top of page
PADI pool confined session

Open Water Diver


The PADI Open Water Diver certification course is the entry level certification that allows a diver to dive independently with other divers of similar experience to a depth of 60' in conditions similar to those in which he/she was trained. 

The course itself consists of three phases. 


The first phase is the knowledge development which has five academic sections.  Each section is completed by reading the PADI Open Water Diver manual, viewing the PADI Open Water Diver videos and completing the Knowlege Reviews, quizzes for each section and  a comprehensive final exam.  The topics that are covered include dive theory and the Recreational Dive Planner (you've already heard about the tables, they aren't that hard), detailed equipment discussions, decompression theory and dive accident prevention along with dive planning and discussion about the dive environment. YOU CAN DO THIS ONLINE which saves alot of time!


The second part of dive training is your confined water training and waterskills assessment.  There are five confined water modules that will need to be completed prior to certification. Each module builds on the last with basic skills gaining in complexity through the confined water training to prepare each student for the open water assessment dives.  Students must also be able to swim 200 yards without stopping and tread water for ten minutes. 


The final phase of training is four open water dives where you will be asked to perform skills that you learned during your confined water training.  The most important part is that now you're really diving! 

After successful completion of each section you will be awarded a PADI Open Water Diver certication!

Training Options


Today there are more options than ever when it comes to getting your PADI Open Water Diver certification. The last thing you want to do on vacation is spend time in a classroom and for that reason we can recommend a few different options.  The first option is to complete the knowledge development and confined water training at a dive center close to home (Click here to find a PADI Dive Center close to you), then you can do your open water referral dives at St. Thomas Diving Club. 


Another option for people without a lot of time or with an irregular schedule is the PADI eLearning program.  The idea behind eLearning is that the academic section only is done online on your time schedule.  After the academics are completed, you can then print your training record and arrange to do your confined and open water dives here at St. Thomas Dive Center. Clink on the link below to sign up for E-Learning with PADI. St. Thomas Dive Center is Store #1060. 


bottom of page