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Open Water Course
A globally recognized certification, this course is the best way to begin your adventure as a scuba diver. Academic training is combined with pool and open water practice sessions to ensure you have the skills and experience required to be comfortable underwater. The program is intended to provide students with the knowledge and training necessary to dive autonomously with a buddy in environments equivalent with their training. 
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    Digital Learning
    Start your Open Water Course with the SSI Digital Learning platform. Included in the kit are videos and lessons that cover the academic portion of the course. It is available both through the SSI website as well as through the SSI apps on tablets and smartphones.
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    Pool Skills
    Take your first breaths underwater! Go over important skills (ie. how to clear your mask, how to recover your regulator, and what to do in an emergency) that you'll need to know on your dives. Get comfortable in the water, and learn how to be a safe diver.
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    Open Water Checkouts
    Complete the Open Water Certification with your four open water dives at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, PA.

Open Water FAQ:

What is the Open Water Course?

The Open Water course is the introductory certification in scuba diving. It teaches the basic, need-to-know skills required in scuba diving and includes four open water dives with an instructor. Once completed, your certification is valid globally; whatever destinations you visit over your lifetime you can show certification card. It certifies you to a depth of 60 feet (18 meters). 

Does the certification ever expire?

It never expires; however, it is common practice that if you have not dived in over one year you are required to complete a refresher course that will repeat the skills portion of the course. 

Is there an age requirement?

For the full Open Water certification, you must be at least 15 years old. 
SSI also offers a Junion Open Water certification for children aged 10 to 14 which certifies them to 30 feet (10m). 

Do I need any equipment?

As part of the course, we provide the majority of the scuba equipment. We do require that you buy your own mask, snorkel, booties, and fins - we can easily outfit you for these at our store. We also advise a rashguard or wetsuit if you tend to get cold in pools. However, appropriate wetsuits will be provided for at Dutch Springs. 

If you are interested in getting your personal gear, which we suggest as it is more comfortable and enjoyable, we are distributers for all major scuba brands and can outfit you. 

Are there any medical issues I should inform you about?

There is a medical questionnaire that is required to be completed prior to starting the course. To see the questionnaire, click here. If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions asked, a physical exam conducted by a physician is required. Once the forms are completed, you can begin the course!

When can I complete the course?

We have regularly scheduled classes and pool sessions monthly. Alternatively, we can schedule private lessons for you according to your schedule. 

How long does it take to get my certification? 

The online portion generally takes 4-6 hours to complete; this can be done at your own leisure. Our pool sessions are completed over one full weekend - both days typically last from 9:00am - 5:00pm. The open water checkouts are also conducted over the weekend at Dutch Springs. 

Do I have to be a strong swimmer to learn how to dive?

Not necessarily. Comfort in the water is far more improtant than being an exceptional swimmer.

As part of the checkout process there is an evaluation of basic water skills; this includes a 200 yard swim using any stroke with no time limit and treading water for 10 minutes. 

What and where is Dutch Springs?

Dutch Springs is an old limestone quarry that converted into a underwater amusement park in Bethlehem, PA. It currently serves as a fully functional training facility for scuba divers. Complete with platforms for checkout skills, sunken school busses, planes, and ships for fun, and freshwater wildlife, it is an excellent facility to divers in the tri-state area. It is well known across North America and is visited by thousands of divers every year. Open April through November, it is the perfect location for open water checkouts. 
There is an admittance fee to the park of $40 per day which is not included in course costs. Season passes are also available. 
For more information on Dutch Springs, click here

How much does it the course cost?

How do I sign up?

Navigate to our course signup form

I have more questions...

Fill out our contact form or give us a call and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 
See our pricing page here for the prices of all courses.