So you’re hooked on the idea of scuba diving but not sure how much it will cost? Well the costs involved with scuba diving can depend on a few different factors. First and foremost it depends on your level or experience.
Beginner divers or those who want to learn to dive usually have slightly larger costs involved to get started scuba diving as they will have to enrol and pay for scuba diving lessons on top of buying the necessary equipment.
Experienced divers on the other had have much lower expenses as additional diver training is optional and if they already have scuba diving equipment the only costs will be from maintenance.
Usually getting into the scuba diving is the most expensive phase, which is the same as a lot of other sports. Take golf for example, which requires a large upfront expense, buying the clubs, to get into the sport. Someone new to golf will likely also want to take a few lessons to help learn the game and how to improve their swing. The only difference is scuba diving lessons or certification courses are compulsory, more for your safety than anything else.
Diving certification courses
First of all, you will need to complete a SSI scuba diving certification course, which is accredited around the world. Without this certification you cannot access any diving facility.
Before you take the test, you will need to complete a Medical Declaration that may then ask you to pass an additional medical from an accredited diving doctor (Fees do apply). Assuming you pass the medical, your next step will be to decide on and enrol in a scuba diving course or learn to dive program.
The SSI Open Water Diver Course is the world's most popular learn to dive course and is a great way to get certified and learn to dive. The standard course is great value for money from around $399.00 to $749.00 (The price difference is based on the number of Boat Dives provided in the course) which includes everything you need to learn to dive for the first time and get certified.
Scuba diving equipment
Besides the learn to dive accreditation classes, the other costs involved to get into scuba diving will be buying the necessary scuba diving gear. Just like golf clubs, scuba diving gear comes in top of the range and budget friendly options.
The equipment you need will include a scuba diving mask ($30-400), a snorkel ($20-130), scuba diving wetsuit ($100-900), and fins ($60-400).
The total cost for all the light scuba diving gear (mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit) will be around $200 on the budget side, into the thousands for a high end setup. To purchase an entire budget diving gear set, including regulator, Octopus and a BCD, then expect to pay around $1000 on the lower end of the scale.
Remember buying the gear outright isn’t the only option. A lot of dive shops, including this one, will happily rent you gear for the afternoon, day or weekend so you can enjoy scuba diving without buying all the gear.
Learn to dive
Here is some frequently asked questions for those looking to learn to scuba dive.
How old do you have to be to learn to dive?
You can learn to dive from a young age as SSI runs courses for children from the age of 8 that are conducted in swimming pools. To gain your junior open water certification, you must be 10 years old. And you can do your open water dive course from the age of 15.
Is diving safe?
Diving is an extremely safe recreation. Due to the nature of diving, standards and procedures are extremely strict and safety is the number one priority when learning to dive and once you become a recreational scuba diver.
Can I dive if I need glasses or contact lenses?
If you wear contact lenses, it is fine for you to dive whilst wearing them. You just need to make sure that if you get water in your mask you need to keep your eyes closed. If you wear glasses, there are masks that can accommodate prescription lenses that can be fitted to whatever prescription you require.
Is it very expensive to learn to dive?
The initial costs in learning to dive are actually relatively inexpensive when considering what is involved in an open water dive course. Costs for this course will vary depending on where you complete it throughout the world. In Australia, on average it will cost around $600 which usually includes, all of your equipment hire, pool training sessions, 4 open water dives, and all certification and training fees.
What equipment do I need to learn to dive?
Most dive schools will provide all equipment needed to participate in an open water dive course. In general, most dive schools in Australia will ask that you provide mask, snorkel and fins yourself. This is mainly due to hygiene reasons and personal comfort.
How long is the SSI learn to dive course?
Usually, an open water dive course will run for three days, SSI have included an e-learning program into the course. This enables the student to do all the theory section of the course via the internet in the comfort of their own home.
How much reading do we have to do for learn to dive?
The theory part of learning to dive is kept to a minimum as the best way to learn is to actually be in the water experiencing what it is like to dive. It is however very important that the theory behind diving is sufficiently understood to ensure optimum safety. The theory part of the course should take no more than 6 hours.
Is the course very tiring?
At the end of three days diving, most people will be feeling tired but extremely rewarded. Diving is a recreational sport so it is fantastic exercise, so a good level of personal health and fitness is recommended.
Why should I pick SSI over any other certification?
Due to the nature of diving as an activity, the training procedures for any certification agency are fairly standardised as safety has to be number one priority. SSI is world recognised and for decades has been at the forefront of diver training and dive science. The main benefit of choosing SSI over any other certification agency is it is by far the most popular, recognised worldwide, so your SSI certification means you will literally be able to dive anywhere.
Also, SSI via its leading online platform offers:
- Instant free access to SSI’s trial programs and Blue Oceans (environmental awareness program)
- Lifetime access to your digital training materials and certifications
- Digital logbook with thousands of dive sites around the world and potential wildlife sightings
- Latest events, news, videos and much more
How deep can I dive as an open water diver?
As an Open Water Diver once certified you are able to dive up to 18 metres deep, the recreational limit for scuba divers is 40 metres but to enable yourself to dive to this depth you must complete your SSI Advanced Adventurer program and SSI Deep Specialty after you have become an Open Water Diver.