PADI – Open Water Diver

The PADI – Open Water Diver course is the first complete certification for scuba diving. It allows divers to become autonomous in the planning and execution of dives. Most scuba divers will opt for the services of a professional local guide to explore and visit new dive sites. But this course covers all the basics required for taking part in unsupervised dives.

Maybe you overheard a discussion about diving before and words like the first level, certified, or open water diver. Well, this is what the Open Water Diver course means. It is the first level of diver certification. A course that is the starting point and the core of all other courses.

This certification is recognized worldwide and entitles the diver to dive autonomously with a buddy to a depth of up to 18 meters / 40 feet.

The course is structured in three distinct parts, the theory, the confined open water sessions in the pool, and the dives in the open water environment.

Theory relative to scuba diving

The academic part covers subjects that are the foundations of scuba diving such as basic physics, basic physiology, a preview of the different environments, diving techniques as well as the equipment.

Learning and practicing skills with the instructor

Sessions in confined water optimize to learn basic scuba diving skills. Empty a mask underwater, recover, and purge a regulator. It is also the moment that students learn buoyancy control and trim. Essential concepts of proper scuba diving.

Exploration dives in open water

Diving in a natural environment gives the chance to put into action skills and techniques already mastered in confined water. It is the time when you will demonstrate to the instructor that you can respond to problems that might arise and that you are in control. He will then be able to offer recommendations based on observation and give you the chance to practice more. It is also a good time to ask more in-depth questions about scuba diving organization, planning, and execution.

The typical flow of the PADI - Open Water Diver course

Courses are scheduled according to student’s needs and are flexible on the days for greater customer satisfaction. On the first two days, times can change but on the days a trip and open water dives are planned, students must be present at the dive center at the latest at 7:30 AM if they choose not to use our free shuttle service.

Basic courses with four dives are completed for most in 3 days. An additional day of development and practice can be added before the dives in the ocean. It is also possible to take the option of doing 2 more dives with guidance and under the supervision of an instructor. In this case, the course requires an extra day. Some combinations of the course with specialties are also possible.

A example of schedule for the PADI - Open Water Diver course with the minimum time required

Morning AM (8:00 - 11:30)Afternoon PM (12:30 - 6:00)
  • Paperwork
  • Forms and payments
  • Academic support presentation
  • Self-study
  • Review of the theory if completed online before
  • Pool sessions and workshops
  • Study time alone or with the guidance of the instructor
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the first dive
  • First exploration dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of 2nd dive
  • Second dive with skills
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Pool sessions and workshop
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the third dive
  • Third practice dive with skills
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of the 4th dive
  • fourth dive with remediation skills
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center

Prerequisites of the PADI - Open Water Diver course

Requirements for the PADI – Open Water Diver course are not so complicated. Participants must be 10 years or older. For those less than 18 years old, parental approbation must be obtained and additional forms are required. Parents must also become aware of the risks related to scuba diving activities. To have a normal fitness level and no incompatible medical conditions. And at last, to be a good swimmer is not mandatory but a minimum of watermanship skills is necessary for all divers.

For more information about medical status, physiology, and diving, you can visit our Medical and Diving page.

For those who are already certified as a PADI – Scuba Diver or any equivalent certification already completed a part of the course. This section can be reviewed by the instructor before training to make sure the rest of the course is well understood. There will also be fewer theory, pool sessions, workshops, and open water dives. If this applies to you we recommend to contact directly and see what can be organized to fit your needs.

An overview of the requirements:

  • 10 year old

What is included in the PADI - Open Water Diver course

To make it easy our prices include all that is required for the course or the selected options. Sunscreen and towel must be the only thing you will need to bring.

  • 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 equipment including; mask, fins, snorkel, short wetsuit, regulator set, buoyancy compensator, and weight system. Compass, dive computer, tank, and fills are included as needed
  • A minimum of 4 open water dives depending on the selected options of course
  • 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.

Packages and options of the course

Packages are composed of a price list starting with the basic PADI – Open Water Diver course including 4 open water dives in 4 days. The modular approach of the course with many options available gives a very customized and personalized approach. It is one of the ways our courses are different from what is commonly seen elsewhere.

PADI - Open Water Diver courses options
PADI - Open Water Diver basic course (4 days course with 4 open water dives)13,750
Prices are subject to changes without prior notice. We recommend contacting us directly to obtain up-to-date prices and a more personalized service.

What is important to know about the PADI - Open Water Diver course

For professionalism and safety, the inscription to and payment of a course does not guarantee that a certification will be issued. It comes down to the abilities, comfort level, skills, and knowledge of each participant. Certification is issued based on the judgment of the instructor as well as the dive manager of the center of the abilities demonstrated by the students through the course. If you would like to learn more about this matter you can visit the page Certification requirements and conditions.

If the course is not completed by the participant but the sections and requirements are met for the PADI – Scuba Diver certification. This card can be issued and training can be completed at another time with any other PADI dive center without restrictions.

The watermanship skills such as the no-stop swim and the water threading are required to obtain any diving certification. We will cover this matter at the beginning of the course to prevent delays and problems as students progress through.

The student cannot pick dive sites where the course takes place. If some special trips are organized students can choose to take part if the time and our schedule allow.

Courses will take place no matter the meteorological conditions or visibility as long as it does not raise any risk or safety concerns.

What comes next after the PADI - Open Water Diver course

It is possible to combine the Open Water Diver course with some of the specialties offered at the dive center. You can also see what courses come next after.

  • The PADI – Advanced Open Water Diver course
  • One from the extensive list of PADI specialties
  • The PADI – Rescue Diver course