Are you looking to get SCUBA certified and have a lot of questions? Below please find a list of Frequently Asked Questions we received from those looking to take SCUBA lessons.
1. Why should I choose Scuba Schools of America for my SCUBA certification?
Scuba Schools of America has been opened in Montclair, CA for more than 53 years now. What’s more, we specialize in SCUBA. You won’t find Billy from the Bike Department acting as a SCUBA Instructor at night! All of our Instructors are fully licensed and insured, working in conjunction with Scuba Schools International to ensure the highest level of service and quality instruction is maintained throughout all of our programs. For the consumer (that’s you), this gives an added sense of security in knowing that there are checks and balances in place that guarantees a professional experience from start to finish!
We have taught SCUBA to thousands and thousands of divers throughout the world over the last half century, when it comes to scuba, we’re definitely expert! Also, we teach many families that may not live in the same city, or even the same state or country! That’s right, we teach with students here, as well as via Skype so that everyone can participate. Ask us about the Skype program, it’s a great option for those unable to attend weekly classes in person while still getting all of the benefit of learning from the industry experts at Scuba Schools of America!
2. What is SSI? Is this as good as a PADI certification?
SSI is the acronym for Scuba Schools International. There are 27 different agencies throughout the world that certify for SCUBA. SSI is the largest retail dive association and prides itself on QUALITY, not QUANTITY in every aspect of our training. This gets you smaller classes, more one-on-one time and attention with our instructional staff as well as the ability to develop your habits and skills at your own pace in a supportive environment with knowledgeable, caring staff. All SSI stores share the same ideology, so as you venture throughout the world, you can expect the same hand signals to be used, the same great service and the same unbridled desire to offer each and every diver the best possible experience while maintaining the highest level of safety!
SSI certifications are recognized throughout the world, so there is no need to worry about being underprepared for wherever your diving takes you! We promise you’ll be safe, efficient and knowledgeable long before you ever make it to the open water!
3. Do I need to be physically fit to learn to SCUBA Dive?
While you don’t need to be athletically inclined or super fit, good physical and mental health is a prerequisite to SCUBA. Each person’s definition of good physical health can vary though, and we have students and divers of every shape and size. There is a medical questionnaire and waiver that must be filled out before taking part in any of our activities and, should there be anything on there that might act as a contraindication to you being safe diving, we may ask you to get cleared by your doctor and have him or her fill out a medical form for SSI and our records.
4. Do I have to be able to swim?
While you don’t have to know how to swim to scuba dive, you must be able to be safe and comfortable in the water. What many of our students do is simply coincide some swim training with their scuba training. Kristi, our resident swim coach, is fully licensed and can get you comfortable in no time!
5. What if I am scared of fish or sharks?
Well, most people do want to go see what there is to see scuba diving and, undoubtedly, you’re going to run into some fish! In terms of being attacked or eaten by something, well, that just doesn’t typically (as in almost never) happen! When you are part of the underwater environment, you are far less likely to be in any sort of danger or be seen as a food source or threat to any of the marine life you encounter. As for sharks, they unfortunately have got a really bad reputation that just isn’t accurate. When swimmers or surfers are bitten by a shark (which is INCREDIBLY rare), it is simply a case of mistaken identity. Sharks, like puppies and small children, feel things out with their mouths. Unfortunately, their mouths have some teeth in them that can cause damage to whatever it is that they are checking out. That would be, quite possibly, the worst excuse for someone to not get certified! I’m telling you, sharks just aren’t out there waiting for the next dive boat to pull up like a floating buffet table!
6. I have heard of rebreathers. What are they?
Only a super cool device that takes your diving to the epitome of awesome! Rebreathers are actually recycling systems that recirculate the oxygen that you would otherwise waste (in the form of bubbles when you exhale) when scuba diving. There is a portion of the unit that scrubs out the carbon dioxide that you produce as a normal byproduct of respiration (breathing). The best part about the unit is that it “creates” gas mixtures for you by blending the best mix of 100% oxygen with the diluent gas, air. This unit makes you incredibly efficient and maximizes your bottom times, hugely decreases any chance of decompression sickness and allows you to breathe a warm, wet gas with NO BUBBLES!
Animal interactions are incredible on a rebreather, improvements in photography are huge and the unit weighs about the same as a standard scuba unit! There are so many great reasons to dive on a rebreather! Rusty is the resident rebreather expert, feel free to pick his brain about them- he loves to talk rebreathers! 888-99-SCUBA