Q.1 What's involved in learning to scuba dive?
Learning to scuba dive with Academy of Scuba and PADI is an incredible adventure! With PADI as your training organisation, your path to breathing underwater is accomplished in three exciting phases:
1. Knowledge Development – Learn the lingo.
During the first phase of your PADI Open Water Diver scuba certification, you develop an understanding of the basic principles of scuba diving. You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives. You briefly review what you have studied in the five knowledge sections with your instructor and take a short quiz to be sure you’re getting it. At the end of the course, you’ll take a longer quiz that makes sure you have all the key concepts and ideas down. If there’s anything that is still unclear, you’ll be able to review it with the instructor, who will be happy to go over any information with you until it’s clear.
2. Confined Water Dives – Scuba Skills Training.
This is what it’s all about – diving. You develop basic scuba skills by scuba diving in a pool or body of water with pool-like conditions. Here you’ll learn everything from setting up your scuba gear to how to easily get water out of your scuba mask without surfacing. You’ll also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air or replacing your scuba mask. Plus, you may play some games, make new friends and have a great time. There are five confined water dives, with each building upon the previous. Over the course of these five dives, you attain the skills you need to dive in open water.
3. Open Water Dives – Locally or on Vacation.
After your confined water dives, you and the new friends you’ve made continue learning during four open water dives with your Academy of Scuba PADI Instructor at a dive site. This is where you fully experience the underwater adventure – at the beginner level, of course. You may make these dives around Melbourne, on the Mornington Peninsula, or at a more exotic destination while on a group trip with Academy of Scuba.
Q.2 Do I need a Dive Medical?
Yes. All our Open Water diver students need to have obtained a full dive medical prior to starting this training. For a list of diving doctors please go to www.spums.org.au. This is to ensure maximum safety for everyone involved.
Q.3 Why learn with Academy of Scuba?
All training carried out by Academy of Scuba exceeds industry and national safety standards. Our instructors are all put through a rigorous internship program before they teach courses for us, and we constantly check with their students to ensure that Academy of Scuba maintains the highest of standards. We have a huge support network available to you after you successfully complete your course so that you can keep diving. We want you to have as many great experiences with us as you can so we organise reunion dives for your class, our extensive dive club has regular guided dives, and we can even match you up with a dive buddy of similar ability to help you see all the great diving Victoria has to offer. We are passionate about our diving. Diving is something we live and breathe every day, and want to share it with you.
Q.4 What's required to take scuba lessons?
If you have an appetite for excitement and adventure, odds are you can become an avid PADI scuba diver. You’ll also want to keep in mind these requirements:
- 12 years old
- Students younger than 15 years, who successfully complete the course qualify for the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. You must be at least 13 years old to take scuba lessons online with PADI eLearning, due to international internet laws. If you’re younger, you can still learn to dive – just have your parent or legal guardian contact ACADEMY OF SCUBA.
Physical: For safety, Academy of Scuba requires all our students to have a current valid Dive Medical before they can join the Open Water Diver course and do any in-water training activities. For details of appropriate diving doctors, please go to www.spums.org.au and click on the ‘Diving Doctors’ tab.
Waterskills: Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskill comfort by having you:
- swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
- float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you want.
About Physical Challenges: Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Come into the store and chat to Kat or one of the staff about any concerns you may have.
Learning Materials : Unless you choose PADI eLearning, you’ll need and use the following training materials during the PADI Open Water Diver course, and for your review and reference after the course:
- The PADI Open Water Diver Manual
- PADI Open Water Diver Video on DVD
- You will also need your PADI Log book and Recreational Dive Planner (Table, The WheelTM or eRDPTM).
Q.5 I already have a mask, fins, boots and snorkel for snorkelling. Can I use these items on my Open Water course?
Yes, maybe. Bring in any existing items you have and our staff will check that the equipment meets the standards required for scuba diving.
Q.6 Where will the sessions be conducted?
- Theory session – usually conducted at Academy of Scuba Camberwell – 1124 Toorak Road
- Pool session – usually conducted at Aqualink pool Box Hill – Surrey Drive, Box Hill
- Shore dives – usually conducted at Rye Pier
- Boat Dives – usually departing from Portsea Pier
All locations and timings will be confirmed with you prior to your course starting. Please get in contact with staff for more information.
Q.7 Do I need my own transport?
Yes, ideally. Although it may be possible to car pool with your fellow students and/or instructors, we cannot guarantee this.
Q.8 Can I bring friends?
Please feel free to invite family and friends to join you on the course. If you have 4 people we can run the Open Water Diver as a private course just for your group.
Q.9 Will I feel the cold?
Melbourne’s water temperature varies from 22° Celsius in the summer, to 10° in the winter. Although 10° feels cold, the wetsuits we provide will keep you warm. Wetsuits work by warming the small amount of water that gets into the suit to your body temperature. This warm water stays in the suit for the dive and keeps you comfortable. If you do tend to feel the cold, or you’re diving in the middle of winter, we do suggest purchasing a hood and gloves, as these extra pieces really help keep you warm. Ask staff for more information about which product would be right for you.
Q.10 What happens if I don't like diving?
In the highly unlikely event that you decide you do not like scuba diving at all, we offer a 100% money back guarantee for all your course fees and snorkelling items purchased if you decide not to continue after or during your pool session. We just have to know on the day of the pool session. We understand that learning to dive requires an investment on your part and would not like you to be put out if you were to decide that scuba diving really isn’t for you.
Q.11 How long does it take to get certified?
The Open Water Diver course runs as either a 3 or 2 day course. 4 Day courses are available, but are less frequently run.
The PADI Open Water Diver course is incredibly flexible and performance based, which means that we can offer a wide variety of schedules, paced according to how fast you progress.
Our training ethos centres around producing proficient, confident, happy divers, rather than pushing people through a course when they don’t feel comfortable with the material – you’re just more likely to dive in the future if you have confidence in yourself! So, our training is based upon demonstrating that you know what you need to know and can do what you need to do. This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need to become a confident scuba diver who dives regularly. That’s all there is to it.
Q.12 How much does it cost to learn to dive?
We offer our PADI Open Water Diver course for $799, inclusive of learning materials, boat fees and the gear you’ll need. The only things that are not included in the course price are the cost of:
- A recreational diving medical – usually $140 – $200
- Your snorkelling items – fins, mask, boots and snorkel, and a hood and gloves in winter
Our instructors are highly trained, experienced professionals and are here to offer you close guidance and attention. From the first day, scuba diving starts transforming your life with new experiences you share with friends. And, you can do it almost anywhere there is water!
Q.13 What scuba gear do I need to learn to scuba dive?
Choosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. We will help you find the right gear. Each piece of scuba equipment performs a different function so that collectively, it adapts you to the underwater world. When you start learning to scuba dive we require all our students to have their own:
Not only is this to your benefit in terms of comfort and hygiene, but learning in the gear that you will continue to use in the future will help to make you a better and more confident diver straight away. At Academy of Scuba we offer all our students a discount when purchasing their snorkelling gear, and we also will happily exchange any of the gear after you complete your pool session, should you find any of your equipment uncomfortable. Included in the cost of your PADI Open Water Diver course, we provide our students with a:
- Dive computer
- Scuba tank
- Scuba wetsuit (7mm semi dry)
- Weight system and weights
Our instructors and shop staff will make sure that you’re fitted with the correctly sized equipment before your course begins. Once you’ve completed your Open Water, it’s recommended that you invest in your own scuba equipment simply because you’ll be more comfortable diving in your own gear, it will be more convenient to go diving, meaning you’ll be out diving more often, and in the long run you’ll save money from not needing to rent.
Q.14 My ears hurt when I dive down. Will that keep me from becoming a scuba diver?
No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you’ll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving. If you are concerned, see a specialist diving doctor – a list can be found by clicking here