What To Expect From Your Open Water Scuba Dive Course
scuba dive courses koh tao

Some of our most popular experiences are the open water dive courses in places like Koh Tao or on the Great  Barrier Reef – but what can you expect from your 3/4 day course?

We asked our resident dive expect and blog ambassador Ally to give you a quick run through – she’s a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer so she’s pretty clued up on it all…!

So here is quick guide to your PADI Open Water Diver certification…


Scuba diving is very easy and safe, but it does require a bit of a learning curve.
First of all take your time to choose your dive centre, you want to feel comfortable with your instructors and the people in the dive centre. Whether you are hoping between “Koh”’s in Thailand or sampling island life on Gili T, have a look around and sit down with a couple instructors.

Obviously we all want the cheapest deal but you do want to remember that you are paying for your life support underwater here. Choose a dive centre with recognised training agencies clearly displayed at the front such as PADI, that looks clean, organised and care for the environment.

Don’t chose it only because the instructors hanging out the front looks fit. Well, maybe a bit!

Chosen your dive centre? Great, get ready to sign up. Although diving is all fun and games, you do have some paperwork to go through.

You will be asked to fill out a medical to make sure you do not have any pre existing condition which would endanger you, such as asthma. I would recommend to get a dive medical before you go traveling just to make sure, and bring it with you when you sign up! After that follows the usual liability forms and contact details. You are now ready to start your dive theory!

Several options are available to you. If you are short on time during your travels, why not do your dive theory online before you even leave your house?

Once you get to your destination all that will be left for you to do is the practical side of it!

Decided to jump in on a whim? No worries. Your instructor will provide you with a book, which will be yours to keep.

You will be asked to read the 5 chapters, do 5 knowledge reviews, and complete 4 quizzes. Sounds too much? The course is designed for 10 year olds to pass.

Throughout you will be also watching videos matching the chapters from your book in your dive centre classroom before being tested with one final theory exam, and off to the water you go!

Your first session will be what is called a “confined session”, meaning you will be practicing some simple skills in a pool or shallow water on the beach. Skills include taking your first breath, getting used to your gear, swimming 200m or taking your regulator out and putting it back in your month. Your instructor will show you each skill before asking you to repeat it.

All done? Great! Let’s get in the sea..

You will have 4 dives to complete to get your license, generally 2 dives a day. During those dives you will spend some time at the start to practice those skills you learned in confined in the water…and then? Enjoy your dive! Follow your instructor, make some bubbles and discover the oceans. Hopefully you’ll get to see some sharks, turtles, and the infamous “Nemo”.

Hooked already? Well, time to think about your PADI Advanced Open Water then!

See you underwater!


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ally toullec epic gap year travel blogger

 This is a guest post by blog ambassador Ally Toullec

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August 12, 2014
What a Nice Post, For those who wants really expect to learn scuba diving. It is really true that Scuba diving is very easy and safe, but it does require a bit of a learning curve. Thanks For nice Info.
Epic Gap Year
August 18, 2014
Glad to hear you liked the post Jack - we love the underwater world!
February 26, 2015
I agree with what this article said in regards to not going cheap on scuba lessons. With something like this, you want to make sure you are doing everything as safely as possible. If prices are too low there might be corners being cut. It is better safe than sorry where Scuba diving is concerned.
Epic Gap Year
March 2, 2015
Indeed it's too easy to find yourself at a 'cowboy' dive school! We've personally dived with all our suppliers so we're confident they're safe!

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