Learn to Dive in Nanaimo - Open Water Scuba Diving Course

By Shirley - Posted on 20 May 2009

Welcome to the Learn to Dive in Nanaimo – Open Water Scuba Diving Course

Nanaimo Dive Outfitters provides professional, high quality instruction that makes learning how to dive a fun adventure!

We take the time to teach you right and give you all of the practice you need to ensure your underwater success!

The PADI Open Water Diver course is the worlds leading dive training course that certifies you to dive anywhere in the world to a depth of 60ft/18m. Once you have completed the course you will receive an Open Water Diver certification card as proof of your diving skills.

What You Learn

The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of three main phases:

  • Knowledge Development (online, Open Water Diver Touch or in a classroom ) to understand basic principles of scuba diving
  • Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills
  • Open Water Dives to review your skills and explore!

If you’ve tried diving through a Discover Scuba Diving experience or resort course, the skills you learned may be credited towards a portion of the full PADI Open Water Diver course certification.

What is the Format of the Course?

NDO offers 3 options for becoming an Open Water Diver:

Open Water Diver – Wetsuit Option – $450

Take the Open Water Diver course in a 7mm thick wetsuit.


  • The most economical
  • Receive your PADI Open Water Diver Certification
  • Receive 1 free club dive with equipment rental ($50 value)

Open Water Diver – Drysuit Option - $525

Complete the ocean dives in the comfort of a drysuit. You will be taught the basic skills of diving a drysuit to safely complete your dives. A great option if you are not needing to rent a drysuit from another dive store.


  • The most comfortable - be warm and dry on your ocean dives
  • Receive your PADI Open Water Diver Certification
  • Receive 1 free club dive equipment rental ($95 value)

Open Water Diver - Continuing Education Option - $625

Complete your Drysuit Diver Specialty Certification during your Open Water Diver course


  • The best value
  • The most comfortable - be warm and dry on your ocean dives
  • Receive your PADI Open Water Diver Certification
  • Receive your PADI Drysuit Diver Specialty Certification
  • Counts as 1 dive in your Advanced Open Water certification
  • Counts as one Specialty certification for your Master Scuba Diver rating

General Schedule

Each Open Water Diver course is a week long - generally one per month, but other courses can be scheduled if other times are required or classes are full.

  • Classroom sessions begin at the dive store at 6:00pm Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pool sessions begin at 8:00pm Mon/Wed and 7:00pm Fri at Beban Pool - we leave from the dive store and return to the dive store after the sessions.
  • Ocean Dives begin by meeting at the dive store at 9:00am on Sat and Sun mornings. The first day in the ocean is at Finn Beach at Neck Pt. Park. The second days dives are usually held at Tyee Cove at Nanoose.


To enroll in the PADI Open Diver course or Junior Open Water Diver course, you must:

  • Be 10 years or older (PADI eLearning requires an extra registration step for students under 13 years due to international internet laws. It is highly suggested that for cold water diving, 12 years old is preferred due to the equipment used.
  • Complete a Medical Questionnaire prior to entering the water for any PADI course.
    If you answer "yes" to any of the medical questions, it means there is a pre-existing condition that could affect your safety in the water. Please take the form to your doctor for advice on your fitness for diving - they will need to sign the form if they feel it is safe for you to dive.
  • Complete the Liability and Assumption of Risk form
  • Complete the Safe Diving Pactices form

Contact Nanaimo Dive Outfitters today to start your scuba diving adventure!

Start Now

Take a scuba lesson online with PADI at your own pace—Anytime. Anywhere.You don’t have to wait to get going. With PADI eLearning and the PADI Open Water Diver Course Online, you can start right now. The PADI Open Water Diver Course Online lets you learn the background information you need before each dive at your own pace through friendly, interactive learning.

Train for your vacation

Do you want to get a jump start on learning to dive while on your vacation? Start your training here and save valuable vacation time - finish your required open water dives at your destination of choice? Upon completion of your pool and classroom training, you will be issued a Universal Referral Letter.

You will give this to your instructor at your vacation destination who will complete your required dives with you.

Your international instructor will finish processing your certification and issue you a temporary card so that you may continue diving as a certified diving on your vacation.

Costs for completing your open water dives will be set by the other dive shop or instructor.

At Nanaimo Dive Outfitters, we are not going to send you off with a referral letter in hopes that there will be an instructor available for a fair price at your vacation destination.

We will do our best to help you locate an instructor or dive shop at your destination, confirm costs, and ensure that the instructor will be available during your visit to complete your open water dives.

Please inform us as soon as possible of all the details of your trip so that if we don't already know of an instructor at your destination, we can locate one for you.

Coming to Nanaimo? Not finished your training yet?
Contact us for information on how we can help you finish your certification through a multi-agency referral from your local dive shop.

When you learn to scuba dive with Nanaimo Dive Outfitters we provide:

  • A commitment to give you the highest quality instruction from an internationally recognized and respected training agency.
  • Friendly and caring instructors who have your safety and enjoyment of your new adventure as their prime objective.
  • Use of all equipment required to complete the course including personal dive computers.
  • Two methods of learning – classroom(6-8hrs) or on-line self study (+2.5 hrs classroom review).
  • Optional drysuit training so that you can be dry and warm during your ocean dives.
  • Maximized time on 4 ocean dives.
  • Regular weekly opportunities to dive as well as weekend and vaction dive trips.
    Continuing education opportunities to help improve and expand your knowledge and skills.
  • Lifetime discounts on equipment through the NDO club.
  • A new family made up of new friends and fellow divers!

Contact Nanaimo Dive Outfitters today to start your scuba diving adventure!

Keeping in Touch