Scuba Diving Classes in Chicago
What’s Involved in Learning to Scuba Dive?
Your first step is earning your Open Water Diver certification — becoming what is commonly known as a “certified diver.”
Even if you’ve previously taken part in introductory scuba experiences (commonly known as “resort courses”), you are most likely aware that the best opportunities in diving await those who are fully certified.
Scuba diving lessons in Chicago consists of two phases: academic and confined-water training; and, open-water training.
Scuba Diving Classes - Academic/Confined-Water Training
With our unique self-study materials, the adventure can begin the moment you sign up. When you are ready, you’ll attend a small number of classroom and confined water (pool) sessions designed to help prepare you for your actual open-water training dives.
- In the classroom, your scuba diving certification Chicago instructor will review the information you’ve gained by working through the self-study materials. He or she will bring this information to life with first-hand examples of how divers apply this information on dive vacations and here at home.
- In the pool, your instructor will demonstrate and have you practice diving’s fundamental skills. Like all aspects of learning to dive, pool sessions are fun and enjoyable.
When you’ve completed your academic and confined-water training, you’ll be ready for the final and most important phase of earning your entry-level diver certification: your open-water training dives.
Scuba Diving Lessons - Open Water Training
Open water scuba diving lessons consists of four dives conducted over two days. Each of the four sessions consists of the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in the pool, and to make a guided dive under the supervision of your instructor and his or her assistants. As far as open-water training goes, you have three options:
- During warmer weather, you can join us at nearby Haigh Quarry in Kankakee or Pearl Lake in South Beloit for a weekend of open-water training. These beautiful settings are famous for their convenient parking, easy entries and fascinating underwater wrecks and artifacts.
- Throughout the year, Underseas Scuba Center conducts five-day, four-night trips to the island of Cozumel, off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. These trips provide a wonderful opportunity to complete your open-water training requirements in one of the Caribbean’s premiere dive destinations.
- If you already have a vacation planned to a warm-water destination anywhere in the world, we can provide you with referral paperwork so that you can complete your training at the dive destination of your choice.
And, When You Are Finished…
Once you’ve completed your academic/confined and open-water training, you’ll be awarded your PADI Open Water Diver certification. Bear in mind, however, that this is only the beginning.
As soon as possible, you will want to obtain (as a minimum) your Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Nitrox Diver certifications. These two ratings will allow you to participate in a much wider range or activities, both here at home and on vacation.
Your learning opportunities don’t stop there. Depending on your interests, you can take further training in activities such as underwater photography or video, and wreck diving. By taking five such Specialty Diver courses, and earning Rescue Diver certification, you can eventually obtain the coveted Master Scuba Diver rating.
When and Where? »
Good for Life?
Entry-level diver certification is frequently touted as being “your license to dive” and “good for life.” Neither statement is entirely accurate.
- There is currently no government agency in the USA (or most of the rest of the world, for that matter) that sanctions or regulates recreational scuba diving. Thus, there is no governmental entity that issues “licenses” to dive, nor is certification required by law in most jurisdictions. Nevertheless, it is a standard of practice among dive operators that you be certified to rent equipment, sign up for dive charters, etc. Therefore, being a certified diver is the minimum requirement to take part in all but the most closely supervised diving activities.
- As the system currently exists, your certification card never “expires” — just as your high school or college diploma does not have an expiration date. This is not to say that, after years of inactivity, you are qualified to start diving again as though nothing has happened.
Just as the value of your high school or college diploma depends on what you make of it, the value of your certification card depends on how you use it.
- If you dive actively, take part in continuing education courses and record this experience in your dive log, you can expect dive operators to welcome you with open arms.
- If, on the other hand, you allow your certification card to languish in a drawer, you can expect the same sort of reception you’d receive if you showed up for a job interview stating, “I haven’t worked in years — but I do have a degree (honest!).”
The good news is that, even if a year or more has passed since you last went diving, refresher training is available. This can quickly and easily put you back on the road to being an active diver. For more information, call (630) 833-8383.