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"Discover Scuba" Courses

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by ACAS1207, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. ACAS1207

    ACAS1207 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: NJ USA
    I am a certified diver and my GF wants to try scuba but she's not ready to commit to a cert course. We are going away and there is a "discover scuba" course which does not certify you but (I guess) teaches some basic skills so that you can do a dive. It is described as a shallow dive with an instructor. Does anyone know about these types of intro "courses" and what skills they teach you? Thanks.
  2. diver_dj

    diver_dj ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    Generally they involve reg clearing, mask clearing and a guided dive.
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    These kinds of courses are extremely common. They are done throughout the world. While we occasionally hear of it being done under shaky circumstances, they are for the most part very safe. Assuming you are doing it through a reputable operation, it will be done under agency standards and procedures. There is a classroom session that takes a half hour or so, a pool session that is the equivalent of the first module of open water training, and then a shallow open water dive with an instructor.

    I did one many years ago and was enthusiastic about getting certified immediately afterward, but I unfortunately sustained an injury that prevented it. On another vacation years later I did it again, and was again so enthused that I got certified soon afterward.
  4. ScubaSteve1962

    ScubaSteve1962 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ellenwood, Georgia, United States
    Most teach you the very basics, I think the first confined pool session, how to clear your mask, reg recovery, and how to breath underwater. Most are done with pool first, then out on a shallow dive. When I did mine, there was no pool session, just watched a film, then went out to the ocean. I wouldn't advise anyone else to do it that way, but hindsight is 20/20. Here's what the ones I've observed actually did

    Try Scuba Diving at a Local Dive Shop Pool Resort Course - PADI Scuba Dive Certification Guide
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    You can actually do this locally, too. Discover Scubas can be run in a pool (and to my delight, Divemasters can do them -- I enjoy them enormously).

    In places where the open water conditions are conducive to them, they can be run in open water, and then an instructor has to do them.
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    It is possible that this was OK. the rules say there should be a pool session, but it can be done in the open water in "pool-like conditions." I did my second one in Cozumel, and after the classroom session, we went to a sheltered, shallow area of the ocean right next to the hotel to practice our skills. That is acceptable under the rules.
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I've stopped teaching them entirely if it involves taking unprepared divers into OW. If she wants to "try" scuba, get her to do a session in a pool with an instructor. If she wants to see pretty fishes, let her snorkel. No need putting her in a "trust me" situation.
  8. genxweb

    genxweb PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lancaster PA
    If she is thinking about getting certified I would suggest doing a local discover scuba because most shops will apply the skills in the DSD towards confined water dive 1 as well as any cost associated to that DSD to the OW course if she decides to continue. If she continues most shops can do the ow cert in a pretty short time depending on schedules and how well she does in the pool. This will allow her to be fully certified before the vacation.

    Just a thought.
  9. PhilaDallas

    PhilaDallas Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fort Worth, USA
    My only suggestion is to stress clearing to her. When I did my first and second OW dives there were two discovery divers tagging along. They did not appear to clear the whole way down...
  10. supergaijin

    supergaijin Dive Shop

    I often do Discover Scuba Diving (PADI) on the House Reef in front of my diving center. There are no 'rules' involving a pool session.

    If done through PADI there are some basic requirements:
    Program Standards:
    Depth: Confined Water — 6 metres/20 feet.
    Open Water — 12 metres/40 feet.
    Diver Prerequisites: 10 years old
    Equipment: Mask, fins, scuba cylinder, buoyancy control device with low-pressure inflator, regulator and submersible pressure gauge.
    Instructor Rating:
    Confined Water — Divemaster who is a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) Leader.
    Open Water — Instructor

    Knowledge Development
    Conduct a knowledge development session or briefing that covers:
    • Breathing rules and equalization techniques
    • Equipment purpose and use
    • Hand signals
    • Regulator and mask clearing techniques
    • Respect for aquatic life (if appropriate)
    • Importance of watching and staying close to instructor
    • Limitations of the program and value of further

    Confined Water
    • Conduct the briefing (see Section Two - Knowledge Development)
    • Help participants with their equipment.
    • For a pool experience, have participants practice BCD inflation and deflation at the surface in shallow water.
    • For confined open water, have participants meet Skill Performance Requirements.
    • Supervise participants as they swim around underwater in shallow water. When comfortable, take participants to deeper water as appropriate while monitoring comfort and air consumption.
    • Conduct a debriefing and encourage participants to move on to a PADI certification course.

    Skill Performance Requirements
    Have participants practice the following skills in shallow water:
    • Breathing underwater
    • Regulator clearing
    • Regulator recovery
    • Mask clearing
    • Equalization techniques
    • Inflate and deflate a BCD at the surface

    Open Water (optional)
    An instructor:
    • Conducts Section Two - Knowledge Development.
    • Conducts the Skill Performance Requirements (see Section
    Three - Confined Water).
    • Guides participants on a tour of the dive site while
    monitoring comfort and air consumption.

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