To enroll in a PADI Scuba Diver course (or Junior Scuba Diver course), you must be 10 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required, but you can try it first through the Discover Scuba Diving program.
What will you learn?
The PADI Scuba Diver course consists of three main phases:
- Knowledge Development (online, independent study or in a classroom) to understand basic principles of scuba diving – just the first three of five sections of the Open Water Diver course.
- Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills – just the first three of five dives of the Open Water Diver course
- Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore – just two of four dives of the Open Water Diver course.
How can you start learning now?
Get started by registering for Open Water Diver Online – PADI’s eLearning option. The web-based system gives you the background information you need to dive safely and allows you to study at your own pace through an easy-to-use, interactive program. You only need to complete the first three sections, but have a year to complete the whole program if you choose to go on to earn your PADI Open Water Diver certification.
There are other home-study materials you can choose from including the Open Water Diver TouchTM (a tablet app) and the Open Water Diver Manual and Open Water Diver Video (a book and DVD package). Stop by your local PADI dive shop to enroll in the course, get your materials and start reading the book and watching the video. Your PADI Instructor will meet with you to schedule knowledge review sessions, confined water and open water dives.
What scuba gear will you use?
You learn to use basic scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device and a tank. The equipment you wear varies, depending upon whether you’re diving in tropical, temperate or cold water. Your PADI Instructor will explain the equipment you need and may suggest additional educational materials, such as the required logbook.
Check with your local dive center to get advice about everything you need for your diving adventures.