How much does it cost to get scuba certified?
First, you’ll take an online course that will cost somewhere around $185. The second part, where you’ll go diving in a pool, will be another $200 or so. The cost of the third and final open water course varies more, since it depends on your proximity to the nearest ocean. You might be going to a beach five minutes from your house, or booking a week-long trip. Remember, as travel-related activities go, scuba diving is expensive, because you’re usually incurring incidentals like gear rental and a guide and, y’know, a boat.
How physically hard is scuba diving?
You need to be able to swim several hundred yards continuously, and you need to be able to tread water for at least 10 minutes. That’s the bulk of it -- the tanks are heavy when full and can be kind of a bitch to stand up in, but there’ll be someone to help hoist you up if you need it.
What gear do I buy and what gear do I rent?
If you’re bothering to get certified I assume it’s because you intend to dive more than once, so believe me, it’s worth buying your own properly fitting mask and snorkel. Fins are good too, but that’s pretty much it. Vests and tanks you’ll always rent on-site, and it’s overkill to buy your own wetsuit since you’ll need different ones for different locations (bc water temperature). Don’t spring for those mask defogging drops, either -- spit works fine.
Anything else I should have?
A buddy! You’ll learn this during the online course, but diving is built around the buddy system. You’ll never dive alone -- you want someone to know where you are and that you’re OK at all times, and to share their oxygen reserves in an emergency. You can get paired up with the instructor or another single from your certification group if necessary, but it’s much more fun to do all this with a friend.