LEARN TO DIVE.
Here is a selection of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to learning to dive.
How old do I need to be to Scuba Dive?
In Australia, you must be 10 years of age to participate in entry level scuba training however, to participate in an Introductory Diving Experience in Queensland, you must be at least 12 years of age.
Do I need a Dive Medical for learning to Dive?
Generally no. You are required to complete a medical self assessment via answering a number of questions. If you are under 45 years of age and have answered all medical question with ‘no’ then you do not need to see a doctor. Should you answer any question with ‘yes’, medical clearance is required. Email us if you are not sure.
Which Dive Centre to choose?
This is the most common and important question to get answered for you. Searching for dive shops can be overwhelming and frustrating. Most websites look pretty and everyone claims they are the best of the best. This is exactly where The Scuba Coach can help you. We know the industry and only recommend shops that we feel happy enough to send our own family and friends to. From here, the only question to be answered is where you like to learn to dive. Contact us and we will help you choose.
What is the basic dive course structure and how long does it take?
Most courses will take 3 days from the day you start. Private classes maybe done in only 2 days under certain circumstances. In simple terms, most courses will require you to complete online learning in your own time, followed by some theory sessions, knowledge reviews with your instructor etc. From here, the fun part begins where you will commence your pool training for as long as you need to feel confident. On your final 2 days, the 4 Open Water Dives will be conducted where you put everything you learnt into practice.
I started a Dive Course elsewhere. Can I finish the course with someone else?
Yes you can in most instances provided you have received a referral document also called a Training Record Sheet from your instructor. If not, you may need to start from scratch. Ask your current instructor for referral documentation. She or he will know what needs to be done.
What certification agency to choose? PADI or SSI?
We could enter into a long debate about this one however, our short and sharp advice is:
- Both agencies will issue you an internationally recognised certification card;
- Both agencies have similar training standards;
- Both agencies have a similar course structure and duration;
- Both agencies recognise each other’s entry level certification for the purpose of continuing your education.
The agency should therefore not be a deciding factor when choosing one shop or an other. This decision should purely be based on what location is most convenient for you and whether you feel comfortable with the dive shop and instructor. Whether your card says SSI or PADI does not really matter to much when it comes to getting certified.
Should I buy my own dive equipment prior to the course?
Diving equipment is expensive and most divers aren’t able to afford everything at once. In a nut shell, diving equipment is like driving a car. Just imagine you would drive a different hire car every weekend. You do know how to drive but it always feels a little bit uncomfortable. This is very similar to hire diving equipment. It will never feel the same. Different brands, different fits and different buoyancy every time you dive. Start simple and buy at least a quality mask, snorkel and a wet suit. Having these 3 items fitting perfectly makes a huge different. Continue with your own dive computer which keeps an accurate record of your dives. Most dive shops will provide you all equipment you need as part of the course.
How much does a dive course cost?
You will always get what you pay for in one way or other!
Quality training comes at a cost. A proper dive course with dives from boats over 3 days will start from $645. A private class will start at around $945. There are cheaper providers out there which are not necessarily bad but some questions should be asked in regards to how they conduct their dive courses in respect to class size and type of dives offered (shore diving or boat diving). Cheaper prices usually mean large classes, tight schedules and average shore dive sites.
Asked how many students will be in your class and where will your training dives be. If the answers satisfy you and the price is cheap – go for it.
Why are there courses for only $400?
We do not suggest that everyone that charges less than $645 is bad operator and cuts corners but it certainly qualifies to ask a couple of serious questions:
- How many days is my course, 2 or 3? We recommend a course to extent over 3 days as a minimum.
- How many participants are there? Diving standards usually allow up to 8 students per one instructor and with assistants even more. We recommend a course with no more than 4 students.
- Where are my Open Water Dives? Offshore from a boat or from shore in calm water or a lake? We recommend to dive offshore from a boat rather than from shore.
- Does my certification allow me to dive independently to 18m or more? Some operators promote the cheaper Scuba Diver certification which requires you to dive with a Divemaster or Instructor going forward to depths of a maximum of 12m.
Should the shop answer all of these questions to your satisfaction then maybe go for it. Some shops have other income streams hence they may use dive courses as promotional products at discounted prices.
Do you teach dive courses yourself or do you just refer to others?
We work with several local dive centres and refer our course enquiries to them.
The Scuba Coach owner, Matt only teaches private PADI classes with a maximum of 2 participants. The total package price for this exclusive course is $1995 for 2 divers. Your dives will be at the Gold Coast and North Stradbroke Island.
Do you sell dive equipment?
No, not directly. We may offer useful consumables at times such as log books, signalling devices etc. however, we do not sell equipment at the moment. We do encourage you to support local dive businesses who are often able to match any online price. Simply ask!
We are currently working with a couple of dive centres on an alliance style dive gear supply and distribution network in the background. Watch this space!
I am a PADI Scuba Diver. Can I quickly upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver in a day or so?
No – The upgrade should not be rushed and we usually conduct this program over 2 days. We need to establish what experience you have gained since becoming a Scuba Diver. Please email us to have a chat.