Are you, a friend, or a family member curious about learning how to scuba dive but also feeling a little hesitant? It would be great to try scuba diving before fully committing to the certification course. Well guess what – you can! You can scuba dive without a certification! Yes, you, your friend, or family member can do a PADI Discover Scuba® Diving experience with your local dive shop. This is a great opportunity to scuba dive without a certification and figure out if taking a certification course is the right next step for you.
What is Discover Scuba Diving (DSD)?
How is it possible to go scuba diving without a certification? Think of the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience as a taster of a full certification course. You’ll sign up for the experience through a dive shop. Then you will learn about the basics of diving, and a PADI-certified instructor will guide you through the underwater experience.
You can study at your own pace (20-30 minutes worth of material) thanks to the eLearning component.
After that, the underwater section of Discover Scuba Diving is done in a swimming pool, or a similar calm water environment. This is the exciting part where you’ll practice wearing and using scuba gear, use hand signs to communicate with your buddy, and perform basic scuba skills.
Also, there is usually the option to add a guided open water dive as a part of the experience. If you choose not to do a guided open water dive, you’ll likely have some free time to practice and play in the pool.
What Are the Requirements and Limitations?
Just about anyone can do the Discover Scuba Diving experience! There are no prerequisites. However, you should be comfortable in the water and have an average level of fitness. If you are unsure about your medical fitness to dive, you should review the Diver Medical Form and contact your physician.
The minimum age to participate in a Discover Scuba Diving experience is 10 years old, and there is no upper age limit. This provides a great opportunity to gift this course to someone you know who is not yet a diver, do a unique family experience, or even throw a Discover Scuba Diving birthday party! Regardless of how old you are or how you gift Discover Scuba Diving, it is a wonderful way to experience diving for the first time without enrolling in a full certification course.
What Comes Next After a Discover Scuba Diving Experience?
There are a couple of things you can do after your first Discover Scuba Diving experience, depending on how much you fell in love with scuba diving.
Discover Scuba Diving – Again!
You can keep doing Discover Scuba Diving experiences with the same dive shop. Or, you can go with another dive shop in another location. But keep in mind that the other dive shop will ask you to repeat the knowledge and safety review as well as the pool session before you head out into open water as will your original dive shop if it’s been more than a couple of weeks since your last experience.
Get Your Open Water Diver Certification
If you ask us, the better next step is to get your scuba diving certification! This means taking the PADI Open Water Diver course. Having your certification will open up so many opportunities to get in the water. You will gain the skills and knowledge to dive and explore the ocean responsibly.
The Open Water Diver course requires you to complete four open water dives, so your Discover Scuba Diving experience could count towards your certification. Simply tell the dive shop that you’re considering getting certified after the Discover Scuba Diving experience, and your PADI Instructor will include some additional skills in the pool session and during the open water dive (if you choose to do it) so that those underwater sessions can count towards your Open Water Diver course.
If you don’t feel completely ready to earn the full PADI Open Water Diver certification, talk to your instructor about gaining the PADI Scuba Diver certification instead. The Scuba Diver course is basically half the Open Water Diver course and while you will need to dive with a PADI Pro following the certification, you will still be able to visit some incredible dive sites around the world without repeating the DSD experience.
Getting your scuba diving certification opens a whole new world of adventure and knowledge. You’ll be able to dive abroad, see beautiful ocean habitats and animals, and learn how you can support ocean protection! Need more reasons to get your open water certification? Read about 10 reasons to go from Discover Scuba Diving to Open Water Diver!
So what are you waiting for? You can scuba dive without a certification if you’re curious about diving, but not sure you want to fully commit to becoming certified. And if you have a blast blowing bubbles during the Discover Scuba Diving experience, the Open Water Diver course will be waiting for you. Contact your local dive shop to sign up for your DSD today!