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I’ve always wanted to learn to scuba dive (or snorkel). How do I get started?
The best way is to visit Sound Dive Center and talk to one of our knowledgeable staff.

Is learning to dive difficult?
No, it’s probably easier than you imagine — especially if you’re already comfortable in the water. Sound Dive Center’s entry level course consists of pool diving, knowledge development and open water dives. The course is performance based, you go at your own speed.

How long does it take to become a certified scuba diver?
Courses are performance based, which means that you earn your certification when you demonstrate that you’ve mastered the required skills and knowledge. Because some learn faster than others, course duration varies.

For example, the Open Water Diver course can be split into five or six sessions over as little as two weekends to a much as three and a half weeks. For a schedule of beginning classes visit our Open Water Diver Course page.

How old do I have to be to become a certified diver?
You must be at least ten years old to receive a Junior Open Water Diver Certification.

  • Ten and 11 year old Junior Open Water Divers must dive with a certified parent, guardian or Dive Instructor to a maximum depth of 12 meters/40 feet.
  • 12 to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult.
  • At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification.

Are their any special requirements or considerations prior to a taking a SCUBA class?
No. Generally speaking, anyone in good average health and at least 10 years old can participate. You will, however, complete a medical questionnaire. If anything on the questionnaire indicates a reason to be cautious about diving, you’ll need check with a physician to make sure you can dive.

438_Melissa_waving_hi_from_Do I have to be a great swimmer to be certified as an Open Water Diver?
No. You need to be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 yards nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement or a 300 yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel. You’ll also need to perform a 10 minute tread/float.

Is scuba diving expensive?
No. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest however much you want, depending upon your interest level. Because most dive centers and resorts rent equipment, you can invest in equipment over time, renting what you don’t have. There’s probably good diving not far from where you live, so travel costs can be flexible enough to accommodate even the tightest budget. Most people find the costs of scuba diving similar to the cost associated with snow skiing(without the lift ticket).

What equipment do I need before I take scuba lessons?
We encourage everyone to train in their own gear. The personal package that we sell includes a mask, snorkle, gloves boots, and fins. The staff at Sound Dive Center can help you select quality equipment that fits properly.

What’s in a scuba tank? Oxygen?
Recreational divers breathe air, never pure oxygen. The air in a scuba tank is like the air you’re breathing but only better! Scuba air is filtered to remove impurities.

diver_crabHow long does a tank of air last?
Since people are different ages, sizes and physical condition, they breath at different rates. As you go deeper you use air faster, each dive is different. Divers carry a pressure gauge or dive computer that lets them know how much air is in the tank. As we gain more experience and relax, our “bottom time” will improve. Divers can expect a 30 minute to one hour underwater time when diving to 20 to 40 ft with an average tank.

When I’m snorkeling, my ears hurt when I dive down.
This ear pain comes from the water pressure on your eardrum. In your SDC SCUBA course, you’ll learn simple techniques to “equalize” your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you fly in an airplane.

Sharks and Stinging Manta Rays
Marine animals are passive or timid. A few do bite when provoked, or sting when intimidated or put in a defensive mode. What to do? Don’t provoke them or invade their “space.”

Is scuba diving dangerous?
No, but there are potential hazards, which is why you need proper training and certification.

I wear glasses or contacts.
All SDC SCUBA masks are prescription friendly. If you would prefer to wear your soft contact lenses, under your regular mask, no problem. Hard contact wearers should use gas permeable lenses.

DSC_0460I’m not sure I will like it…
One of our instructors used to reply. “I know you won’t like it, …….. you’ll love it.” Our SDC Discover Scuba Diving experience allows you to make a shallow scuba dive, that is supervised by a SDC SCUBA Professional after a short dry introduction. We usually do this at one of our pool sessions during a regular class. Not only will your experience the wonderful underwater world, but you will also get a chance to see students in our existing classes.
Who is NAUI?
NAUI or the National Association of Underwater Instructors, is the worlds most respected and largest nonprofit diver certifying agency in the world. 

Have a question not listed? Not a problem at all. Send an e-mail to the knowledgeable SDC Staff and we will get you an answer as soon as possible!