The open water pool and classroom sessions can be completed in either one full weekend or four evenings over two weeks. To complete the certification takes two days of ocean dives.
Yes, they are available for download in a PDF on our Useful Links page in the SSI Forms section.
No, after completing your pool and classroom training you will receive an SSI Universal Referral form that allows you to complete your ocean checkout dives with any instructor, from any agency, anywhere in the world. So you have the option to complete you pool and classroom with us in San Francisco and then complete your course on your vacation.
Your checkout dives must be spread out over two days. So if you do your dives on vacation, the first two days of diving will be class diving, whereas if you complete your dives in Monterey, you can get right into fun diving on your vacation. Also, if you choose to complete your dives in Monterey there is no additional tuition costs with Bamboo Reef. If you choose to do your dives on vacation, you will have to be instructor fees ranging anywhere from $150 to $350
SSI and PADI are the two largest certification agencies in the world and are both members of the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). While they are separate agencies, they both adhere to all RSTC standards for their minimum training requirements, and both are internationally recognized. Certifications for any agency (there are more then 85 recognized agencies) will be accepted world wide. Being separate business, they operate differently and have different business models, but they give the same training and certification. So the short answer to what is the difference between the agencies is…. the initials on the card.
No, all agencies recognize all agencies and accept equivalent levels from other agencies to meet their course prerequisites. To take an advanced class you have to hold an open water certification, it does not matter what agency issued it. This holds true all the way through to the professional levels.
You will need to bring a bathing suit and towel, your complete SSI student kit, your completed homework, and your personal snorkeling gear. You will need these items each day of class.
Weekend Open Water classes start at 9am and run until 5:30pm both Saturday and Sunday. Evening Open Water classes start at 6pm and run until 10pm Tuesdays and Thursdays for two weeks. Checkout dives start at 8am in Monterey both Saturday and Sunday. Continuing education classes start at 6:30pm on their scheduled night. Ocean start times for continuing education will be determined by the instructor on the first night in the classroom.
Note that each store operate their own schedules. It is therefore IMPORTANT that you confirm your start time with the STORE that you are signed up with.
Open Water course tuition is costs are listed at the bottom of the Learn to Scuba Dive Page. The tuition is due when you sign up as a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit. The remaining balance is due by the start of your first class. Each student must purchase the SSI student kit. Students must have their own personal snorkeling gear, mask, fins, snorkel, boots, and gloves. If you need to purchase these items a full set of gear ranges from $140 to $350. If you choose to complete your certification in Monterey, you will need to rent the additional gear for approximately $100. Transportation to and from Monterey, and lodging in Monterey for the weekend are also your own responsibility.
Call Monterey, Marin and Sonoma Coast Stores for pricing.
¬ Monterey - Call Tel: (831) 372-1685
¬ Marin - Visit Marin branch website
1 San Francisco and Marin stores have pools on Site. Check with Monterey and Sonoma Coast on their pool facilities
All classes require a non-refundable/non-transferable deposit at the time of registration.