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FAQS The most important dive questions answered

Learning to scuba dive with DIVE WIMBLEDON and PADI is an incredible adventure! With PADI as your training organization, your path to breathing underwater is accomplished in three exciting phases:

1. Knowledge Development - Learn the lingo.

During the first phase of your PADI Open Water Diver scuba certification you will develop an understanding of the basic principles of scuba diving. You will learn how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives. If you have completed the home study reading using the manual you will briefly review what you have studied in the five knowledge sections with your instructor and take a short quiz to be sure you understand it.

At the end of the course you will take a longer quiz that makes sure you understand all the key concepts and ideas. You and your DIVE WIMBLEDON Instructor will review anything that you do not quite understand until it's clear.

If you have completed the precourse reading using Elearning you only need to complete a short review quiz before you start diving. With the Elearning option you also receive your final course certification card free of charge. If you are completing the PADI Open Water Referral course with overseas completion this will save you £25-50.

  • Start right now and learn to scuba dive online with DIVE WIMBLEDON via PADI eLearning at your own pace—anytime, anywhere (great for busy schedules)
2. Confined Water Dives - Scuba Skills Training.

This is what it's all about – diving. You will develop basic scuba skills by scuba diving in a 27 degree swimming pool. Here you will learn everything from setting up your scuba gear to easily clearing water from your scuba mask without surfacing. You will also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air or replacing your scuba mask. Plus, you may play some games, make new friends and have a great time. There are five confined water dives with each building upon the previous. Over the course of these five dives you will attain the skills you need to dive in open water.

3. Open Water Dives - Locally or on Holiday.

After your confined water dives you and the new friends you have made continue learning during four open water dives with your DIVE WIMBLEDON PADI Instructor at a local dive site. This is where you fully experience the underwater adventure. You may make these dives around London or at a more exotic destination while on a DIVE WIMBLEDON group holiday or on your own holiday abroad.

It is possible to complete your confined and open water dives in as few as two Wednesday evenings and a weekend or two weekends by completing the classroom portion online via PADI eLearning or other home study options offered by DIVE WIMBLEDON.

The PADI Open Water Diver course is incredibly flexible and performance based - which means that DIVE WIMBLEDON can offer a wide variety of schedules paced according to how fast you progress. This means that you progress at your own pace – faster or slower depending upon the time you need to become a confident scuba diver who will want to dive regularly. You can start learning to scuba dive online right now with DIVE WIMBLEDON and PADI eLearning.

Compared with getting started in other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities learning to scuba dive isn't expensive.

For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for:

  • a full day of surfing lessons
  • a weekend of rock climbing lessons
  • a weekend of kayaking lessons
  • a weekend of fly-fishing lessons
  • about three hours of private golf lessons
  • about three hours of private water skiing lessons
  • one amazing night out at the pub!

Learning to scuba dive is a great value when you consider that you learn to dive under the guidance and attention of a highly trained, experienced professional - your DIVE WIMBLEDON PADI Scuba Instructor. From the first day scuba diving starts transforming your life with new underwater experiences you can share with friends. Start learning online with DIVE WIMBLEDON and get ready to take your first breath underwater!

DIVE WIMBLEDON is currently offering the PADI Open Water Diver Course at a discounted price of £539 per person (Normally £629).

Choosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. DIVE WIMBLEDON will help you find the right gear. Each piece of scuba equipment performs a different function so that collectively it adapts you to the underwater world.

When you start learning to scuba dive Dive Wimbledon will loan you all the equipment as part of your course but most of our students purchase their own discounted 

  • scuba mask
  • snorkel
  • boots
  • scuba fins

These have a personal fit and our DIVE WIMBLEDON staff will help you choose ones that have the sizing and features best suited to you. Included in the cost of your PADI Open Water Diver course, DIVE WIMBLEDON will provide:

  • mask and snorkel
  • boots and fins
  • dive regulator
  • scuba jacket (BCD)
  • scuba tank
  • scuba wetsuit
  • weight system and weights

Check with DIVE WIMBLEDON to confirm sizing available for your course package.

It's recommended that you invest in your own scuba equipment when you start your course because:

  • you're more comfortable using scuba gear fitted for you
  • you're more comfortable learning to scuba dive using gear you've chosen
  • scuba divers who own their own scuba diving equipment find it more convenient to go diving
  • having your own scuba diving gear is part of the fun of diving

The kind of gear you will need depends on the conditions where you dive. You may want:

  • tropical scuba gear
  • temperate scuba equipment
  • cold water scuba diving equipment

The professionals at DIVE WIMBLEDON are trained to help you find scuba gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget  plus we provide service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.

You may also want to talk to other scuba divers in PADI's online scuba community to get recommendations on particular scuba equipment brands and models.

Minimum Age:

  • 10 years old
  • Students younger than 15 years who successfully complete the course qualify for the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. There is no addiutional training to update to a full PADI Open Water Diver.

Physical: All students complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply you can sign the form and you are ready to start. If any of these apply to you as a safety precaution your physician/GP must assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign the medical form that confirms that you are fit to dive. In some areas local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course but that is not the case in the UK.

Waterskills: At some point during your PADI Open Water Diver course your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskills by having you:

  • swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this and you may use any swimming strokes you like.
  • float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you like.

About Physical Challenges: Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to your PADI Instructor at Dive Wimbledon for more information.

Learning Materials : Unless you choose PADI eLearning you will need and use the following training materials during the PADI Open Water Diver course, and for your review and reference after the course:

  • The PADI Open Water Diver Manual
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video on DVD
  • You will also receive your PADI Log book and Recreational Dive Planner (Table or eRDPML).

If you select the Elearning option this significantly reduces the amount of time required in the classroom.

You can dive practically anywhere there is water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your:

  • experience level
  • site accessibility
  • conditions
  • interests

For example if you have just finished your PADI Open Water Diver course you probably won't be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. But, don't limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think.

Your local dive site can be anything from a special pool built just for divers like one found in Brussels, Belgium, or more typically natural sites like Belize's Great Blue Hole, Australia's Great Barrier Reef or Japan's Yonaguni Monument. It may be a manmade reservoir or a fossil-filled river. It is not always about great visibility because what you see is more important than how far you see.

The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the scuba diving training and experience appropriate for diving there and that you have a dive buddy to go with you. DIVE WIMBLEDON can help you organise great local diving or a dive holiday. Visit today to get started.

No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes – you just need to be taught how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying you will probably experience no problem while diving and the instructors at Dive Wimbledon will teach you these skills.

Most divers with these conditions will be fine to dive but any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function, heart function or may alter consciousness must be accessed by a physician/GP. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. 

DAN has information available online if you wish to do some research.

Dive Wimbledon recommends Dr Mark Downs - 078028958523 - who is an HSE approved dive doctor.

Pregnancy: Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on a fetus the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Menstruation while diving is not a concern and is up to the individual.

With the necessary training and experience the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres. Beginners stay shallower than 18 metres unless you are a Junior Scuba Diver aged 10 and 11 when it is 12 metres. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 12 metres/40 feet where the water is warmer and the colours are brighter.

This is not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times and we always return to the surface with a large safety reserve remaining. But in the very unlikely event you run out of air your buddy has a spare mouthpiece that they aren't using which allows you to share their air while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you'll learn in your PADI Open Water Diver course with DIVE WIMBLEDON.