Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not sure if scuba diving is for me, where should I start?
Albany Scuba proudly offers prospective students the option to try a dive for $50 if you feel unsure about committing to the full package. This session, called Discover Scuba, will cover some of the basic gear and skills that are used by all divers. Included in this session is 1 hour of in water instruction, where you can experience if breathing underwater feels right for you.
If you decide to continue with the full Open Water Class we will apply the $50 towards your Open Water Class.
What training agency are you affiliated with? And how long is my certification good for?
Albany Scuba certifies students through PADI. PADI is known world wide as a leader in student training.
Certifications are good for life, however we always recommed that a refresher course is take if you have been out of the water for a while.
How old do I have to be to get certified?
To begin Open Water certification classes you must be at least 10 years old. Divers 10 years to 14 years old are eligible for the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification. At age 15 the certification will roll over to a PADI Open Water Diver.
There are programs for available for children as young as 7 years old to try SCUBA and begin developing in water skills.
Can I dive with xyz medical condition? Are there any physical restrictions?
Depending on the medical condition, we may require a medical professional evaluation before allowing you to begin the in water portion of the classes. Click here to download the medical questionnaire if you think this may apply to you.
The open water portion of the classes are conducted in cold water and wearing heavy equipment. Checkout dives generally require wearing the gear while ascending and descending a flight of stairs for water access. Please discuss with us concerns you may have, as accommodations may be available.
SCUBA is a very inclusive sport, please contact the shop to discuss any other conditions that may preclude you from diving safely.
I wear glasses/contacts, can i still dive?
Absolutely. It is possible to wear contact lenses and dive safely, just let us know during your course so we can accommodate you. Prescription lenses and inserts are also an option, which may be more comfortable than wearing contacts for some divers.
I don't know how to swim. Can i still be a scuba diver?
While we like to say that anyone can learn to dive safely, we find having some basic comfort in the water to be beneficial to completing the required skills to complete the course. For those that are unsure about the signing up, we offer Discover SCUBA sessions that allow you to decide if diving is the right sport for you.
Can I learn to dive if i do not have a buddy?
Of course. For the certification classes we assign buddy teams as needed to complete skills. After certification we would love to see you back diving with us on any of our fun dives throughout the year. Our events calendar on the website, as well as our Facebook page show our upcoming events. Our Divemasters are also available as dive guides, just get in touch with them.
What's included with the Open Water Class fee?
Our Open Water Class fee includes: PADI Open Water CrewPack, PADI Certification Fees, 4 pool sessions, gear rental for pool and open water sessions(except as noted below), air fills for all in water training, 4 open water dives.
Not included in the fees: Mask and Snorkel (students must supply own SCUBA quality mask and snorkel), food/travel/lodging for the open water weekend.
How long does it take to get certified? Where is the training held?
Our regularly scheduled classes are conducted over 4 weeks. Students looking for accelerated classes please contact us for additional information. The classroom work is held in the Albany Scuba shop. The pool sessions are held in the South Albany Pool. Training locations for custom and accelerated courses are part of the details that are worked out before scheduling.
How long does it take to get certified?
Our regularly scheduled classes are conducted over 4 weeks. Students looking for accelerated classes please contactus for additional information.
Do I need to buy any gear before class?
Students need to supply a SCUBA quality mask and snorkel for use in the Open Water Class. Mask lenses must be tempered glass to be safe for use in diving. We recommend trying on your mask before purchasing to ensure a good seal.
What if I can't make it to class?
We ask that when you are signing up for class that you are ready to commit to the 4 classroom and pool sessions required for hte course. If your schedule does not work with our standard class layout, please contact us to see if we can accomadate you. Please understand that a non standard class schedule may have additional fees.
What if I can't make it to the open water weekend for the class I am taking?
We prefer for students to attend the open water weekend associated with the class they attended for pool sessions. We offer 4 additional open water weekends throughout the year located at Woahink Lake. Please consult the shop when booking your course if you need to schedule a different check out weekend.
What is the refund policy for Open Water Class? Other classes?
If you find that SCUBA diving is not for you before session 2 of your course we will refund the cost of the class, minus $85 to cover the cost of the PADI Crew Pack.
Please contact the shop to discuss refunds of other classes.
Are there sharks in the water where we will be diving?
We have on rare occasions seen sharks in Hoodsport when diving at dusk and at night. Most sharks are skittish and do not like hanging out with divers. In our previous encounters the sharks evaded us before we could get any cool pictures! Common sharks in the Puget Sound include: six gill, blue sharks, brown cat fish and spiny dog fish.
I have completed my Open Water class, now what?
Congratulations on becoming a certified diver! We would love to you continue to expand your diving experiences with us. We offer Advanced Open Water as your next certifcation. Or just come fun diving with us on a weekend. Check our website and Facebook pages to see upcoming oppurtunities.