Scuba Diving Frequently Asked Questions
On this page, you will find answers to some of the most frequent questions we come accross. If you still didn't find an answer to your question on this page, then give us a call or send us a message from the "Contact Us" page.
Click on any questions below, to see the answer
Does your PADI dive center sell scuba diving/snorkeling equipment?
YES! Colorado Scuba Diving Academy is an official dealer of some leading scuba diving gear manufacturers, such as:
Diverite, Shearwater, Suunto, SEAC, HOG/EDGE, Bare, Zeagle, Oceanic, HOLLIS, Staalsac, Sherwood, Akona, Genesis, Catalina, Tovatec, Big Blue, Atomic.
How do I learn to scuba dive?
Scuba certification includes three phases (click HERE for a fun video that explains it all, or read along):
1. Knowledge Development
During the first phase of your scuba lessons, you'll learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as
What to consider when planning dives.
How to choose the right scuba gear for you.
Underwater signals and other diving procedures.
You'll learn this valuable information by reading it in the PADI Open Water Diver Manual or by using the PADI Open Water Diver eLearning. At the end of each chapter, you'll answer questions about the material to ensure you understand it. Along the way, let your PADI Instructor know if there is anything you don't understand. At the end of the course, you’ll take a final exam that ensures you have thorough knowledge of scuba diving basics.
You'll also watch videos that preview the scuba skills you'll practice in a swimming pool. In addition to the video, your instructor will demonstrate each skill for you.
2. Confined Water Dives
This is what it’s all about – diving. You'll develop basic scuba skills in a pool. The basic scuba skills you learn during your certification course will help you become familiar with your scuba gear and become an underwater explorer. Some of the essential skills you learn include:
Setting up your scuba gear.
How to get water out of your mask.
Entering and exiting the water.
Basic underwater navigation.
You'll practice these skills with an instructor until you're comfortable. When you're ready, it's time for your underwater adventure to begin at an open water dive site.
3. Open Water Dives
After your confined water dives, you'll head to open water, where you and your instructor will make four dives, usually over two days. On these dives, you'll get to explore the underwater world. You'll apply the skills you learned in confined water while enjoying what the local environment has to offer. Most student divers complete these dives close to home, but there is an option for finishing your training while on holiday.
How long does it take to get certified?
The Open Water Diver course takes 4 days to complete plus some studying you will do at home prior to your first day of class. We normally do this over the course of two weekends. One weekend for "class and pool" and the second weekend for the open water dives. Your PADI Instructor will focus on helping you become a confident and comfortable diver, not on how long it takes. You earn your certification based on demonstrating 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 competent scuba diver. If you require additional training, outside of your original class time, it can be arranged at additional cost, based on what your needs are (this is very unlikely, but we do run into it every once in a while)
How much does it cost?
The cost of each course is detailed on the webpage of every course we offer (click HERE to find your desired course)
Unless mentioned otherwise, the cost of the course includes everything: Instructions, Study Materials, Basic Scuba Diving Equipment, Certification Dives, Processing your Certification or Referral. There are no hidden charges or additional purchases needed. The only thing we can't include in our cost, is services and charges that are not in our control, such as: driving to an open water dive site, entry fee to an open water dive site (if applicable), food, lodging etc. All these extras are normally required when traveling to an open water dive site, to do your open water certification dives.
Can I do my class and pool locally and the OW dives during my vacation?
YES! You can start your class and pool locally and once you finished all the requirements of the skill and knowledge development, your PADI instructor will write and sign your referral, then email it to you in a PDF form, to take with you to another PADI Dive Center to finish your certification dives. NOTE: We highly recommend to try to finish your entire course with us and not to take a referral if you can. FIRST reason, is that you are going to be familiar with the operations and instructors. SECOND reason, you will already be a CERTIFIED DIVER on your vacation, and will be able to do "fun" dives instead of training dives. THIRD reason, you get a $45 discount fro us, when signing up for the whole course at once! However, we want you to know, that whatever you decide to do, our staff of PADI instructors, will do their best to make it as smooth and as enjoyable experience as could be.
What are the requirements for learning to scuba dive?
The minimum age is 10 years old (in most countries). Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15 (no other training required, just to ask PADI for a replacement card). Children under the age of 13 require parent or guardian permission to register for PADI eLearning (only if you take the eLearning class). All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course. Download the scuba medical questionnaire and take it to your doctor ONLY if any of the questions apply to you.
Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water, including:
Swim 200 meters/yards (or 300 meters/yards in mask, fins, and snorkel) without stopping. 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 you want.
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. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Contact Samuel or Kent at our PADI Dive Center for more information.
As PADI standards state, EACH diver must have a personal set of the learning materials to use during the course and for reference after the course (even if the student divers are from the same family and live in the same house). There are several options available, depending on your learning style and technology preference, including:
PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and watching the Open Water Diver Video (the most common way)
PADI Open Water Diver eLearning
The cost and procedure for each way are a bit different, so please call our PADI Dive Center for more clarification. You can read more about the price breakdown on the Open Water Diver webpage.
You will get all your study materials from us when you sign up for a course. If you choose to do the PADI eLearning course, you can be linked directly from the course's webpage to the PADI eLearning website (not all PADI courses have an eLearning option).
Do I have to be a good swimmer to get certified?
Some swimming ability is required. You need to have basic swim skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water. Your PADI Instructor will assess this by having you:
Swim 200 meters/yards (or 300 meters/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 you want.
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. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk with Samuel or Kent at our PADI Dive Center for more information.
My ears hurt when I go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling, will that prevent 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 eardrums. 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 and driving through high mountains, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.
Will a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking preclude someone from diving?
Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory or heart function, or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a doctor can assess a person’s individual risk. Doctors can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing fitness to dive. Download the medical statement to take to your doctor.
What if I feel claustrophobic?
Some of our most avid divers used to be "claustrophobic". People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training, your PADI scuba instructor will give you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your instructor will work with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.
What is eLearning?
Electronic learning (eLearning) is the delivery of education, using your mobile device or web browser. PADI eLearning allows you to begin your dive education at your convenience, using your desktop, laptop or mobile device, and finish your training in the water at our PADI Dive Center. With PADI eLearning, you complete the knowledge development (academic) portion of the most popular courses at your own pace – studying anytime and anywhere you have a high-speed internet connection or after you have downloaded the product. If you have a busy schedule then eLearning is a great choice, otherwise, there is nothing like interacting personally with your PADI dive instructor
The courses that are currently available with eLearning knowledge development are:
PADI eLearning courses can be linked from our website but paid directly to PADI on the eLearning portal.
How do I sign up for a scuba class?
If you are signing up for a class, call/email Samuel or Kent. We will take your information for the class' roster, then follow up with additional information email. We will also eMail you an electronic invoice to pay online and secure your spot on the roster. The last thing you will need to do is pick up your study materials from our dive shop. If you live far away or your schedule makes it difficult for you to come in person, we can arrange for delivery as an option, just let us know.
For the eLearning courses (Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, and Enriched Air Nitrox), you can sign up directly from the course's webpage, or by clicking the links above. PADI will notify us that you signed up and we will get in touch with you.
I didn't dive for a long time, how can I get back into diving?
You don't "loose" your certification after you don't dive for a long time, all you need is a refresher class, and we have 3 options for you: Regular, full weekend, or private refresher. All refresher options include knowledge review and in-water skill review. Regular refresher is normally 3-4 hours ($130). In a full weekend refresher, you'll be sitting on the entire class and pool portion, of the OW Diver course ($225). The private refresher includes about 3 hours of in-water skill review and an additional 2 hours of comprehensive knowledge review (normally in two sessions). All with your "own" private PADI scuba instructor ($250).
Can I earn a scuba diving certification if I have a disability?
Yes! 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. People with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk with Samuel or Kent at our PADI Dive Center for more information.
Can I try scuba first, before committing to a full scuba certification course?
Absolutely! That program is called Discover Scuba Diving. The schedule for this program is on the bottom of the Discover Scuba Diving webpage. As there is so much request for this program, CO Scuba Diving Academy dive center is running this program through the city of Fort Collins "Recreator". To sign up, you need to be at least 10y/o and in good health, on the day of the class. Read all the information on the webpage, as you will need to send us your size of shoes, height and weight, as well as print it out your registration form and medical release and bring it with you. You pay for this program in advance, by calling EPIC (Edora Pool and Ice Center) front desk at: (970) 221-6683