Age, Health and Skill Requirements
4. You can choose to take your Open Water Diver Course wherever you want to (you can even do it at home), however, if you decide to enroll with PADI, then there are certain criteria you need to meet in order to pass Open Water Diver Test:
a) You must be at least 10 years old to start your Open Water Diver Test, in the age range of 10-12 you will be certified as a Junior Open Water Diver;
What are the age limits for scuba diving?
This is a typical question that dive instructors receive very often, from aspiring divers that might be either too young, or too old.
If you are the parent or guardian of a minor, we understand your concerns! The minimum age for a dive certification is 10 years old, but some programs are available for younger divers, who can take a Bubblemaker or a Seal Team program already at age 8. Anyone younger that that can go snorkeling or SNUBA diving (a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving) but is not deemed physically ready for scuba diving. With young kids, it is important to work with an instructor that you and your child can trust, someone who knows how to relate with children and that has the right attitude. Not every instructor is a child person, make sure you have a chat with them before enrolling your child in a dive program or course!
If instead you feel like you might be too old, consider that there is NO AGE LIMIT in taking a scuba class! You just have to be healthy, complete the medical questionnaire and have doctor’s clearance in case of health concerns such as hypertension, recent surgeries, heart conditions, etc. Age is not a deterrent and scuba diving is becoming more and more popular with retired people, former free divers and spear-fishermen, which are typically 50 years and older.
b) Recommended health: You need to be healthy enough that you don't pose a danger to yourself or others during Open Water activities. PADI Open Water certification isn't possible to obtain if you have certain medical conditions (including heart disease, diabetes), unless you provide clearance from your doctor. Also, some medications can make it difficult or even dangerous to dive, for example antidepressants, sedatives, antihistamines etc.
c) Skill requirements: your instructor will teach you basic skills with your equipment, breathing and buoyancy during the confined portion of your Open Water Diver course. You will then perform all of them in open waters.
You can retake your exam if you don't pass the first time.
Generally, the course lasts between three and seven days and there are PADI Dive Centers in more than 100 countries.