PADI Open Water Diver course is not only the world’s most popular course for scuba diving, but also something that has introduced millions of people to the adventurous lifestyle of diving. This PADI Open Water Diver course is a 3-day course, or four if you choose, and is conducted in Koh Samui. Anyone over the age of 10 can enroll in this course.
About the PADI Open Water Diver Course
The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of three phases:
- Knowledge Development to understand the basic principles of scuba diving
In this course, you begin with a day of theory and pool practice to get familiar with the scuba diving basics. In the theory session, you get to study the literature of scuba diving, watch some videos, have some fun quizzes, and conclude with an exam to test what you learnt. In the class you will go over the procedures of entering the water with scuba gear on, what to do during an emergency situation, and learn the skills of moving underwater.
This phase completes in half to one day. During the knowledge phase, you read 5 chapters of the PADI Open Water Diver book and watch the PADI Open Water Diver DVD that corresponds to chapters in the book. The knowledge review at the end of each section helps you memorize and learn the important points covered in the section. After completing the review, you will take a short quiz with ten questions to test how much you have learnt and to ensure that you remember all the essential points. The pattern remains the same for all 5 chapters, except that at the end of the 5th chapter, you will have an exam with 50 questions that includes all topics covered from chapter 1-5, both in the book and the DVD.
- Confined water dives to learn basic scuba skills
The second phase of the PADI Open Water Scuba Diver training is about getting used to the water. This phase is carried out in a dive pool, and is essential for new and nervous divers. The dive pool provides a safe and controlled environment where you can test your new skills, learn, and get used to the equipment underwater, like using breathing equipment. You get to practice the different skills you learned during phase one from the study material.
The confined water dives are usually conducted in a swimming pool and will cover some of the following basic skills in a swimming pool:
- Equipment assembly, adjustment, and preparation
- Deep water entry
- Proper weighting
- Snorkel regulator exchange
- Regulator recovery and clearing
- Air depletion
- Alternate air source
- Partial and full mask flooding and clearing
- Mask removal and replacement
- Breathing from a regulator without a mask (60 seconds)
- No mask swim
- Scuba unit removal and replacement at the surface
- Weight belt removal and replacement at the surface
- Cramp removal
- Tired diver tow
- Scuba unit removal and replacement underwater
- Weight belt removal and replacement underwater
- Fin pivot (oral and low pressure inflator)
- Neutral buoyancy (hovering)
- Free flowing regulator breathing (30 seconds)
- Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent
- Exiting the water
- Equipment disassembly & maintenance
- Open water dives to review your skills and explore!
The remaining two days of the PADI Open Water Diver course are conducted in the ocean. You are picked up from your hotel and taken to the pier in Koh Samui. You board a speedboat from there and head to Koh Tao, a 90-minute journey, to experience the best of the diving in Thailand. Speedboats have many advantages, and one of the main ones is its speed. It not only saves time but is also more versatile than other boats, so you can go to quieter and the best diving sites in Koh Tao. Another advantage is that there are snorkelers onboard who get off at Koh Tao, so when they leave you have the entire boat to yourself.
Buoyancy is all that the first dive is about, so you don’t have to worry about anything aside from the basic diving skills that you have recently learned. A highly qualified instructor will be with you all along to make sure that you stay safe, know everything you need to know, and to answer any questions you may have. When you get in the water, you will readily get used to buoyance control and moving underwater, and start your journey toward becoming a fully qualified diver.
PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course also includes lunch at a restaurant in Hin Wong bay or Sairee beach (the location depends on the weather conditions). Although most programs offer lunch on boat, this program makes sure you get to set your feet on the ground for a while, relax, and also snorkel after lunch if you want. The traditional Thai buffet lunch that is serves is delectable and mouthwatering.
After lunch, you will go back for your second dive in which you will show the safety skills you have learned to your instructor, for instance, clearing your mask with a little water in it or recovering your regulator. The same routine will be followed on the next day as well, where you will repeat a few more skills. The duration of each dive depends on your air consumption, although they usually last for about 25-45 minutes. Once the course is complete, you will then be qualified to dive with a buddy.
Note: If you’ve tried diving through a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience, the skills you learned may be credited towards a portion of the full PADI Open Water Diver course certification.
After your fourth dive, provided you have completed all aspects of your course to the satisfaction of your PADI scuba instructor, you will become qualified to dive to a maximum of 18 meters with a buddy and a fully qualified PADI Open Water Diver!
What You Get from the PADI Open Water Diver Course
When you complete this industry recognized PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course, you are allowed to dive to a depth of 18 meters below the sea level anywhere in the world with another qualified diver (and without the accompaniment of an instructor). You will fill a form that will be sent to PADI and you will receive your diver’s license shortly via mail. You will also get a temporary card straight away that will allow you to dive before your license arrives. The temporary license will have the details of your dive center, the date you passed the test, and the name of your instructor on it.
If you like adventures and thrill, want to learn new things, and this watersport interests you, than we highly recommends taking this PADI scuba diving course in Koh Samui – one of the most beautiful locations in the world, with clear waters, rich marine life, and ideal weather.
The PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course by speedboat is very popular and gets booked quickly. The experience of the instructors along with the exquisite diving sites appeal to people, so it is highly recommended that if you want to secure a place and avoid disappointment, book a place as early as possible.
PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Course includes:
- Hotel transfers
- English, German, French, Italian, or Russian speaking PADI Instructor – Our policy is no more than 3 students to 1 instructor
- A full set of scuba equipment (BCD, regulator, wetsuit, mask, fins, and snorkel)
- PADI Open Water Diver book and decompression tables
- *A light breakfast of tea, coffee, toast, and jam
- *Buffet style Thai lunch consisting of rice, 3 delicious Thai dishes, fresh fruits, and water
- *4 dives by speed boat to Koh Tao
- Accident insurance
* Speedboat tours only
What You Should Bring Scuba Diving:
- Sun protection
- Swimming clothes
- Your booking voucher
- Waterproof camera
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Itinerary:
08:00 – 09:00 Hotel transfer to the classroom.
09:00 – 13:00 Theory session with video, quizzes, and exam
13:00 – 13:30 Lunch (not included)
13:30 – 17:00 Pool skills
Day 2 and 3
07:00 – 08:30 Hotel transfer to the pier in Bangrak. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast of tea, coffee, and toast.
08:30 – 10:00 Journey by speedboat from Koh Samui to our first dive site in Koh Tao (Snorkelers get off on Koh Nang Yuan).
10:00 – 12:00 Dive 1
12:00 – 13:00 A delicious Thai buffet lunch at the seafront restaurant
13:00 – 15:00 Dive 2
14:45 – 16:30 Speedboat back to Koh Samui and transfer back to your hotel
Warning: Please do not consume alcohol within a 24-hour period before scuba diving.
Warning: Flying after diving – if you do a single dive, you must wait 12 hours after diving before flying. If you do 2 dives, you must wait 18 hours before flying. Our schedule is such that you can fly after 8:30am the following day after 2 dives.
Top tip: snorkelers and divers can go on tour together on the same speedboat.
Info: If you have a known medical condition, please seek medical advice and obtain a doctor’s certificate stating that you are fit for diving before your dive tour. If you have not managed to get one at home, we recommend Thai International Hospital opposite Tesco Lotus in Chaweng, Koh Samui. It costs about 800 Baht to be seen and assessed by the diving doctor there.
- Visit Talay Nai, the emerald green lake on Koh Mae Koh
- Go to the viewpoint for a view of the entire park at Koh Mae Koh
- Hiking to multiple view points all the way up to 500m on Koh Wua Ta Lap
- Bua Boke cave featuring impressive stalagmites and stalactites
- Scuba diving
- Snorkeling at Koh Yippon and Koh Wao Yai
- BBQ on the Beach
- Go to the Picnic area
- Wreck Diving
- Night Diving
- Search and Recovery
- Peak Performance Buoyancy
- Digital Underwater Photography
- AWARE Fish Identification
- Diver Propulsion Vehicles (Underwater Scooters)
- Underwater Videography
- Multilevel & computer diving
- Boat Diving
- All transfers
- Thai Buffet Dinner
- Non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, tea, and espresso
- Full breakfast
- Seasonal fruits
- Much faster journey, much shorter day
- Their speed means they can visit dive sites further away
- Speedboats are smaller vessels, so they can moor up closer to dive sites and visit some dive sites that larger boats can’t
- A bit more exciting than a slow boat!
- Slow boats are big boats, which have more space to move around and they’re more stable in the water.
- They also typically have more divers on board making for a good atmosphere where everyone has 1 thing in common.
- Big boats tend to use less gasoline, so the tour prices are typically cheaper.
- Generally as there’s more space, tea, coffee, and snacks are provided and there are better facilities onboard such as a wash tank, shower, and proper sized toilet.