The Padi Open Water Diver Course is the name of the entry level course for those looking to learn to dive for the first time. This is the name of the Padi version of the course for new divers and the name is similar with most diving agencies. The BSAC version is called the Ocean Diver Course.
For all entry level courses there is some study, classroom sessions, a swim check, shallow (confined) water training dives and open water training dives. With the Padi Open Water Diver course the study consists of either a paperback manual with a DVD to watch or an eLearning online version of the same thing. You then come into the Dive Centre to assess that your study part of the course has all been completed correctly.
The only difference between the manual and online versions of the Open Water course theory is that you go over the knowledge reviews, quizzes and final exam in a classroom with your Instructor with the manual version. With the online eLearning version all this is completed online and your Instructor can see the results.
Then the rest of your course is all hands on and will include;
Showing you the equipment you will be using and how it all works
Equipment assembly and disassembly
200m swim and 10 minute float
5 confined water skills practise and diving sessions
4 open water dives up to a maximum depth of 18m on the final 2 dives
All this is completed with an experienced Instructor and we only teach in a maximum ratio of 2-1 to ensure the very best quality and safest training course possible.
Once all the theory and swims have been completed the in water training should be completed in 3 days and these can be either completed in 3 continuous days or spread to suit the student.
The Open Water Diver course will give you the initial basic skills to then safely carry out recreational pleasure dives within your experience level and enjoy some great dive trips. Initially you should dive with a Dive Centre or divers with the right experience, this will then help you to build up your diving ability and further refine your main diving skills like buoyancy control. The more you dive the better you will get as you gain experience and the more natural it will all become.
The Open Water Diver course is just the start you need to then go on to fully enjoy and explore this new underwater world you have discovered, to gain further training as you progress and to travel to dive sites across the world !