|Please call or email for questions not answered here|
Question #1: Where Do I Start?
Question #2: Is Learning to Dive Difficult?
Question #3: Are There Age Requirements?
Question #4: How Long Does It Take to Get Certified?
Question #5: I'm Not a Strong Swimmer. Does that Matter?
Question #6: Classroom Portion: What Does It Cover?
Question #7: Pool Portion: What Does It Cover?
Question #8: Is Scuba Diving Expensive?
Question #9: What are "Open Water Training Dives"?
Question #10: Can I Get Fully Certified While on Vacation?
Question #11: Can I Dive on Vacation Without Getting Certified?
Question #12: Is My Fear of Sharks Justified?
Question #13: Is It a Problem if My Ears Hurt When I Swim to the Bottom of a Pool?
Question #14: Will I Be Required to Buy Equipment?
Question #15: What if I Run Out of Air?
Question #16: What if I Can't Finish the Class?
Question #17: What is the difference between Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver?
Question #18: What about the Medical Form?
|Become a certified scuba
diver and join the thousands of people who have already discovered the enjoyment
of scuba diving. You can start you dive adventure with our Discover
Scuba classes at minimal cost to see if you enjoy the experience. Then
sign up for the Open Water training
|Learning to dive is a lot
easier than you may think. All it takes is good overall health, a basic
level of comfort around the water, and the desire to explore the water world.
Every year, thousands of people, from teenagers to senior citizens, become
|You must be at least 12
years old. Students between the ages of 12 and 14 receive a junior certification
that can be upgraded to a regular certification after age 15. You're
never too old. In fact many retirees are taking up scuba diving for
the first time.
|It depends. The Scuba
Diver course typically meets for four classroom and pool sessions, followed
by two dives in a natural environment such as a lake. Full Open
Water certification involves three additional classroom/pool sessions
and two additional open water dives. Spring classes typically meet once
a week. Summer and fall classes meet twice a week.
Diver certification requires only that you be a reasonably proficient
swimmer, able to tread or stay afloat for 10 minutes. Open
Water divers are also required to swim 200 yards using any stroke (no
|Numerous topics, including dive equipment,
procedures,and the effects of depth and pressure will be covered.
You will be introduced to these topics with the home study materials. In
class we will review and elaborate on these topics, then take a short quiz
to be sure that you understand them completely.
What about the pool portion?
|This is where the fun begins--putting
on the equipment and getting wet! Few things in life compare to the thrill
of your first breaths under water on a scuba regulator. The pool is also
where you begin mastering skills such as breathing from a regulator, clearing
your mask, descent and ascent procedures, and proper buoyancy.
I've heard that scuba diving is very expensive. What about those of us on a budget?
No problem. Although owning all your equipment is ideal, most dive centers rent it, allowing you to take your time investing in the sport. Even the price of dive travel varies from diving in local quarries and lakes, to inexpensive Caribbean vacations, to exotic getaways in far-flung corners of the globe. See our travel page for the class or trip that interests you.
What are Open Water Training Dives?
|During open water training dives you
will practice some of the skills you have mastered in the pool and learn
some navigation techniques. Once you have completed the training skills,
the rest of the dive is for your pleasure; you'll have fun looking at fish
while gaining experience and confidence. The main difference is that
now you are in open water. You may do these dives with us in local lakes,
while traveling with us to tropical locations, or with another instructor
while traveling independently. "Scuba Diver" requires two dives which
can be done on the same day. "Open Water Diver" requires four dives
done two per day.
If I want to get fully certified while on vacation, how long will it take?
|We can provide all the necessary classroom
and pool training to allow you to complete your open water dives in two
days while on vacation. Starting from scratch while on holiday is also possible;
expect to spend a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon for
about five days.
Can I dive on vacation without getting certified?
|Yes, you can. These experiences go
by different names according to where you are: "Introduction to Scuba",
Discover Scuba Diving", or "Resort Course" are some of the most common.
The activity usually consists of a morning pool session during which you
are introduced to the equipment and practice several essential skills. Then
you are taken on a guided shallow dive, closely supervised by your instructor.
These courses are a safe, inexpensive way to gain familiarity with the sport
and decide if you wish to pursue certification.
I'll confess: one of the reasons I've never learned to dive is because I'm scared of sharks. Is my fear justified?
|Many people have been made to fear
sharks and other marine animals because of the false image given them by
movies and television. Fact is, most marine animals, including the shark,
octopus, barracuda and moray eel, are shy and passive around humans. None
are more misunderstood than sharks. Humans are not the natural prey of sharks.
Almost all shark attacks happen by accident to swimmers and surfers. The
shark mistakes them splashing on the surface for a seal or sea lion, and
takes a bite. We taste pretty bad to them, so that's usually the end of
it. And unless you're swimming with sea lions off the California coast or
spear fishing in certain parts of Australia, you have virtually nothing
to fear from the great white shark. Many photographers spend weeks at a
time and thousands of dollars trying to get close to them, sometimes with
no luck. In the Bahamas, dive operators have been conducting shark feeding
dives for years without a single incident to guests. Once you've knelt on
the sandy bottom and felt reef sharks cruising by your head, you realize
they're not a threat, they're just fish.
My ears hurt even when I swim to the bottom of a pool. What happens when I dive even deeper?
|The pain you feel is called a "squeeze"
and is caused by the pressure of water pushing against your eardrum. One
of the first things you'll learn in scuba class is a simple technique of
equalizing very similar to what you might do on an airplane. When done properly,
you won't feel any pain in your ears.
Will I be required to buy equipment?
|.All scuba equipment for your pool
sessions is included in the course fees except for the Butler County Community
College class where it is available for a nominal fee. You will be most
comfortable if you have your own mask, snorkel, and fins-items that
must be fitted to you personally; therefore we recommend that you try our
demo equipment in the pool before purchasing.
OK, so I'm a victim of Hollywood propaganda about sharks. But I've still heard diving can be dangerous. What if I run out of air?
|You are right to have questions and
concerns before beginning any new activity, especially one that involves
the use of life-support equipment. Your certification course is structured
so that your questions are answered and you feel comfortable with your equipment,
its proper function and what to do in the unlikely event that something
doesn't work as planned. You are no more likely to run out of
air than you are to run out of fuel while driving a car. You will have a
gauge that tells you exactly how much air you have left at all times. Besides,
during your training dives you'll always be at a shallow depth. Finally,
a few statistics: recreational scuba diving has a lower incidence of injury
than football, baseball, water-skiing, soccer, volleyball, racquetball,
tennis, swimming, and bowling.
This all sounds great! But what if I begin a scuba class and for some reason I can't finish?
|At Downey Diving, you have options.
If you have paid for the course, but cannot continue due to a permanent
medical condition, you will receive a refund. Problems such as scheduling
or temporary illness can be handled in three ways: (1) make-up the missed
class during another scheduled class, (2) pay a nominal fee for a private
make-up class, (3) drop out for now, and start again the next time the course
if offered, at no additional cost.
What is the difference between Scuba Diver & Open Water Diver?
|The most important difference is that
a Scuba Diver is certified to
dive only under the direct supervision of an instructor, assistant instructor,
or dive master. An Open Water
diver is certified to dive independently.
|Everyone must complete a medical form before participating in any pool sessions. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions on this form a physician's approval is required. We recommend that you look over this form and get a physician's approval if necessary before class begins so that you do not miss any pool sessions. Download this form (acrobat reader required), or contact us so we can mail it to you or answer questions.|