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Open Water Scuba Diver Course

Get Certified!

Quick Details

Prerequisites:

  • 10+ years old
  • Be able to swim 400 meters and float for 10 minutes

Open Water Scuba Diver Course

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, discover new adventures, or simply see the wondrous world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. 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.

Gear Required:

  • Mask, snorkel, boots, scuba fins (Not full-foot snorkeling fins), dive watch/timing device, gear bag
    • Your bag MUST be large enough to fit your snorkeling gear plus ALL rental gear, including a wetsuit, BCD and regulator. If you do not wish to purchase a bag, you may rent one for $5 per day
  • Gear is likely to cost $325-$400 if you don’t own it already

There are three steps to getting certified:

  • Step One: Schedule a Class
  • There are two scheduling options: Weekend and Private

    Open Water Course – Weekend

    Our regular Weekend Open Water Scuba courses are offered two times each month and take place between a Wednesday and a Sunday (excluding Friday):

    Wednesday night (class) 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Thursday night (pool) 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Saturday (class + pool) 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Sunday (pool + exam) 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    Check out the calendar to the left to see all start dates for normal weekend Open Water Scuba classes (listed in green). The cost for this course is $575, which includes the course manual and DVD, dive tables, dive log, certification card application fee, rental gear, medical dive insurance, instructor fees and pool fees. It does not include the cost of your personal snorkeling gear or the cost of your four required certification dives, which are scheduled separately. (See below.)

    Prerequisites for this course:

    • 12+ years old (10 and 11-year old students must enroll in a private class.)
    • Be able to swim 400 meters and float for 10 minutes

    Open Water Course – Private

    The private schedule seminar is an option for those of you who want one-on-one instruction to become certified and would like to do it on your own schedule. The course consists of of 1 class and 3 pool sessions to be completed within 3 weeks. The cost of the private course is $500.00, plus $179.00 paid directly to PADI for access to a digital version of the course manual and DVD. Like the weekend Open Water Course, this course cost includes a crew pack, safety sausage, whistle, planning slate, classroom session and pool training dives with an instructor, all rental equipment, medical dive insurance, and the certification card fee. It does not include the cost of your personal snorkeling gear or the cost of your four required certification dives, which are scheduled separately. (See below.) To get started with your private class, register here for PADI’s e-Learning course, and list Charleston Scuba as your certifying dive shop. Then, contact us to schedule your orientation and pool sessions.

    Prerequisites for this course:

    • 10+ years old
    • Be able to swim 400 meters and float for 10 minutes

  • Step Two: Get Your Gear
  • Before your Open Water class starts, you’ll need to come into the store to purchase the following items:

    • Mask
    • Snorkel
    • Boots
    • Scuba fins (Not full-foot snorkeling fins)
    • Gear bag (Your bag MUST be large enough to fit your snorkeling gear plus ALL rental gear, including a wetsuit, BCD and regulator. If you do not wish to purchase a bag, you may rent one for $5 per day)
    • Dive watch or timing device (Must have for final pool session on Sunday. We have several simple digital dive watches for $45-$65, and more expensive analogue watches for $145-$160.)

    After the class, but before your first open water dive, you will also need to purchase a cutting tool or dive knife.

    Altogether, this gear is likely to cost $325-$400, depending on the quality of the items you choose. If you already have some or all of this gear, please bring it with you on the first day of class to be evaluated by your instructor.

  • Step Three: Schedule Your Dives
  • After you finish your Open Water course, you must schedule four training dives in open water to complete your certification. You have four options for scheduling your certification dives:

    1. During the summer season (May through October) we conduct these training dives locally within one to two weeks after the completion of an Open Water course. These dives are a total of $210 and take place on a Saturday and Sunday:
      • Dives 1 and 2 in Trophy Lakes on Johns Island ($65)
      • Dives 3 and 4 offshore at the Charleston 60 ($145)
    2. During the winter months when we aren’t able to certify locally, we run trips to Florida to conduct these dives. We visit Rainbow River and Silver Springs about once per month November through March. Total costs for these trips is $460, assuming double occupancy in the hotel. Cost includes 4 dives over 2 days.
    3. You may also do you open water certification dives on one of our international dive trips! These trips are always lead by a Charleston Scuba instructor, who will be more than happy to introduce you to diving in some of the most beautiful conditions in the world. Click here to check out our list of 2018 dive destinations.
    4. Some students plan to do their dives at other PADI dive centers while on vacation. We’re happy to assist students with a referral.

    Certification dives must be completed within one year of the last pool training session. Students completing their open water dives more than one year after the completion of their course must attend a pool refresher at a cost of $75. Rental gear is included in the cost of all certification dives if they are completed with Charleston Scuba. If you are a referral student from another PADI dive center, the cost to complete your certification is $300, plus the cost of your dives. (Referral fee includes instructor fees, rental gear, certification card, and a pool/classroom assessment.)

  • More Information
  • Please note that the course schedule outlined above is on an accelerated timetable and may not be appropriate for all students. Should we feel the need to do so, we may move you to a three-week class with additional pool or classroom time to improve your skill level.

    You may be eligible to receive college credit for PADI courses. The American Council on Education recommends 2 semester credit hours for Open Water Diver. Contact your college or university to find out if they will accept credit.

    *NOTE: Because students schedule their certification dives at their own convenience, students will not always have the same instructor for their certification dives at they did for their Open Water class. Instructors usually schedule themselves to lead certification dives the weekend following their classes, but bad weather sometimes forces them to reschedule. If this happens, and you want to dive with your Open Water class instructor, call the store and we will do our best to schedule you with your instructor at a later date.

    OPEN WATER COURSE CANCELLATION POLICY

    To start the class, students pay a $200.00 non-refundable deposit to obtain their Open Water Crew Packet, with the remaining balance of $375.00 (or $500 for Private courses) plus tax to be paid one week before the first classroom period of the course. Students who drop out of the course less than one week before the first day of class will forfeit the entire cost of the course; students who drop the class more than one week before the course will forfeit the deposit only. No refunds will be given for students who drop the course after the first day of class. However, Charleston Scuba will not penalize students who need to reschedule due to family or medical emergencies.