To become certified as an open water diver, you will be required to complete quizzes and a final exam on the basics of safety related to scuba diving. It is highly recommended to order a book and/or the DVDs to watch and read at home or to take an online course before you travel to your destination for your diver certification so that you don’t need to spend your entire vacation in a hotel room learning about scuba diving.
In addition to the knowledge portion of this certification, you are required to complete one confined water dive. This is typically in a pool or within easy reach of the beach in an area that is calm and without waves. You will learn the basics of how to remove and put back on your mask, gain confidence with your regulator underwater and complete basic skills such as swimming and floating for a period of time to ensure you are physically fit enough for scuba diving.
Following your confined water dive you will be required to complete open water dives; this is when it gets fun. Many instructors will have you complete four open water dives so that you can demonstrate basic skills in the open water to ensure that you are comfortable enough in the water and are able to perform skills satisfactorily. These include items such as performing an emergency ascent, removing your scuba gear and getting back into it, removing and replacing your regulator as well as working with your dive buddy to ensure you are able to deal with issues as they arise underwater.
As a certified Open Water Diver you will be able to dive to depths of 18 meters and not need to go through the typical training courses required when resort diving.
After your Open Water Certification you’ll be ready to move in to your Advanced Open Water Certification, which will allow you to dive deeper but require some additional training.