Choose Between Two Options
- $139 for a PADI open-water diver certification course for one ($400 value)
- $269 for a PADI open-water diver certification course for two ($800 value)
These five-plus-day courses encompass classroom and pool training with two days of open water dives at one of the regional scuba lakes. Basic rental equipment is included, however students must provide their own mask, snorkel, fins, and boots—which can be rented on-site, as well as their home-study packs. Upon completing the course, students must register their certification online with PADI.
Scuba Gear: An Underwater Survival Kit
Before you dive in for a scuba session, you’ll need to suit up in the proper gear. Preview the more complex parts of your outfit with Groupon’s overview.
Scuba unit: This is the piece that gives scuba diving its acronymic name: the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. It controls your breathing and your depth through an air tank, a dive regulator, and a buoyancy-control device (BCD).
Air tank: This metal cylinder doesn’t just hold the same stuff you breathe above the surface: the air in there is compressed at as much as 3,000 pounds per square inch. Because the water will add still more pressure, tanks are equipped with a device called a burst disk to automatically let air out if needed.
Dive regulator: Essentially, the dive regulator is the interface between you and your air tank, controlling where the air flows at the press of a button. Through one channel, it routes air to your mouthpiece; through another, to the air bladders inside your buoyance-control device (typically worn as a vest or jacket).
Exposure suit: The climate you dive in dictates the type of suit you wear. Wetsuits provide enough insulation for temperate water, and drysuits keep you dry and extra warm via watertight construction. (Because they’re not breathable, drysuits have vents to control the amount of air inside the suit while descending and ascending.) Sometimes divers in tropical waters will wear only bodysuits, which guard against cuts and scrapes but provide no thermal protection.
Fins: Besides winning you instant acceptance into colonies of Aquamen, fins provide a large surface area to press against the water. This increases the impact of each kick, allowing you to move efficiently without using your hands.