My boyfriend and I are going to be at CSA for the first time this November and we are both really excited. My boyfriend is already scuba certified and I know he really wants to dive while at CSA. He is going overseas for work from June to October so I was thinking of surprising him and getting certified at home while he is gone. I was just looking for some advice about how hard it is to get certified. I am a decent swimmer but by no means advanced or maybe even intermediate lol. How much swimming do you have to do to get certified? Also, in general does everyone swim individually or the whole class at a time. I hate the thought of others watching me :( Thanks in advance!
Hi! It's been 6 years since my classes, so it's been a while and my memory may be sketchy. I think my swimming skills are similar to what you describe as yours, decent. In my class, in a pool, all students had to swim (using fins, they teach you to use those which help you swim faster) back and forth continuously for several "laps" within a specified amount of time. I'm sorry, I can't remember how many laps, I want to say maybe 15(?), I just can't remember, but you can ask the question at your scuba shop where you plan to take classes and I'm sure they can tell you ahead of time what yours will involve. I can tell you that I was the slowest swimmer of the group (just didn't get the hang of the fins to take full advantage of them, but they did help for sure), but I just took my time, stayed focused and finished in plenty of time. If I had failed, I would have been given another chance another day after resting up. So I wasn't worried. Yes, the class was watching me, but you can ask your scuba shop about that. Most shops give private lessons. I enjoyed the class. Unfortunately, my mother became ill and I was unable to make the trip to finish my open water dives to fully certify. I hope you enjoy your classes if you decide to take them! I would encourage you to.
The swim is a distance so the number of laps would depend on the particular pool you are in. I am a horrible swimmer but I made it...took one class of swimming lessons as a kid, I can tread water just fine and move myself through the water but as far as knowing the various strokes and such it don't happen. In our class everyone swam at the same time and finished as they finished but it was a pool with enough lanes to accommodate the class size. I suspect that this would again depend on the pool you are in and your class size, if the pool will allow everyone to swim you will all swim but at least as many as possible will.
I think it's a great idea to get certified as a surprise and you'll love diving together. You may feel self conscious at first but I bet you'll feel at ease in no time. Generally dive instructors as passionate about diving and about getting others to love it too and will do all they can to make you comfortable. Have fun!
If it is PADI you are getting certified with, the swim is 200 metres, so the number of laps depends on the pool length. There's also an option to do the swim with fins, but that increases the length to 300m. Some instructors don't give that option though, as they feel it's too easy. Also, PADI doesn't specify that you have to swim with any specific stroke, but some instructors may say you need to do it via the front crawl. You will also need to be able to tread water.
I am an instructor and not a great swimmer, in that my front crawl sucks, yet I could breast stroke and side stroke all day. I have always loved the water and feel comfortable in it. That's what really counts. So basically you need to be comfortable in the water, both above and below with scuba gear.
If you're unsure, talk to the dive shop about their swim requirements and maybe hit the pool for a refresher swim or two. I wouldn't worry though, as it sounds like you will be ok with the swim.
I think it's a great idea to get certified beforehand and surprise him. Then when you're there you can enjoy diving together. The diving around Negril is great for novice divers, as the dives are typically shallow and easy. Have a great time!
I just got certified @css in may, why yes there is a fair amount of swimming but then you are getting scuba certified. I by know means am athletic and pushing mid thirties but trust me it is so worth it. I spent for days getting certified at resort and would do it again.
Just be patient find a reputable scuba shop and go for it once your certified it is for life so it is well worth it.