When divers complete their open water diving course with PADI, they should feel an immense sense of achievement. Divers are now able to feel competent in the water, whether it be controlling buoyancy or conducting skills such as mask clearing. Yet it is engrained in human nature to want more…. Is it now time to conduct that next step. Everyone is unique in their reasons to continue their PADI education, do you want to push towards the professional courses such as Divemaster, Instructor and eventually Course Director; or are you satisfied as an open water diver. One thing is for certain, undertaking the advanced open water course is an incredible rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Many divers wish to experience more adventure and thrill, and the ability to learn specialities such as night diving, deep, wreck and underwater navigation which are not only important, but also extremely attractive to many. Furthermore attaining the Advanced Open water qualification allows divers to progress to greater depths than the open water qualification allows, in this instance 30 metres (100 feet).
Descending to this greater depth does not necessarily imply that the diving is better at depth, yet having the ability to explore the possibilities is an attractive lure. Colours, life and sensations change at depth, and for many becomes one of the most exhilarating elements of diving.
Furthermore depending on where you live or wish to dive, the advanced open water course can change your diving life for the better. For example if one lives in Scandinavia, England or Tasmania and are not able to travel to warmer climates, being able to conduct Ice Diver and Dry Suit training will drastically change their diving for the better. Furthermore if someone has a passion for wrecks or caves, the advanced open water course will enable them to learn the correct techniques and procedures to safely conduct these dives. I feel that the unique specific specialities of the advanced open water course make It one of, if not the most enjoyable Padi dive course. It allows you to focus on your own unique passions, from shark conservation to search and recovery techniques, there are many to choose from.
The advanced open water is usually cheaper than the open water course, costing in the range of 300-500 us dollars or 600-700 au dollars depending on where in the world you choose to undertake the training. To enrol in the Padi Advanced open water course students must be at least 12 years of age to undertake the Junior advanced open water, and at least 15 for the advanced open water. Furthermore student may choose three of their five adventure dives, yet the other two, deep and navigation are obligatory due to their unparalleled importance. Other adventure dives can include;
- AWARE fish identification
- Underwater naturalist
- Enriched air (nitrox)
- Peak performance buoyancy
- Underwater photography
- and more.
Most importantly, just as with all padi and diving qualifications, divers must feel physically and mentally ready to conduct this course.