San Francisco (415) 362-6694
Monterey Bay (831) 372-1685

Frequent Questions - Learn to Scuba Dive

FAQs - Learn to Scuba Dive

Just getting started, this category provides key answers to those looking to learn how to scuba dive.

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.

Tags: learn

Yes, they are available for download in a PDF on our Useful Links page in the SSI Forms section.

Tags: scuba

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.

Tags: lessons

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

Tags: instruction

San Francisco

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.

Other Stores

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.

Tags: cost

No, each student must have their own student kit. There is homework in the student kit that must be handed in. Also, the cost of your student kit includes the cost of your certification card upon complete ion of the course, therefore everyone must have their own.

Your student kit contains a textbook and a DVD. You must read the entire book and watch the entire video prior to your first class. There are six chapters in each, and they go together. It is recommended that you read Chapter 1, watch Chapter 1, and so forth. At the end of each chapter in the book there are twenty questions. At the very end of the book there are three double sided answer sheets. You must answer all the questions and copy the answers onto the answer sheets in the back to hand in. Instructors may collect the homework at the start of your first class.

Your instructor at the ocean will issue you a temporary certification card upon completion of your checkout dives. The temporary card is valid for thirty days. Your permanent card will arrive at Bamboo Reef 10 days after you complete your certification dives in Monterey or return your referral form if you do your dives on vacation. Certification cards will not be mailed; you must come to pick up your certification card in person. Certification cards will not be issued unless all your paperwork is complete, homework turned in, referral form returned, and all paperwork properly signed.

Now it’s time to dive! Come join us on our monthly shore fun dive or boat dive in Monterey. We also have live aboard trips to the Channel Islands twice a year. We also have several trips to exotic destinations every year. Check out our trips page for more information and videos from both our exotic trips and Monterey fun dives. Caught the diving bug? Take an advanced class or specialty class and increase your dive skills. Check out or lessons page for more information on upcoming classes.

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Business Hours

San Francisco
Mon-Fri: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Tel: (415) 362-6694
¬ Store Panoramic View

Monterey Bay
Mon-Fri: 09:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sun: 7.00am - 6.00pm

Tel: (831) 372-1685
¬ Store Information
Authorized GoPro Reseller
Authorized GoPro reseller
SSI Diamond Dive Center
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