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The Dive Outfitters Ltd

SCHEDULE

DISCOVER SNORKELING

October 1, 22
November 14, 18
December 5, 10, 19
December 17 (in Leduc)
January 9, 13, 23, 27
February 10, 20, 24
March 10, 13, 24, 27
April 10, 14

DISCOVER SCUBA

October 1, 22
November 14, 19
December 5, 10, 19
December 17 (in Leduc)
January 9, 14, 23, 28
February 11, 20, 25
March 11, 13, 25, 27
April 10, 15

POOL REFRESHER

October 1, 20
November 14, 17
December 5, 8, 19
January 9, 12, 23, 28
February 9, 20, 23
March 9, 13, 25, 27
April 10, 13

OPEN WATER DIVER

Pool & Clasroom Training
October 20-22
November 17-29
December 8-10
January 5-7 (in Leduc)
January 12-14
January 26-28
February 9-11
February 23-25
March 9-11
March 23-25
April 13-15

Open Water Training
Summer 2018 TBD (Jasper)
Summer 2018 TBD (Twin Lakes)
*These dates are available for all courses including Specialty courses

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FAQ's

FAQ's - Pool & Classroom Training

What’s included in the price?

There are no hidden costs or fees. The price includes the weekend of training, your training materials including a textbook or online code (see below for details), and your scuba equipment. Besides the course fee, the only other cost is either rental or purchase of your personal snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, boots). Rental fee is $25 for the weekend. Purchasing these items will usually run around $250-$500 depending on what you pick and choose.

How much will snorkeling gear cost?

Most new divers will start off with at least their own mask and snorkel. A good "scuba" quality mask and snorkel will range from $80-175. Fins and boots will range from $150-$400 depending on the style. Keep in mind that as a student of The Dive Outfitters, you will receive discounts on gear up to 25% off. So let us know you're signed up for a course when you come shopping.

Can I use the gear I bought from Rostco or Halmart?

The easy answer... no. For scuba diving, you need good quality (scuba quality) gear. Most of the gear you find at big box stores are not of high enough quality for scuba diving. They are usually made with poor quality silicone or even PVC (image trying to get a seal on your face using a hard plastic tupperware bowl). If you're not sure, bring your gear by the store and we'll take a look at it and let you know.

Where does the training take place?

Classroom sessions are at the store on the west-end of Edmonton and pool training is normally at NAIT (unless otherwise indicated). Occasionally we will offer courses in other towns and cities, these dates and locations will be indicated accordingly.

How much time will I spend with the instructor in the classroom?

The total time spent in the classroom will usually be about 8-10 hours. Additional classroom time is available if a student is not comfortable with a particular topic and requires further clarification.

How much time will I spend with the instructor in the pool?

The total time spent in the pool is about 5-7 hours in addition to about 2 hours of lecture on the pool deck over the course of the weekend. For a small fee, additional pool sessions are available if students need or want extra time to practice their skills beyond the weekend schedule.

Is there extra classroom or pool time available if I’m not comfortable at the end of the weekend?

Absolutely! We encourage students to come back for more pool time before they head to the open water. This will help students feel more comfortable and confident with their skills. If a students is required to come back for more time to complete a skill, the instructor will inform the student during the weekend and help make arrangements. Check out Pool Fun for dates and prices.

How many students and instructors will be in the class?

Every class is a bit different, but usually our maximum number of students is 14. Depending on the class size, there will usually be 1-2 instructors and 1 or more divemasters or assistant instructors in the pool.

Are there theory pre-study requirements?

Yes, you will need to do some reading and knowledge review questions prior to the start of your first classroom session. Please allow for enough time before your first class to complete the necessary reading and review questions.

Can I do the pre-study via online?

Yes, there is an option to complete the pre-study theory online using a permission code which is included as part of your course fee. Prior to the start of the course, students must complete the pre-course study material which includes a Online Training with IQ Review. Time commitment to complete is approximately 5-6 hours. Minimum age for completing the theory via online is 13 years of age.

Can I do the pre-study via a paper textbook?

Yes, one of two options for your theory pre-study is with a paper textbook which is included as part of your course fee. Prior to the start of the course, students must complete the pre-course study material which includes a Student Manual with IQ Review. Time commitment to complete is approximately 5-6 hours.

Which is better and faster, online or textbook?

Whether you complete the pre-study theory online or with a paper textbook is completely personal preference. Do you prefer reading a paper textbook or do you prefer reading and learning on a tablet or computer? Most people will have a preference either way. You should go with what you are comfortable with. Either way, there is still pre-study to complete, and you will still need to do some classroom training and pool training with an instructor prior to going into the ocean or lake.

Have a few medical issues, do I need to be healthy to learn how to scuba dive?

Students will be required to fill out a medical questionnaire and may need to have their doctor’s signed authorization if necessary. If you think there may be a concern regarding your health, read through the medical form and have your doctor sign off on page 2 prior to signing up for any scuba diving course. Please be honest when filling out the medical form. Not only is it yourself and your health at risk, but being dishonest on a medical form will also put your instructor and dive buddies at risk if something were to go wrong.

Do I have to be a good swimmer to take scuba diving?

Students must be comfortable in the water and must successfully complete a swim test of 200m (any stroke, not timed) as well as a 10 minute survival float. If you’re not sure or if it’s been a while since you last swam, head out to your local neighborhood pool and give it a try before signing up for any scuba course.

What is the schedule for the weekend?

Students will start Friday evening in the classroom, and depending on the schedule, may also head to the pool for a pool session Friday night. Saturday and Sunday will alternate between the classroom and the pool. Friday night runs from 6pm until about 10:30pm. Saturday and Sunday will normally run from 8:30am until about 5:00pm. Check the store for exact times as they may depend on when the pool is available on a particular weekend. If you are unable to make it for the required days, check out our "Condensed Classroom & Pool" option.

Can my kids learn to scuba dive?

Many training agencies allow children to dive as young as 8 years old. Our store policy holds the minimum age at 12 years old, and even then we strongly encourage parents to wait until their child is older (even 14 years old) and also to ensure that it is in fact the child (not the parent) that wants to go scuba diving. Many times parents are eager to get their children involved in activities that they are involved in, but the child may not be emotionally, mentally, and physically ready for the challenges of scuba diving. Keep in mind that they will be participating in the same training as adults and will be held to the same standard. Even a “mature” 12 year old may not completely understand fractions, making the physics and physiology chapter very challenging, and that’s just one example. Also keep in mind, the international standard for Junior Open Water Divers (under 15 years) is to have an adult dive with them at all times. Therefore we require an adult to register and participate in the course with anyone under 15 years of age. For more info, here is an interesting blog on our website.

If my kids do get certified, what happens when they turn 15?

Divers under 15 will receive a Junior Diver certification. This is similar to a Learner’s Permit for driving where they will have to dive with an open water certified adult or dive professional at all times. To upgrade to the standard Open Water Certification after turning 15 years or older, the diver must show logged dives within the last year or complete a Refresher course with an instructor. There is a form to fill out, signed by the parent/guardian and a small administration fee till apply to receive the new card.

 

 

FAQ's - Open Water Training

What’s included in the price?

There are no hidden costs or fees. The price includes the weekend of training and your scuba equipment. There will be a small fee for airfills after the first day of diving. Besides the course fee, the only other cost is either rental or purchase of your personal snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, boots). Rental fee is $25 for the weekend. Purchasing these items will usually run around $250-$500 depending on what you pick and choose.

How many students and instructors will be in the class?

Every class is a bit different, but usually our maximum number of students is 4-6 per instructor. Each instructor will also have 1-2 divemasters or assistant instructors helping as well.

Where does the training take place?

We normally use the Jasper lakes for open water training as they are very clean and clear. This will make for a better first experience compared to some other dark, gloomy lakes around Alberta. Throughout the year students will also have the option to complete their required dives internationally, such as Mexico, Hawaii, or even Vancouver Island (see referral info below).

Where can I stay in Jasper?

If you like camping, go online and pre-book your campsite at Jasper - Campground online reservation. For options other than hotels, also check out Jasper - Home Accommodation Association.

Jasper is cold! How will I stay warm?

The course fee includes the use of the scuba gear as well as a thick, warm 7mm wetsuit, hood, and gloves. Initially the water will feel cold as it enters the wetsuit, but most people will be very comfortable and warm. It’s like opening a large freezer door… it feels cool but you’re not freezing.

Can I use a drysuit?

Yes! A drysuit may be used instead of a wetsuit during open water training. Students will be required to attend an additional pool session to learn the use of the drysuit prior to their open water training. A fifth dive with the instructor will be required to obtain the Open Water Diver certification along with the Drysuit Diver certification. If completing the drysuit certification in conjunction with your open water, additional fees will apply.

How much time will I spend with the instructor in the open water?

As a beginner diver, you can expect each dive to range from 25-45 minutes, depending on your air consumption. For your 4 required open water certification dives, you will be under the direct supervision of an instructor at all times. There will be time spent on the surface as well, so expect to be at the lake for about 4-6 hours each day.

What is the schedule for the weekend?

Students completing their dives in Jasper will need to pick up their gear and tanks prior to leaving for Jasper (usually Thursday or Friday). We will meet at the designated lake Saturday morning and can expect to spend most of the day at the lake. We usually finish around 2-3pm. You will then need to get your tanks refilled at the Jasper Fire Hall. We will meet at the lake again Sunday morning and finish around 2-3pm. Students will then need to take the gear home to rinse and clean. The gear needs to be returned to the store by Monday or Tuesday after the weekend. Please ensure enough space in your vehicle to transport the gear (don't show up in your 2-seater Porsche)!

 

 

FAQ's - International Referrals

How does the referral letter work?

You will take your referral letter to the instructor at your vacation destination who will complete your four required dives with you. Students must keep in mind that this part of the training is still part of the certification course, and therefore your four required dives must be completed with the same instructor. After completing the dives, bring your signed Referral Letter back to us and we will issue you a permanent certification card.

What are the costs to complete my dives internationally?

Costs to complete your open water dives internationally will depend on where you go. You should expect to pay between $250-$400 for your 4 dives. This will uaually include scuba equipment, but each dive shop will be a bit different.

Can I go anywhere to complete my dives?

Yes, anywhere there is diving, there is usually a dive instructor nearby, and you should be able to arrange your training dives. A bit of homework searching online before you leave is a good idea. We can also help you find a dive shop at your destination.

What if there isn’t an SDI dive shop where I am going?

SDI is one of many training agencies that are recognized around the world. You may find the dive shop at your destination utilizes one of the other training agencies, such as PADI, SSI, BSAC, NAUI, ACUC, ANDI, TDI and many others. Other training agencies should recognize the training you have completed and accept your referral letter. If they refuse, please contact us at the store or walk down the beach and find another dive shop, they may just be trying to squeeze you for more money!

How do I book my open water dives somewhere else?

If you're going to a resort with a dive shop, for purely convenience, it's probably best to check them out first. If not, we can try to recommend a shop in the area that we've either used before or sent students to before. There is also a list of SDI training facilities on the SDI website. You should do a bit of research before you leave for your holiday to ensure there is a dive shop in the area. You probably won't need to pay ahead of time, but booking your dives with a dive shop might be a good idea. If you're unable to do that, make sure you find the dive shop and book your dives in as soon as you arrive at your destination. Sometimes weather or staff holidays can get in the way of you finishing your dives before the end of your vacation.

If I finish my course in warm water, can I dive locally around Alberta or the Pacific Coast?

You're qualifed to dive in the conditions that you were certified in. Imagine driving a car in California your whole life, then coming to Canada during the winter and trying to drive for the first time. There is a lot more to it. Diving cold water works the same way. There is more gear, heavier wetsuits, hood and gloves, more weight to offset the buoyancy of all the extra neoprene. Plus conditions are not usually ideal with limited visibility and darker water. Therefore we recommend completing the Cold Water Intro course to anyone who completed their certification in warm water and who wants to try local diving in cold water.

This seems like a lot of work, I don't have time for this... can I just go diving while on vacation? My cousin Vinney did that.

While it is true that some areas around the world will offer "Resort Courses" or a "Scuba Course". Keep in mind that with this type of course, you will not earn your Open Water Diver certification. Think of it like getting your learner's license for driving, you will always need to dive (and pay extra) for an instructor. Also, these types of courses tend to be a very condensed, watered down version where you're learning a few very basic skills. Imagine learning to drive a car (without ever seeing a car before) in 15-60 minutes instead of 20+ hours. There is something you're missing!