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Scuba Diving Costs Less Than Most Other Activities (and you get a certificate at the end too….)

How much do scuba diving lessons cost is a hot question among students and dive centers alike. Scuba diving allows you to go places that are outside of our normal biological means, it allows us to breathe underwater. It is a truly magical feeling and you can partake in this sport pretty much anywhere that there is water. So why does scuba diving cost what it does – why do we need to invest in our scuba diving education?

Compared with getting started in other popular sports and outdoor activities, learning how to scuba dive isn’t expensive. Scuba diving is a sport that offers one of the highest returns on your investment in terms of enjoyment. Learning to scuba dive is great value when you consider that you learn to dive under the guidance and attention of a highly trained, experienced professional – your PADI Scuba Instructor. What’s more, you receive a certification to scuba dive at the end of a PADI Open Water Diver course (few other activities can offer that).

To compare scuba diving to other sports that require training I would like you to consider how much you would expect to pay for:



Skiing Lessons Cost the Earth in Comparison

•       a full day of surfing lessons.

•       a weekend of rock climbing lessons.

•       a weekend of kayaking lessons.

•       a weekend of skiing lessons.

•       about three hours of private golf lessons.

•       about three hours of private water skiing lessons.

•       one amazing night out at the pub!

Scuba Lessons Cost

Check out how much skiing costs!


How much do scuba lessons cost? I think you will find scuba diving is the best value for money on a time vs money scale.


I strongly believe that you get what you pay for. When going to a doctor, do you choose one according to how cheap they are? Or do you choose one on their reputation and how they can care for you by improving your current state of health? If you needed an operation would you go to a doctor who has a filthy office but had prices that were a fraction of all its competitors? Of course you wouldn’t, because you value your health above all other things.


When you learn how to scuba dive you are leaning how to fulfill the most basic of human needs – to breathe – with one vital difference: you will be breathing underwater. When taught correctly, your Open Water course will teach you not only the basics, but will also train you in emergency procedures and will keep you safe if ever the need arises. I don’t know about you, but I would want to know everything. I would want to be trained and then have ample time to master each skill until I was confident that I would react in the right way to an emergency and therefore stand the best chance of staying safe.



I would be nervous if a dive center’s prices were too low….wouldn’t you?

I would be extremely dubious of a dive center whose prices were a fraction of the cost of it’s competitors. Why? Because my life is in the hands of my instructor. I would be nervous if their prices were too low – because surely I would be putting my safety at risk. Wouldn’t I?


Let’s break it down. An open water course takes between 3-4 days. If one day starts from 9am and lasts all day until 5pm that is a total of 24 hours where I am learning skills that are alien to me. 24 hours where my life is being taken care of by another. Anyone who claims that they can teach you how to dive in under this time is cutting corners. It’s that simple. I would rather that a dive center puts my safety ahead of a restrictive time limit. I want to learn how to dive in a relaxed atmosphere– not to be rushed through it just to receive a certification that does not allow me to have confidence after I am pushed out the door.



Hoses that feed us our air supply should not leak. No Bubbles = No Troubles

Another aspect to look at is the quality of the equipment and the quality of air. At the end of the day scuba equipment is underwater life support. You want equipment that has been maintained to the highest of standards, which has been tried and tested to keep you safe. One way that dive centers can cut corners is to not maintain their equipment. There is a great saying in diving: “no bubbles – no troubles”. This refers to the equipment not leaking: Your BCD should hold air and the hoses that feed us our air supply should not leak.. For example: you want a regulator that delivers air to you without any effort. Each inhalation should be fluid and steady. The hoses should not have bubbles coming out of anywhere except the regulator itself. Your open water course will teach you how to look for anything that is out of the ordinary.



Ask to see the dive centers air analysis certificate. A reputable dive center will be proud to show you, most will have it on display for all to see.

Another way that dive centers can cut corners is by not maintaining their compressor. A compressor compacts thousands of liters of air into a very small space – your scuba cylinder. It also pushes this air through filters that remove all the dirty stuff that is found in normal air. Cylinder air needs to be clean. This is only possible if the compressor has been serviced and the filters have been changed within their natural life span. Filters are expensive. Filters are essential and more centers than I care to admit cut corners by “squeezing” too many hours out of a filter that has gone past its safe limit. The open water course teaches us to test our air before heading into the water. Air should taste of nothing but air, very dry, very clean air. Air that tastes of anything else should be rejected. So how can you test the quality of air other than tasting it? How can you be sure that the compressor isn’t pushing horrible dirty elements into your air supply? Its simple. Ask to see the dive centers air analysis certificate. A reputable dive center will be proud to show you, most will have it on display for all to see.

Cylinders should also be maintained by law. All cylinders have to be visually inspected every year and hydro statically tested every 5 years. This is to ensure that they are clean, free from rust and can withstand the extremely high pressures that are being exerted upon it. It is easy to check this – all cylinders will have a test date sticker – telling you when they last where in for their annual checkup.



Be Confident After you Receive Your Scuba Certification

I would love to tell you that all centers maintain everything as they should, alas this is not the case. A dive center that reduces prices dramatically is more than likely cutting corners that can affect your safety. Budget prices = budget service. Don’t do it. Pay a healthy price and stay healthy!








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