Scuba Diving: Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum equipment requirement for the Open Water course is mask, snorkel, fins and ideally a wetsuit. It is very important that our students are learning to dive on snorkeling gear that fits properly and comfortably. We encourage our students to own their snorkeling gear and Ocean First extends a 30 day guarantee on all equipment purchases. All scuba equipment (buoyancy compensator, regulator, and dive computer) are included in the course tuition.

You must know how to swim and float/tread water for your safety. There is a swimming assessment at the beginning of the first pool session; you must be able to complete a continuous swim without stopping, but there is no time limit or stroke requirement. If you are not comfortable with your swimming ability, we offer swimming instruction through the Ocean First Swim School. Even after a few lessons, adults say they feel more confident about their ability in the water.

You have 6 months following the last completed segment of your training to complete your open water dives for your certification. This rule also applies to our SSI continuing education courses that require open water check-out dives. Ocean First strongly recommends keeping your academic and pool training as close to your open water dives as possible.

Yes! Ocean First Travel arranges group and individual trips all over the world. Our group trips are fun, unique, and a great way to see the world and make new friends. Please check out our group trip page for a list of where Ocean First is headed. If you would like assistance in booking your own trip we can help there, too!

Yes! Our scuba refresher courses are only 3 hours long and will greatly increase your confidence, safety, and enjoyment when you go on your dive vacation.

Yes; we recommend our Private Open Water course for anyone with a challenging schedule. We offer private courses catered to your schedule for one, two or even a small group of students.

Yes, you can order a replacement directly online through the training agencies (SSI, PADI, NAUI), or our staff would be happy to take care of this for you when you stop by the dive shop.

The up-front costs associated with getting certified can be off putting to some; you are investing in your future as a safe and comfortable diver. Your scuba certification will never expire, and we encourage all students to own high quality gear that can last for years of diving. The exact costs of getting certified depend on the type of class you want to take, the gear you choose to own, and the location of your check-out dives. We encourage you to come in and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members, who will walk you through every step of becoming certified so you know exactly what you will be paying for.

Our instructors are highly trained professionals and will ensure your comfort and safety in the water at all times. If you are having trouble equalizing your ears, your instructor will work with you one on one until you are comfortable.

The minimum age for enrollment in the SSI Open Water Diver course is 10 years old. Children complete the same coursework as adults and will receive a Junior Open Water certification that can be upgraded to the standard Open Water certification once they turn 15.