What is the difference between the Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver?
You may have heard people refer to themselves as “scuba divers” or just “I’m a diver”. You might have never come across the term Open Water Diver until you have started searching for information regarding diving course. In general, when people say they have a diving license, ticket or scuba certification the are usually talking about an Open Water Certification which allows you to :
- Obtain air fills
- Rent dive equipment
- Dive on your own with a buddy to a depth of 18 meters
- Book boat dives
- Take additional (advanced) classes
- Dive all around the world
So now you have come across this Scuba Diver Course and you might wonder what this is all about? The Scuba Diver Course is a little bit more than half the Open Water Diver Course and you can compare it a bit with obtaining a learner’s permit when learning how to drive. It is an intermediate step towards full certification for divers who:
- Don’t have the time to complete the entire Open Water Course
- Can’t finish their open water training due to certain (often unforeseeable) circumstances
- Only want to dive with certified guides to a maximum of 12 meters
What are the benefits of diving deeper than 12 meters?
As a scuba diver your depth is limited to 12 meters and you can only dive with a dive professional. There are thousands of amazing dive sites in the world that can been dived at 12 meters or less. However, being able to dive deeper opens up even more dive sites and also the chance for more advanced dive training. Additionally, some marine species live in deeper waters. Being able to dive deeper increases your chances on seeing them.
Can I upgrade a scuba diver certification?
Sure! You pretty much only have to finish the Open Water Diver Course by returning to the pool for some more advanced skill practice and conduct two more open water dives to a maximum depth of 18 meters. You will have to pass another exam as well but if you have passed the first one, this one won’t be much more complicated.
Can I try scuba diving before signing up for the course?
Of course you can! If you don’t know if diving is really for you, you can also simply start with a Discover / Intro Dive. In effect, your introduction to diving is the same as the first part of the Scuba Diver Course. We will teach you some theory, jump into the swimming pool to practice some skills and top off the adventure with a visit to Nemo & Co. If you liked the Discover Scuba Diving program and your first Open Water Dive, you can simply continue with the Scuba Diver or Open Water Course with no financial disadvantage.
Can I do the theory online before I arrive on the island?
Yes! Once you have paid for the course and you would like to already start with reading dive theory, we can help you to get access to the online package. With SSI you simply download the app, create an account and register with our dive center. Once this is done, we will send you the theory package and you can do all theory including all knowledge reviews and most exams in the app.
PADI does not include the eLearning automatically into the overall package. Nevertheless, we will be able to send you the digital book which you can read before your arrival. Should you be interested in PADI eLearning it is best to get in touch with us beforehand.
Is the theory difficult?
No! A 10 year old can pass it so most adults won’t have any problems with it.
The theory is divided into different chapters and each chapter is accompanied by videos, knowledge reviews and/or quizzes. At the same time your instructor will explain the dive theory during classroom sessions. He/she will prepare you well for the final exam so you will just cruise through it. In the unlikely event of you failing the exam, your instructor will review the theory with you again and work on your weaknesses and you will redo the exam (a different one).
What is confined water and what will I do there?
We conduct our dive training in our purpose build training pool which classifies as confined water. You and your instructor will practice all required exercises together. Your instructor will explain the skills on the surface and demonstrates them before you will perform them yourself.
What will I learn on the open water dives?
The fun part are the open water dives. You will experience different dive sites to a maximum depth of 12 meters. You will also repeat certain skills that you have already learned during the confined sessions. The skills will take up five to ten minutes of your dive time but most of your time underwater will be spend exploring. After the dives we will take some time to log your dives and learn about the marine life you have met.
How long will my certification last?
The scuba diver certification is valid your entire life and in theory it is recognized worldwide. In real life, we have found out that in some areas in the world a scuba diver is not regarded as a full certification and you will still be charged a discover scuba dive if you are planning on diving. Therefore, it is a good idea to upgrade the Scuba Diver license to Open Water should you want to make diving your hobby and dive at different dive locations around the world.
Do I need to change a junior certification?
No, once you or your child turns 15 the certification automatically counts as a “normal” adult certification. However, if you wish to change it, just contact the diving agency and they will be able to remove the “junior” part.
What if I have health issues?
There are some serious conditions such as epilepsy, active asthma, emphysema, heart disease or haemophilia that could prohibit any diving activity. Please check out the attached medical form. If you answer any of the questions with “yes”, then you need to see a doctor to get a fit for diving certificate. There are also doctors on the Gili Islands that can examine you and issue this certificate, so don’t worry if you didn’t check the medical form beforehand.
What’s the difference between PADI and SSI?
If you are interested in getting your scuba diving certification, you’ve probably come across PADI and SSI, the two major training agencies in the world. But is there a big difference or is one better than the other?
Instructors of both agencies will teach you how to be a skilled diver, as there is a certain skill set that every diver needs to have. Therefore, all diving agencies follow a legal framework laid down by the World Recreational Scuba Diving Council. The training agencies also accept each other; hence you could do one course with the one and other courses with another agency.
The main difference is in the theoretical education, requirements and certification costs. And of course, much comes down to personal preferences and other factors such as the teaching skills of your instructor and the conditions of the water.
SSI allows more flexibility in teaching methods and allows a more personalized approach in teaching. Also, SSI is app-based and slightly more digitalized than PADI. Therefor we have chosen SSI as our primary teaching agency. Should you prefer a PADI course, just let us know in the booking – this is also absolutely no problem.
Why should I do a diving course on the Gili Islands?
Postcard-like white sandy beaches, azure and year-round warm waters (28 to 29 degrees), the reef on your doorstep and a great lifestyle – does this sound like paradise to you? But that’s not it – the Gilis are known as the turtle capital in the world. Rightfully so, because both green and hawksbill turtles are abundant. Reef sharks are also frequently spotted and there is a broad range of marine life to be met on all dives. The dive sites are rarely more than a 15-minute boat ride away and diving is great all year round. The dry season is running from May to October and the rainy season from November to April. Rainy season sounds more extreme than it actually is because it hardly ever rains an entire day – expect showers at different severity but therefore less people.
Why should I choose Divine Divers?
Because we are simply awesome! 🙂 We love what we do and we do it well! We have been in the game for over 10 years as Divine Divers on Gili Meno but our love for diving didn’t start there. Being passionate divers ourself, we have dived all over the world. Sometimes you come across dive centers that just have the little extra. A place you enter and you just feel at home. Being surrounded by likeminded people in a chill yet professional atmosphere. This is exactly what we had in mind when setting up Divine Divers and we are trying our best to keep this spirit up. Generally, our main differentiator is our personal approach – and of course our location at the most perfect sunset point on the island. What better way is there to end the perfect diving day where the sky meets the ocean?
Apart from that our groups are small and our instructors hand chosen for their personality and excellent teaching records. Safety is our primary concern; our equipment is in excellent order and of course regularly maintained. We are committed to offering first-class service and high quality dive courses.