The underwater experience is a fascinating one for both kids and adults. It is a great opportunity to see and learn more about aquatic creatures in their natural habitats. With activities like scuba diving, you have a good shot at discovering the underwater world beyond theoretical knowledge.
If you are one of those considering going professional scuba diving, you need to know that you must be certified before you can. This certification is important, as it would give you access to open waters, i.e., the ocean. It is also a form of identification that explicitly shows that you’ve completed all diving lessons and can take up different challenges that come your way.
Interestingly, you don’t have to be an adult before you can get scuba certified – kids above 10 years get certified as Junior Open Water Divers.
If you haven’t got your certification, this article discusses how you can and other details you need to know about scuba diving.
What is a Scuba Certification?
Scuba certification is a license provided by recognized diving schools to show that you’ve completed the courses and are eligible to explore open waters.
Finding a diving school is not so difficult. PADI and SSI are the two top-rated choices you can go for. These schools have their standards, so you can do well to check before enrolling in them.
PADI, for instance, is the world’s most recognized scuba diving school, which means the certification is also recognized. PADI Open Water Course comprises three significant certification stages. They include;
People above 10 years of age are allowed to enroll in this diving school. Before that, you must be in good physical condition and must be able to swim. With these qualifications, you are eligible to proceed with the first stage of certification – Knowledge Development.
In this stage, you gain knowledge about what there is to know about scuba diving and other related water sports or activities. Here, you get to explore different concepts theoretically and learn scuba terminologies through videos and articles.
However, it is a self-study practice that may take a couple of weeks. Along the line, you will be introduced to a PADI instructor who will ask questions and provide answers to anything you don’t understand.
Confined Water Dives
Now that you have learned a thing or two about scuba diving, the next stage is exploring it practically. You learn how to rely on your theoretical knowledge of diving in confined water dives to prepare for open water dives.
Still, a self-imparting experience, you will be asked to find a water body in a calm environment – like a swimming pool. Then, you will have to take your first breath underwater and practice some basic diving skills.
This stage often requires the active participation of your PADI instructor. They review the skills with you and provides you with better ways on how to dive successfully.
Open Water Dives
The final stage of the Scuba certification is exploring open waters – your transition from a confined water area to a real situation, i.e., from the pool to an ocean. You will need your gear in its best forms.
Although you will be asked to keep a distance on your first day, you are advised to take more depths as time goes by. For instance, you are told to go only as far as 60 ft. on the first attempt and then deeper on the subsequent ones.
Your PADI Instructor will be with you at this point to help you practice your skills and explore the ocean.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Scuba Certification?
Getting a Scuba Certification can be very rewarding because you can prove anywhere and any time that you have completed the course with the help of a professional. However, the certification isn’t free, but it comes at a cost.
The price of a scuba certificate depends on some factors, such as age group, location, and accessibility to open waters. You might have to spend between $500 to $600 to get this certificate. PADI Open Water Certification provides potential divers with materials/resources and complete scuba gear at this price.
Do I Really Need to Be Scuba Certified?
The interesting thing about diving is: it is not illegal as long as it is done in the right environment or place. You don’t even necessarily need to be certified before you can dive. If you think you can handle it all on your own, a certification might not be important.
However, for your safety and open license to explore the underwater world, having a certificate will be great. If you get the proper training you need, you may be a lot better than other divers without an educational experience.
Additionally, if you are to buy scuba gear from a dive shop, ensure that such a place is certified and licensed to sell. You don’t want to gamble your safety with subpar gear.
How Much Will I Spend on Scuba Gear?
Scuba Gear comes in two types – Basic and Premium.
Basic scuba gear comprises simple diving equipment such as snorkel or scuba mask, fins, etc. It is always below $500.
On the other hand, premium scuba gear contains expensive equipment. It is a gear mostly used by professionals, and it contains a tank, a wetsuit, a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), a regulator, and a dive computer. This gear cost nothing less than $1,500.
Whatever you decide to go for must depend on your skills and budget.
There is so much benefit with having an education on scuba diving before you get real into it. Not only would you be knowledgeable about the underwater world but also how to survive in it. Indeed, scuba diving certification will do you more good than you realize – just find the right school like PADI for tutelage!