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Old 19-12-2017, 16:37   #1
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When to get scuba certification for the family?

I wanted to get the communities opinion on when to get your family along with your kids Scuba certified.
Would it be better to do it before you set off on a cruising journey? Should you try to get certified in a location during the cruise?
For example would it be more or less expensive to have an instructor come out to your boat and do the certification there assuming your in warm waters? Would you just have everyone go to a dive shop even if you have a boat?
Iím happy to hear how others have approached this and any tips you might have. Thanks.
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Old 19-12-2017, 17:10   #2
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

My scuba training involved 4 half days in a pool, plus one whole day in the ocean. I would think that it would be prohibitively expensive to hire a diver to teach the whole family at your boat, plus you would lack the interaction with the other students. I think, but don't KNOW, that it would be limiting.

Jim was already a diver when he and I met. My training happened in Australia. The water was warm, but the ocean days, the vis was only about 5 m.

All the licensed divers will advise you to do a course. I actually don't know if they certify children: they may have to be legal adults. There were no children in my class.

Mostly, kids are taught to skin dive, free diving, and can get quite good at it. Most of the fun stuff to see is within the first 30 ft.

You will want to be able to fill your own tanks, if at all possible.

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Old 19-12-2017, 17:28   #3
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Almost any cert agency will require a minimum of 3-4 days for a cert. PADI for example (being the "leader") requires 5 confined water dives (that's a whole day's worth of work on a pool or shallow water), plus 4 open water dives that could not happen all on the same date. So you would need 3 days just for dives, plus theory (that's kind of split up the fourth day, or you do some sort of elearning and still need some time for that). My style of teaching is different, but those are the absolute minimums. You will get more time and more confined water (pool) time if you get a good instructor at home, do the theory, and maybe just do the checkout dives somewhere else. Where do you live now? Where are you planning on cruising first? Those questions could hold the answer.
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Old 19-12-2017, 17:48   #4
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Padi does junior open water at 10 years old. Both my boys did theirs in tropical locations. Negril jamaica, and Cancun Mexico.
I have been diving for over 25 years, and my wife got certified about 20 years ago.
I think it's a lot like cruising. If you delay, waiting for the right time, you will wish you had done it sooner.
Learning sooner allows you time to Practice and use your own judgement on what equipment you bring aboard.
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Old 19-12-2017, 17:57   #5
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

My Daughter was diving Wrecks with us when she was 12. Depends on the kid. My Wife is just Open Water and Nitrox, She only wants to dive shallow in warm water and look at the pretty fish. I made her get Nitrox, cause in my opinion Air is never the best gas to dive with. Iím Tri-mix and full cave, my Son was the second person to be full cave certified before the age of 18. I wonít tell him, but he is a very, very good cave diver, better than his Old Man.
Start diving now, the Open Water Cert is a joke, almost all of the Recreational agencies Certs are a joke, having the Cert doesnít mean much, experience should.
You should have many dives before you take the Family diving by yourselves away from a decompression chamber, in my opinion.
Even pool diving familiarized yourself with the equipment, any diving is good.
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Old 19-12-2017, 18:08   #6
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

For what it's worth, I did my certification while on our first 1yr cruise.
We were hanging on a mooring in the Keys (Florida) and I took what they called the Executive course; comprehensive all day course (sat & sun) and open water dives... Certified in 1 weekend!

Might work out for you & your family as well - in essence, it could end up being private instruction.

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Old 19-12-2017, 18:17   #7
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaucho View Post
Almost any cert agency will require a minimum of 3-4 days for a cert. PADI for example (being the "leader") requires 5 confined water dives (that's a whole day's worth of work on a pool or shallow water), plus 4 open water dives that could not happen all on the same date. So you would need 3 days just for dives, plus theory (that's kind of split up the fourth day, or you do some sort of elearning and still need some time for that). My style of teaching is different, but those are the absolute minimums. You will get more time and more confined water (pool) time if you get a good instructor at home, do the theory, and maybe just do the checkout dives somewhere else. Where do you live now? Where are you planning on cruising first? Those questions could hold the answer.
We plan on starting a year or two of cruising this fall. We will start in the Caribbean. Until then we are just getting ready and selling off the house and the majority of our things. We have time to seek certification now if you think it is best. Weíve got quotes for around $4000 for all of us to be PADI certified except the youngest and she would get to use the bubble maker. That includes fins, mask and snorkel and all equipment supplied by the shop needed to become certified.
Right now we are in Texas.
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Old 19-12-2017, 18:36   #8
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When to get scuba certification for the family?

Our Daughter at 12. That is an aluminum 60 on her back.Click image for larger version

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Old 19-12-2017, 18:42   #9
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

I hired a PADI diver 1:1 for an entire week which also included transportation to and from dive sites on Menorca. The total cost was €350 euros. Then I purchased a used heavy wetsuit and high quality regulator from his friend for an additional €200 euros. It was a very rewarding and fun experience, not achievable in a large class.
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Old 19-12-2017, 19:08   #10
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

My girlfriend just got certified in SE Florida for $250. She was thinking about doing it in Minnesota before we headed south, but the cost was going to be 4 times as expensive. My advise would be to shop around. Areas where there are lots of dive operations seem to drive the cost down quite a bit.
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Old 19-12-2017, 19:16   #11
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

If your leaving from Texas you may be heading towards the Bay Islands. Roatan and Utila are major diving centers in the Western Caribbean. I believe the reef in Roatan is the second largest in the world. Their gear is top notch with excellent instructors and your Open Water Cert is right round $320.00 per person, all gear supplied, instructor and dive boat. The nice thing about the area is that you've got excellent anchorages within 5 minutes of the reef and it allows you to get lots of practice in, which is key to safe diving.
We have dived all over the South Pacific, North Pacific and the Caribbean, in our opinion the South and North Pacific are better than the Caribbean but Bonaire and Roatan are probably the best the Caribbean has to offer. Enjoy your adventure. R
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Old 19-12-2017, 19:38   #12
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Our Daughter at 12. That is an aluminum 60 on her back.Attachment 160731


Thatís an ultra cool and cute pic!!

We have another 4 years until our Vegemite can start his PADI Bubblemaker Course, well it may well be a Bubblemaker Party for his 8th birthday!

Itís already been decided that we (the parents) wonít be teaching him or joining in on the little guys lessons (Iíve got my instructors), weíve never been great together on courses even though we trust each other with our lives (both rebreather trimix qualified). Different strokes for different folks!

Having dived in quarries, temperate and tropical waters, for learning the basics I would totally recommend going somewhere nice, warm and clear and have it be fun; it could be a far more positive experience.

Such a great hobby which provides the keys to a magical kingdom and future friends for life.

Enjoy!!!!

Kind regards,

TinySailor
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Old 19-12-2017, 19:41   #13
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I hired a PADI diver 1:1 for an entire week which also included transportation to and from dive sites on Menorca. The total cost was Ä350 euros. Then I purchased a used heavy wetsuit and high quality regulator from his friend for an additional Ä200 euros. It was a very rewarding and fun experience, not achievable in a large class.


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Old 19-12-2017, 20:22   #14
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

Iíve been PADI Advanced Open Water certified for 40 years
Learned in college, 20 hours classroom, 20 hours pool,
2 Open Water dives FOR BASIC, The classroom stuff was like a physics course.
Many more dives for the rest, had to perform all sorts of underwater tasks.
If I were you
First thing Iíd do would be to jump in a pool and do a 400 yard swim
With your face in the water No Mask just a snorkel.
Being a safe diver starts with being a good swimmer with good
Breath Control
In my opion, as was stated by a previous poster Most recent certification
schemes really donít teach enough to keep you out of real trouble.
I remember having to solve all sorts of scenarios such as
Start in NY with a dive to 3 atmospheres, Fly to Denver do a same day dive to 2 atmospheres
That night fly to the Caribbean ,next day do a morning dive to
4 atmospheres and a following night dive to 3 atmospheres,
Fly back to Denver then drive into the mountains to 12,000 feet
And do a cavern dive to 4 atmospheres.
Solve for bottom times at each location and a go or no go for the scenario
And state why.
I can no longer do these But am Aware of the issues and All divers
should be. Thereís learning to be a safe diver and then thereís learning
Just enough to get you killed.
In answer to your question
Iíd start a soon as possible and build experience and let everything have enough time to sink in.
1st rule: Breath
2nd rule : Weight belt goes on last
Now that Iím older I just limit myself to 1 atmosphere in depth
and donít worry about anything, also very fond of free diving without the
70-80 pounds of gear
Cheers
Neil
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Old 19-12-2017, 20:57   #15
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Re: When to get scuba certification for the family?

I tried to teach myself to dive when I was 15. My mom found out about it and tracked down an old WW2 frogman who was a commercial diver. He taught me and a couple of friends the basics. A few years later I needed a phys ed credit in college. I wonder how many colleges offer scuba diving classes? At any rate I got certified and college credit.

My suggestion is just go to the nearest dive shop and do it. The lessons are fun, why wait?
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