How to prepare for your Open Water Diver Course

In Blog by Grahame MassicksLeave a Comment

Three things you can do to prepare for your Open Water Course

<img src="padi-diving-courses-open-water-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving courses, Open Water, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Open Water students with their manuals

The first point that I would emphasis to people wanting to learn to dive is that the PADI Open Water Diver course is a proper course! It is a structured learning experience designed to give you the skills and knowledge to dive safely and comfortably. It has been designed by educationalists within the PADI workforce, refined and validated by time and experience, and is the same or similar to methods that have been used in other industries. Most students find it a challenging but rewarding life experience.

But that doesn’t mean that is a dry and dusty course. The Open Water course is an adventure into a whole new world of life, colour and a three dimensional experience only shared by a few people on the planet! If the diving bug bites you it can change your life – it certainly changed mine!

<img src="padi-diving-courses-open-water-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving courses, Open Water, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Study time Swedish style

The course itself can be broken down into three parts: knowledge development; confined water training; and open water training. The knowledge is acquired from reading the Open Water manual, watching the DVD, and interaction with your instructor during the Knowledge Revues, quizzes and the exam, and the pre and post dive briefings. The confined water lessons are taught in a pool or pool like conditions similar to those found in Salang Bay. They introduce the student to scuba and diving skills in very shallow water in a controlled environment to encourage and promote learning while maintaining safety. The four open water dives are when the student weaves together the academic and confined water training to experience the wonders and freedoms of the underwater world. To find out more about the Open Water course follow this link.

So the first thing that a student can address is the academic learning. Who wants to visit a tropical island on holiday and spend time in a classroom? Not me for sure, so when I did my Open Water course I studied the manual at home. These days you can opt to do the academic side of your course online by using the PADI web site. It is slightly more expensive, but gives better value for your time on the resort. You have access to the manual, DVD and interaction with your instructor at your convenience!

A second option is to book your course and I will send you the manual for you to study in your spare time. You will not have access to the DVD, but obviously I can interact with you online.

It is also worth spending some time on physical preparation. Most people today lead very busy lives, but on the other hand get very little physical exercise. There is a 200 meter swim test incorporated into the course, and some people find moving around in full scuba equipment while out of the water to be a challenge. So some form of physical preparation will make your course more enjoyable. Try a bit of swimming, cycling, running, or visiting the gym. During your daily routine you might occasionally try taking the stairs rather than the lift or elevator, carry your bags rather than use a trolley, and use a backpack for shopping – reducing the use of wasteful bags and getting some exercise!

During 2016 the sea has washed away some of the sand from the lower parts of the beach. This has uncovered some of the rocks below and has made the beach more difficult to cross in bare feet. So I strongly advise participants to bring a pair of flip flops to wear into the water until we are up to our chests. You can then float, take of your flip flops and put on your fins.

<img src="padi-diving-courses-open-water-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving courses, Open Water, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Is the ferry schedule convenient?

While you are at the planning stage, it is most important to think about time. Dive courses are frequently sold as three day packages. Three full days at your chosen location is sufficient for those of you who are confident in the water and enjoy a challenge. But you need to think about what time you will arrive and depart from your destination. You also need to consider what sort of condition you will be in by the time you arrive. Are you travelling overnight? Have you eaten? Some of my students arrive tired and hungry and are not in a learning frame of mind. Think your travel arrangements through carefully and allow three full days at the resort for your course. And if you want some ‘down’ time plan for four days!

But the most important thing that you can bring to the course is a “Can do Attitude”! As an instructor of many years standing I have done thousands of dives and taught hundreds of students. But I have only got two arms and two legs – the same as most non-divers. So, if I can do it, so can you! Enjoy!!

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