For divers wanting to take their underwater adventures to the next level, enriched air nitrox has plenty of benefits – and PADI Enriched Air Diver (PADI’s most popular specialty course) is the best way to learn how to make the most of them safely and confidently.

There are many reasons divers choose nitrox, including:

  • Staying at depth for longer
  • Shorter surface intervals
  • Increased personal safety margins

So, is it worth getting nitrox certified? Yes! Read on to learn more about becoming a PADI Enriched Air Diver.

Two nitrox cylinders, which are used by PADI Enriched Air Divers to enjoy the benefits of breathing oxygen-enriched air

What is Enriched Air Nitrox (EANx)?

The air humans breathe on the surface is approximately 79 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, with trace amounts of other gases. Enriched air nitrox (also known as EANx or nitrox) is a breathing gas that has more oxygen and less nitrogen – the most common ‘mixes’ for recreational diving are 32% and 36% oxygen.

A PADI Enriched Air Diver swimming underwater who is enjoying extended bottom time, one of many advantages of nitrox diving

Nitrox vs Air

By using nitrox, you’ll absorb less nitrogen during your dive compared with regular air. The biggest benefit is you’ll have extended no-stop times for a given depth and shorter surface intervals between dives. Assuming your gas consumption isn’t a limiting factor, it basically means you’ll get to spend more time underwater!

Enriched air nitrox diving particularly pays off on multi-day trips when you’ll be doing repetitive dives. In fact, some of the world’s top scuba destinations and liveaboards are also best suited to nitrox divers.

From personal safety to dive computer skills, discover even more reasons to dive with EANx.

A scuba diver analyzing the oxygen content of their nitrox tank, a skill learned during a PADI enriched air nitrox course

What is Enriched Air Diver?

Before you use EANx, you’ll need to learn how the body reacts to breathing increased oxygen levels under different depths of water. The PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver specialty course will teach you everything you need to know – in as little as one day!

First, you’ll undertake online knowledge development before putting it into practice with a PADI Instructor. Then, you can (optionally) make two enriched air nitrox dives. Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn:

  • Techniques for getting more dive time by using enriched air nitrox
  • Why nitrox has extra equipment considerations
  • How to dive safely with EANx, including managing oxygen exposure
  • How to tell what nitrox mix you’ve got in your tank (referred to as analyzing)
  • How to set your dive computer

After you complete the course, you’ll be able to answer important safety questions such as ‘how deep can you dive with enriched air?‘. What’s more, you’ll be amazed at how EANx expands what you’re able to do while diving. You’ll have more time to explore and pursue your favorite underwater activities, like taking photos or video.

A scuba diver jumping into the ocean from the back of a dive boat and who is using a tank filled with enriched air nitrox

Beyond PADI Enriched Air Diver

In addition to all the diving-related benefits of enriched air diving, the PADI Enriched Air Diver certification counts toward your Master Scuba Diver rating – the highest non-professional rating in recreational diving. It is also a prerequisite for most PADI TecRec courses if you wish to proceed into the world of technical diving.

Get Nitrox Certified Today

Ready to expand your diving opportunities with a nitrox certification? Sign up with PADI eLearning today to complete the Enriched Air Diver course online, or contact your local PADI Dive Shop for more information.

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