You may have heard people say, “I’ m a scuba diver”, “I’m a PADI Diver” or “I’m a RAID Diver”, but what is an Open Water diver then? Here is what you need to know:
When people say they have a diving license or a scuba certification, they’re talking about an Open Water certification.
Now an Open Water Diver certification card allows you to:
- Obtain air fills
- Rent dive equipment
- Dive on your own with a buddy
- Book boat dives
- Take additional classes such as the Nitrox course
When people refer to PADI or RAID they are referring to the Certifying Organization and that they completed either the RAID Open Water Course or the PADI Open Water Course– See we differences between the two and choose the one that fits you, they are both great.
So what’s the Scuba Diver Course all about? The Scuba Diver course is a subset of the Open Water Diver course. Completing the Scuba Diver course is a bit like obtaining a learner’s permit when learning to drive.
It’s an intermediate step towards full scuba certification for people who:
- Don’t have the time to complete the entire Open Water Course
- Can’t finish their Open Water training
- Only wants to dive with a Professional
RAID Scuba Diver vs. RAID Open Water Diver: Maximum Depth
Scuba Divers: may only dive under the direct supervision of a Professional to a maximum depth of 12 meters.
Open Water Divers: can plan and execute dives with a certified buddy or dive professional to a maximum depth of 20 meters.
PADI Scuba Diver vs. PADI Open Water Diver: Maximum Depth
Scuba Divers: may only dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 12 meters.
Open Water Divers: can plan and execute dives with a certified buddy or dive professional to a maximum depth of 18 meters.
Scuba Diver Vs. Open Water Diver: Course Requirements
Scuba Diver (2-3 days)
- Learn fundamental concepts about scuba through ONLINE or classroom instruction
- Complete three of five confined water (pool) skill practice sessions
- Complete two of four open water diver
The Scuba Diver course is (roughly) the first half of the Open Water Diver course. It overlooks some of the more challenging skills and is a good choice for people who have limited time, or for young children.
Open Water Diver (4-7 days)
- Learn fundamental concepts about scuba through ONLINE or classroom instruction (knowledge development)
- Complete five confined water (pool) skill practice sessions
- Complete four open water ocean dives
Upgrading from Scuba Diver to Open Water Diver
Scuba Divers may upgrade to an Open Water Diver certification by completing a surface swim, two additional knowledge development modules, a quiz and exam, two confined water sessions and two open water dives.