Open Water SCUBA Diver Course @ Friends Select School
Orientation Night is scheduled at Underwater World on April 19th from 7p-9p and is part of the SCUBA Course
This course is an eLearning course. Students must have the eLearning completed PRIOR to the weekend pool work. The pool work is approx 12 hours over the course of 2 days. This course is intensive and designed for people with good water skills prior to the course. If you feel that you would struggle on a condensed course such as this, please register for a more traditional weeknight SCUBA Course.
Underwater World offers a 3 easy step program to becoming a Certified SCUBA Diver
As part of your Confined Water Training you will receive the SCUBA Diver eLearning. Though your Instructor will hold lectures to expand on important details of the eLearning, the eLearning will help guide you through the course and is required to be completed by all Students.
The eLearning Access Codes will be emailed to you within approx 24hours of purchasing your Confined Water course. Though the eLearning is required, we also offer hard copies of the training manuals if you prefer to work from a book to support your eLearning.
*If you already purchased eLearning from NAUI or SDI you may be eligible to receive a discount on your Confined Water Training. In this case, please contact us to make sure you are getting the best price.
(Thats where you are right now!) Confined Water Training is the basis for all of your SCUBA training and Underwater World offers it in a few different formats for your convenience. Most courses have 1 or 2 confined water sessions a week, though in the Summer, and sometimes throughout the rest of the year, we offer condensed weekend courses.
Underwater World also offers these courses at multiple locations in the area. This allows us to teach on different days and times to best suit your schedule. No other Dive Center in the region teaches at multiple locations and this is just another way we try to make your training convenient for you
Underwater World also offers training from 2 different training agencies; SDI and NAUI. The agency associated with the course is indicated in the description picture of each course. There is some more information on SDI/NAUI in the FAQs but unless you have a preference, it doesn't really matter which you choose. It is simply an option we offer. What is important, is if you have taken or purchased eLearning for SCUBA diver already, you will need to take a course associated with the training agency you took the eLearning from. If you have questions, please contact us and we can help you choose.
No matter what location or Training Agency you choose, the standards for the course remain the same. Underwater World exceeds the training standards for both Agencies and you can expect approx. 12 hours of in-water training and approx 6hrs of lectures, including an eLearning refresher. On average thats about 6 hours more than other the local Dive Centers and at the same price! Those 6 hours are the difference between just knowing how to dive and being a comfortable, confident diver.
This difference in training will be apparent to you on your first Open Water dives. You will notice other students confined to the underwater platforms on their open water dives and though you can expect to spend some time there as well, Underwater World students will actually get off the platforms and do some true open water exploring!
At Underwater World you aren't trained to the the minimum standard. You are trained to a level that will allow you to safely enjoy your investment, comfortably and confidently.
Open Water Certificaiton Dives are the capstone of SCUBA training and are required to become a fully Certified Open Water SCUBA Diver. These dives consist of 4 "open water dives", over a 2 day period. During these dives Students will be tested on the skills they have learned in the confined water training and get comfortable with buoyancy outside of the confined limits of the pool! Just like with other Underwater World training, we have options to make this the most convienent for you!
Most commonly, students choose to do these dives locally with us over one of our Certification Weekends. We usually do these dives at a training lake, Lake Allure or Willow Springs, located about 1.5hrs West of Underwater World. The cost to complete these dives locally with Underwater World is $325 and includes the 4 dives and equipment rentals. Though it does not include the entry fee for the lake, in most cases you will have the option to purchase these tickets through Underwater World when you register for your Open Water dives
You may also choose to do your Certification Dives on an Underwater World Dive Trip or even complete them on your own dive trip with a document from your Instructor known as a Universal Referral. Your Instructor will cover all the pros/cons of each option throughout the course, so there is no reason to make that choice today.
Whatever option you choose, Underwater World will remain your certifying Dive Center. That means that even if you choose to do them on your own dive trip with a Universal Referral, we will help guide you through the process and be your representative to the training agency for any issues that may ever arise.
With over 50 years in business, tens of thousands of dives, and tousands upon thousands of certifications, Underwater World rolls deep to support even the newest of divers!
Though NAUI, SDI and Training Agencies allow certification to take place at 10 years old, our 50 years of training experience has taught us that we should wait. Though diving is safe, we are teaching people and in this example children, to understand the concepts of life-support in a condition where life cannot be sustained without proper training, understanding, and correlation of sometimes complex concepts. There has also been decades of, admittedly conflicting, studies showing negative effects on bone growth and young divers.
It is for this reason that we wait until 12 years old to Certify. Young divers may begin their training at 11 years old but must have turned 12 prior to Certification Dives. We understand that this can be frustrating for families that want to dive together but we hope you understand that this shows our commitment to putting safety above all else.
For young divers, 11-16 years old, Underwater World offers, two, specially desgined programs to certify them. Though they may take our regularly scheduled courses, we have also found that teaching younger students together, and with content designed for better understanding, they have more fun and will be safer divers.
These "Teen SCUBA Camps" take place at the beginning and end of each Summer. They are 1 week long (plus Certification Dives) and run from approx 9a-430p every day! Not only is this a great opportunity to keep the kids busy in the summer, it will give them the life skill of SCUBA diving, teach them responsibility and risk management. We have training hundreds of divers through these camps and some have gone on to be Marine Biolgist, Environmental Scientist, and other profession based around their found love of the Underwater World.
In most cases Divers will need to own or purchase their personal equipment. Personal equipment is defined as a mask, snorkel and pair of fins. Underwater World offers a basic economical package for our divers for just about $150. For divers that want to customize thier package, we offer a substantial, 25% discount on packages that include a mask, snorkel, pair of boots, fins, mesh bag, and mask care kit. These packages range in price and it's best to talk to a sales team member to help decide. The majority of our divers choose the custom option. The benefit of having fins you can use in all conditions, masks that you can put prescriptions into, and the comfort of having their own gear, quickly pays for itself and we are happy to assist with that with they largest discount in the region, 25%.
When it comes to Life-Support Equipment, Underwater World provides you with all of the necessary life-support equipment included in your course, this includes your Certification Dives. The equipment will be brought to the confined water sessions for you by your Instructor and you will be properly fitted throughout your course. Divers are responsible for renting and picking up their equipment for Certification Dives (still included in the price) but your Instructor will walk you through this process.
You absolutely may elect to purchase your own Life-Support Equipment throughout the course and Underwater World offers numerous discounts and 12 months deferred interest financing for those that chose this option. However, though there are relatively inexpensive packages for life-support, it is no secret that this purchase is a big investment and we have no intention forcing that decision on anyone. Keep in mind, there is an Underwater World program that offers you FREE Certification Dives with the purchase of a Life-Support Package, so if you are looking to invest and save $325 on your Certification Dives, this may be a great option for you.
We encourage you to speak with you Instructor and their Assistants about the benefits of owning your own equipment. In most cases your Instructor is not on our Sales Team but even if they are, they know that their primary role is to provide good, safe, and honest advice to divers, not to sell equipment. They will help you weigh the options and determine what is best for you moving forward. When you are ready, come speak with our Sales Team and they will help refine your options and offer you the best price on the equipment that suits you. Our Sales Team obviously wants to sell equipment, but they are not commissioned and they know that if we want you to be part of our family of divers for decades, they need to be open, honest, and give sound advice for purchasing, not just pick the most expensive thing on the wall and see if they can get it out the door.
Lastly, we work hard to offer equipment at the best prices, ANYWHERE. That means online or in-store. Your Instructor should tell you this but, just in case, our prices are always the manufacturer lowest allowed. We don’t add additional mark ups or hide rebates from you. If you see a sale or are offered a better price from anywhere, we will match it. You work hard for your money and we are grateful you have trusted us with your SCUBA needs, so we aren’t offended if you find a better price somewhere and ask us to match it. We constantly are monitoring prices online to make sure we offer the lowest but that, as you can imagine is a huge task, so if you find something, let us know. We also can’t stock everything, but we can get almost everything. Therefore if you are interested in a product that isn’t on our “wall” let us know and we will be happy to get it in for you. Basically, you have options on where you shop, but if we are doing our jobs right you should be able to get everything you see anywhere else at a price that matches or is better than anywhere else.
As far as what Underwater World charges, we make it black and white. Students purchase the Confined Water Training, which includes the eLearning, then, when ready, they purchase the Certification Dives or the Referral Packet. There are no other fees that we collect and especially no hidden ones.
Certification Fees that are not collected by Underwater World are not included in our estimate. For example, if you plan of doing Certification Dives locally with us, the lakes usually charge $65 per day. However, you may elect to purchase these entry tickets from the lake or Underwater World when registering for your Certification Dives, and no, we don't charge even $1 more than the lake does. No "convenience fee", just convenience without the fee.
These Certification Fees would also apply if you do certification dives using the referral program. Though you would not need to pay the $325 to Underwater World, there is a Referral Packet fee of $50 and please remember, we have no control nor way of knowing what the dive shop on your vacation is going to charge for Certification Dives. We do have a general idea what fair market pricing and we suggest you speak with a sales team member to make sure you aren't being taken advantage of as a new diver.
So in essence, yes, there are other fees that will be associated with your Certification, but none that are collected by us. We are transparent with our pricing structure because we want to earn your trust and prove that we don't play games with your fun.
For decades Underwater World was a NAUI only store. In late 2023 about a dozen of our Instructors "crossed-over" to SDI as well. So, as of 2024, Underwater World offeres courses in NAUI and SDI/TDI (don't worry about the TDI thing right now, that's down the road a bit).
NAUI is an excellent training agency and we have been very happy with the standards they set for dive professionals along with how they allow those professionals to teach. They set a minimum standard and allow our Instructors to exceed that standard for our divers. This ensure incredible, well rounded training that prepares our divers for the open water.
SDI has the same core belief. They don't want to handcuff the Dive Professional and force them to teach a certian way. They want to set a safety standard and allow our professionals to tailor that for each student and course. This is what sets NAUI and SDI apart from PADI and other Agencies. The level of training for both Agencies is not only high, they allow us to exceed that standard to really ensure we are getting safe and comfortable divers.
Should you choose NAUI or SDI is really up to you and honestly doesn't matter. Because we exceed the standards in both agencies, we set a standard for our SCUBA Diver Courses that are the same regardless of agency. So unless you have a preference, pick whatever one has a schedule that fits yours.
We know that PADI is massive. They are the largest Training Agency in the world. They are also incredible at marketing, something that NAUI falls far short in. An important question should be asked; If Underwater World can choose to be apart of the largest agency, with a massive marketing campaign, why aren't they? Our 5 decades of training have taught us that just because they are big, doesn't make the training better. We know this sounds like our own marketing line but the truth is, you will see the difference on your first open water dive. Compare your level of skills to other divers in the water from other Agencies....and then wait until you are on your first dive trip. Basically, you're gonna have to trust us on this one; when you choose NAUI or SDI over the others, you will be so well prepared that even on your first trip, you will be able to identify the other agencies divers.
This course meets the requirements for ISO Level 2- autonomous diver certification. It provides the fundamental knowledge and skills to scuba dive once your open water training is complete. Upon successful completion of this course, graduates are considered competent to engage in open water diving activities without supervision, provided the diving activities and the areas dived approximate those of training.
Includes: Digital Plus eLearning, Confined Water Training, Classroom Lectures. Certification Dives not included.
Age: 11 for Confined Water Training, must be 12 by Certification Dives.
Medical: Medical Waiver is required and will be emailed after registration.
The eLearning MUST be completed before the first day of the course.
Location of our Indoor, Heated, Center City Pool:
Friends Select School
17th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
On-Site parking is FREE for our students.
Includes: Digital Plus eLearning, Confined Water Training, Classroom Lectures. Certification Dives not included.