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vs. GROUP LESSONS
Since we closed our retail store, we now
only offer private lessons through our instructors. This can be for one
person or as many as six. It's up to you. The advantage of private lessons
are that they're tailored to your schedule and your interests. We can also
generally do private lessons more quickly than a store-based class might
be completed. The advantage of group lessons (through a brick-and-mortar
store) is that they may be a bit less expensive, but you could also find
your self in a group of 10 others.
Simply put, we don't like them. The goal
of a class is to make you feel comfortable to go in he water on your own
when certified, not just to hand you a card as quickly as possible and
boot you out the door. In almost 40 years of teaching, we've never had anyone
complain "You taught me too much." But we've certainly heard
horror stories of people who did quickie classes and simply didn't feel
prepared even though were certified.
We're not a big fan of these,
either. In an on-line course, you do all the book/study work on-line and
then just go to the instructor for pool and ocean training. The problem is
that it teaches you the right answers, but not necessarily an understanding
of what you're doing. A smart diver is a safe diver and we strongly
believe that hands-on classroom instruction, with good give-and-take
between instructor and students, makes for a better diver.
WHO CAN TAKE AN OPEN-WATER BASIC SCUBA CLASS?
Just about anyone can learn to scuba dive. The minimum age at Reef Seekers
is 12. (Some stores will do 10 and 11 year-olds but we don't think that's
a good idea.) There is no upper age limit. All we ask is that you be in
reasonably good condition, have no medical problems that would preclude you
from diving (asthma, diabetes, pregnancy - other conditions may require a doctor's examination and approval), feel comfortable in the water, and have a
desire to see what's underneath the sea.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
You need to provide a mask, snorkel, fins (open-heel, not full-foot snorkeling ones), booties, gloves, and compass. Depending on what you choose, the equipment described here can cost
anywhere from $250 to $500.
IS THERE OTHER EQUIPMENT REQUIRED?
Generally, you'll be provided a tank, regulator with pressure & depth
gauges, buoyancy compensator, and weights (if needed) for the pool sessions. For the
ocean dives, you may need to rent that plus a full wetsuit with farmer john and
WHAT IF I'M NOT A GREAT SWIMMER?
You don't have to be an Olympic swimmer. But you should be comfortable in the water. This generally means
floating and treading water without much difficulty, and feeling comfortable with your face
in the water while exhaling through your mouth and nose. If you're uncomfortable when
your head goes under, scuba diving may not be for you.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN A CLASS?
Group classes through traditional scuba stores might have as few as two
people or as many as a dozen. It's sort of luck of the draw. Private classes are
generally limited to no more than six and the schedule is tailored to fit
your available time. (If you need to meet at 3AM, then we'll meet at 3AM.)
Our goal is to provide you with as much personal
attention as possible. It makes you a better and more comfortable diver.
WHEN DO YOU START CLASSES?
Private classes start on your schedule. You'll work this out with your
WHERE DO WE MEET?
Again, to be worked out with your instructor. Classroom sessions can be
done at your home if you like.
WHAT ARE NAUI & PADI?
They are the two largest certifying agencies in the world. NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and PADI (Professional Association
of Diving Instructors) certify about 80% of the divers in the US and worldwide each year.
We compare them to VISA and MasterCard - everyone knows them and everyone accepts their
WHAT IF I WEAR GLASSES OR CONTACTS?
That's not a problem. You can wear contacts with your mask underwater. Or we can have specially ground lenses put inside your mask like an extra
pair of glasses, to give you 20/20 vision while diving.
WHAT IF I WANT TO DO THE CERTIFICATION DIVES IN WARMER WATER?
This is what's known as a referral. We do the classroom and pool sessions here, you pass the written test,
and we give you a form to take with you to your warm-water destination where an instructor
there can complete your training. Although we charge less for this than full certification,
bear in mind that the instructor who does your open-water dives will charge you a fee in addition to what you've
WHAT'S IT GOING TO COST?
Costs will vary based on instructor and the
number of people involved. Bear in mind it takes about the same amount of
time to teach one person as it does to teach six. You'll pay for the
instructor's time plus whatever pool, boat, or rental costs may be
associated with the course.