FAQs about Scuba Diving

How do I learn to Scuba dive?

The process of learning how to be a scuba diver is a wonderful adventure. Becoming scuba certified includes three phases:

1. Knowledge Development

In the first phase of scuba lessons, you will learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as

  • What to consider when planning dives.
  • How to choose the appropriate scuba gear that fits your needs.
  • Diving procedures and underwater signals

This information can be learned by reading the PADI Open Water Diver Manual. At the end of each chapter, you'll answer questions to make sure you understand the material. If there are additional questions, feel free to ask the PADI Instructor. At the end of the course, you'll take a final exam that ensures you demonstrate proficiency of scuba diving basics.

In addition, you will watch videos that preview the scuba skills. Then you will practice the skills in a swimming pool. In addition to the videos, an instructor will demonstrate each skill for you.

2. Confined Water Dives

In this phase you will learn the process of diving. You will develop basic scuba skills in a pool. The basic scuba skills you will learn during your certification course will help you familiarize with scuba gear and become an underwater explorer. You will learn essential skills that includes:

  • Setting up your scuba gear.
  • How to get water out of your mask.
  • Entering and exiting the water.
  • Buoyancy control.
  • Basic underwater navigation.
  • Safety procedures.

These skills will be practiced with an instructor until you are comfortable. When you are ready, it's time for your underwater adventure to begin at an open water dive site.

3. Open Water Dives

After numerous practices in a pool, you will head to open water where you and your instructor will makes four dives, usually over two days. On these dives, you will experience the underwater world and apply the skills you have learned in confined water. 

How long does it take to get certified?

The PADI open water Diver course is flexible and performance based, which means that your PADI dive shop can offer a variety of schedules, depending on how fast you progress.

The main focus of a PADI Instructor is to help you become a confident and comfortable diver, not the duration of the course. You will earn your certification based on demonstrating you know what you need to know and can do what you need to know. This means that you will progress at your own pace -- faster or slower depending upon the time you need -- to become a competent scuba diver.

How much do scuba lessons cost?

The cost of learning scuba diving is not expensive compared to other outdoor activities. For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for:

  • a full day of surfing lessons.
  • a weekend of rock climbing lessons.
  • a weekend of kayaking lessons.
  • a weekend of fly-fishing lessons.
  • about three hours of private golf lessons.
  • about three hours of private water skiing lessons

Overall, Scuba diving is a great value considering what you have to learn from it. In addition, scuba diving allows you to earn certification to scuba dive at the end of a PADI Open Water Diver (few other activities can offer that)

PADI Open Water Diver Certification allows you to scuba dive anywhere there is water. Making learning scuba diving worth it.

What gear will I need to scuba dive?

Choosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. At Ocean One, we offer the gear needed to scuba dive. Each piece of scuba equipment serves a different function, so that together, it adapts you the the underwater world.

When you start learning to scuba dive, as a minimum, you'll want your own:

  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins

These all have a personal fit, and the Ocean One team are more than glad to help you out choose the gear with the best fit and features for you.

During your PADI Open Water Diver course, you'll learn to use a regulator, buoyancy control device(BCD), dive computer or dive planner, scuba tank, wetsuit or drysuit and weight system. In some cases, consider investing in all of your own scuba equipment when you start your course because:

  • You're more comfortable learning to scuba dive using your own gear
  • You're more comfortable using scuba gear fitted for you.
  • Scuba divers who own their won scuba diving equipment find it more convenient to go diving.
  • Having your own scuba diving gear is part of the fun of diving

The kind of gear you'll need depends on the conditions where you dive. You may want:

  • Tropical scuba gear
  • Temperate scuba equipment
  • Cold water dicing equipment
  • Technical diving scuba equipment

How do I find the best scuba gear?

There is no "best gear," but there is the best gear for you. At Ocean One, we are trained to help you find scuba gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget.

What are the requirements for learning to scuba dive?

If you have a passion for excitement and adventure, chances are you can become an avid PADI Diver. You'll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

The minimum age is 10 years old (in most areas). Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI open water diver certification upon reaching 15. 

All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical problems that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you are ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you're fit to dive. In some special areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course.

Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver coursem your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to bes sure you're comfortable in the water, includingL

  • Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
  • Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want

If you are able to meet these requirements, you are qualified for certification.There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations,and other challenges commonly are able to to earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Contact us for more information.

Each dive must have a personal set of the learning materials to use during the course and for reference after the course. There are several options available, depending on your learning style and technology preference, including:

PADI Open Water Diver eLearning

PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and watching the Open Water Diver Video on DVD either on your own or with your instructor.

Do I have to be a good swimmer to scuba dive?

Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water. Your PADI instructor will assess this by having you:

  • Swim 200 meters/yards (or 300 meters/yards, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
  • Float and trad water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.

Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver Certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Contact us for more details.

Where can I scuba dive?

You can dive practically anywhere there's water - a swimming pool, the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers, springs or even aquariums. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your:

  • Experience level
  • Dive site access and conditions
  • Interests

With a completed Open Water Certification, you are free to scuba dive all over the world.

If you just started out and finished your PADI Open Water Diver course you probably shouldn't dive under Antarctic ice on your next dive. However, don't limit yourself. Some of the best diving is closer than you think. At Ocean One we offer trips to:

  • Anacapa Island
  • Catalina Island
  • Santa Barbara Island
  • And More! (Contact us for more details)

The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the training and experience for diving there, and that you have a buddy to go with you.

My ears hurt when I go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling. Will that prevent me from becoming a scuba diver?

No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing on your ear drums. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for the pressure changes in our ears -- you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

Will a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies, or smoking preclude someone from diving?

Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory or heart function, or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a doctor can assess a person's individual risk. Doctors can consult with the Diver Alert Network(DAN) as necessary when assessing fitness to dive.

What are the most common injuries of sicknesses associated with diving?

Sunburn, seasickness and dehydration, all of which are preventable are the most common problems divers face. Injuries caused by marine life, such as scrapes and stings do occur, but these can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.

What about sharks?

When you're lucky, you get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks do occur, they are very rare and, with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it's just passing through and a rare sight to enjoy.

Do women have any special concerns regarding diving?

Aside from pregnancy, no. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on the fetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Menstruation is not normally a concern.

How deep do you go?

With necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres/130 feet. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than about 18 metres/60 feet. Although those are the limits, some of the most popular diving is shallower than 12 metres/40 feet, were the water's warmer and colors are brighter.

What happens if I use up all my air?

Your dive kit includes a gauge that displays how much air you have. You'll learn how to check it regularly , so its unlikely you'll run out of air while scuba diving. However, if you run out of air, your buddy has an extra regulator (mouthpiece) that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you'll learn in your scuba diving training.

What if I feel claustrophobic?

People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.

I'm already a certified diver, how do I become a PADI Diver?

Scuba diving certifications from other diver training organizations can often be used to meet a prerequisite for the next level PADI course. For example, if you have an open water diver or entry-level certification from another diver training organization, you may qualify to enroll in the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, which is the next level. There is no simple “equivalency” or “crossover.” The best option is to take the next step and continue your education. If you would like to continue your dive training and receive a PADI certification, contact us for more details.