Open Water Scuba Diver

PADI Open Water Scuba Diver eLearning

PADI Open Water Scuba Course

The next class is September 11, 12, & 13th

'Open Water Diver' Certification is the first level of formal scuba training through PADI for everyone above the age of 15. After completing online coursework (Step 1), full certification takes place over two weekends as offered by Ames Scuba. The first weekend (Step 2 - 'Confined Water Dives') encompasses several training sessions in the pool at Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA. The second weekend (Step 3 - 'Open Water Certification Dives') involves four dives in Brushy Creek Lake near Lehigh, Iowa. Ames Scuba can also offer a referral if you want to complete the open water dives at an ocean or other vacation destination .

Course Flow

Step 1 - Knowledge Development - eLearning

      • Contact Ames Scuba to sign up for the course and you will receive a code to access the online classroom.

      • Complete all modules before our first meeting.

Step 2 - Learn to Scuba & Confined Water Dives

Meet at Ames Scuba on Friday evening from 7-9pm to:

      • Turn in all of your paperwork including the Medical Form and have it signed if you answered YES to any question

      • Take and pass the Quick Review Quiz

      • Get fitted for a BCD. The BCD is for use in the pool and during certification dives. Assemble and disassemble the scuba kit a couple of times

      • Question and answer time

Confined water dives can be completed in one weekend (Sat/Sun 1 - 5 pm). All Confined Water Dives are held at the Marshalltown YWCA/YMCA.

      • You will successfully complete a continuous swim of 200 yards followed by a 10 minute tread water / survival float are required before you can continue on with the scuba training

      • You will need a Mask, snorkel, boots, and fins. These are available for rent or purchase at Ames Scuba

      • You will practice key skills for safely using scuba equipment

Step 3 - Open Water Certification Dives

Four dives over two days - Locally available April - October. Also available as a referral or on a trip.

You will need to successfully complete four open water scuba dives to earn your certification. Each dive has a set of skills that you will perform with confidence and competence. These are the same ones that we did in the pool. Once complete, you will have earned your PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Certification Card that is valid for life.

These can be completed locally over a weekend(s), on a dive trip, or with a referral.


Ames Scuba offers Steps 1 and 2 together as a course package. Higher level packages include gear that you keep for you next dive class or dive adventure (highly recommended!). Please contact us for advice on which package is best for you! We have numerous additional gear options and upgrades for you to choose from.

Basic Confined Water Course Package - 1


Course Packet with Logbook

Pool Sessions with Instruction

Rent Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Boots

Rental 3/2 Wetsuit


plus tax

Basic Confined Water Course Package - 2


Course Packet with Logbook

Pool Sessions with Instruction

Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Boots

Rental 3/2 Wetsuit

Mesh gear bag


plus tax

Upgraded Confined Water Course Package - 3


Course Packet with Logbook

Pool Sessions with Instruction

Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Boots

3/2 Wetsuit

Mesh gear bag

Surface marker bouy + whistle

Finger spool

Fin spring straps

1yr free tank refills


plus tax

Ames Scuba offers Step 3 after you have completed the above with us or another PADI operator. We offer the Open Water dives locally from spring through fall, or on any Ames Scuba dive trip all year round!

Open Water Dives

Transport to Brushy Creek Lake

Open Water Dive Instruction

Lunch (two days)

Rental 7mm Wetsuit

PADI Open Water Diver certificate


plus tax