PADI OPEN WATER DIVER Includes five knowledge session in the theory materials which provide the background information to understand the need for the skills in the corresponding confined water sessions. Next comes pool sessions followed by Open water Dives when you are ready.
scuba dive instructor


This first confined water dive gives your first experience with the dive equipment and will introduce you to a few of the basic skills that every diver needs to know.  You will be show how to set up the equipment, the elements of a pre-dive safety check and how to operate the BCD. In the knowledge element you would have learned the diver hand signs and these will be reviewed and used on the surface and underwater. The most important thing is becoming comfortable. You will be introduced to a few critical skills in this session.

  1. Clearing A Regulator: The regulator is your connection to the air supply. The first stage connects to your tank and feeds air by way of a hose to the second stage. The second stage has a mouthpiece that you gently hold by your lips and teeth. There may be a time during a dive where you will take it out of your mouth. You might shake at the thought but before long, you will take it out so you can smile when someone takes your picture underwater. 
  2. Locate And Recover Regulator: In time, the regulator will drop out of your mouth. Many times it is because you saw something jaw dropping beautiful and when your jaw dropped so did the regulator. 
  3. Clearing A Partially Flooded Face Mask: Even with a great fit, water can sometimes leak into your mask. Clearing the water out is a simple maneuver that is easy to learn. You will use a water displacement method. The instructor will have you gently lift a small portion of the skirt of the mask letting in enough water to half fill the mask. You will use air to expel the water. Just place your hand on the top front portion of the mask to hold it in place to your forehead Then just exhale normally through your nose. The air will go to the top of the mask, as more air comes in it forces the water down and out of the mask.
  4. Use An Alternate Air Source: The regulator setup has a first stage and two second stage regulators. The second one, called an octopus, can be used to share air with your dive buddy.

Your first in water session is focused on the proper use of the BCD, breathing with the regulator, descending safety, preforming the critical task and properly ascend back to the surface and inflate your BCD. 



The second confined water dive builds on the skills all ready learned and just adds a little to what you know.

  1. Buoyancy Control: In the first lesson you learned the fundamentals of the BCD, now we will use that knowledge in connection with buoyancy control. You will use a pre-dive float method to determine the proper amount of weight you need to dive. Then you will adjust your BCD to establish a neutral buoyancy.
  2. Snorkel Use: This session also has elements on the surface using snorkels and changing between a snorkel and a regulator.
  3. Fully Flooded Mask: You will expand on the partially flood mask, learning how to clear a fully flooded mask as well as replace a mask that has been dislodged. 




This dive is a refinement of the previous dives, you will do the same task in different situations. There are only two new skills.

  1. Cramp Release On Self And Buddy: Like any sport activity a cramp can occur at any time. You will learn how to release a cramp on yourself and assisting a buddy.
  2. Emergency Swimming Assent: Your knowledge training will show you the dangers of holding your breath. The emergency swimming assent is a skill to return to the surface if you run out of air. It is designed to allow you to make it to the surface without injury. In training, you will swim horizontally to practice the procedure and you have your scuba available if you need more practice.



By this dive, you will realize the task you took minutes with in the first dive, are now being done without thought in seconds. Most of this dive is the previous skills with only one new task.

  • Tired Diver Tow: You will learn and practice how to assist another diver on the surface that is too tired to return to shore or a boat on their own.



You are just about there and by now should be very comfortable with the task you need to do. During this dive you will be doing it mostly on your own being observed by the instructor. Your new task are

  1. Removal And Replacement Of Scuba Gear In The Water: This is the only new task. You will have to put on your scuba gear except wet suit and fins at the surface. Underwater you will remove your gear and put it back on except for the weights, fins, wet suit and mask.
  2. Conduct A Mini Dive: You and your dive buddy will walk through the steps to plan and execute a dive plan. During the dive, the dive instructor will present you with 3 situations which you need to respond to.


Open water dives  require the student to complete the confined water dives, since skills learned in the pool will be done again in the Open water but without demonstration.