By Kevin Stewart Padi Instructor #188980

A PADI open water diving student learns buoyancy control

You have thinking about taking your Open Water Diver Course for a long time and now you are ready to take the plunge “pun intended”! Now that you have taken the first step in deciding to become a certified diver the next step is to decide how and where to do it? First you may want to look at the different training agencies that offer certification courses as there are actually many to choose from. The biggest ones in the world are Padi, Naui, SSI along with many other smaller ones. All the training agencies offer introductory courses centered around universal safe diving standards and as such your certification will allow you to dive all around the world. I may be biased as a Padi instructor of course but what I can honestly tell you about Padi is that it is the largest diving agency in the world and issues more diving certifications than any of the others. In fact, there is a good chance that if you asked a certified diver what agency they learned to dive with they may very well say Padi and is a huge way that people choose Padi because someone they know is a Padi diver. No matter which training agency you choose they pretty much offer courses in the same matter with just a few differences between them.

All open water diver courses will consist of three modules, academics, confined water training and open water training dives. For academics most of the training agencies now offer e-learning courses which allow you to do the course work from home or anywhere really on your own time and pace unless you really want to spend time in a classroom? The confined water generally takes less than a day in either a swimming pool or possibly shallow bay to learn the basic dive skills before repeating most of them on open water dives. The open water dives take place in either the ocean or possibly lakes and quarries doing 4 dives over two days. There are some variances but in general now days after you complete your academics you can complete the rest of your open water course in 3 days and is the way we conduct our courses in Kona Hawaii.  This is quite a bit different than how I learned back in the 1990s when it took approximately three weeks to learn the same thing doing course work on nights and weekends. In fact, Padi for instance allows you to break up your course even more to make it even easier to compete your open water course depending on your schedule and needs which I will get into more of shortly.

Now that you have an idea on to how to take your open water course lets discuss where you should choose to take it such as possibly Kona Hawaii. You first look at the possibility of doing your course close to home with a local dive shop which I would never deter you from doing if possible? This may get you into the water even sooner along with achieving your goal of becoming a certified diver if you are not planning on going on an exotic dive trip for a while. The thing is do you have a local dive shop in your area and if you did want to become a Padi open water diver is it a Padi dive center? If not and Padi is the way you want to learn to dive then choosing to do your open water course in Kona Hawaii is the way to go as we have many Padi dive centers here including the one I work for Kona Honu Divers. Even if you do have a Padi dive center close to you where will you be doing your open water dives? Not everyone lives by the ocean and even so you may not live by tropical warm water such as we have in Kona Hawaii. Some people are just averse to diving in colder water even when wearing thick wetsuits etc. so if the thought of diving in 65-degree or colder water is not for you then choosing to do your open water course in Kona Hawaii’s 80 waters might sound a lot better. Have you thought about what you will be seeing during your open water training dives? If another goal of yours is to dive with schools of colorful tropical fish then diving in quarries or even lakes may not help you to achieve your goal but choosing to do your open water diver course in Kona Hawaii will as it is loaded with all sorts of Tropicals and other amazing sea creatures. But let’s say you are way too excited to wait until you can take your trip to Kona Hawaii to at least get going on your course and you really want to get wet and start learning you dive skills. And lets also suppose that you really want to only do two days of your course on your trip to Kona Hawaii so that you can spend more time doing more fun dives and have more time to enjoy all the amazing top side attractions that Kona Hawaii has to offer then I have good news for you!

Padi along with most of the other major diving agencies allows you to start your open water course in one place and finish it in another if you choose. So, if you do have a local Padi dive shop in your area to start with you could contact them and do your academics either through e-learning or possibly in class and with that shop do confined water training with them. They will then write you what is called a referral to take to another Padi dive center such as Kona Honu Divers in Kona Hawaii to finish your four open water dives in the warm clear waters of Kona Hawaii. Now in just two days you are a Padi certified diver!

If you choose to do all or part of your open water diver course in Kona Hawaii you will love it, I am sure for its warm clear waters and abundant fish life that most divers in the world look for. You can book your Padi dive course with Kona Honu Divers @ a full service Padi dive center in Kona Hawaii for all your diving needs.