Scuba diving is an adventurous mode of underwater diving, allowing individuals to explore some of the world’s most exotic ecosystems. However, before embarking on an open water journey, individuals are required to complete a comprehensive course to obtain the necessary certification. PADI or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors is a globally recognized recreational training organization that certifies approximately 900,000 divers annually.
Avid diver Philip Sobeck of Royal Oak, Michigan, claims that scuba diving certification levels were implemented to maximize the safety of the sport, and each diver is required to carry a certification card which attests to their level of qualification. He takes the time to outline how adventure seekers can become an advanced open water diver.
PADI or Junior PADI Diver
The PADI Scuba Diver level of certification is designed for those will minimal diving experience. The knowledge obtained from this course allows individuals to dive at a maximum depth of 12m or 40 ft, while accompanied by a professional diver. Philip Sobeck claims that completing the course allows individuals to perform the following:
- Dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional to a depth of 12 meters
- Obtain air fills, rent or purchase scuba equipment and participate in dive activities
- Continue dive training by completing the PADI Open Water Diver certification and take various specialty courses
Participants also learn to use basic scuba diving gear including a mask, fins, snorkel, regulator, tank, and buoyancy control device. Philip claims that the equipment one will use will depend on whether or not they are diving in a tropical environment and cold or temperate waters.
Open Water Diver (OWD)
The Open Water Diver Course (OWD) enables divers to refine their skills in the realm of scuba. Philip Sobeck claims that individuals are given the opportunity to practice diving in contained environments, before heading out into open water locations. Completing the course will allow individuals to:
- Online and independent study to understand the basic principles of scuba diving
- Confined water dives to learn basic scuba skills
- Open water dives to utilize newly found skills
- Dive at a depth of 18m or 60 ft
Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD)
This course is designed to advance one’s underwater skill set and is taken after obtaining a OWD certification. Participants will be able to log dives while further developing their capabilities in various open water locations. Those who complete the training will be able to:
- Learn to deal with the physiological effects and challenges of deep diving
- Improve compass navigation skills through the use of kick-cycles and visual landmarks
- Become familiar with specialized gear such as dry suits and dive lights
- Dives to a depth of 30m or 100 ft, giving you access to a wide range of marine life
Participants are also required to complete a series of deep adventure dives to familiarize themselves with different underwater ecosystems.
Taking the Next Steps
Diving is can be an exciting recreational activity; however, it is imperative that individuals take the necessary safety precautions before heading out to various underwater locations. Philip Sobeck encourages individuals of all ages to discover the wonders of the aquatic world.