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OPEN WATER DIVER The world's most popular scuba diving course

The PADI Open Water Diver course with Columbia Scuba

This is the first step to discovering the underwater world!

2019 Classes are held monthly and begin January 8, February 5, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 4! Check our Calendar of Events for the full year's schedule!

Private lessons available.


If you've always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, discover new adventures or simply see the wonderous world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. The PADI Open Water Diver course is the world's most popular scuba course, and has introduced millions of people to the adventurous diving lifestyle.

What You Learn

The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of three main phases:

  • Knowledge Development (classroom, home study or online ) to understand basic principles of scuba diving,
  • Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills,
  • Open Water Dives to review your skills and explore!

If you've participated in a Discover Scuba Diving experience or resort course, the skills you learned may be credited towards a portion of the full PADI Open Water Diver course certification.


To enroll in the PADI Open Diver course or Junior Open Water Diver course, you must be:

  • 10 years or older (PADI eLearning requires a minimum age of 13 years due to international internet laws).

The Fun Part

The fun part about this course is... well, just about all of it because learning to dive is incredible. You breathe underwater for the first time (something you'll never forget) and learn what you need to know to become a certified diver. During the course, you'll make at least five pool dives and four dives at local dive sites under the supervision of your PADI Instructor.

The Scuba Gear You Use

In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you learn to use basic scuba gear including a dive computer, and standard accessories. The equipment you wear will be chosen by your COLUMBIA SCUBA Open Water instructor to ensure your comfort throughout the course. 

We provide students with a regulator, BCD, computer, weights and all air fills necessary to complete the course. Wetsuits are available for rental.

Students need to begin class with their own snorkel set, which should include a scuba mask, fins, booties and a snorkel. The most important thing about personal gear is that it fits and is comfortable. Let us know if you would like for us to custom fit  you with your own gear! 

The Learning Materials You Need

PADI offers a variety of home-study materials for the Open Water Diver course - book and DVD package or a multimedia DVD. Columbia Scuba prefers this method because it gives ample opportunities for questions and answers during the classroom sessions. However, if schedules require a different method of learning, PADI has enhanced this program by offering the learning material in an eLearning environment via the internet.

Contact COLUMBIA SCUBA to personalize the best study option for you!

PADI's Open Water Diver materials cover what you need to know about basic scuba diving skills, terminology and safety procedures. For each concept you'll read a description and watch a video demonstration. Then you'll jump in the pool (or pool-like environment) to practice these skills with your instructor.