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Scuba dive certification

FlyKaesan

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Have you received Scuba dive certification?

Did you study online and went on vacation to do the dive?

How much did you pay, together or separately?

Do you need to buy any equipment to go on scuba dive? (I think most people rent but I have heard some things you should have on your own.)

Any answers from Scuba experts would be appreciated.
 

Icarus

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A good way to do it is to work with a PADI certified school where you are and do all the book/tests there, and then do the dives with a PADI certified school on the islands. You might even be able to do the enclosed pool dives at home too, and just do the open water certification dives when you get here.

As for equipment, that's up to you. At a minimum, it's nice to have your own mask and fins/booties, then next would be your own regulator, etc. If you aren't going to be diving that much, you can just get your own mask/fins/booties. You don't even need them. You can rent everything. But it's nice to have a nice mask/fins/booties that you are used to and you know that they fit you properly, and other people aren't spitting into. (that's also the reason I put the regulator on the list, if you really want to spend that much money.)

I'm sure there will be differing opinions on the equipment. The bottom line is that it's up to you. You don't need to buy any equipment if you don't want to.

BTW, I assumed you are considering Hawaii from your other recent posts.

-David
 
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BocaBum99

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I have been certified since the early nineties. When I was certified, I took a 6-8 week course where I went once per week. Something like an hour of class time and an hour of pool skills time. Then, we had 4 open water dives and I was certified. I liked that approach because we got a chance to let the diving skills sink in. It's easy to forget little things like how to strap your BC onto the tank.

My oldest son is taking a PADI course to get certified this week. He is signed up for the 3-day crash course. He got a book and a DVD to study and to take chapter tests. Tomorrow, he will attend a full day of classes and learn the pool skills. Then, he will do his open water dives on Wed and Thurs. I will be doing his open water dives with him and his instructor. I'm not too worried since he will be diving mostly with me and I will make sure he doesn't do anything stupid.

In general, you need your own mask, fins and snorkle to dive. I would recommend your own dive skin or wet suit since you never know what someone did in the rental wet suit.

Once you've been certified for a while, it's good to have your own regulator and BC. If you can afford a dive computer, I highly recommend it. You don't need to worry about dive tables and computer divers usually get more bottom time since the computer calculates more precisely how much nitrogen is in your blood. So, good dive companies separate divers with computers with those who don't have them and the computer divers get more bottom time.

then, underwater cameras, a good knife and maybe even one of those little propeller things are great for shore dives. I don't bother owning my own tanks and I rarely use my own weights since just about everyone has them.
 

UWSurfer

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Remember that this is training on how to use life support systems and what do if something goes wrong.

On the one hand, all you really are doing is breathing underwater and you are spending the time getting familiar with the gear and how to use it. On the other hand you are breathing compressed gas (air) at depth and there are some very serious issues when doing so to keep in mind or you can die!!!

One of the most knowledgable, experienced dive instructors here in LA used to say I can teach you to dive in one quick sentence: ALWAYS BREATH! The rest is technique.

While this statement is a bit flippant, it's also very accurate. Its when you stop breathing or hold your breath that problems develope.

When choosing gear, comfort and fit are the two most important components. The more comfortable you are in your gear and at depth, the better off you'll be, both in your enjoyment and your safety. If you have an average height & sized body, then most rental places will have gear for you. If you are heavy, tall, small or otherwise a bit non-average, having your own gear can make things more enjoyable. Fins, mask, snorkel & booties (where apropriate) are good things to own. I priced these at the local dive shop the other day and nearly fainted at what some of these cost.

I'd also recommend you do as much of your course work from home, including water work if possible so you can spend your time on your vacation enjoying the sights and experience. If that's not possible, try what Icarus recommended and do your book work at home and your water work on your trip.

I've been a certified diver for more than 27 years and in the water with fins, mask and snorkel for nearly 40. There's no substitute for experience.
 

DeniseM

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Another question - this is your first trip to Hawaii - right? And you live in North Virginia. Have you tried snorkeling or snuba? Scuba certification is not something I would do for just one trip - is scuba something you plan to take up as a hobby? Do you plan to take yearly trips to locations where you can scuba in the future?

If it were me, I'd try snorkeling or snuba first and maybe take one of those intro. to Scuba lessons before I committed the time and money to certification. I certainly would not want to spend my precious vacation time sitting in classes on Maui!
 

Lawlar

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Get Certified At Home

I took classes at a dive shop in 1980. My instructor was a former navy seal. He almost killed us!!! Today, the lessons are much easier and friendlier. [We had "hell night" - if that gives you an idea of what we had to go through.]

I recommend getting certified at home so that you are ready to go when you get to the resort. Also, buy your own mask so that it fits properly and you are familar with it. Its also nice to have your own fins (but they take up a lot of room in the suitcase). The rest you can rent.

I agree with the earlier post - just breath - good advice.
 

FlyKaesan

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wow. Great info.

I have snorkeled about 10 years now. Sometimes I stay underwater for few minutes and others call me fish. Few times, I snorkeled 8 hours in a day.
Someone suggested I should try scuba diving.
Well, one of my reason for going to Maui is for diving. I could have just gone for Big Island or Kauai but I read (Maui revealed?) and it said Maui is best in Hawaii for that.
I might go in the water almost everyday I am there. Might as well get the best experience and that is why I thought about getting certified. It seems like the price of snorkeling is close as scuba diving so I thought scuba would be better to learn.
I am still scared since I did hotel intro dive in Phillipine and it hurt my ears a lot. I am pretty sure they didn't teach me right so getting experience and license should let me know if I am good fit for it. If I don't dive every year, do you think it's not worth getting certified? I am very happy snorkeling but I am thinking I will be more happy with scuba. what do you think?
 

DeniseM

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It seems like the price of snorkeling is close as scuba diving so I thought scuba would be better to learn.
Actually - if you own your own equipment, snorkeling on Maui is absolutely free. Even if you have to rent your snorkel equipment, it is no where near the cost of scuba - maybe 10%. It is not necessary to take any of those expensive boat trips to snorkel (although they are fun) because you can snorkel right off the shore on Maui and have a great experience. The snorkeling right in front of the WKORVN is awesome - as good or better than any snorkel boat trips we've been on. We've been on snorkel boats to Molokini, Lanai, off the coast of Ni'ihau, the Napali Coast, & Captain Cooks - most of the popular boat trips in Hawaii, and we have seen just as many fish right off shore on Maui.

The cost of getting certified wouldn't be worth it to me, if I wasn't going to do it on a regular basis, but maybe it is to you. It does sound like scuba would be right up your alley. Is someone else in your family going to get certified with you?
 

nickis

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I have to say diving and snorkelling are not the same, which we all know. You are going to enter a diffrent realm it can be very intoxicating and if you choose to learn you will understand what i mean. You are not completlly in control many things can change what is happening very fast and taking your time can mean the diffence between a great dive and a crappy one.
You'll see people rushing across the reef missing all the good stuff and others that wait at the side watching it a reappear after they have motored by.
As for snorkelling it is still one off my hobbies , was great watching my son learn to do it and will be great to watch him progress to diving this yr. Yes you can see lots of fish doing it but it's not the same , still great fun just not the same .
Enjoy your new love because thats what it will be either a new love or just not your thing.
As for stuff you've had some great advice so just enjoy it.
Diving for 22yrs now still get a thrill when i see something i havn't seen before.
 

FlyKaesan

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To me it feels like snorkeling as riding bike and scuba as driving a car.
I love snorkeling but I think eventually I need to start diving since that seems like it's next level.
I think I will be the only one who will be getting certificate in my group.
I probably snorkel almost everyday if WKORVN is awesome as you mentioned. I always dreamed of diving and I just bought a new underwater camera for this trip. Either I snorkel or dive, I can't wait to use it.
If price is good, I will definitely give dive a try.
When i called the company I mentioned above, he said I should be able to finish it in 3 days. That includes 4 dives.
 

UWSurfer

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Be sure to wait a minimum of 24 hours from completing your last dive on scuba before boarding a plane. They used to say 12 hours and some may say 36. Generally, the longer the better.

To me it feels like snorkeling as riding bike and scuba as driving a car.
I love snorkeling but I think eventually I need to start diving since that seems like it's next level.
I think I will be the only one who will be getting certificate in my group.
I probably snorkel almost everyday if WKORVN is awesome as you mentioned. I always dreamed of diving and I just bought a new underwater camera for this trip. Either I snorkel or dive, I can't wait to use it.
If price is good, I will definitely give dive a try.
When i called the company I mentioned above, he said I should be able to finish it in 3 days. That includes 4 dives.
 

BocaBum99

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Be sure to wait a minimum of 24 hours from completing your last dive on scuba before boarding a plane. They used to say 12 hours and some may say 36. Generally, the longer the better.
Shouldn't go up in the mountains either. Don't go to Haleakala or Mauna Kea after a 2 tank dive.

My dive computer tells me the no fly time. It's usually about 12 hours unless I do a 3 or 4 tank dive.
 

BocaBum99

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I have to say diving and snorkelling are not the same, which we all know. You are going to enter a diffrent realm it can be very intoxicating and if you choose to learn you will understand what i mean. You are not completlly in control many things can change what is happening very fast and taking your time can mean the diffence between a great dive and a crappy one.
You'll see people rushing across the reef missing all the good stuff and others that wait at the side watching it a reappear after they have motored by.
As for snorkelling it is still one off my hobbies , was great watching my son learn to do it and will be great to watch him progress to diving this yr. Yes you can see lots of fish doing it but it's not the same , still great fun just not the same .
Enjoy your new love because thats what it will be either a new love or just not your thing.
As for stuff you've had some great advice so just enjoy it.
Diving for 22yrs now still get a thrill when i see something i havn't seen before.
I completely agree. Once you get down about 60 feet or more, it feels like you are in a different world. You are at a place that you couldn't go unless you had scuba.
 

Icarus

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When i called the company I mentioned above, he said I should be able to finish it in 3 days. That includes 4 dives.
You might consider getting certified as I suggested above.

Do the book work (DVD)/tests at home at any local PADI certified diving school and do the open water certification dives on the islands. All of the PADI certified diving schools here will do that. Ask them about it. You will already have all the prerequisite work done at home and when you get here you can get in the water on the day after you arrive.

On the other hand, I think you said in the car rental thread you were going to be here for three weeks. In that case, you'd have plenty of time to do the entire thing here, I guess.

I'm not sure which company you mentioned above. I looked for it twice, but didn't see it. Whichever one you choose, I can check with the ex-wife, who is a PADI certified diving instructor, except she's not teaching anymore. Nonetheless, she will know if the company is one of the good ones or not.

It sounds like the course you took in the PI was a resort course. A full open water certification is much better than a resort course and you will have to demonstrate ear clearing skills, etc. as part of your open water certification. Many moons ago, my first dive was also a resort course in Negril, Jamaica. After that, I got my certification at college. The PE department had a PADI certified scuba class for credit. I'm still amazed that I survived that resort course and those dives.

-David
 
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Danette

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Places like Sports Chalet offer the academic side of certification for less than $200. When I got certified I completed the book work at home and then did the certification dives (4) in Jamaica. I woud not want to listen to lectures while on vacation, but the dives were easy to complete. Scuba is amazing - it's a world most people only see on the Discovery channel.

Have fun :)
 

UWSurfer

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Just an fyi...

While the home study academic and water work on vacation is fine...this is very much akin to taking drivers training prior to going to the DMV to get a license. It may show you know how to operate the car, but it doesn't make you a good driver.

Same is true for diving. The older courses used to be far more intensive, both in classroom time and water time. As the industry searched for ways to get more people into classes and the sport, they shortened the class time and requirements.

Los Angeles Underwater Instructors Association (aka: "LA County") is the oldest certification agency in the US. They run an Advanced Diver program every summer which encompases 100 hours of combined classroom and water time. While it's time consuming, those who come out of that program are very good divers.

It's an amazing world down there...just pay attention to what you are doing and don't panic.
 

timesharejunkie4

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I just got certified last year. I did my classroom and pool work at home and my checkout dives in Belize. Belize is awesome! We saw an 8' hammerhead on my first official dive. DH has been certified since the mid 80's. Now most of our vacations will be based on diving. So far I've been diving in Belize 8/07, Puerto Vallarta 11/07, Riviera Maya 3/08, and back to Belize 7/08. Upcoming plans include Cabo Pulmo 11/08, Hawaii 3/09 and Curacao 6/09. Can't wait! Here is a link to our Belize photos - http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=239871507/a=103724515_103724515/t_=103724515 and http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=171268364/a=103724515_103724515/t_=103724515
 

Icarus

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Is MAUI DIVING SCUBA CENTER legit company?
I'll check. As for price, the certification cost probably doesn't vary that much, and in this case, you don't necessarily want the cheapest company, unless they also happen to be a good one.

-David
 

timesharejunkie4

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Nice photos.
what camera did you use for underwater?
The 2007 photos were with a SeaLife film camera. I lost that one while diving in Riviera Maya in March. The 2008 photos were with a SeaLife DC800 digital camera which just came out in May. The land photos of this trip were also taken with underwater camera sans housing. This camera has a lot of options and settings. I found the pictures with the nurse sharks to be disappointing but it was most likely due to my inexperience with the camera.
 

Judy

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I was certified in Northern Virginia many years ago. The dive shop did its open water certification dives in Haymarket Quarry. very cold water and horrible visibility! We had to wear thick wet suits, hoods, booties, and gloves, which of course the dive shop wanted to sell to us. I would not recommend that method of certification!

Instead, I'd suggest finding a PADI facility http://www.padi.com/padi/common/dcnr_distance/Default.aspx
that will give you a referral. Do your classwork and pool work in Northern Virginia and your open-water certification dives on vacation.
 

FlyKaesan

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I have talked to the local dive shop and they are asking $350 including license and all the referral fees.
 

Denise L

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I was certified on Maui in 5 days for $250 (back in 1991). Then we rented the "The Abyss" on VHS :D . The following week, we decided to take the Advanced course and spent another 5 days getting certified. It was great fun. I love warm water and was happy to get all the work done on Maui. We had an awesome dive master with access to a great catamaran, so we had some amazing dives! We bought our own snorkels, masks, booties and fins, and rented everything else.

You should be able to contact the water sports shack at whatever resort you are staying at and ask them what they charge for PADI certification.
 
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