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April 24, 2013

10 Reasons to Take the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course

Published on April 24,2013
By Colin Zylka

Ok, so you’re a certified PADI Open Water Diver…Congratulations!

But as your Instructor probably mentioned, you’ve just started on the path to greater knowledge about scuba diving. The Open Water Diver Course is designed to teach you the basics of scuba diving – how to set up your equipment properly, how to manage simple issues that arise during a dive, and how to dive with a buddy, independent of professional supervision, in conditions equal to or better than those in which you were trained. In other words, you have a “learner’s permit” to discover more about skills, techniques and equipment for more advanced diving. So, here are my top 10 reasons for taking the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course:

  1. You’ll have a greater recommended depth. As an Open Water Diver, you have a recommended maximum depth of 60 feet. As an Advanced Open Water Diver, you will have a recommended maximum depth of 100 feet. This can really come in handy on certain types of dives, especially wreck dives both local and offshore. Many of the shipwrecks that are being intentionally sunk are purposely placed at greater depths so that they stay where they were placed. Many times shallow wrecks will be moved or their position on the bottom changed by strong storms. Deeper wrecks can also survive strong storms that will break up shallower wrecks.
  2. You’ll have the opportunity to try new equipment. During your Advanced course, you wil be making dives that require additional equipment than what you used during your Open Water Diver Course. For example, one of the elective dives may be a night dive, and you will have the opportunity to try new types of lights, like LEDs. Another example is the Underwater Digital Photography elective dive…here you’ll get to try using a camera system before purchasing your own.
  3. Going along with #2, you’ll get to see what types of diving interest you…do you like deep diving? How about night diving? How do you feel about exploring shipwrecks? The Advanced Open Water Diver Course gives you the opportunity to try different types of dives and gives you a preview of what the PADI Specialty Diver Courses are all about.
  4. By taking the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course, you have already started the related PADI Specialty Diver Course. For example…the PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course requires four dives for certification. When you enroll in the Deep Diver Course after your Advanced Open Water Diver Course, you’ll only need to make three deep dives for certification, as the deep dive you did for the Advanced Course count as the first dive in the related specialty. This is true for all dives done during your Advanced Course.
  5. There is minimal or no traditional classroom time. All the “classroom” stuff is done right at the dive site. When you sign up for the Advanced Course, you  will receive the Adventures in Diving manual, which is the textbook for the course. Just like in your Open Water Diver Course, there are Knowledge Reviews that must be completed for each of the dives you’ll be doing. These Knowledge Reviews are discussed with your Instructor and other dive buddies right at the dive site before getting in the water.
  6. You’ll meet new dive buddies! Even if you sign up for the course as a solo, we will have you dive with a buddy, just as you were trained to do during your Open Water course. We’ve seen numerous cases of folks who meet during an Advanced Course take other courses together, as they are familiar with how each of them dives, what gear they have and what schedules they have.
  7. You’ll have one of the prerequisites for the PADI Rescue Diver Course completed. In my opinion, Rescue Diver is the certification every diver should possess, as it makes for a safer, more confident diver and dive buddy.
  8. You’ll get to dive in new environments. Not only will you do a deep dive for the Advanced Course, but depending where you take the course, you may experience drift diving,  or perhaps a night dive, or even in a drysuit or using Enriched Air Nitrox. Any and all of these will increase your confidence level over that of an Open Water Diver.
  9. You’ll get to dive more under the direction of a PADI Instructor. And frankly, who among us doesn’t want to dive more?
  10. You’ll have FUN!

So, there are my top 10 reasons for taking the Advanced Open Water Diver Course…fun, adventure, and diving! You can find out more about the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course by visiting our Advanced Open Water Diver page on our website.

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