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Abyss Scuba Diving
Is the PADI Open Water Course Hard?
While some people often ask what the hardest part of the PADI Open Water course is, the reality is that it is not hard at all. Yes, there may be some challenging parts, but there are many different things you must do to complete the course and just because one of those things happens to be difficult for you, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is all that challenging.
Knowledge Conquers Fear
The PADI Open Water Course is designed for 10-year-olds to complete. The course begins with online Theory (PADI eLearning) to give you a solid understanding of diving, the principles behind diving, dive equipment and skills involved. The eLearning is designed so that it meets the needs of each individual no matter their preferred learning style. Because the program is so in-depth, it takes most people around 10 hours.
The Need to Be Comfortable in Water
As you begin to learn how to dive, it is the most important thing to feel comfortable in the water. To demonstrate this comfort, at the beginning of the in-water training you are asked to demonstrate that you can comfortably keep oneself afloat in water too deep in which to stand by completing a 10-minute swim/float without using any swim aids.
At some point you will complete a 200-meter continuous surface swim or a 300-meter swim with mask, fins and snorkel. Most people who are of average fitness and have spent enough time in a pool or the sea to feel comfortable in the water have no problems with the 300-meter snorkel.
Start Just Centimeters Below the Surface
Once the theory has been completed, it is then converted into practice through confined water training. In confined water, you learn all the skills you'll need for the open water, but in an environment where for much of the time your head is only a few centimeters below the surface and where if you have an issue, you can merely stand up and talk the problem through with your instructor.
Confined water is one of the most difficult areas where the majority of beginner scuba divers typically have difficulty. The difficulty occurs to a large extent because they are not used to breathing through their noses instead of their mouths nor are they accustomed to be able to alternate between mouth and nose breathing to clear their masks. Mask clearing is where the majority of beginner scuba divers typically encounter the most problems. At this stage of the training, it is overcoming these psychological issues that pose the biggest challenge.
The Ocean is the Fun Part
The final requirement is to complete four ocean dives that increase bit by bit in depth, ranging from 6m and down to a maximum of 18m. This is the easiest part of the course as the beginner diver has grown accustomed to all the skills involved in confined water. The ocean section is the toppings on your cake as the beginner diver gets to experience the magic of the underwater world while practicing all the skills they perfected in confined water.
So, to answer the question, "Is the PADI Open Water certification hard?", the answer is that realistically, it is not hard at all. The average person can easily learn to dive but on the way, they will have to address psychological issues. Going below the surface of the water is not a natural process, but once you become a certified open water diver then you have something special that will fuel a lifetime of adventure and wonder. Abyss Scuba Diving and PADI would love to help make the beginning of this adventure as easy as possible.