Open Water Certification
Your passport to the underwater world
Thank you for joining Guardian Scuba’s Open Water Diver program. We love scuba diving, and we love teaching students about the beauty and excitement of safely exploring the underwater world.
Guardian Scuba offers the best educational format available as it incorporates online and in-class academic instruction. This allows you to complete most of the academic instruction at your own pace and schedule, but still includes real life knowledge and expertise from your instructor during in-person sessions.
In addition to academic instruction, you will spend approximately 8 hours learning and practicing in the pool in order to gain mastery of all skills needed to be a confident and competent diver in the open water.
While there are a lot of new things to learn, we’ll make the learning FUN! The following is a course summary which will answer many of your questions. However, feel free to contact your instructor for clarification or to answer any further questions.
The Open Water Diver Certification course includes:
• SSI's Online Academic Course
• Open Water Diver Manual
• All Instruction, Confined Water and Open Water Training
• All pool fees and site/charter fees
• Air/Nitrox Dive Tables
• All top quality scuba equipment including dive computer for use during your training
• Upon satisfactory completion of all requirements, you will receive your SSI Certification Card.
This fee does not include: your own mask, snorkel, fins or wetsuit boots. You will need to obtain these for your in-water activities during class. These are critical fit personal items. We also suggest your own full wetsuit.
We utilize a number of academic tools to offer a more convenient, streamlined approach to dive training than the long lecture format of the past.
1) SSI Online Course: Once you register for the course, and 'associate' with Guardian Scuba, you may begin the content online. At the end of each section, you will complete the Study Guide Questions and any incorrect answers will prompt you to review the question and answer again. Once you have correctly answered all questions for that section, you can move through the remaining material. Upon completion of Section 6, Guardian Scuba will be notified that you have completed the Online Academics and a Certificate of Completion will be produced for both you and your instructor to sign and verify completion.
2) Textbook: Yes, online learning is convenient, but many students prefer to use a printed textbook and having a manual to review at a later date is an excellent way to 'refresh' your knowledge. It is recommended to underline, highlight, and complete the self-study questions in each Section.
(If you prefer to use these study questions instead of the Online Study Guide Questions, you will need to schedule a time to meet with your instructor so that he/she can grade each section and review any that you marked wrong.)
3) Combined Air/EANx Dive Tables: Most divers today use dive computers to help them easily calculate and plan dives. The rental gear you will be using for your course will include a modern, easy to use dive computer. We’ll explain Air Dive Tables and EANx Dive Tables so you’ll understand the benefits of both. However, we still believe there is a benefit in understanding Dive Tables and your Student Kit includes the SSI combined dive tables along with their instructions, located in the Appendix of the Open Water Diver Manual. Your instructor will review Dive Table use during your weekend academic session. Bring completed SSI Dive Tables Study Guide Questions (pgs. A-21) to class.
4) SSI Open Water Diver DVD: Before completion of the course, you will need to watch the Open Water Diver DVD. It is designed to correspond with each of the six sections in your online/text materials.
5) Academic Review & Final Exam: After completing Academics, at your own pace, you should feel very comfortable with a good understanding of the fundamentals of dive equipment, underwater environment, the effects of pressure, etc. However, most students will have at least a few questions, and all students will benefit from an experienced instructor to review and further explain the academic information you completed on your own. For this reason, your instructor will spend 2-4 hours with you to make the material relevant by tying it to real-world scenarios. Before the end of your class, he/she will administer and correct your Final Exam which is the final academic requirement of the Open Water Diver Course.
NOTE: The format of the course depends on having the Academics & DVD portion completed prior to the start of class. For this reason, students who have not completed all course materials in advance may be requested to reschedule the course to a future date when they are fully prepared. A fee of $100 may be assessed if required to change classes due to incompletion of the required Academics and DVD portion.
You will need to provide your own mask, snorkel, and scuba fins for the course. Please have these items before your class. We recommend open heel scuba fins and wetsuit boots. This is because they typically provide better fit, more warmth, power in currents and protection from coral and rocks during shore dives. We also suggest that you have your own 2-3mm full wetsuit, which is perfect for the pool sessions but is also the most common dive suit for tropical waters.
Buoyancy compensators, regulators, dive computer, weights, and tanks will be provided as part of the training. However, any experienced diver will tell you that training and diving in your own equipment is the best option if your budget allows.
Scuba gear is very size specific. Getting outfitted by a West Marine Associate is the ideal way to ensure your gear is just right for you based on fit, comfort and budget. Please allow 1 hour to try on and select these items. Westmarine.com also offers a full range of MARES products; and with their generous return policy, you can exchange any items at the store that may not fit. Great gear that is fitted to you will prevent issues like leaky masks, poor fitting fins or an uncomfortable wetsuit that can distract your training experience. West Marine's sizing and comfort guarantee, best pricing assurance, and expert consultation service are reasons we have partnered with them.