Frequently Asked Questions
Online Open Water Diver Course Questions
Is it difficult to learn to
Heavens no! If it were hard, we couldn't have done it! You do not need to be
an expert swimmer, only comfortable in the water. The equipment, which may
be heavy or bulky outside the water, is designed to make your experience
easier, safer and more efficient.
This costs a bunch of money
for something that I may do only once a year!
Your certification card has no expiration date. What you're learning are
skills that hopefully will last you a lifetime. Sure, diving costs money,
but it's comparable to any exciting outdoor challenging recreation. You'll
meet nice people, go to great places, and you'll be with people who are
interested in the same thing- enjoying the underwater world! The basic
equipment that you'll buy (mask, fins, snorkels, boots, etc.) can last for
your entire diving life!
Living in Western Colorado,
we're not really close to you. Any way to cut down on the driving?
Absolutely. Our online or CD-Rom academic program can cut your travel time
in half! Your travel can be limited to visiting with us at the Montrose
Recreation Center in Montrose or Bill Heddles
Recreation Center in Delta for your confined water work.
I'm not a youngster? Can us
"more mature" folks dive?
Are you kidding? Of course! You just have to be in reasonable physical and
emotional shape. We've taught young folks who are 10 years old and folks in
their 70s! There's no age limit to having fun!
I'm OK with learning to
dive, but my partner is a little nervous. What can you do to help?
It's normal to be a bit nervous (or maybe it's just excitement!). Breathing
underwater isn't natural! But, like anything, with training, experience, and
perhaps some handholding for confidence, we've found that just about anyone
who wants to can learn to dive and enjoy it!
I've got some physical
problems. Can those be overcome? I also take some medication. Does that
Your safety is paramount to us. Before you sign up for a class, we ask that
you complete a medical questionnaire. If there's any question, we'll ask you
to visit your physician who makes the ultimate decision as to your health
Is there lots to remember?
Learning to dive is not a test! Your academic program will contain a test,
but the SDI system is easy! While other agencies teach with tables, charts,
and lots of mathematics and theory; we teach you how to dive using a dive
computer. Using a computer is safer and easier than using tables and charts.
Takes the guesswork out of it. Sure, you have to learn how to use the
computer, but if you can read, you can use the computer! Scuba is an
equipment intensive sport and it's important to know how to work the stuff
and to know what it does, but once you master it, it's like riding a
I plan to dive only on
vacation. Can't I just do the Intro or Resort Courses once a year?
Sure, you could, but with that limited diving, you're never on your own.
You're someone else's responsibility. There are usually stricter limits on
your dives. It's comparable to a driver's "learners permit" rather than
having your license.
All right. I'm ready. What's
Call or email us for all the details. When you train with us, you'll enter
into a "contract" that fully explains what we expect of you and what you can
expect from us. There's no questions, and no surprises!
How exactly do I learn to
Becoming a certified diver is a 2 part process: the academics together with
confined water training and the open water evaluation or open water
checkout. In the first part, you'll learn all the physics and what diving
does to your body, as well as what safe diving is and why it's important. In
the pool, you'll learn all the basic skills necessary to scuba. During the
second part, "open waters", you'll demonstrate a level of proficiency to the
satisfaction of a scuba instructor.
The academics can be accomplished the "traditional" way- watching an audio
visual aid (DVD or VCR), reading a manual, answering questions at the end of
each chapter and spending classroom time with your instructor who will
insure that you have 100% comprehension of the material. The instructor may
also expand on the academic material. Or, you can complete the academic
portion using SDI's on-line or CD-Rom training program. It's easy and fun.
You go at your own pace and on your own time from your computer. No
classroom. You'll also have a manual for later reference.
Either way, you then will go with your fellow classmates and your instructor
to the pool. Here you'll learn the water skills, as well as have fun! Water
training usually consists of 2 or 3 three- or four-hour sessions. If you
need or want more water time, we'll do it. You only have to pay the pool use
fees and a tank charge.
Upon successful completion of the academics and confined water training,
your final step is to complete "open waters". You can do that with us
locally or by traveling to Utah. Or you can do them on a group trip. Or you
can complete them by referral with a transcript of your training that you
can take to any instructor of a recognized training agency, who will do the
open water checkout.
OK, I've completed my basic
certification, what's next?
Well, you can take additional training which adds to your skills, can make
you more comfortable, and ups the level of your scuba education. You can
take individual Specialty Classes, bundle Specialties to become an Advanced
Diver, or go all the way up to becoming an instructor! We approach
additional training as not just training, but gaining experience. Ask us.
We'll explain it all.
What's my C card?
C card is an abbreviation for your certification card. After successful
completion of your training, whether it's Basic Open Water, Specialty,
Advanced or beyond, you'll receive a certification card. That card
recognizes you as a trained diver who is able to dive and rent equipment.
How is taking the SDI online
course different from the classroom instruction?
The primary advantage of these options is that you can attend scuba class in
the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. You can either log
into the online classroom or pop the CD into your computer anytime you have
a few minutes to work on your lessons, quizzes, and reading assignments. The
course fits into your schedule because you can work on your training any
time of the day or night. We understand that online courses are not for
everyone. Learning over the internet or using the CD is a solitary activity.
If you want face-to-face interaction or don't have the discipline to
complete the lessons, you would do better to choose classroom training.
What happens if I answer
"yes" on the medical form?
When you answer "yes" on the medical form, the next form you will see is a
physician sign-off that you will need to print out and bring to a physician
along with the medical history form.
If I answer "yes" on the
medical form, will I be able to continue taking the online portion of the
Yes, you will be able to continue with the online course but you will need
to have the medical form and release completed before you can participate in
confined or open water activities.
Do you sell equipment?
Yes, we offer a full range of product that can fit a diver's needs. We
may have to order it, but we can get about anything you want or need.
Do you sell equipment online
or over the phone?
Yes, certain products are available. See our sales page.
Do you organize group trips?
We do not organize group trips at this time. If you have somewhere you would
like to go, we'd be happy to let you know anything we know about it and the
diving available there. We can help you choose
accommodations and dive operators that will make your stay memorable.
Are there regularly
scheduled trips for Open Water Certification?
No, there is no schedule for Open Water Certification trips. We work with
each student to schedule trips specifically for their certification.