A most excellent question. There is a misnomer in the industry that once you become an Open Water (OW) Diver, you should first log some dives before going for you Advance Open Water (AOW) Card. Though that is certainly an option, it is not the rule. In Open Water class we teach you the basics. To be good, like in many sports, you need practice, and repetition is king!
Once you have graduated from Open Water (OW) you need to get back into the water. If you wait four to six months, or even longer, you will forget what you were taught. Not only will you be a danger to yourself, but to your buddy as well. How to get back into the water is the question. You can grab one of your classmates or a diver friend and go. But a more popular option is to enroll in the PADI Advance Open Water Class right away. Many Argonaut Diving OW graduates take the AOW class within weeks of graduating from OW. In fact we are running a special this summer that if you purchase and pass OW class you get AOW class for free (does not include scuba gear).
Unlike OW class, where you have knowledge reviews, quizzes, exams, pool training sessions and skills check off in open water. The AOW class has no exams or quizzes, minimal skill tests (in the Navigation Dive), only five Knowledge Review chapters to turn in, and finally, five open water dives. So in the Argonaut Diving AOW class, we have one brief classroom session where we go over those knowledge reviews, then we do five dives, usually over a period of three days. Required dives include Deep and Navigation, the remaining optional three dives can be chosen from a myriad of choices. They range from Drift Diving, Night, Wreck, Buoyancy, Drysuit, Cavern, Fish ID, and many many more.
Though we give those Adventure Dives in AOW class specific names and we review those topics, the real reason for the class is to get you in the water to practice, while being supervised by dive professionals. Doing it over a short period of days allows you to learn and adjust immediately your diving techniques, then applying those techniques on the next dive. The main focus is buoyancy control. Let’s face it. The key to a great dive is buoyancy control. So we triple check your weighting and trim and adjust as needed throughout the course. AOW class also focuses on re emphasizing all of the techniques you learned in OW and more.
The AOW certification will certify you beyond the OW certification 60 feet depth limit, to 100 feet. It will also better prepare you for varying diving environments, including boat diving, Night Diving, Drift Diving, to name a few. Many charters require you to be AOW certified before they allow you on board. Also, a significant number of the local desirable dive sites exceed 60 feet and are not available to you as an OW diver. In the tropics deeper diving is even more prevalent with the better than 100 foot visibility commonly encountered in those regions.
Argonaut Diving’s AOW class is almost like a private class. You and your buddy will be assigned a staff member to do the dives with you so you are not going out in large groups. This two to one ratio of students to staff makes the experience that much more rewarding and fun.
So, if you have not taken Advanced Open Water class, the time is now! If you just graduated from Open Water Class, the time is now! If you have not learned to dive yet, then sign up for Open Water class and get the Advanced class for free. The time is now! Check our class page or registration page to see when the next one is available. Because of our ratios, space is always limited.
Dive Smart, Dive Safe!