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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Training Questions
Online Open Water Diver Course Questions
Store Questions
Trip Questions


General Questions

Is it difficult to learn to scuba?
Heavens no! If it were hard, we couldn't have done it! You do not need to be an expert swimmer, only comfortable in the water. The equipment, which may be heavy or bulky outside the water, is designed to make your experience easier, safer and more efficient.

This costs a bunch of money for something that I may do only once a year!
Your certification card has no expiration date. What you're learning are skills that hopefully will last you a lifetime. Sure, diving costs money, but it's comparable to any exciting outdoor challenging recreation. You'll meet nice people, go to great places, and you'll be with people who are interested in the same thing- enjoying the underwater world! The basic equipment that you'll buy (mask, fins, snorkels, boots, etc.) can last for your entire diving life!

Living in Western Colorado, we're not really close to you. Any way to cut down on the driving?
Absolutely. Our online or CD-Rom academic program can cut your travel time in half! Your travel can be limited to visiting with us at the Montrose Recreation Center in Montrose or Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta for your confined water work.

I'm not a youngster? Can us "more mature" folks dive?
Are you kidding? Of course! You just have to be in reasonable physical and emotional shape. We've taught young folks who are 10 years old and folks in their 70s! There's no age limit to having fun!

I'm OK with learning to dive, but my partner is a little nervous. What can you do to help?
It's normal to be a bit nervous (or maybe it's just excitement!). Breathing underwater isn't natural! But, like anything, with training, experience, and perhaps some handholding for confidence, we've found that just about anyone who wants to can learn to dive and enjoy it!

I've got some physical problems. Can those be overcome? I also take some medication. Does that matter?
Your safety is paramount to us. Before you sign up for a class, we ask that you complete a medical questionnaire. If there's any question, we'll ask you to visit your physician who makes the ultimate decision as to your health and diving.

Is there lots to remember?
Learning to dive is not a test! Your academic program will contain a test, but the SDI system is easy! While other agencies teach with tables, charts, and lots of mathematics and theory; we teach you how to dive using a dive computer. Using a computer is safer and easier than using tables and charts. Takes the guesswork out of it. Sure, you have to learn how to use the computer, but if you can read, you can use the computer! Scuba is an equipment intensive sport and it's important to know how to work the stuff and to know what it does, but once you master it, it's like riding a bicycle!

I plan to dive only on vacation. Can't I just do the Intro or Resort Courses once a year?
Sure, you could, but with that limited diving, you're never on your own. You're someone else's responsibility. There are usually stricter limits on your dives. It's comparable to a driver's "learners permit" rather than having your license.

All right. I'm ready. What's next?
Call or email us for all the details. When you train with us, you'll enter into a "contract" that fully explains what we expect of you and what you can expect from us. There's no questions, and no surprises!


Training Questions

How exactly do I learn to scuba?
Becoming a certified diver is a 2 part process: the academics together with confined water training and the open water evaluation or open water checkout. In the first part, you'll learn all the physics and what diving does to your body, as well as what safe diving is and why it's important. In the pool, you'll learn all the basic skills necessary to scuba. During the second part, "open waters", you'll demonstrate a level of proficiency to the satisfaction of a scuba instructor.

The academics can be accomplished the "traditional" way- watching an audio visual aid (DVD or VCR), reading a manual, answering questions at the end of each chapter and spending classroom time with your instructor who will insure that you have 100% comprehension of the material. The instructor may also expand on the academic material. Or, you can complete the academic portion using SDI's on-line or CD-Rom training program. It's easy and fun. You go at your own pace and on your own time from your computer. No classroom. You'll also have a manual for later reference.

Either way, you then will go with your fellow classmates and your instructor to the pool. Here you'll learn the water skills, as well as have fun! Water training usually consists of 2 or 3 three- or four-hour sessions. If you need or want more water time, we'll do it. You only have to pay the pool use fees and a tank charge.

Upon successful completion of the academics and confined water training, your final step is to complete "open waters". You can do that with us locally or by traveling to Utah. Or you can do them on a group trip. Or you can complete them by referral with a transcript of your training that you can take to any instructor of a recognized training agency, who will do the open water checkout.

OK, I've completed my basic certification, what's next?
Well, you can take additional training which adds to your skills, can make you more comfortable, and ups the level of your scuba education. You can take individual Specialty Classes, bundle Specialties to become an Advanced Diver, or go all the way up to becoming an instructor! We approach additional training as not just training, but gaining experience. Ask us. We'll explain it all.

What's my C card?
C card is an abbreviation for your certification card. After successful completion of your training, whether it's Basic Open Water, Specialty, Advanced or beyond, you'll receive a certification card. That card recognizes you as a trained diver who is able to dive and rent equipment.


Online or CD-Rom Open Water Diver Course Questions

How is taking the SDI online course different from the classroom instruction?
The primary advantage of these options is that you can attend scuba class in the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. You can either log into the online classroom or pop the CD into your computer anytime you have a few minutes to work on your lessons, quizzes, and reading assignments. The course fits into your schedule because you can work on your training any time of the day or night. We understand that online courses are not for everyone. Learning over the internet or using the CD is a solitary activity. If you want face-to-face interaction or don't have the discipline to complete the lessons, you would do better to choose classroom training.

What happens if I answer "yes" on the medical form?
When you answer "yes" on the medical form, the next form you will see is a physician sign-off that you will need to print out and bring to a physician along with the medical history form.

If I answer "yes" on the medical form, will I be able to continue taking the online portion of the course?
Yes, you will be able to continue with the online course but you will need to have the medical form and release completed before you can participate in confined or open water activities.


Store Questions

Do you sell equipment?
Yes, we offer a full range of product that can fit a diver's needs. We may have to order it, but we can get about anything you want or need.

Do you sell equipment online or over the phone?
Yes, certain products are available. See our sales page.


Trip Questions

Do you organize group trips?
We do not organize group trips at this time. If you have somewhere you would like to go, we'd be happy to let you know anything we know about it and the diving available there. We can help you choose accommodations and dive operators that will make your stay memorable.

Are there regularly scheduled trips for Open Water Certification?
No, there is no schedule for Open Water Certification trips. We work with each student to schedule trips specifically for their certification.


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