The Open Water Diver Course

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, or if you are just looking for an exciting new adventure, this certification is where it starts.

If you are curious about diving but still not sure if you are ready for the course, check out the Discover Scuba Diving experience for a fun and inexpensive afternoon adventure to see if scuba is right for you.

The PADI Open Water Diver course is the world’s most popular scuba course, and has introduced millions of people to the adventurous diving lifestyle. Check out our Open Water Scuba Flyer for more details, including dates and times for training.

Open Water Course Prerequisites

In order to qualify for the PADI Open Water course you must:

  1. Be at least 15 years old
  2. Students age 10-14 years old may earn the Junior Open Water Diver certification

Learning with AquaMunkee is as Easy as 1-2-3!

The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of 3 main phases:

  1. Knowledge Development
  2. Confined Water
  3. Open Water
PADI Open Water Course - 3 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 from the PADI Open Water Diver manual 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. You and your instructor will review anything that you don’t quite get until it’s clear.

Although there are a few options available, for most students AquaMunkee Scuba will cover the knowledge development section using the following approach:

Monkey Reading Open Water Manual

1. Independent, Self-Paced Study at Home
- Read the Open Water Diver Manual
- Watch the Open Water Diver DVD (optional)
- Review the Open Water CD-ROM (optional)

2. Completion of All 5 Knowledge Reviews in Your Manual

3. Classroom Session to Discuss Knowledge Reviews

4. Additional Explanation / Question-and-Answer Session

5. Four 10 Question Quizzes

6. Final Exam (50 questions)

On average, the entire home study portion of the Knowledge Development phase can be completed in 2-4 weeks at a leisurely pace.

2. Confined Water Sessions

Confined Water Photo

During the Confined Water phase of your training you will complete:

1. A waterskills assessment
2. Five confined water (pool) dives

Most importantly - if you haven’t tried scuba before you will get to take your first breath of air underwater!

Waterskills Assessment

The waterskills assessment is a basic demonstration of your ability to handle yourself safely in water and consists of:

  1. 200 Yard Surface Swim
  2. 10 Minute Tread / Float

Confined Water Dives

You will complete a total of 5 confined water dives, each gradually adding new skills while ensuring you are able to progress and a comfortable pace. By the end of your pool sessions you will have watched your instructor demonstrate 18 specific scuba skills, and you will have completed those same skills yourself.

The focus of these skill sessions is not to pass or fail you as a new diver; the emphasis is on learning and skill mastery. If you have difficulty mastering a skill you can always try again later - even if it means you have to come back another weekend!

What is most important is that you remember it's all about having fun while learning to be a safe diver. So, don’t worry, have fun, and enjoy one of the most memorable learning experiences you’ve probably ever had!

3. Open Water Sessions

Devil's Lake

In the pool you watched your instructor before learning each of the skills necessary to dive safely in the open water, then you worked through each of those skills until you mastered them. In the open water sessions you will be completing those same exact skills, this time in a real diving environment like Lake Mendota or Devil’s Lake.

  1. Dive 1 - mask skills, regulator skills & buoyancy
  2. Dive 2 - mask flood, buoyancy, & emergency ascent
  3. Dive 3 - hovering, mask removal, & navigation
  4. Dive 4 - underwater exploration (& any skills still needing work)
  5. Dive 5 - optional Adventure Dive

The Paperwork

Once you have completed your knowledge development and diving, the only thing left to do is fill out your certification paperwork, take your photo, and get your temporary certification card.

Within 2 weeks (typically closer to 1 week) you will have your lifetime certification as a PADI Open Water Diver.

Once you have your certification in-hand, that’s when the real adventure begins!

Course price includes everything you need (no hidden costs)

  1. Lifetime certification as a PADI Open Water Diver
  2. Open Water Crew Pack - manual, dive table & log book
  3. Rental equipment - scuba, snorkeling gear, wetsuit, & wetsuit boots
  4. Two weekends of training
  5. All air fills for pool and open water dives
  6. All Pool fees

Required Forms for Training

  1. Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding
  2. Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement
  3. Medical Statement and Divers Medical Questionnaire
  4. Open Water Record and Referral Form
  5. AquaMunkee Student Information

AquaMunkee Scuba is a PADI training facility, focused on the PADI approach to diver education and also offering training through the related organizations DSAT/Tec Rec and Emergency First Response.