Got Questions? - FAQs

Frequently Ask Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a New Diver And Starting Your Adventure

Q. Do I need to be a strong swimmer?
A. No, for most classes, you need only to be comfortable in the water and capable of swimming continuously for 200 yards and treading/floating for 10 min, or a 300 yard snorkel. The exceptions are the Divemaster course, which is the first step for career training, which have a longer swim and the Try Scuba course which has no swimming skills.

Q. What do I need for the first class?
A. You will need to register online and setup your free profile, come in to Southern Indiana Scuba at least one week in advance to pick up your eLearning student kit. You will need to complete your online student kit. Also have your medical (if needed) and your filled out Learning Agreement. SCUBA quality mask, fins, snorkel and boots. Lastly, you will need your swimsuit and towel.

Q. What equipment will I need?
A. You will need to purchase your basic personal equipment ( Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Boots) As a Southern Indiana Scuba Student you will receive 12 % off on those items. An Southern Indiana Scuba Staff member can help you with a proper fit to make so you can enjoy your diving experience. Allow 1 hour for the fitting session.  If you purchase you personal equipment else where it MUST be scuba quality for your diving safety.

Q. Are private lessons available?
A. Yes! We arrange a great deal of private lessons for individuals and groups-just call and make arrangements-we can work around your schedule.

Q. Is there an age limit?
A. To become a certified diver you will need to be at least 10 years old at the start of learning and pool sessions. You are never too old to start your scuba adventure.

Q. What is the cost to become a certified diver?
A. The open water course cost is a fee to Southern Indiana Scuba of $384.00 plus tax  (subject to change without notice),and if you do your open water dives with us locally, there is a $139.00 fee for all four local dives  (subject to change without notice),.  If you go on a trip with Southern Indiana Scuba, we will do your open water dives at no charge on the trip.  If you take a referral, the dive center where you go sets that fee, the staff at Southern Indiana Scuba can help you make that choice.
(note prices are subject to change without notice.)

Q. What Is included in the cost?
A. Your academic sessions, pool sessions, and all of your scuba equipment (except mask, fins, and snorkel) for the pool training.

Q. It's winter! Can I still get certified with you?
A. In short, yes - of course! We can do your academics and pool sessions, as this is inside the warmth of our building and an indoor pool, and then if you are going somewhere warm this winter for vacation, for example, we will give you what is called a "referral" so you can do your open water check-out dives at your destination. Otherwise, we can get you started and finish your open water check-out dives when it's warm! We usually pick back up again in mid to late May, or early June, depending on the weather.

Q. Well why can't I do my dives with you this winter?
A. We do not believe in doing check-out dives in water colder than 50°F, with the air temperature not any colder than 50°F. When your body enters extremely cold water, you suffer what is called the cold-water immersion shock, or the mammalian diving reflex. Cold water often causes us mammals to experience involuntary inhalation and muscle movements, which may result in drowning. One may eject his regulator and involuntarily gasp when the nostrils experience a splash of cold water. Additionally, this shock and reflex causes vasoconstrictions that can cause heart attack. Mild hypothermic effects begin after 10 minutes of submersion, causing the body to cut off circulation to “non-essential” muscles. 30 minutes later – about the time of an average dive – the diver will begin to suffer the extreme effects of hypothermia.
It is both miserable and dangerous to dive with improper exposure protection for your environment. SSI recommends a 7mm (thickness) suit for 50-60°F water, and a dry suit (with special training required) for water temperatures less than 60°F. While a 7mm may fit this description, suit thickness and/or type depends heavily upon personal preference and bio-characteristics. Even if you dive the recommended suit, you can still suffer hypothermia if your body characteristics, the duration of your dive, and the air temperature (after the dive) add up to be intolerable. In short: we don't want you to suffer or get hurt! We want you to enjoy diving.

Q. How long is my certification good for?
A. Once you are certified your certification is good for life, all we ask of you if you have been out of the water for at least a year is to take a refresher Course.

Q. Where can I use my scuba certification at?
A. Your scuba certification is good world wide and never expires.

Q. What if I decide to purchase my scuba equipment before I am done with the class?
A. We at Southern Indiana Scuba highly recommend that, so you can train in your own gear. By owning your own gear you will be more comfortable and familiar with it instead of having a different type of equipment for each pool session. It is like renting a car you never know where the lights, wipers and other options of the vehicle are located. Plus by owning your own equipment you will dive more.

Q. Where can I go diving at?
A. We have rock quarries in the area just made for divers. In the quarries you find sunken jets, airplanes, boats, cars and other interesting things, did I say fish, and a lot of different species of fresh water fish. Southern Indiana Scuba is the a scuba travel center, we offer domestic and international trips to places like the Caribbean, Asia and the pacific.

Q. Do You Offer weekend Classes?
Yes we have weekend classes. Because we care about the quality of training that we offer, our weekend classes, it takes 1/2 day in the classroom and either 2 half days or 1 day to complete the pool.

Q: My ears hurt when I go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling. Will that keep me from becoming a scuba diver?
 No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

Q: Does a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking preclude someone from diving?
A: Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function  or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person’s individual risk. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN)  as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. Download the Medical Statement to take to your physician.

Q: What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with diving?
A: Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.

Q: What about sharks?
 When you’re lucky, you get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy.

You will see all kinds of amazing marine life when you’re a PADI Scuba DiverQ: Do women have any special concerns regarding diving?
 Aside from pregnancy, no. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on the fetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Menstruation is not normally a concern.

Q: How deep do you go?
 With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres/130 feet. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than about 18 metres/60 feet. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 12 metres/40 feet where the water’s warmer and the colors are brighter.

Q: What happens if I use up all my air?
A: That’s not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times. This way, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. But to answer the question, if you run out of air, your buddy has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you’ll learn in your scuba diving training.

scubaQ: What if I feel claustrophobic?
A: People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.