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"What course should beginners take?" or "How do I get SCUBA certified?" are the two most common questions we receive.

Well, we are here to help with some of the answers that are not in our FAQ page. When discussing diving with our divers, these are the most universally reccommended courses by any dive professional you will encounter. The only order is that you have to be a certified Open Water Diver in order to receive other diving certifications. The order these are displayed is typical, except for Enriched Air Diver - it can be taken any time. It's perfect for the winter as it is a non-diving specialty.

Try Before You Buy; Discover Scuba Diving

Some people like to try SCUBA first for a number of reasons before taking the plunge into a full course. This is a great way to try out diving without the commitment and is a non-certification experience. You spend a couple of hours in the pool with one of our PADI Dive Professionals who teach you the basics of diving. By the end, divers are doing summersaults, throwing toy torpedoes at each other and usually laugh under water! Click the link above to sign up, or click the link below to start your full course.

Get Certified; Open Water Diver

PADI's Open Water Diver course is the starting point to your SCUBA certification journey. This is the course that provides you with all of the basic knowledge and teaches you the necessary skills to become a diver. When you complete this course, you will receive a lifetime certification that allows you to dive anywhere in the world with a certified buddy to a depth of 60 feet/20 meters. The minimum age for is 10 years old.

The course is in 3 parts, Knowledge Development (eLearning), Confined Water and Open Water Checkout Dives. The first 2 parts are taught together across a weekend at Tri-City Scuba, followed by a weekend (Saturday & Sunday morning 9:00am-2:00pm) where divers complete 4 dives in 2 days.

Click the link above to sign up.

Next Steps; Dry Suit Diver

As residents of Southern Ontario, we don't have ready access to tropical beaches, but we do have access to some of the best fresh water diving in the world - particularly the ship wrecks in the great lakes. You say, "Hey, the water is pretty cold!", we say that you are right. However, as Canadians we already know what it is like to dress for the cold. We ski, snowmobile, play sports, make snow men and awesome snow forts. We stay warm by wearing the right clothing to keep us warm. 

A dry suit does the same thing, just under water. It does require specialized training to rent or use one. The skills are pretty simple, but absolutely indispensable to use the garment that will keep you comfortable during your dives.

This course can be taken at the same time as your Open Water Diver course or after you are certified.

Click the link above to sign up.

Next Steps; Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver

At this point you have the rudimentary skills to be a SCUBA diver, and have the skills to dive in a Dry Suit - that means you now are able to manage the three air spaces to maintain neutral buoyancy. As with learning any new skill, you need practice to become proficient - or tips, tricks, knowledge and additional training.

The Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver course is the logical next step to take your basic skills and refine them. When new divers skip this course at the beginning of their diving journey, they usually end up taking it later. Almost universally we hear, "I wish I took this sooner, I would have been a better diver faster." 

Click the link above to sign up.

Next Steps; Enriched Air Diver

 This PADI Specialty is one of the most universally recommended courses by almost every diver that you will encounter. The air in our SCUBA tanks is regular air that is put under pressure using a special compressor. By adding more oxygen, up to 40%, we enrich this mixture that is optimized for breathing at the depth planned for a dive. Diving enriched air allows for longer bottom times and higher margins for safety. Basically, you want to take this course at some point.

Click the link above to sign up.


Next Level; Advanced Open Water Diver

This is the next core course in the PADI system, and it's all about diving! This course features 2 mandatory dives, Underwater Navigation and the Deep Dive. There are also 3 "elective" dives that are the adventure dive of PADI's specialty certification courses such as, Search & Recovery, Diver Propulsion Vehicle, Drift, Night, etc..

This course will certify you to a depth of 100 feet/30 meters. This is generally also the maximum depth that you will encounter on most recreational dive charters.