The Open water scuba diving lessons are where you form the foundation to your future scuba dive life and start you on a path where you will see and experience many wonderful times with like minded people.

When you undertake the open water certification lessons you are entering into the Scuba dive 'fraternity' bringing you into contact with an entirely new group of people, generally a group of people of all ages who have a different perspective on the world through the experiences they have encountered underwater.

It is a sport which people continue to participate well into old age.

Open Water Courses

Kids learning scuba skills

Age limits tend to vary – there are courses available from age 10 and up, some associations require minimum age of 16.

The entry level scuba certification is the Open Water certification, the courses vary to some extent from organisation to organisation as well as from instructor to instructor. PADI tend to be more rigid about their courses so wherever you do scuba lessons with PADI, it is likely to be the same as everywhere else.

The course will provide an introduction to scuba diving and cover the Physics, chemistry (Don’t worry – it’s basic!) and effects of scuba diving on your body. A lot of the facts about scuba diving will be introduced here. A lot of DVD (nearly said Video and showed how old I am!!) is used to illustrate points or sections with recapping from manuals.

Online learning has in recent times become quite popular. The basics are done online before to start the practical skills in a group session with an instructor.
There are websites like BSAC's site which will give you an idea of the type of information you will learn, or for those of you who need a 'refresher' allow you to go through the basics you should know.

The open water certification lesson topics :

  • Scuba diving Equipment
  • Diving Signals
  • Your body and the effects of diving upon it
  • our lungs, breathing - holding your breath and the opposite, hyperventilating.
  • The heart and blood, Oxygen, The effects and management of Nitrogen levels
  • Impact of diving on Ears, Sinuses, Teeth
  • Buoyancy
  • Density
  • Dive planning
  • Dive Tables
  • Dive Computers
  • Going diving
  • The Dive Master's role
  • Pre-dive practices and checks, the importance of Dive Buddy checks
  • Navigation
  • First Aid Tools
  • Hazards of diving
  • Incident prevention
  • Fresh water diving, Sea or Salt water diving, Altitude diving

When the classroom, or online learning, is completed the practical open water scuba lessons which are usually carried out in a swimming pool or similarly sheltered body of water.

The first thing that will be assessed is the student’s basic swimming ability and fitness.


The students are introduced to the equipment they will use and shown how to assemble their equipment.

Fundamental skills

Fundamental open water skills are taught – fitting a face mask, using and clearing a snorkel, the basics of a finning action then learning to be comfortable breathing from a demand valve (regulator) while underwater.


Pre-dive buddy checks

Competency skills

Practical lessons in buoyancy control while swimming underwater combined with ascending and descending in a controlled manner. Basic skills such as being able to breathe underwater through your regulator without a mask on (at first this is a bit of a challenge!). Removing your BCD underwater and replacing it – all of which is designed to make you more familiar and therefore confident underwater.

Once you have spent enough time in the confined water environment, you will move to a less confined space for open water dives – often in lakes or quarries – to learn how to be more comfortable in a less restricted environment.

Dive sessions

This covers:

  • How to gauge how much weight you should be carrying
  • Develop your buoyancy skills
  • Mask clearing
  • Support skills both as donor and recipient (sharing air)
  • Practicing finning and swimming with gear on.
  • Basic navigation
  • Diving and emergency basics
  • Recovering and towing an incapacitated diver on the surface
  • Dive planning and then several dives under varying conditions to gain experience and competence

Usually after all of this there is a final theory test to confirm learning.

Scuba diving is a wonderful activity, the different worlds which open up to you, careers are available in a variety of fields whether in the tourist sector, scientific, industrial/commercial diving.

The travel opportunities are endless………

Go for it!!

To see where you go after open water lessons click here

Read about advanced diver certification

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