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PADI Open Water Certification

Global
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PADI Open Water Certification

I'll be at the El Cid in July. I was thinking of getting certified. I've only snorkeled before.

Is this a good idea? Wet Set seems like an option for me.

Thanks for any advice and tips.

11 replies to this topic
Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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1. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

I would suggest arranging with your hotel to do a Discover SCUBA quick course and try it out first.

I was certified in Playa del Carmen quite a few years ago now, and I enjoyed it very much. But, it does take up quite a bit of time and energy during a trip. Especially if you are only going one week.

So if you’re staying at an all-inclusive especially, I’d recommend doing the discovery dive course first.

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Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Riviera Maya, Mexico
San Rafael...
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2. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

I think it's a great idea. Definitely do all your PADI online coursework before the trip.

Devon, United...
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3. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

I would not wait until you are in resort. Have you contacted a local company to your home, here in the UK companies will do a try dive, to see if you like it. I am not PADI, but I understand you can do the course work with you local company and then be referred for the open water elements.

Remember open water is just an entry level course, if you are going to dive you should aim for rescue diver. This is my opinion.

Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

I would do all your book work, tests, final exam and confines water (pool) dives at home with a local dive shop. Then take a referral letter with you to Mexico to do your open water dives. This way you won't be using all your vacation time for reading and studying, and you will have time to dive after your certification.

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Coquitlam, Canada
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5. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

From your post, I don't know where you live. But I would do all your work and open water dives at home. That

way you know everybody for your 1st time in open water. It is some much fun. If you have time. check and see

if your dive company does Cozumel. Great wall dive there.

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Cozumel
Cozumel
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Coquitlam, Canada
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79 posts
160 reviews
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6. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

From your post, I don't know where you live. But I would do all your work and open water dives at home. That

way you know everybody for your 1st time in open water. It is some much fun. If you have time. check and see

if your dive company does Cozumel. Great wall dive there.

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Cozumel
Cozumel
Quintana Roo, Mexico
manchester
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7. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

I think there are pros and cons to doing the open water abroad. I did mine in Egypt a couple of years ago. It was 4 days and pretty full on days. There were 4 open water dives (the first 2 to 12metre and the other 2 to 18metre). There were also 3 or 4 (can’t eemeber exactly) pool sessions where you were taught a range of techniques, these were then repeated on your open water dives. Therefore be aware that the dives aren’t recreational, they are for doing skills. You also aren’t allowed cameras or gopros as these dives are for learning and you aren’t to be distracted. Although you’re in there with the sea life, it’s not the intention of the dives to see it (although it was pretty cool when a couple of big fish decided to come and sit with us in our group at the bottom of the ocean). There’s a rather large manual which you have to read. Your expected to read a certain amount each evening and then the following day you start off in the classroom watching a video to support what you have read, and then you do a test after each video. The 4 days ends with a lengthy test and you must pass this, along with all the smaller tests and have completed all of the skills to be certified.

For us, we went to Egypt for 2 weeks with the intention of doing the open water there. This still gave plenty holiday to relax, do other things and do a couple of additional dives once certified which were much more enjoyable and we saw so much more of the reef. I wouldn’t go abroad for a week to do the course, it really would be quite pointless. You also can’t dive 24 hours before flying so would need to factor this in.

I disagree that you need to aim for rescue diver. That’s a long way off. Firstly your open water will allow you to dive to 18 metres and there is an awful lot to see at this depth. It’s always recommended to dive with a guide, regardless of level of certification, unless you have many dives logged (and I’m talking in the region of over 100). The next logical course to do is either the nitrox which is a short course aimed at teaching you how to work with nitrox air meaning you can dive for longer. The other logical one is the advanced open water which certifies you to dive to a depth of 30metres. There are of course many others after these like rescue diver, dive master etc but you need to walk before running and a lot of people are perfectly fine just having open water or advanced open water (unless of course you are planning on diving a lot!)

I would recommend trying a try dive. In my opinion, it’s a world away from the open water course but at least gives you an idea if you can tolerate breathing through a regulator (different to a snorkel) and being underwater. Discover scuba teachs you how to replace your regulator if it gets knocked out of your mouth, how to use your buddies regulator if you’re out of air and how to clear a leaky mask. These are basic skills but help you to see how you will cope with being underwater and not being able to lift your head up like you can when snorkelling. This should give you an idea of how you will cope with diving. I would really recommend doing this (it can be done at home at a local dive centre) so you don’t waste a lot of money on the open water course.

If you’re going for a week I would recommend the open water referral. This is where you do the classroom work and tests at home and then the open water dives abroad. This should knock a day or 2 off the course when you’re away. However I would do the course work fairly close to when you leave as without the practical work to consolidate it, you’re likely to forget some of it.

The final thing that I must recommend is diving with a reputable company! Ensure they are PADI certified and do a bit of homework on them before you go to Mexico. There are a lot of crappy companies out there (not just in Mexico but worldwide) and there are endless stories of poor teaching, faulty equipment etc. It’s important to remember it’s a dangerous sport and so it is essential to be as safe as possible.

Hope this help, please feel free to ask any other questions.

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Ontario, Canada
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8. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

Rescue diver is not necessary, open water diver is enough if you just diving on vacation. Nitrox does not necessarily allow you to dive longer. Nitrox has a higher percent of oxygen, so you have less nitrogen loading,which increases your no decompression limits. It is also more restrictive on the depth you can dive. PADI is just one of many dive certification agencies and there are many reputable dive shops that are not PADI affiliated. In fact the PADI gold palm designation is a bought and paid for designation and has absolutely nothing to do with the shops service or safety record.

New York
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9. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

Wreckdiversteve makes the most sense here out of all the posts. His comments on doing all your work, tests, and final exam at a dive shop are spot on.

Cabo San Lucas...
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10. Re: PADI Open Water Certification

Agree that you may want to try a Discover Scuba first to see if you like the activity. Definitely try to do all of your coursework at home so that you can save on your valuable vacation time.

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