Classes FAQ
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Classes FAQ

  • What does SCUBA stand for?

    SCUBA is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

  • What does PADI stand for?

    PADI is an acronym for Professional Association of Dive Instructors. It is the training organization that creates our scuba curriculum, certifies scuba instructors and provides the training materials used in our classes.

  • What if I answer YES to any of the questions on the medical questionnaire?

    If you answer YES to any of the questions on the medical questionnaire, you will need to see your doctor and get clearance to dive. Download the PADI Medical Statement from our website at, and have your doctor sign on the second page. You will not be able to start class until this form has been completed.

  • What do I need to bring to class?

    We get in the pool during every class session, so plan accordingly. We recommend bringing a pen, paper for taking notes, swimsuit and a towel. As we will be scuba diving on day one, you may also consider purchasing your own mask, snorkel and fins. A proper fitting mask is vital to your success, and being distracted by a leaking mask will challenge your learning experience. We offer a wide variety of choices at the store to make sure you get a proper fit. And should your first choice of mask not fit quite right, you can easily exchange it prior to your next class for something that fits.

    You will also need your Student File Packet, access to your digital eRDPML and logbook.

  • What if I miss a class?

    We teach you to crawl before you learn how to walk, so attending each class is vital. Should you need to miss a class, just make sure it was worth it. You will need to schedule a make-up session prior to the next scheduled class at a cost of $50 per hour.

  • What if I can't keep up with the pace of the class, or have to miss multiple sessions?

    Everyone learns at their own pace, and a group class may not be the right fit for you. Sometimes a slower pace, or more individualized attention, is the difference between feeling competent in scuba and feeling like you'd rather take up surfing! We can transfer you to a private course for a nominal fee if you feel the extra time will be valuable to your learning experience.

  • Do I need to be a great swimmer to scuba dive?

    Basic swim skills and comfort in the water is more vital to your success than Michael Phelps swimming skills! You will need to complete a 200 yard swim OR 300 yard snorkel, plus float or tread water for 10 minutes in the deep end of the pool, so rudimentary swimming skills are needed. We do offer private swimming lessons should you need help getting past this obstacle to diving.

  • What if I lose my card?

    Replacement cards, name changes on cards and upgrades from Junior certifications can be processed through the store. The cost is about $40.

  • Where can I do my Open Water Certification dives?

    Depending upon the time of year determines your options for completing your certification dives. During the summer months (June through September), we offer training dives locally at Aurora Reservoir. From October through May, we visit our winter wonderland, Homestead Crater, for dives in a 93 degree geothermal hot spring. You can also complete your dives anywhere in the world, what we call a referral. Our Travel Center can help arrange these dives, as well as assist with all your travel planning needs.

  • How many dives do I need to complete to get certified?

    You need to complete four open water certification dives, done over two days, with skills performed on each dive, to earn the rating of PADI Open Water Diver.

  • When will I get my certification card?

    Upon completion of your open water certification dives, you will be issued a temporary card that is valid for 90 days. Once your paperwork is submitted to PADI, it takes approximately 3-4 weeks to process your permanent certification card.

  • What am I breathing in a scuba tank?

    A common mistake people make is referring to a scuba tank as an oxygen tank. Although you can train to use higher percentages of oxygen with the Enriched Air Nitrox class, your scuba cylinder for class will be filled with air, the same stuff you are breathing right now.

  • What is the difference between Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver?

    When most people speak of getting scuba certified, they are referring to the Open Water Diver certification. The Open Water Diver is a full certification that allows a person to rent air, scuba dive to a depth of up to 130', and dive independently with a buddy during their dive travels.

    The Scuba Diver course is a shortened version of the Open Water Diver course. It covers only 3 of the 5 classroom sessions, 3 of the 5 pool sessions and only 2 open water certification dives. This certification limits you to a max depth of 40', requires you to dive with a dive professional (Divemaster or Instructor) and limits your ability to rent air tanks.

  • How deep can I go?

    That depends! Your level of training and experience should dictate your depth. As a PADI Open Water Diver, you are certified to dive as deep as 130'. But just as I wouldn't ski a black diamond run, I wouldn't recommend cruising towards Davey Jones Locker during your first dive trip.

    During your certification dives, you were trained at a depth no greater than 60'. As a general rule, you should adhere to this depth limit until your experience or knowledge increases. Students completing the Advanced Open Water Diver course will gain experience at depths up to 100' under direct supervision. This additional training provides the skill set to increase your personal maximum depth limits. Completing the Deep Diver Specialty course, or gaining additional time diving with dive professionals, will expand your comfort at deeper depths.

  • Will my Scuba certification expire?

    No, your scuba certification does not expire. But your skills and competence will decrease over time. If it's been more than two years since your last dive, you will need to take a Scuba Refresher course. Or better yet, just keep diving. Between exotic dive vacations, local diving in our reservoirs and craters, or an evening in our pool, there's no excuse to let your skills get rusty. You could also expand your diving knowledge with one of our many continuing education courses!

  • OK, you've avoided this question long enough - what about the man-eating sharks?!?

    Everyone knows sharks prefer surfers over divers! But in reality, the "man-eating" shark tale is truly a myth. Yes, attacks do happen, but these are usually a result of either mistaken identity or people deliberately harassing the animals. Scuba divers look and sound nothing like a sharks primary food source, and we are usually excited just to see a shark swimming in the distance, let alone worry about it coming in for a taste.

    Spearfishing, baiting and feeding sharks and other predators has been known to change their behavior, and can result in injuries, usually to the person doing the feeding. Caution should be exercised if you partake in any of these activities