Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost To Learn To Dive?
Compared with getting started in other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities learning to dive is not 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 dive is a great value when you consider that your PADI Instructor is a highly trained and experienced professional. Invest in scuba diving lessons and learn something you will enjoy the rest of your life. From the first day, diving starts transforming your life with new experiences you share with friends. And, you can do it almost anywhere there is water.
What Equipment Do I Need?
Choosing and using your gear is part of the fun of diving. At Ocean Pro Divers, we will help you find the right equipment. Each piece of equipment performs a different function so that collectively, it adapts you to the underwater world.
As a minimum, you want your own mask, fins and snorkel when you start diving. These have a personal fit, and while we have rental options available, having your own mask, fins and snorkel will greatly increase your comfort.
How Do I Know What The Best Gear Is?
Easy. There is no best gear. But, there is the best gear for you. Scuba equipment comes in a wonderful variety that accommodates a broad range of needs, interests and sizes. The professionals at Ocean Pro Divers are trained to help you find gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget. These professionals can get you set with the right stuff, plus they provide service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.
How Long Does It Take To Learn?
You will be diving in less time than you think. Typically, the Open Water Diver Course ranges anywhere from three or four days to three weeks, depending upon how frequently you meet with your instructor. PADI courses are performance-based, which means your instructor is interested in you learning to dive, not in how long you sit in a class. This means that you progress at your own pace... faster or slower depending upon the time you need to become a confident diver who dives regularly.
Ocean Pro Divers most common Open Water course runs two nights a week for two weeks in a row. We also offer a popular two weekend course. Check out our Calendar for start dates and specific schedules.
My Schedule Is Crazy. Can I Still Take The Course?
Absolutely! We offer a variety of private and semi-private course options and can work with your specific schedule. Whether you want to meet every day for a week or once a week for six weeks... we can accommodate.
Our group lessons typically run two nights a week for two weeks in a row. We also offer a popular two weekend course. Check out our calendar for start dates and specific schedules.
What Is Involved In The Course?
Learning to dive is not difficult, but like any activity worth doing, it requires some time and effort. While taking the PADI Open Water Diver course, you will enjoy three phases: Knowledge Development, Confined Water Dives and Open Water Dives. We spend a bit of time going through the knowledge required for you to dive safely and competently. We spend more time at the pool teaching you the physical skills required to dive. Most of our time is spent at the ocean... diving! Like many sports, diving is best learnt through exposure and continued practice.
It is possible to complete your confined and open water dives in as few as three or four days (provided you take care of reading the manual and watching the video ahead of time). However, many people prefer a more leisurely schedule. We can accommodate whatever schedule requirements you might have!
Where Can I Dive?
The short answer is, 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.
Your experience level, site accessibility, conditions and your interests determine where you can dive. For example, if you have just finished your PADI Open Water Diver course, you probably will not be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. But, do not limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think, and more unusual than you think.
Here in BC, we have some of the most amazing diving in the world. Jacques Cousteau was noted to say that British Columbia is the most beautiful place in the world to dive aside from the Red Sea. The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the training and experience appropriate for diving there, and that you have a dive buddy to go with you.
How Well Do I Have To Swim?
Basic swimming skills are definitely an asset for scuba diving. You should be comfortable in the water and able to swim a couple of lengths of the pool without assistance. While there is a swimming requirement in the Open Water course (200m) there are no time or style requirements.
Diving is not meant to be a strenuous activity and, in fact, it is very relaxing for the average person. As with any sport, it us up to you how aggressively you plan your activity level. Diving can be as calming or as adrenaline charged as you decide to make it. We want to make sure that during your experience you are having fun and not feeling strained by the activities. Of course, your personal fitness level is going to play a big part in your level of enjoyment. Experience has shown us that an averagely fit person does just fine while diving and does not feel over-exerted at the end of the day.
How Cold Is The Water?
The waters of British Columbia vary slightly in temperature during the various seasons of the year so diving can be enjoyed year-round. Like any outdoor activity, having the appropriate exposure gear is critical. The water can be pretty brisk, so diving here in a swimsuit is not an option. To combat the cold, we equip our divers with wet suits or dry suits so that you are warm and comfortable while diving - be it November or June.
What Is The Diving Like In British Columbia?
British Columbia has been internationally renowned by diving and marine life enthusiasts due to the health of our plant and marine life, underwater photography opportunities, protected marine parks and accessible wrecks. Most of the photos on our website were taken at sites around British Columbia. Check out our photo gallery and see for yourself how outstanding our diving is.
Should I Train Here Or Wait Until I Go On Holidays?
We believe strongly you should take most or all of your training here in BC waters.
the quality of diver training you receive in a five star cold water facility is far in excess of that which you will receive in most tropical destinations
diving in a cold water environment leaves you better equipped for the variety of global environments available to you
dive training takes a minimum of 3 days of which half is spent in the classroom and pool. We want you to spend your holiday diving, not studying.
most important is that if you are trained in BC you can dive in BC. If you are trained in warmer waters, you would need additional instruction to be able to dive in BC. After getting a taste of diving, we are sure that BC diving is something you will want to explore a bit further.
How Old Should I Be?
We offer programs for kids as young as age 8. However, to dive in the ocean the minimum age is 10 years old. Come talk to us if your kids want to learn to dive and we will help you assess if diving is right for them.
What Kind Of Health Concerns Might Stop Me From Diving?
Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function, heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess your individual risk. We can help you identify health concerns which may be an issue.