Q.1 Do I need a diving medical?
You will need to fill out a medical declaration form prior to starting all scuba diving courses. If this form raises any issues which may mean it would be unsafe to Scuba Dive, then you will need to get a Dive Medical prior to participating in any in-water training activities. The South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society lists accredited dive doctors, so you can find someone near you.
Q.2 Will I feel claustrophobic?
People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training with Academy of Scuba, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.
Q.3 What if it takes me longer than the time allocated to get comfortable?
We always put your safety but also comfort and enjoyment above time schedules. Some people take longer than others to learn to dive and get comfortable and that is completely fine. Our patient, empathetic and amazing instructors will help guide you through the learning process and ensure you reach a comfortable level before moving onto the next skill set or dive. If extra time is needed then this is arranged. Some people learn better by themselves so we can arrange private tuition too.
Q.4 I haven't dived in a while, what do I need to do to get back into the water?
Q.5 What is your Instructor/Student ratio?
At Academy of Scuba, we believe a successful instructor is marked not by the quantity of students they certify, but the quality. We surpass the Australian standard of 1 instructor to 8 students by having an instructor to student ratio of 1:4. The temperate waters of Melbourne offer some of the best training conditions on the planet, because they challenge divers. Our divers are therefore more proficient, confident and comfortable, as they know they can dive anywhere in the world and be prepared.
Q.6 How can I join the AOS club?
It’s super easy – you can either come in store or purchase VIP membership online by clicking here.
Q.7 What are you opening hours?
Q.8 Where can I scuba dive?
You can dive practically anywhere there’s water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your:
- level site
- conditions interests
For example, if you’ve just finished your PADI Open Water Diver course, you probably won’t be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. But, don’t limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think.
Melbourne has some incredible local diving: Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and the surrounding ocean is full of life. There’s the exotic, the majestic, the deadly, the beautiful, the weird – something for everyone. With a huge amount of diversity right at our doorstep, Melbourne’s waters are home to over 1300 plant and animal species, 82% of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Diving is not a spectator sport, so the only way to see all of the incredible life that is teeming in our southern ocean is to dive it. Visit today to come and see what all the fuss is about.
Q.9 How can I get to your shop on public transport?
Q.10 How do I know what's the best scuba gear?
Easy. There is no best gear. But, there is the best gear for you.
Our professional staff at Academy of Scuba are trained to help you find scuba gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget. We can get you set with the right stuff, plus we provide after-sales service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.
You may also want to talk to other scuba divers – come into our weekly Club Nights on Thursday evenings from 6:30pm at the shop to meet other divers and chat to them to get recommendations on particular scuba equipment brands and models. Listening to other peoples’ experiences is often a really good tool to help with making a decision a particular piece of equipment.
Q.11 Does a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma or smoking preclude someone from diving?
Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person’s individual risk. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. If you are concerned, see a diving doctor. Find a list here. DAN has information available online if you wish to do some research.
Q.12 What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with diving?
Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing gloves and an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet. Contact us for information about exposure protection needed for any of your diving.
Q.13 What about sharks?
When you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare. Most commonly shark encounters primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger erratic feeding behaviour. Sharks’ main food source is fish and if they can get a free feed they will. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy. Some myths, about sharks, that you have heard may be dispelled by checking out Australian Geographic.
Q.14 Do women have any special concerns regarding diving?
Aside from pregnancy, no. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving on the fetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Menstruation is not normally a concern.
Q.15 How deep do you go?
The Open Water Diver certificaton qualifies you to dive with a buddy to 18m, unless you are a Junior Open Water Diver, in which case you are qualified to a maximum depth of 12m.
Advanced Open Water divers are qualified to a depth of 30m, and with the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres.
Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 12 metres/40 feet where the water’s warmer and the colours are brighter.
Q.16 What happens if I use up all my air?
That’s not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times. This way, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. But to answer the question, if you run out of air, your buddy has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you’ll learn in your PADI Open Water course with Academy of Scuba.