Open Water Course in Koh Tao - The ultimate guide!
Updated: Jul 4
So, you are looking to come to Koh Tao, wanting to do your open water course (the first level certification of scuba diving) and don't really know how to go forward?
Well you have come to the right spot!
Today, we'll be explaining everything you need to know about the first level certification of scuba diving, the open water course, which you also can find more information about by clicking the link marked under open water or following the link right here:
Many people coming to Koh Tao start their scuba diving adventure with the open water course. It is a 3 day course containing 6 dives. 2 of these dives are counted as confined dives, where we do exercises and skills to teach you how to feel comfortable and safe underwater, the other 4 is counted as open water dives, totaling 6 dives total over 3 days!
But let's start from the beginning, so let's say you're looking to start your open water course and are trying to plan for it, then these facts will help you a lot:
- All courses are available to start daily.
- When you find a promotion you like, you can book your course without a date to ensure your offer and then come back to us to say whichever date fits you the best, we only require 1,000 THB deposit which can be made with PayPal, Thai bank transfer or Transferwise.
- All courses comes with all services which includes:
- Instructor, equipment, theoretical materials, exam, international certification
- Daily lunch, snacks, refreshments, coffee, fresh fruits (Vegan and vegeterian options available)
- Daily pick up and drop off services from all over the island
- Koh Tao Scuba Club team T-shirt
- Free of use snorkel gear, paddle boards to enjoy the natural beauty of Koh Tao even more
So you've chosen Koh Tao Scuba Club for your open water course and you're arriving today to the island, here you can choose between a few different options:
Option A - At your arrival, you'll arrive to the pier of Koh Tao (the only pier of Koh Tao by the way) which is located in one of the 3 main villages of Koh Tao, these are Mae Haad, Sairee and Chalok. You'll be arriving in Mae Haad. At your arrival you'll be just a 200 meter walk from our offices, you can easily find a description to how to find us right here or by finding us on Google. If you do choose to come by, we then register you, greet you of course and then our taxi services take you to your accommodation. The next day we also come and pick you up for your course in the morning.
Option B - Taking your hotel transfer straight to your hotel, you then notify us of where you'll be staying and we come and pick you up for your open water course in the morning.
On the night of your first day, please make sure not to party too hard, make sure to get a good nights rest, get a nice breakfast in the morning and come in with a positive energy and ready to learn!
On the first morning of your course, we will be starting at 09:00 AM with your instructor at the school. If you wish to be picked up you'll be picked up at around 08:30 - 08:45 AM.
In the morning of the course, we will be starting by registering you, going through a medical form to see that you are medically fit for diving and then right into the classroom with your instructor!
In the classroom you'll be learning about the basic theory of diving. This is your introduction to what the open water course is, what scuba diving is, what the rules are, what the equipment is, how we use it and much much more!
The first academic class is around 2 hours, then we take a lunch break!
Either before or after lunch, the instructor will take you to pack your scuba diving gear and get you ready to go to the water! Each person needs to find equipment that fits well and this is done with the instructor by your side to ensure you find the perfect fit.
After this, we're off to the water!
The first dive, you'll head out and have the water line by your knees and slowly go deeper and deeper until you're nose and head is covered with water. Don't worry though, you'll be sitting on your knees so that if you ever feel stressed, you can easily stand up and come straight out of the water!
In the first dive, we'll mostly focus on exercises, skills and getting you comfortable with the idea that you can breath underwater. In the beginning it takes sometime, we are naturally wired to think that it's something unnatural to us so we just have to take the time to learn how to breath in and breathe out slowly while doing exercises that teaches us how to stay safe underwater!
The maximum dive depth of the first dive is maximum 5 meters deep!
After the first dive, we all surface together and go back to the boat for some tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruits. While resting, the boat also will be heading to a different location as we never dive in two sites in a row!
On the second dive of the first day open water course we'll be heading out, just for fun, no exercises, just dive with your instructor, enjoy and have fun! The second dive can come to a maximum depth of 12 meters deep!
By this time, it'll be time to wrap up a good first day of your scuba diving course. We'll be back to the school anywhere between 05:00 PM and 05:30 PM where our taxi services will be taking you back to your accommodation so you can have time to enjoy the sunset and to get some rest after a great first day of scuba diving.
Day 2 will look much like day 1, just that we'll go deeper into the theory in the classroom and deeper into the waters. Starting at around 09:30 AM and 10:00 AM, again we start in the classroom with theory, then packing the equipment, have lunch before heading to the waters and the boat again!
First dive, just like the first day for practicing skills and exercises but now at a deeper depth. Maximum 15 meters for this dive.
We have our snack time, just like the first day, coffee, biscuits, tea and fresh fruit while we take the boat to the second dive site of the day.
The second dive is for fun, join your instructor, have fun and go diving! Again maximum 15 meters depth for this dive. The day finishes at the school around 05:00 PM and 5:30 PM where you're instructor will give you instructions on where to meet and arrange your pick up if you choose to have one for the next day which is the final day of your open water course.
The final day is the only day that looks different with the schedule, we start early, at 07:00 AM. We head out for 2 dives, both these dives are at two of the top deep dive sites of Koh Tao as on the last 2 dives we'll be going as deep as 18 meters which is the maximum depth allowed in the open water course, for these last 2 dives there is no training involved, just you and your instructor exploring your newly found underwater skills and having fun exploring the ocean!
We finish and should be back at school around 11:30 where we'll have lunch. Some instructors choose to do their open water exams either on the second day of the open water course and others on the third day of the open water course. If you already have done it, by now you're officially a certified open water scuba diver!
If not, it's time for you to do the exam! Now don't worry, it's a 50 question exam and if you've been paying attention to your instructor for the last 3 days and if you were able to pass all the training moments until now, you'll be able to pass the test!