So you've finished your beginning scuba certification and you're wondering what's next. Here are a number of frequently asked questions about continuing scuba training. If you thought everything was over once you received your certification card, here are some of the adventures waiting for you in your next scuba class.
When you started your Open Water Diver course, your instructor probably told you that you would learn the basic survival skills of scuba, and that once you were certified, you would be qualified to dive in conditions equal to or better than the conditions you were trained in. Your instructor did not teach you how to safely dive a wreck, make a deep dive, or shoot underwater pictures. There were too many other things that you needed to learn.
Now that you are certified, you probably want to explore beyond the confines of the reef or lake where you learned to dive. Perhaps you also want to dive a wreck or explore that reef where you learned to dive at night. The Adventure Diver, Advanced Open Water, and specialty courses can teach you what you need to know to make specialized dives and will help you build the skills necessary to make them safely.
Have you just completed your Open Water Diver class? The Adventure Diver and Advanced Open Water course are also great ways to build your confidence in the water. Under the guidance and supervision of a PADI instructor, you will make additional dives, meet new friends, and gain the confidence to dive on your own.
Been diving for years? Even seasoned diving veterans can benefit from adventure dives and specialty courses. Perhaps you've always wanted to learn more about the creatures you've seen on the reef. Or perhaps you've always wanted to give camera or video equipment a try. There's no better way to make diving exciting again than by trying something new.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for your Advanced Open Water Diver class today!
Students must be at least 10 years old and currently certified as at leave a Junior Open Water Diver in order to do the the Adventure Diver course. Students who are 10 or 11 are allowed to do the Altitude, AWARE - Fish ID, Boat, Digital Photography, Dry Suit, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Underwater Naturalist, or Underwater Navigation dives. Upon completion of three dives, students who are 10 or 11 are issued the Jr. Adventure Diver certification. Divers 10 and 11 years old are limited to dives of 40 feet or less.
Students must be at least 12 years old to participate in the Advanced Open Water courses. This is because a Deep dive of 60 or more feet is required to complete this certification. Children ages 12 through 14 are issued a Jr. Advanced Open Water card upon successful completion of the course. They are limited to a depth of 70 feet.
Students 15 years old or older are allowed to make dives up to 100 feet during their Advanced or Adventure Diver training.
In order to complete the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification, you must complete a total of 5 dives. Because students are limited to a total of 3 dives per day, this class takes a minimum of 2 days to complete. The Adventure Diver course requires only 3 dives. As a result, students can complete this certification in as little as 1 day. The number of dives varies when it comes to specialty courses, but the maximum number of dives required for any specialty is four. As a result, most specialty courses can be completed in 1 or 2 days.
The objective in the Adventure Diver and correlating specialty programs is to get you diving. For this reason, you will find that these programs are far different than your Open Water Diver class.
The academic portion of the Adventure Diver and Advanced Open Water courses is accomplished through independent study. Knowledge reviews in the PADI eLearning course are found at the end of each section discussing the type of dive you do. The knowledge reviews for the dives you will do for your course must be completed prior to certification. As a result, there is really no formal classroom time for either the Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water course.
Some classroom time is generally necessary for specialty courses. Depending on the specialty, your instructor may choose to review the material in the classroom or at the dive site. Most PADI specialties also have books and corresponding videos that the student is required to read and view. Students can often watch the videos on their own. Generally classroom time is limited to no more than one or two hours for any specialty.
The only difference between the Adventure Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver courses is the number of dives and which dives the student must perform. To obtain the Adventure Diver certification, students can elect to do any 3 dives. To obtain the Advanced Open Water rating, however, students must do a deep dive, a navigation dive, and 3 elective dives for a total of 5 dives.
Some specialties such as Search & Recovery and Wreck Diver require you to have your Advanced Open Water certification before beginning the class. The reason is that these specialties require navigation or deep diving skills that must be mastered before you can safely begin the course. Your PADI instructor can tell you what prerequisites exist for the specialty you are interested in.
PADI requires divers to have all of the following scuba equipment when participating in any class beyond the Open Water Diver level:
Before leaving for your first dive, see our Open Water Equipment Checklist to ensure you have everything you will need.