PADI Open Water Diver Skills

25 February 2016

PADI Open Water Diver Skills

We are often asked what is involved with the PADI Open Water Diver Course and what are the skills required to pass the course. Here is a basic list of the general skills that are involved.

  1. Equipment assembly and disassembly: Learn how to properly assemble and disassemble your scuba diving equipment.
  2. Pre-Dive Safety Check (known to divers as BWRAF): With your buddy, check each other’s equipment to ensure that everything is in place and working properly before the dive.
  3. Regulator Clearing: Remove your regulator, put it back in your mouth, and clear it.
  4. Regulator Recovery: Learn two techniques that will help you recover your regulator in the event that it is knocked out of your mouth.
  5. Clear a Partially Flooded Mask: Partially flood your mask and clear it while remaining underwater.
  6. Mask Removal & Replacement: Take the last skill a little further and completely remove your mask, put it back on, and clear it.
  7. No Mask Breathing: This skill is normally done in combination with Mask Removal & Replacement. Learn how to comfortably breathe without your mask on.
  8. Alternate Air Source Use: Simulate being out of air by signalling to your buddy, securing their alternate air source, making contact with each other, and ascending while breathing from their alternate.
  9. Free Flowing Regulator: Simulate a free flowing regulator. You'll see how easy it is to continue breathing normally from a regulator that won't stop flowing.
  10. Air Depletion: Experience the feeling of running out of air and signal that you're out of air to your instructor.
  11. Standard Hand Signals: Practice all of the standard diving hand signals with your instructor.
  12. Disconnect Low Pressure Inflator: Simulate a stuck inflator and practice disconnecting your low-pressure inflator.
  13. Deep Water Entry: Enter the water safely using an appropriate deep-water entry. The correct entry will depend upon the conditions; Giant Stride, Controlled Seated Entry, Backwards Roll, Belly flop Entry.
  14. Proper Weighting: Fine-tune your weighting to achieve perfect buoyancy on every dive.
  15. Snorkel to Regulator Exchange: Practice exchanging your regulator with your snorkel at the surface.
  16. BCD Oral Inflation: Simulate a broken inflator or low air situation by practicing orally inflating your BCD.
  17. Cramp Removal: Learn how to remove your own cramp and the cramps of your dive buddies.
  18. Tired Diver Tow: Practice different techniques for helping a tired or injured diver on the surface.
  19. Weight Removal & Replacement: Practice removing and replacing your weight system both on the surface and underwater.
  20. Scuba Unit Removal & Replacement: Practice removing and replacing your scuba unit, both on the surface and underwater.
  21. 5 Point Descent: Go through the steps for a proper 5-point descent.
  22. Fin Pivot: Learn how to find neutral buoyancy by moving up and down using only the air in your lungs.
  23. Hover: Learn how to finely regulate your buoyancy by remaining perfectly neutral in the water.
  24. No Mask Swim: Practice swimming without a mask. It's not an easy skill but it's important to learn.
  25. Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA): Simulate an out of air emergency. You can't find your buddy and have no choice but to ascend on only one breath of air. Ascend at a safe rate while constantly exhaling.
  26. 5 Point Ascent: Learn the proper method for ending every dive with these 5 steps.
  27. Skin Dive: You'll learn to properly hyperventilate, make a vertical dive, swim underwater, and clear and breathe from your snorkel upon ascent.
  28. Navigation: Learn how to use a compass underwater. You'll set a heading, follow a straight line, turn around, and come back to where you started from using only your compass for guidance. You'll practice this skill both on the surface and underwater.

If anyone would like us to elaborate on any of the skills, then please feel free to email us so that we can explain. It is important that you understand what is involved when you sign up for this course so that you can allow yourself enough time and prepare your itinerary to fit into the schedule of doing the course.