Whether you’ve just watched an awesome diving Instagram reel, or your friend just got their PADI Open Water Diver certification on vacation and you’re intrigued, you may be wondering how to start scuba diving? Rest assured, we’ve got the top tips on exactly how you can get start your own diving journey and get into the underwater world as soon as possible! Guess what? You can even start studying online, making it easier than ever to start scuba diving and get your certification.

1. Do Some Research About Diving

With all new ventures, it’s a great idea to begin with some research. You may even want to find out about the history of scuba diving. Or, learn more about the pioneers of the underwater world (like the renowned explorer Jacques Cousteau!). Furthermore, online blogs (like our PADI blog), Instagram accounts, and diving safety sites are good starting points, along with first-hand accounts of those working in the diving industry or those diving for fun and sharing their own #LiveUnfiltered stories.

To get started, check out some of these My PADI Stories below:

Family Scuba Diving

Reach Out to Family and Friends

Family and friends combined, it’s likely at least one person in your network has been scuba diving. Hearing others’ stories of how they began and what they love about diving can help give you a starting point when wondering how to start scuba diving. Additionally, they may have specific dive centres they rave about to give you confidence in where you’ll learn. Even better, are any of your friends or family PADI Pros or scuba instructors? This way you could even do your PADI Open Water Diver course with someone you know!

a post with colorful wooden signs pointing to the dive shop

Locate Your Local Dive Store

Now you’ve got some information under your belt (soon to be your diving weight belt!), you can start exploring where you’ll begin learning. You may be more inclined to start closer to home or you may want to start on your next vacation abroad. To locate a dive store anywhere in the world, the easiest starting point is the PADI Dive Shop Locator.

In using the dive shop locator, you’ll only be shown PADI dive centers adhering to the PADI standards. Therefore, you can rest assured that the teaching is legitimate and of high standards. Plus, the instructor teaching you will have had to go through all of their PADI courses and pass the thorough exams in order to be certified to as a PADI Instructor.

It’s important to note that although you may consider dive centers to be something only seen in tropical countries, you’ll likely find many around your local area, too. There are more than 6,600 PADI dive centers and resorts in 186 countries and territories around the world.

a diver talks to her scuba instructor while standing in a pool

Sign Up for a Course

Next step, sign up! Once you’ve located your dive shop, it’s time to actually book your course. The first PADI course is the Open Water Diver Course (OWD). It’s a 4 to 5 day experience with a highly experienced instructor who will teach and certify you to dive. However, you can also start with a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience first. A DSD is not a certification course, but allows you to experience scuba diving at a basic level to see if you’re interested in getting into scuba diving completely.

To book a course, either contact the dive shop you located on the Dive Shop Locator, or head over to the PADI Adventures App to book directly online. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a diving experience during vacation abroad, contact PADI Travel to book all your diving, courses, and accommodation in one place – with scuba travel agents available 24/7 to help you!

scuba certification materials

Start eLearning

Want to get a head start before your in-person training? eLearning is the choice for you. This online course takes you through the knowledge development section of the course, making the in-person training quicker and easier. eLearning can be done from anywhere and is easy to fit into a packed schedule. Not to mention it’s completely at your own pace, and then you can begin in-water training when you’re ready. Many travellers love eLearing, as it allowed you to maximise your time enjoying your holiday, too, if you complete the course materials in advance.

Many PADI Courses offer eLearning, including the following for beginners:

Ready to Dive In?

There’s really no better time to start scuba diving. It’s thrilling and rewarding for people who want to live a life full of adventure and to Live Unfiltered. And, diving can help you get involved in ocean conservation (check out PADI AWARE). Joining the diving community is just the beginning. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop! Think, one day you may even reach becoming a PADI Pro and teaching others to dive as a career!

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