Can I take the PADI Open Water?

padi open water dive course
This is probably the question we hear asked most often. Obviously taking a Dive Course means you will learn new skills that will allow you to dive in the future, but it is your Instructors job to introduce you to these skills and get you through the course. But there are 3 important things you need in order to be able to take the PADI Open Water Course in the first place and if you cannot meet these requirements, these are the things you should work at before taking your Open Water Course.

1) Minimum Age - The minimum age to take the PADI Open Water Course is 10 years old. Only time can help you with this one ;)

padi scuba diver course
2) Medical Questionnaire - The purpose of the Medical Questionnaire is to find out if you should be examined by your doctor before participating in recreational diver training. A positive response to a question on the medical does not necessarily disqualify you from diving. It just means that there is a preexisting condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must seek the advice of your physician prior to engaging in dive activities. If you can answer "No" to each question then you do not need to visit a doctor prior to taking the course.

Download a scuba medical questionnaire here (PDF)

3) Swimming Skills - You do not need to have expert-level swimming abilities in order to dive.  However to complete the PADI Open Water Course you do need to be able to complete the following...
  •  swim, float or tread water for 10 minutes without using any swim aids.
  •  swim continuously for 200m OR snorkel for 300m with mask, fins and snorkel. 

padi discover scuba divingIf you cannot meet these requirements, it does not mean you cannot dive. Maybe consider building confidence in a pool first before attempting the PADI Open Water Course or you can consider taking the PADI Scuba Diver Course (only the 10-minute float requirement is needed) or participate in the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience (no swimming skills required) to gain some experience. 

If you can already meet these 3 requirements then you're ready to take the PADI Open Water Course. 

dive course, koh lanta, swimming pool
Everyone who takes the PADI Open Water Course has their own personal concerns and fears to overcome. Maybe you are scared of how it will feel or the thought of breathing underwater seems alien to you. You might worry about meeting certain fish or think the equipment will be complicated to use.

All of these are normal concerns and that is why we provide books, dvds and classroom sessions to help answer these questions and we begin the Course in the swimming pool so that your Instructor can put these fears to rest. The most common concern is fear of the unknown - the only way to overcome this is to give it a try and see for yourself.

By the end of the Course you will approach your fears differently and will think about life in a very different way. It is no coincidence that so many people say that diving has changed their lives. So what are you waiting for.  A new life awaits you :)