Q: How long is the Scuba Diver course?
A: The duration of our basic class depends on the class size and your ability to complete course requirements.If time is a factor for you, consider private lessons (link to private class description), which can be adapted to your unique needs and skills. In many cases, a private class can be completed in 15 hours.
If you’d like to get to know other divers and take a group class, we typically do four lectures and four pool sessions (three hours each) before an ocean weekend (Saturday and Sunday 8-12).
Q: What gear do I need?
A: You will need to purchase your own basic gear: fins, mask and snorkel, gloves and booties.
- Fins (recommend Scuba Pro Jet Fins or split fins for backs and knees)
- Mask (recommend low-volume and black skirt) and Snorkel (recommend simplicity)
- Gloves (recommend dexterity) and Booties (recommend thin/flexible soles)
A typical rental package includes: tank and weights, buoyancy compensator, wetsuit with hood, regulator, a computer and a compass.
Q: Where do I rent/buy gear?
A: Tropical Adventures ((831) 475-3483) or Adventure Sports ((831) 458-3648) are good local shops in Santa Cruz and we like Any Water Sports ((408) 244-4433) in San Jose. These shops offer package deals for our students; buying basic gear gets you a discount on rentals.
Q: What swimming skills do I need?
A: None–if you are really fat you can float like a cork and need not swim. Just kidding. NAUI requires a 10-minute tread, a 50-foot underwater swim, and 450-yards swimming with fins and breathing through a snorkel.
Q: What will I learn?
A: How to dive safely and have a lot of fun.
Academic skills include:
Pool skills include:
- kicking and entry techniques
- regulator and mask clearing
- buoyancy control
- shared-air breathing
- basic rescue carries
Q: Will I learn about marine life?
A: Yes! If Kristy and/or Bill teach you, there’s no way they’ll leave out their love of all things natural and wild! Our classes include a slide show of our favorite marine critters and their outstanding adaptations.You can also further your knowledge with Our Marine Biology for the Diver (link to class) focusing on marine life identification and natural history.
Q: Why take a class from the Finstads?
A: Kristy has been an instructor since 2004 and a Dive Master since 1997. Bill has more teaching experience than any other (active) instructor in California: over 8 thousand certified and over 30 years teaching experience. We offer small classes and personal instruction. One on one teaching is what makes us successful; we have lots and lots of students become teaching assistants to help us during classes. Additionally we offer really exciting boat dives as an option to complete you course! You will learn about marine life from marine biologists. We’re FUN and we love what we do. And once you are certified you can come explore the world with us!