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Do I Really Need to Get Scuba Certified to Enjoy This Sport?
Yes, it is legal to dive without certification, but only on a trial basis and under supervision. If you are interested in getting scuba certified, probably, you have already done a Discover Scuba Diver Program. You will have dived hand in hand with an instructor (perhaps literally), and at shallow depth.
Congratulations! Because it was a great idea, but there is an incredible world under water to discover, and you will not be able to do it without getting scuba certified.
Open Water Diver is the minimum qualification for the safe and autonomous practice of scuba. That is, you will be able to dive with another open water diver as a dive buddy and you will not need an Instructor or Divemaster.
Also, keep in mind that at the moment you will book your dives, the diving center will ask you to show your certification card. No scuba center will allow you to dive to 18 meters / 60 feet if you are unable to prove your got scuba certified.
How Do I Get Scuba Certified?
There are different agencies to get scuba certified. Among the best known are PADI, SSI, SDI, NAUI, CMAS, but you can take the course with many others. From all of them, PADI is the best-known agency, and you can find their licensed centers all over the world.
Make your decision without haste. You can be sure you will have the same minimum knowledge than a diver who has taken his course with another agency. This is so because there are minimum quality standards set by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).
Whichever agency you choose, you must attest to your physical condition. In some countries, it is enough to fill out a medical questionnaire. In others, the law requires that you present a medical certificate that ensures that you can dive.
What You Will Learn in Your Course to Get Scuba Certified?
The PADI Open Water Diver has two parts. First, you have to finish the theoretical part, which you can do easily online in your home or in the dive center itself.
The second part is a practical one. It usually lasts between 3 or 4 days, and it consists of:
- Diving in confined waters. Generally, in a pool or in a bay that meets very similar conditions. There, you will learn base diving skills.
- Open water dives. This consists of 4 dives you will do, over at least two days. It is not possible to do more than two dives in a single day at this level.You will use the skills you have just learned in these dives, and you will not exceed 18 meters / 60 feet in depth during the course.By getting scuba certified you will have learned about:
- How the human body reacts under pressure and what you must do to avoid accidents.
- Safety maneuvers under water.
- Basic scuba diving equipment and how it works
- Plan a dive.
- Control buoyancy
- Express yourself with hand signs.
At the end of your course, you will receive a certification card that never expires and that you can show around the world.
What Can You Do When You Obtain Your Diving Certification?
By obtaining your Open Water diving certification you will be able to descend to 18 meters / 60 feet and gain experience to increase the depth. Of course, without exceeding the limits imposed by recreational diving. In other words. You will be able to:
– explore wonderful coral reefs like those of Cozumel;
– perform night dives;
– know sunken wrecks;
– Diving in caves like the wonderful cenotes of the Riviera Maya;
– dive with bull sharks in Playa del Carmen;
– Live experiences diving from liveaboard cruises.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Scuba Certified?
The price varies depending on the area where you are and the agency you hire. If you want to know how much it would cost to take your PADI Open Water Diver course with Dressel Divers in the Caribbean (Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica) or the Balearic Islands (Spain), contact us. We will be delighted to help you to get scuba certified.