PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver

Diving with enriched air or Nitrox is not rocket science, in fact, it is quite simple. The PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course allows you to use Nitrox to push your limits or to be more conservative for your dives. It is easy but diving with Nitrox has to be well understood since it has its risks. This is the reason it requires a course to take advantage of the enriched air.

where does enriched air and Nitrox comes from?

Since the beginning of scuba diving, cylinders filled with compressed air have been used. This is still true nowadays. Divers still learn with it and most dives in the world are done on normal air. So why should we use Nitrox?

The limiting factors in diving come down to two things. The first is the available breathing gas, of course, we need enough in the tank to do the dive. This is more or less the universal limit for all types of diving. The second variable that limits divers is the exposure to nitrogen, an inert gas that can accumulate in the human body. This will also limit the time allowable and get carried on in successive dives. Having a lower concentration of nitrogen is what makes diving on Nitrox a good choice.

So what is enriched air Nitrox?

The compressed air in the tanks that we normally use for diving is the same that we are breathing at this very moment. The only difference is it has been filtered and dehumidified before being compressed in the cylinders at the filling station. This air is composed of 20.9% oxygen and roughly 79% nitrogen, the 1% left is composed of many other gases and can be neglected for scuba diving purposes.

As stated before, what limits divers other than air reserve is the exposure to nitrogen. One of the solutions was to replace a part of this nitrogen with another gas that our bodies need, oxygen. Having less nitrogen in the breathing gas lowers the exposure of the body to it and grants recreational divers longer no-decompression limits.

No extra or additional gear is required

The equipment required to conduct dives on Nitrox is the same as for normal compressed air. Most if not all regulator manufacturers offer products compatible with the use of enriched air up to 40%. The only extra piece of equipment to properly execute Nitrox dives is the analyzer. However, it is not required to have one as all of the dive centers and resorts offering Nitrox fills will have one available.

The steps on using enriched air Nitrox for diving

The PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver is a course that can be completed entirely at the dive center without any dives. The basic course to earn the certification only requires some theory and a workshop.

Open water dives using enriched air

If you decide to go over the theory, you can pick the option of adding two dives using enriched air Nitrox to your course. This way you put into use right away what you have learned in the academic part. It is also a good way to explore and discover our local underwater world at the same time as becoming a PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver certified diver.

The PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course schedule and flow

The PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course is different from most of the diving courses. It can be done without even getting wet as it is mostly theoretical. The only practical part is the analysis of nitrox-filled tanks. We do offer the option to add dives to your course. This way you can, under supervision, put into practice what you have learned in the course as well as enjoy some of the best dive sites around.

Example schedule of the course with 2 optional dives

1st day
  • Paperwork and account set up with PADI
  • Forms and payments
  • Academic support presentation
  • Self-study
  • Review of the theory if completed online before
  • Practical workshop with planning and use of a Nitrox capable dive computer
  • Using a Nitrox analyzer
  • Cylinder content analysis
  • Labeling of Enriched Air filled tanks
2nd day
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Analysis and labeling of Nitrox tanks
  • Overview of the dive computer
  • Planning and briefing of the first dive
  • First dive with Nitrox
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Planning and briefing for the second dive
  • Overview of the dive computer
  • Second dive from the boat using Nitrox
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center

Requirements of the PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course

To enroll in the PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course, participants need to be undertaking or already be certified as a PADI – Open Water Diver. Equivalent certifications from other certifying agencies are also valid to take part in the course. Participants must also be 12 years or older. For people less than 18 years of age, written permission along with liability releases need to be provided by the parents or legal guardian.

Requirements in short:

  • To have a PADI – Open Water Diver or equivalent certification.
  • 12 years old

What is included with the PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver courses and packages

Courses and packages include everything needed for the completion of the course. No surprise fees or additional rental. Bring sunscreen, a towel, and a smile and you are set. We will take care of the rest.

  • The learning material in electronic format for the duration of the course
  • The instructor
  • The certification card in electronic format (available in a plastic format on special request)
  • Rental of the full kit of gear including; mask, fins, snorkel, short wetsuit, regulator set, buoyancy compensator, and weight system. Dive computer, tanks, and fills are included as needed.
  • The Nitrox analyzer for the workshop
  • Meals and snacks when taking part in trips include breakfast and lunch, as well as fruits, refreshments, tea, coffee, soft drinks, electrolyte drinks, and of course drinking water.

Course packages offered

This course is quite simple and straightforward. As the basic course is only theoretical with a workshop we offer the option of 2 open water dives with Nitrox to the participants.

PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver Packages
Basic PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course without dives4,250
The option of 2 open water dives using Nitrox+2,450

What we need to know about the PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course

This course allows divers to use Nitrox blends of up to 40%. Anything more than this requires another more advanced course.

What comes next after the PADI - Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course

After your PADI – Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course many more options and courses are available to you. You can have a look at the PADI – Specialty Courses or enroll in the next course after the entry-level certification, the PADI – Advanced Open Water Diver course.

  • The PADI – Advanced Open Water Diver course
  • The PADI – Rescue Diver course