What makes up a PADI Open Water Diver Course?

You have decided that you want to embark on a scuba certification course. Congratulations, you've come to the right place! We get a lot of questions regarding what makes up a PADI Open Water Diver course, so we thought we would lay it all out to give you a better idea of what to expect.

There are four components to the PADI Open Water Diver course: theory, confined water work, waterskills asessement, and open water dives.
The PADI Open Water Diver course normally takes 3-5 days to complete. This course certifies you to dive to a maximum depth of 18 m/60 feet.

As with all PADI courses, our PADI Open Water Diver course is performance based and not time based, meaning we will spend the time needed to make sure you will be a competent, safe diver at the end of the course.
We like to create variety in each day, so each day we will combine classroom work, confined water work, and open water dives. Most days will start at 9AM, but it all depends on performance. We have a general schedule that we like to follow, but we personalize each course to match our students' strengths and needs.

PADI Open Water Diver course Roatan Divers


There are five chapters in the PADI Open Water Diver manual, with five Knowledge Reviews (one per chapter), four quizzes and one final exam. You will watch the PADI Open Water Diver video during your course, which works in conjunction with the PADI Open Water Diver manual. Everything in the PADI Open Water Diver course is about reinforcement - the video reinforces the knowledge you learn in the manual, which is reinforced by the Knowledge Reviews, which is reinforced by the quizzes, which is reinforced by the final exam. We like to spread the theory out so that your in-water work will then reinforce everything you learn in theory.

If you'd prefer to do your theory work prior to arrival so that you can get in the water right away, PADI has you covered! You can do your theory online through PADI e-Learning or offline through PADI Touch. Both options are a great way to get the most out of your time on Roatan and get diving!

Sign up for PADI eLearning now! 

Confined Water Dives

After learning and practicing how to set up your scuba equipment, you will go into shallow water for your confined water dives. The majority of your skills practice will focus on hand signals, mask, regulator and buoyancy skills, but we will also practice different emergency skills, such as out of air, Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA), breathing from a free flowing regulators and removing and replacing your gear underwater and on the surface. We work with you until you can complete the skills comfortably. Some of these skills you will continue practicing on your open water dives, while some of them will just be done in confined water.

Waterskills Assessment

One of the requirements of your PADI Open Water Diver course is waterskills assessment, where you show that you can swim, float and complete skin diving. You will complete a 200 meter swim and a 10 minute survival float early in your course, as well as practice skin diving skills.

Open Water Dives

The best part! You will complete four open water dives during your course. On each dive, you will have some skills to complete, like mask clearing, regulator recovery, and different buoyancy procedures. All of these skills you would have practiced in your confined water dives, so it's just a refresher of the skills you already practiced. The majority of the dive is just spent diving, since practicing diving is just as important as practicing skills.

Does this all sound good to you? For more information or to sign up for your PADI Open Water Diver course, contact us at info@roatandiver.com and get started on your scuba certification course today!