Be adventurous. Be amazed. Be a diver. Your first step is earning your Open Water Diver certification — becoming what is commonly known as a “certified diver.”

Even if you’ve previously taken part in introductory scuba experiences (commonly known as “resort courses” or “Discover Scuba”), you are most likely aware that the best opportunities in diving await those who are fully certified.

In this section, we answer all of the most common questions about learning to dive, including who can learn, what is involved, when can you learn and how much does becoming certified cost? Nevertheless, if you have a question this section doesn’t answer, just call or E-Mail Us us. We will be happy to answer it.

Scuba Diver with Fish | The Dive Shop MI
Who Can Learn?

Pool PracticeJust about anybody who is comfortable and relaxed in the water — and who has the desire — can learn to scuba dive. This includes children as young as ten and seniors well into their seventies.

  • Do you have to be an athlete or a competitive swimmer? Hardly. The only requirement here is that you be able to swim 200 yards (no time limit, any stroke). You also need to be able to tread water, drown proof or float in water too deep to stand for ten minutes. Rarely do we find anyone who has difficulty with this.
  • What about kids? Children ages 10 to 14 can qualify for Junior certification, which requires they dive with an adult until age 15.
  • Don’t certain medical conditions disqualify you from diving? Only very few. So long as you are in good cardiovascular and respiratory health, and not on any drugs that might cause complications under water, getting a physician’s approval to dive is generally easy. And, if you can honestly answer No to all of the questions on the Medical History form, you won’t even have to get your doctor’s okay.

You would be surprised at the range of people who dive. There are even special programs to help paraplegics and quadriplegics experience the underwater world. More than anything else, it just takes desire.

What is Involved?

Becoming certified consists of three phases:

  • Orientation and Self Study
  • Academic Review/Confined-Water Training
  • Open Water Training

Orientation and Self Study

To get started, you’ll meet with one of our staff for your scuba orientation where we will answer questions about your training. We will also review your class schedule, and fit your equipment for class.

Academic Review/Confined-Water Training

Once you have completed your home study you join us for academic review and pool sessions.

Pool Diving

  • In the classroom, your instructor will review the information you’ve gained by working through the self-study materials. He or she will bring this information to life with first-hand examples of how divers apply this information on dive vacations and here at home. Discussions with your instructor and fellow students help you learn and add to the enjoyment.
  • In the pool, your instructor will demonstrate and have you practice diving’s fundamental skills. Like all aspects of learning to dive, pool sessions are fun and enjoyable. They increase your comfort level and make the transition to open water diving easier.

When you’ve completed your academic review and confined-water training, you’ll be ready for the final and most important phase of earning your entry-level diver certification: your open water training dives.

Open Water Training

Ocean Diving

Open water training consists of 4 dives conducted over two days. Each of the sessions consists of the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in the pool, and to make a guided dive under the supervision of your instructor and his or her assistants. As far as open water training goes, you have three options:

  • During warmer weather, you can join us at  Lake Fenton for a weekend of open water training.
  • Throughout the year, The Dive Shop mayconduct a long-weekend trip to Gilboa Quarry in Findley Ohio.
  • If you already have a vacation planned to a warm-water destination anywhere in the world, we can provide you with referral paperwork so that you can complete your training at the dive destination of your choice.

Once you’ve completed your academic review, confined and open water training, you’ll be awarded Open Water Diver certification, your ticket to a lifetime of diving adventure.

How Much?

Practicing in the PoolThe Dive Shop’s beginning scuba courses cost $240.00.
Digital Materials $85.00
The Open Water Test cost $175.00

Course includes:

  • All instruction.
  • A comprehensive package of self-study materials, including the online manual and a training folder.
  • Use of BCs, regulators, tanks, weight belts, and weights.
  • Thermal Protection for Open Waters.

Students are responsible for providing:

  • Transportation to and from the classroom, pool and open water training sites.
  • The personal equipment listed on the What Equipment Will You Need? page.
  • Swim suit, towel and other personal items as needed.
  • Admission to open-water training site and travel expenses. If needed.

Important: Be aware that, if you elect to complete your open water training at a destination of your own choosing, you will be responsible for paying any fees the dive operator at that destination charges for this service. These will vary by dive operator and destination. You can avoid paying any additional fees by completing all of your training with us.

When Can You Start?

The Dive Shop’s beginning scuba courses are available in the following formats: (Click on the format to learn more)

Monday/Wednesday, Weeknight Courses

Classes take place at the following places and times:

  • Classroom sessions take place Monday, for 3 weeks, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Pool sessions take place Wednesday, for 3 weeks, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Open-water training dives take place Saturday and Sunday, at Lake Fenton or Gilboa Quarry

Starting dates include:

  • November 28, 2016
  • January 2, 2017
  • February 6, 2017
  • March 6, 2017
  • April 3, 2017
  • May 1, 2017
  • June 5, 2017
  • July 10, 2017
  • August 7, 2017
  • September 11, 2017
  • October 2, 2017
  • October 30, 2017
  • December 4, 2017
Tuesday/Thursday, Weeknight Courses

Classes take place at the following places and times:

  • Classroom sessions take place Tuesday, for 3 weeks, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Pool sessions take place Thursday, for 3 weeks, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Open-water training dives take place Saturday and Sunday, at Lake Fenton or Gilboa Quarry

Starting dates include:

  • November 29, 2016
  • January 3, 2017
  • February 7, 2017
  • March 7, 2017
  • April 4, 2017
  • May 2, 2017
  • June 6, 2017
  • July 11, 2017
  • August 8, 2017
  • September 12, 2017
  • October 3, 2017
  • October 31, 2017
  • December 5, 2017
Monday/Wednesday, Morning Courses

Classes take place at the following places and times:

  • Classroom sessions take place Monday, for 3 weeks, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Pool sessions take place Wednesday, for 3 weeks, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Open-water training dives take place Saturday and Sunday, at Lake Fenton or Gilboa Quarry

Starting dates include:

  • February 6, 2017
  • April 3, 2017
  • June 5, 2017
  • August 7, 2017
  • October 2,2017
  • December 4, 2017
Saturday Courses

Classes take place at the following places and times:

  • Classroom sessions take place Saturday, for 3 weeks, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Pool sessions take place Saturday, for 3 weeks, from 1:30 pm until 4:00 pm, at The Dive Shop.
  • Open-water training dives take place Saturday and Sunday,  at Lake Fenton or Gilboa Quarry

Starting dates include:

  • January 7, 2017
  • March 11, 2017
  • May 6, 2017
  • July 8, 2017
  • September 9, 2017
  • November 4, 2017
Private Courses?

If neither of our regularly scheduled course formats meets your needs, there is a good possibility we are able to arrange for private instruction on a one-on-one basis with our instructors. Contact us for more information.

Open Water Dates

Now that you have completed your classroom and pool training it’s time to start thinking about getting your open waters completed. We will also offer open waters during the week for those that are interested. Must have 4 students for weekday open waters. Sign up at The Dive Shop.   Here is a list of dates:

  • July 19 & 20, 2017 at Otter Lake
  • July 29 & 30, 2017 at Gilboa Quarry
  • August 5 & 6, 2017 at Otter Lake
  • September 9 & 10,2017 at Otter Lake
  • September 23 & 24, 2017 at Otter Lake
  • October 7 & 8, 2017 at Otter Lake
  • October 21 & 22 at Gilboa Quarry

For open waters in Gilboa Quarry there is an additional $25 per day for entrance into the quarry plus 2 air fills. That is paid in cash at the quarry. There is camping available on site or hotels in Findlay.

We also offer weekday open waters upon request.

Where Do You Learn?

Getting Ready for a DiveClassroom Sessions

All classroom sessions are held at The Dive Shop.

Pool Sessions

All pool sessions are held at The Dive Shop in our indoor heated pool.

Open Water Training Dives

Most of our training dives are held at Lake Fenton.  We also go to Gilboa Quarry in Ohio and other various locations.

Equipment Needed?

Diving is an equipment-intensive activity. This means that the quality of the equipment you use, and its suitability for specific diving activities has a tremendous bearing on your overall comfort, safety and enjoyment. Few things can ruin the investment you make in learning to dive safely than having the wrong equipment.

The good news is, we supply most of the equipment you need for your pool and open water training dives, including wet suits, cylinders, and regulators. This is top quality equipment that we would not only be happy to use ourselves, but have our friends and loved ones use as well.

Required Equipment for All Course Activities

The Dive Shop MI Pool Practice

Students in our beginning scuba courses are required to provide the following items:

  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Adjustable Fins
  • Wetsuit Boots

These personal equipment items are ones for which comfort and fit are not only important, they’re critical. They are also items that, as a certified diver, dive operators expect you to own. In other words, you do notwant to go anywhere as a diver without them.

It’s also important to understand that, to be suitable for scuba diving, masks, snorkels and fins must meet a very different set of requirements than they might for casual snorkeling. Therefore, it’s important you not purchase any equipment items without talking to us first.

Required Equipment for Open Water Dives

Students must provide the following equipment for all open water training dives:

Sunlight

  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Adjustable Fins
  • Wetsuit Boots

All the above items are available at The Dive Shop.

  • Whether you supply your own equipment or rent from us, bear in mind that our insurance policy requires all life-support equipment used in training to have been assembled, tested, maintained and tagged by us.
  • You will be expected to use the same BC and regulator system during open water training that you did in the pool (this is no time to be coping with unfamiliar equipment).
Get Started Now

Ready to get going? Great! The best thing to do is to simply stop by the store. We will have you complete the necessary paperwork, give you your study materials, and go over the personal equipment you will need. Next thing you know, you will be under water and swimming like a fish.

If you can’t make it in right away, call or e-mail us as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get started.

Underwater

ARE YOU READY TO GET CERTIFIED? CALL TODAY!

If you’re interested in becoming a certified diver, please contact us today.

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