Links to questions for quick navigation:

How long is the Basic Diver Course?

What gear do I need?

Where do I rent/buy gear?

What swimming skills do I need?

What will I learn?

Will I learn about marine life?

Why take a class from the Finstads’?


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 two days at the ocean.


Q: What gear do I need?
A: You should 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 “hard gear” rental package includes: tank and weights, buoyancy compensator, regulator, a computer and a compass, and a wetsuit with hood.

Q: Where do I rent/buy gear?
A: Tropical Adventures ((831) 475-3483), Aqua Safaris ((831) 479-4398) or Adventure Sports ((831) 458-3648) are good local shops in Santa Cruz.  In Sunnyvale, we like Any Water Sports ((408) 244-4433). These shops offer package deals for our students; buying basic gear gets you a discount on rentals.  You should be able to purchase your basic gear and rent hard gear for $200.

Q: What swimming skills do I need?
A:  Keep in mind, divers don’t swim underwater, they fin.  For safety, NAUI requires a 10-minute tread, a 50-foot underwater swim, and 450-yards swimming with fins and breathing through a snorkel (untimed).

Q: What will I learn?
A: How to dive safely and have a lot of fun.Academic skills include:

  • physics and physiology underwater
  • equipment
  • safety
  • dive table calculations
  • marine environment

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 2003 and a Dive Master since 1997. Worldwide Diving Adventures is family owned, with over 60 years of combined 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.  We don’t rely on a dive shop for income, so we won’t push you to buy gear. And once you are certified you can come explore the world with us!

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