If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Get your Open Water scuba diving certification. Millions of people have learned to scuba dive and gone on to discover the wonders of the aquatic world through this entry level course. Whether your goal in diving is fish watching, ocean conservation, or simply meeting adventurous people, seventy percent of the globe becomes accessible to you the moment you learn to breathe underwater!
To enroll in an Open Water diving course or a Junior Open Water Diver course, you must be at least 10 years old. Most people who have a basic level of physical fitness and are comfortable in the water can scuba dive. No prior experience with scuba diving is required.
There are, however, a few medical conditions which are contraindicated for scuba diving. Be sure to read the fitness for diving/dive medical questionnaire before enrolling in a scuba diving course.
The course takes approximately 2 weeks to complete, and this includes classroom sessions or online e-learning, pool sessions, and a minimum of 4 ocean dives. Once you are a certified Open Water diver you can dive anywhere in the world as training agencies such as PADI, SDI, SSI, and NAUI are recognized internationally. Your certification doesn’t expire, it is just recommended that you keep up with your diving skills, and take a refresher course through your local dive centre if it has been a while. This Certification Card must be carried with you anytime you plan to scuba dive.
A scuba diving store or scuba dive charter/operator will require you to present your Certification Card before they’ll allow you to dive. And a scuba diving resort or store will also want to see your certification card before they rent you any equipment or fill your air tanks. You will also need a drysuit certification card to rent a drysuit in British Columbia.
You don’t need to own scuba diving equipment to start your training. Most scuba diving courses include rental gear in the price of the course, so it is not essential that a diver own a complete set of gear. Of course, owning your dive gear has many advantages. Divers who own dive gear can be certain of its fit, function, and maintenance, and are usually more comfortable and confident underwater than those who do not. You can talk to your local dive centre about dive equipment options.
Most scuba diving centres offer everything from “try dives” (where curious people can show up and try scuba diving in a pool with no commitment), to open water courses which certify a diver for life.
British Columbia also offers a wide range of advanced courses, from technical diving, trimix, rebreather and advanced wreck courses.
You can also sign up for an open water referral course. This course allows student divers to complete their training in segments. Students enrolling in a referral course finish all theory and pool work at home with a local dive shop. Then the student diver takes their paperwork with them to another dive shop to complete their training, such as British Columbia while on vacation. Divers can pick from anywhere in the world to complete their open water certification. Depending upon the training organization, a maximum of 6 months to a year is allowed between completion of the pool and theory work and then the open water dives.
A wide variety of scuba diving courses are available to allow divers to start enjoying the underwater world safely!