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SDI Open Water Scuba Diver

Earn your Open Water Diver Certification and open your life to a new world of adventure and discovery with scuba diving!

The Open Water Diver Course is designed to prepare students for safe open water scuba diving. All students receiving certification will possess the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary for safe open water scuba diving with a buddy, independent of an instructor or divemaster. 

SDI Diver

As a certified Open Water Diver you are able to:

  • dive internationally with a dive buddy
  • rent dive gear
  • get air fills
  • dive off of a dive boat or from shore
  • dive to a maximum depth of 60ft/18m

The Open Water Diver course is broken into two parts. The first part is classroom and pool training and the second part is open water trainingwhere you will go to a lake or ocean with an instructor and complete your skills in an "open water" environment. Both parts of this course must be completed within a six month period.

Course fees do not include travel, accommodations, air fills during the open water and snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, boots). Students will receive discounts on gear purchases up to 25% off. Please refer to our Refund Policy for questions about rescheduling or canceling registration for a course. 

Part 1: Pool Training & Classroom Training 

$325 per person (Individual Registration)
or $275 per person if you register with a friend (Buddy Special)
Add $35 per person for use of rental mask, snorkel, fins, and boots

This first part of the course has classroom preceeding pool training one night per week over 5 weeks. Additional pool or classroom sessions are available if students need or want extra time to practice their skills beyond the training schedule. The size of the class is limited to allow the direct supervision and guidance of instructors and divemasters.  

How it works:

  • Students will have the option to complete the pre-study theory either online or with a textbook.
  • Time commitment:
    • 5-6 hours of reading and home study prior to the start of the classroom session
    • 7-8 hours of classroom time with the instructor
    • 7 hours of pool time with the instructor 
    • The total number of hours that you will spend under the personal guidance of an instructor is approximately 15 hours.
  • Held  weekly: The exact start & finish times will vary depending on the pool schedule, but normally classroom will run from 6:15-7:45 p.m. with pool from 8:00-9:30 p.m.
  • Price includes soft-cover textbook and training materials.
  • Prior to the start of the course, students must complete the pre-course study material which includes a Student Manual with IQ Review or Online Training with IQ Review.

If you have a Pool to use- Optional Condensed 2-Day Private Pool & Classroom
$425 per person

or $375 per person if you register with a friend (Buddy Special)
Add $35 per person for use of rental mask, snorkel, fins, and boots

Designed for students who have access to a pool but may be shift-working or have other comitments that makes it difficult to attend the scheduled evening pool & classroom sessions.

  • Time commitment:
    • 5-6 hours of online home study prior to the start of the weekend session
    • 4-5 hours of classroom training with the instructor to review gear setup, dive tables, and knowledge IQ questions
    • 5-6 hours of pool time with the instructor
    • The total number of hours that you will spend under the personal guidance of an instructor is approximately 8-9 hours. 
  • Held over a weekend or scheduled with an instructor to match your needs:
  • Instructors are available for assistance with the online theory via email, phone, or in-person during our regular store hours.
  • Minimum age to complete the online training is 13 years old.
  • Price includes online code and training materials.
  • Prior to the start of the course, students must complete the pre-course study material which includes a Online Training with IQ Review.
  • Note: This option needs to be scheduled and is limited to a maximum of 2 participants. If you would like to register on your own or with a buddy, please contact the store to review your options.

Part 2: Open Water Training

$250-$300 per person
Add $25 per person for use of rental mask, snorkel, fins, and boots

Upon completion of the pool & classroom training, a minimum of 4 open water dives in a lake or ocean (with an instructor) are required for students to be comfortable and to satisfactorily demonstrate all necessary skills for certification. Upon completion of each open water dive, both the student and instructor should feel comfortable with the training exercises completed. Classes are broken into small groups with 4-6 students under the direct supervision and guidance of an instructor and a divemaster. You must complete the open water portion of your training within 6 months of your pool & classroom training. Many different options are available when choosing a location to complete your open water training.

  1. Gulliver's Lake ($250.00) during the summer months (June to September) with our instructors
  2. St Lawrence River ($300.00) during the summer months (June to September) with our instructors
  3. Tobermory  during the summer months (June to October) with our instructors
  4. Internationally* - anywhere in the world all year round with an instructor at the dive shop of your vacation destination (with Referral)

*International Referral Letter

If you're planning on traveling internationally (like Mexico, Hawaii, etc), you can also complete your dives at your holiday destination with a Referral.You will take your referral letter to the instructor at your vacation destination who will complete your four required dives with you. Students must keep in mind that this part of the training is still part of the certification course, and therefore your four required dives must be completed with an active instructor. The open water training must be completed within 6 months of your pool & classroom training. After completing the dives, bring your signed Referral Letter back to us and we will issue you a permanent certification card. While most facilities complete the referral dives it is important to confirm your destination will complete them prior to your departure to avoid any last minute issues. Costs to complete your open water dives internationally will depend on where you go.

Prerequisites for the Open Water Course

  • Minimum age for certification is 15 years
  • Junior Scuba Diver available for ages 12 to 15 but must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered and participating in the course (it is STRONGLY recommended to wait until the child is at least 14 years old)
  • Students must be physically fit and able to handle the physical and psychological demands of scuba diving independent of an instructor
  • Student must complete the medical questionnaire, if you answer YES to any of the medical questions you need a Physician to confirm you are not at risk of injury by participation prior to any in water activity. Medical Form
  • Students must be comfortable in the water and successfully complete a swim test of 200m (any stroke, not timed) as well as a 10 minute survival float.

Classroom Topics

  • The aquatic environment: vision, light, sound, heat loss, tides, currents, waves, surge, etc.
  • Physics and physiology: buoyancy, pressure, air spaces, breathing compressed air, mixed gases, etc.
  • Dive equipment: selection, assembly, use and maintenance
  • Dive planning: dive computer use, dive tables, decompression theory, emergency procedures
  • Communication: hand signals, diving with a buddy 

Water Skills

  • Equipment assembly/disassembly
  • Entries and exits
  • Snorkeling techniques
  • Regulator use, recovery, clearing
  • Mask flood, removal, clearing
  • Use of BCD (inflation/ deflation)
  • Equalizing air spaces
  • Decent and ascent techniques
  • Sharing air and emergency ascents
  • Finning techniques
  • Underwater navigation
  • Buddy towing and assistance
  • Buoyancy control

Course fees include use of scuba gear(excludes mask, fins, boots and snorkel),

Course fees do not include, air refills for open water dives, travel, accommodations, park entry fees.