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Interested in your PADI Open Water Certification?

NOT all Open Water Certification courses are created EQUAL!!

Open Water Diver is your first step to beginning your adventures in exploring the underwater environment.  There are many options out there and it can be very confusing on just how to get started off on the right foot.  Here are some tips.

When selecting where your going to do your training here are some questions to ask:


1) Are the classes going to provide the PADI Open Water Certification?  If not, then your not getting the certification from the largest recognized dive training agency in the world.

2) Is the instructor that's going to conduct your classes able to teach follow on specialty classes like wreck diving, deep diving, nitrox diver, u/w video, or others?  If not, then not only will you have to go elsewhere to continue your education, but this might also tell you about the experience level of the instructor that your considering.

3) Is the instructor certified to teach other related courses like Emergency First Response CPR and First Aid? How about Diver Alert Network (DAN) oxygen first aid or related courses?  This will tell you what kind of continuing education that the instructor has undergone besides just getting their instructor rating.

4) Does the course fee include all materials?  DO YOU GET TO KEEP THEM! For example, PADI REQUIRES the following:
  • Open Water Manual and DVD, or Open Water CDROM
  • Dive Tables, Multi-Level or Electronic Recreational Dive Planner (ERDP)
  • Dive log

5) Does the course include all Scuba gear and air fills? Sometimes the air fills for the pool sessions are included, but not for the open water dives, this could cost an additional $30. Is the exposure protection included, or will you need to rent it?  Here in the NW a 7MM suit for a weekend is around $25.  Also, often times the fee for the course depends on the student purchasing their personal snorkeling equipment from the shop where the course is conducted (markup included).

6) How about the equipment used? Is it 10 year old dive gear that has been beat up by student after student?  Is the gear the latest models, still available, something that you would own as a diver, or is it older style "class equipment" often placed into class service because no one else wants it?  This is a common practice as a way of saving money.  After all "...why waste new gear on open water students?" HiTek Scuba says, "WRONG ANSWER!"

7) More questions to ask are: How many hours of classroom instruction? How many hours of pool sessions?  How large is the class size?  You might be surprised at the answers to some of these.  HiTek Scuba has found that more than 6 students in a class in the NW leads to a lower learning level for the students, as does less than 10 hours of classroom, or less than 10 hours of pool work.

8) Is the course approved by the Academic Council on Education (ACE) for college credit?  PADI/HiTek courses are.  Is the class conducted in an optimum learning environment such as a college classroom, or in the back of a noisy, busy dive store somewhere?

9) Finally, where are the open water dives conducted?  True NW divers need to be certified in the cold water environment with conditions equal to where the diver will be diving after certification.  This means a trip to the Puget Sound which incurs extra cost for Portland area residents.  A lake just doesn't cut it.


Here are the HiTek answers to these questions!

PADI Open Water Certification (most recognized) This means you can go anywhere after certification YES
Instructors are Master Scuba Diver Trainers or above Only the most experienced instructors can teach specialties YES
Our instructors are required to complete con-ed training Means that they are more well rounded and up-to-date YES
ALL Materials are included in the course cost No surprise cost additions after you've signed up YES
ALL Scuba gear, exposure protection and air fills incl. Again, no surprises YES
Class equipment is universally less than 2 years old Means, latest styles, quality gear, still market valuable YES
Classes have minimum of 10hrs class and 10hrs pool Instructors are available after hours to answer questions as well, so you really get even more one on one YES
Classes are limited to 6 per instructor Usually include certified Dive Masters as well with 6 students for additional safety YES
Classes are conducted in college classrooms, or similar facilities We use the latest ACE multi-media teaching equipment YES
All open water training is in the Puget Sound Promotes confidence and good skill development, if you learn here diving warm water is easier. YES

For more information on HiTek Scuba's Open Water Diver program specifics, click on the "course specifics" link on the left.

To see a list of classroom topics covered in the open water program, click on the "classroom topics" link on the left.




Send mail to questions@hitekscuba.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2010 HiTek Scuba
Last modified: March 02, 2014