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

The Open Water Diver Course with NANAIMO DIVE OUTFITTERS

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

Nanaimo Dive Oufiters provides professional, high quality instruction that makes learning how to dive a fun adventure! We take the time to teach you right and give you all of the practice you need to ensure your underwater success.

The Format of the Course

The Open Water Diver course takes place over five evenings and one weekend. We start a new program every month, usually beginning on the second Friday of the month.  All sessions start and finish here at the store.

  • Friday 6:00 - 9:00pm - classroom orientation session
  • Monday 6:00 - 10:00pm - class & pool dive
  • Wednesday 6:00 - 10:30pm - class & pool dive
  • Thursday 6:00 - 10:30pm - drysuit class and pool dive
  • Saturday 9:00 - 4:00pm - ocean dives 1 & 2
  • Sunday 9:00 - 4:00pm - ocean dives 3, 4 & 5

What You Learn

The Open Water Diver course consists of three main phases:

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


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

  • 13 years or older (SDI eLearning requires a minimum age of 13 years due to international internet laws).
  • physically fit to undertake SCUBA activities (doctor permission may be required)

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 do approximately 6 hours of pool diving and four dives at local dive sites under the supervision of your SDI Instructor.

The Scuba Gear You Use

In the 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 a NANAIMO DIVE OUTFITTERS Team Member to ensure your comfort throughout the course. You should purcahse a good quality mask & snorkel before the course.

Wetsuit Vs Drysuit - what is the difference?

 The course includes both the Open Water and Drysuit certifications. Most divers who dive regularly, are diving in drysuits as they provide a level of warmth and comfort that wetsuits can’t in our waters, especially when doing multiple dives in a day. The temperature of the water stays around 8 degrees Celsius at depth year-round. Learning to dive in a drysuit is the most comfortable option.

The Learning Materials You Need

Start your SDI Open Water Scuba Diver course and master all the important academic information online or at your local dive shop. You can complete this phase through self-study, at your own pace, in the convenience of your home or office. All eLearning courses work on mobile and tablet devices too.

Contact NANAIMO DIVE OUTFITTERS to personalise the best study option for you!

The 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.

A Bonus for Our Students

As a student of Nanaimo Dive Outfitters, you will receive discounts on purchasing your own equipment starting with your mask, snorkel, and fins for the OW class. This is a perfect time to try before you buy as there are 3 pool sessions you will have to try them in.

After completing your Open Water Diver certification, you will receive 1 free equipment rental package and are welcome to join us on our regular Club Dives at local dive sites.

Coming to Nanaimo but not finished your training yet?

Contact us for more information on how we can help you finish your certification through a multi-agency referral from your local dive shop.

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