI Europe territory, PADI Dive Centers or Resorts can usually verify your certification through the computerized Dive-Chek system at any time.
I'm a certified diver through another training organization. How can I become a PADI diver?
Start by visiting us and present your certification card. After an assessment of dive skills and knowledge, we will guide you to the appropriate course. Here are some general course prerequisites:
PADI Adventures in Diving program and most PADI Specialty courses - An entry level scuba certification and documentation of the completion of at least four open water scuba training dives as part of the certification course.
PADI Rescue Diver course - Certification beyond entry level and documentation of at least 20 open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation.
PADI Divemaster course - Certification from a recognized training agency specific to scuba rescue and documentation of at least 20 logged open water scuba dives demonstrating experience in deep diving and navigation. Additionally, you'll you need a CPR and first aid certification within the past 24 months and need to be at least 18 years of age.
What is Project AWARE Foundation?
Project AWARE Foundation, established in 1992, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization committed to the conservation and preservation of the aquatic environment and its resources. Project AWARE programs include beach cleanups, environmental preservation, research, campaigns and other efforts to help preserve and protect the underwater world. Check our schedule for up-coming AWARE projects!