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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Find the answer that you need.

 We offer 2 ALL Inclusive Open Water Diver Packages:

  • An ALL Inclusive NAUI Open Water Diver Package of $795.95 +Tax per student.
  • An ALL Inclusive PADIOpen Water Diver Package of $954.95 +Tax per student.

 Group rate discounts are available with a minimum of 4 students and each student receives a $25 discount.  To qualify for the discount, all students must take the course on the same dates and times.

It means NO surprises.  We openly disclose the minimum cost of the entire course, from start to finish, rather than quoting what appears to be an extremely low price.  We have nothing to hide and will not surprise you with hidden costs and fees once you have started, or about to start the course.  Additional costs incurred are usually due to optional customer selected equipment upgrades.

Here is everything that is included:

TUITION.  A certified NAUI / PADI dive professional will conduct a brief in-house review of the online academics to help answer any questions and ensure you feel comfortable with the covered material.  Additionally, the instructor will demonstrate all topside and underwater skills, then guide you through each step in learning the skills in a pool session, then repeating those skills in the open water sessions.

ACADEMIC MATERIALS.  A Dive Log book and an online access code to the NAUI / PADI eLearning course will be provided upon enrollment.  This provides you the ability to complete the academic portion at your own pace.  The online course will cover the academic basics with brief quizzes throughout.  At the end, you will complete the online Final Exam.  A copy of the scores must be printed (or emailed) to our dive shop prior to class start.  This portion MUST be 100% completed prior to the first day of class.  If it is not completed, your class start date must be rescheduled.

PERSONAL SCUBA GEAR.  Each student receives a snorkel and is fitted, with their own scuba grade mask, boots and fins (not snorkel grade).  The student keeps these.

RENTAL EQUIPMENT FOR POOL/OPEN WATER DIVES.  Everything that is needed to move and breathe underwater is provided.  This includes a BCD, Regulator, Octopus, Compass, Dive Computer, Weight Belt, Weights, Wetsuit, Tank and Air Fills.

NAUI / PADI OPEN WATER DIVER CERTIFICATION.  After successful completion of the course, each student receives their lifetime certification e-card.

We have an entire web page dedicated to the question.  Follow this link to find out more:

NAUI vs PADI Certification

Typically, the course is completed in 4 days, over a 2 weekend period (Saturday and Sunday).   Classes start every Saturday.  We also have weekday classes available and we will try our best to coordinate a schedule which works with you.  We recommend enrolling at least 1 week before class starts to have plenty of time to review student materials and secure a class slot.

The general schedule is as follows:

Day 1.  Approximately 6 hours, which includes review of the online eLearning course materials, learn and practice how to assemble and disassemble your scuba kit, followed by pool training where basic dive skills are introduced and practiced.  Class begins at 9 am on Saturdays and 10 am on Wednesdays.

Day 2.  Approximately 6 hours, which includes pool training where basic dive skills are introduced and practiced.  Class begins at 9 am on Saturdays and 10 am on Wednesdays.

Day 3 and 4.  Approximately 4 – 5 hours each day for the Open Water certification dives.  The skills learned in the pool are then applied in the open water dives.  Class usually begins at 9 am.  However, it is also directly coordinated with the instructor.  This is where most of the basic skills learned in the pool are repeated at a lake or river.

NOTE:  The times reflected above depend on the class pace and each student’s ability to master each of the demonstrated skills.  These are average times and may be shortened or extended for the same reasons.

It is a convenient way to learn from the comfort of your own home learning at your own pace by completing the academic portion online.  It is a great option for busy people with limited time who are unable to complete the partial day on-site classroom instruction.  The learning materials are available online for a period of 1 year from the start of the course.

All eLearning students must provide us a printed copy of their scores prior to scheduling the pool and open water dives.  To get started with your online training, click here.

People come to us because we are all about having fun!  We have a very relaxed friendly environment.  Smiling and laughter are an everyday occurrence in our shop. 

We also pride ourselves in providing high-quality service.  It is all about YOU!  We are committed in meeting our customer’s needs.  Unlike the industry standard, our staff is NOT commission based - as a result, there are no high–pressure sales.

We do not call ourselves ‘Premier’, ‘the Best’ or ‘#1’.  What matters most – is what our customers say about us.  We strive to do our best and have a deep passion for sharing and turning others on to scuba diving.  Check out our reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook.

Minimum Age:  10 years old.  Students younger than 15 years, who successfully complete the course, qualify for the Junior Open Water Diver certification.  Junior Open Water Divers between 10 and 11 years old may only dive with a parent, certified guardian, or certified professional diver to a maximum depth of 40 feet.  12 – 14 year olds may only dive with a parent, certified guardian, or certified professional diver to a maximum depth of 60 feet.

Upon reaching 15, the Junior Open Water certification may be upgraded to standard Open Water Diver certification. 

Physical:  For safety, all students must complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire.  If any of the questions apply to you, for safety precautions, your medical doctor must assess the condition as it relates to diving, and sign a medical form which confirms you’re fit to dive.  Click here to download the Medical Statement.

Personal Scuba Gear:  The items required for class are: mask, snorkel, boots and scuba grade fins.  This is included within the all-inclusive package.  Remaining rental equipment is provided for class completion.

You 2 options to enroll for a class:

You can get started now by siging up from our online store here ---> SA Scuba Shack Store

You can visit our dive shop, pay for your enrollment, complete a medical questionnaire, select your class dates, and get outfitted for your personal gear.

To secure your spot in the class, we recommend enrolling 1-2 weeks before the dates you want to begin.  Remember, classes may fill up quickly especially during the Summer months.  Additionally, inclement weather may sometimes require class rescheduling due to unsuitable dive conditions at the lake or river.  So to be on the safe side, plan ahead as much as possible.

No.  All you need to be is a reasonably proficient swimmer who is comfortable and relaxed in the water.  The swimming requirement for Open Water certification is an easy 300-yard swim with no time limit, followed by a 10-minute tread/float.

No.  However, we subcontract various pools, which meet standards, for our classes and are also close by our dive shop.  During the winter season, we use a heated pool.  Although a pool is an important element of learning to scuba dive, the real training is conducted in the open water.  Subcontracting pools keep our costs down and we do not have costly related maintenance.  As a result, we pass the savings on to you.

No.  We do not hold back students until a minimum class size is reached.  If you are ready to get started now, and you are the only student, then we will agree on a schedule which works best.  Private fees will not be charged, unless the student(s) requests exclusive training.

For instruction quality purposes, we keep our class sizes small.  Class average is 4-5 students.  Although training standards allow for more students, we believe in delivering a higher quality experience.

Personal gear (mask, boots, fins and snorkel) may be used, provided they are scuba quality as described below:

Mask lenses MUST be tempered glass, not plastic.  Scuba masks are designed to withstand pressure at depth without the mask breaking.

Fins MUST be scuba quality to help propel the diver underwater.  Snorkel fins are not allowed as they are designed to push a snorkeler on the water’s surface.

Neoprene footwear is recommended to protect feet and ankles from rubbing against the fin foot pocket.

Most snorkels are acceptable, provided they are in working condition.

If your personal gear is scuba quality, the all-inclusive Open Water price will be reduced.

No.  For liability purposes, Open Water students are required to use rental equipment (BCD, Regulator, Octopus, Compass, Dive Computer and Air Cylinders) from our dive shop.  This is already included in the course price.

Depending on the season, weather or class size, the dives are usually completed at:

Comal River in New Braunfels.  Mostly used during the Winter months as the spring fed river maintains a water temperature range between 68-72 degrees year-round.  Visibility ranges from 3 – 15 feet.  Due to the heavy activity of tubers during the late Spring and Summer, the river is used less during that time.

Canyon Lake.  Mostly used during the late Spring, Summer and Early Fall, the water temperatures range between 65 – 80 degrees.  Depending on depth and recreational water activity, visibility ranges from 3 – 15 feet. Various dive sites are used.

Medina Lake (Joe’s Place) in Mico ( CLOSED ).  Like Canyon Lake, it is used during the late Spring, Summer and early Fall.  The water temperatures range between 65 – 80 degrees.  Depending on depth and recreational water activity, visibility ranges from 3-15 feet.

Boerne Lake.  Used occasionally (due to shallow depth of up to 30 feet), water temperature ranges between 65 – 80 degrees.  Visibility ranges from 3-10 feet.  Despite being a shallow lake, it is a great place to practice navigation skills.

Spring Lake a/k/a Aquarena Springs in San Marcos.  Available year round.  Spring fed lake maintains a water temperature range between 68-72 degrees.  Visibility ranges from 30 – 100 feet.  It is located on private property of Texas State University.  The University charges dive students an entry fee of $40 per person, per visit.  Currently enrolled University students are charged $20 per person, per visit.  The fee is paid directly to the University upon arrival.

We typically process and submit your certification paperwork the SAME day you completed the course.

Yes.  We have 2 options available for your convenience as follows:

Pool Only.  This option is great for anyone who has not been out of the water very long and just needs to refresh their skills in the pool.  This only takes a few hours.  Cost is $175.

Class Audit.  For those who have been away from diving for an extended period, and need to get up to speed, you can ‘play’ student all over again – without the stress of taking the final written exam or swim test.  You will be placed in an existing Open Water class with new students.  This means you get to sit in our classroom and be a part of the interactive instructor-student sessions where you will ‘re-learn’ the academics of diving.  Additionally, you get to refresh your underwater skills in the pool and participate in the open water training dives.  This is typically completed over 4 days in 2 weekends (Saturday and Sunday).  Cost is $420.

The costs stated above do not include the following equipment:  Personal Gear (Mask, Snorkel, Boots and Fins) are not included, but are available for purchase.

Yes.  However, please keep in mind the instructor’s attention and priority are on the students.  Non-students are requested to not interfere with class instruction and stay clear of the students.

After Open Water students have completed all Open Water tasks, non-students are encouraged to participate in the final dive with their new dive buddy.

Yes.  Our equipment is properly maintained and tracked.  Tattered, ripped or broken equipment is repaired or removed to ensure you have an enjoyable dive experience.  This is also a good way to enjoy diving without the investment until you are ready.

Rental equipment is available only with proof of Open Water Diver (or higher) certification.

Personal gear (mask, fins, boots or snorkel) are not available for rent.

Rental fee is $25 PER ITEM based on a 24-hour basis.  Available items are:

BCD, 1st and 2nd stage with Octopus and Computer Console with Air gauge, Wetsuit, Weight Belt with 22 lbs and Air Cylinder.

No.  Although it is not required, owning your own equipment has many benefits.  Namely, it provides you the opportunity to become very familiar with its features and functions, instead of trying to figure out rental equipment while underwater.

Additionally, you know the last time your equipment was serviced and exercise better care of your own equipment.  Rental equipment is great, but it tends to get a beating due to the frequent use.

Having your own equipment helps keep you actively diving.  If you made the investment, do not let it sit around unused.

Remember, this equipment is your LIFE support underwater which also becomes a part of your dive experience.

As authorized dealers for all the products we sell, you will receive the manufacturer’s full warranty.

Guess what?  Our dive shop is going to sweeten the deal!  Any NEW BCD or regulator purchased from our dive shop will receive FREE parts (service kits) for as long as you own your gear.  This is known as the FREE PARTS-FOR-LIFE Program.

To qualify, you must bring in your equipment annually (around the anniversary purchase date).  Depending on equipment needs, it will either be inspected and/or serviced.  The service kits may run more than $120 each time.  Provided you do your part and bring in your equipment, you will receive the service kits for FREE.  Although you will still pay for the servicing labor, your savings year after year will increase.

Yes.  Although used inventory items available for sale vary throughout the year.  We replace our rental equipment every 2-3 years.  As a result, we will make it available for purchase.  Let us know what you are looking for and we may have something available.

We strongly urge all divers to purchase some sort of diver accident insurance.  Our preferred provider is DAN (Diver’s Alert Network).  After first becoming a member, they offer various insurance plans from Dive Accident Insurance to Dive Equipment Insurance.  Standard insurance coverages offered through corporate employers will not cover dive related accidents.  As a result, any medical treatments, especially the use of the hyperbaric chamber, will translate into thousands of dollars.  Annual dive accident insurance is very inexpensive.  To review membership and dive insurance plans, click here.

$9.50   – up to 3000 psi

$11.00   – up to 3500 psi

$40.00 – up to 4500 psi

$25.00 – Enriched Air (Nitrox) – up to 3000 psi

Air cylinders must be current on VIP and Hydrostatic testing.

SAVE some money by purchasing an Air Fill Punch Card at a reduced price of $85.  You save $10 from the normal cost.  The card may be used for up to 10 air fills (up to 3000 psi).  The punch card never expires but must be presented when receiving air fills. (Enriched Air fills are not available)

Yes.  We can fill air cylinders for scuba, as well as paintball tanks.

Scuba air fills require proof of being an Open Water (or higher) certified diver by showing us your certification card.  No certification card – No fill.

Paintball aluminum or steel tanks must be clearly marked ‘For Paintball Use Only’.  If it is not marked, we have labels available for purchase.  Fiberglass tanks are not required to be marked. 

Prior to filling your tank, the VIP and Hydrostatic markings must be current.  If they are not, we will require those are completed prior to fill a tank.

Any tank with a born date of 1991 and prior will not be filled nor sent out for testing.  These tanks place our staff at risk, so therefore we will not fill these tanks.

Yes.  Most of the times, VIPs may be done while you wait.  We will inspect the cylinder and tank valve.  If it passes, we will fill your cylinder to the tank’s working pressure.  Cost is $30 and includes an air fill.

Hydrostatic services are done once a week.  Air cylinders are sent/returned on Tuesday of each week.  If it passes testing, we will also VIP the tank, service the tank valve and fill your cylinder up to the tank’s working pressure.  If the cylinder has failed, it will be returned to customer.  Cost is $75 and includes an air fill.

For both services, tank valve inspection and servicing (exterior and interior replacement of O-rings) is included.  If a service kit is needed, it is not included in the above stated price.

Pass or Fail, the VIP or hydrostatic fee must still be paid.

Courses/Classes. Refunds are not available once the student has started the course/class.  Course materials must be returned in original condition.

Gear/Equipment/Apparel.  Refunds/Returns are available up to 30 days after purchase date.  Items must be unused, with original tags and packaging.  After 30 days from purchase date, in-store only credit/exchange available.  No refunds on clearance or used equipment.

Rental Equipment.  NO REFUNDS on unused rental equipment.

Purchasing used equipment from any unknown source can be very risky.  The maintenance and care of the gear is unknown.  Taking the seller’s ‘word’ can still translate into investing more money to service or repair an item than it may be worth.  Often, it may be costlier than purchasing new, or worse – the item may be irreparable and you just lost that money.

If you decide to purchase, it is best to bring the gear to our dive shop for servicing and/or repair.  Remember that equipment (BCD and Regulators) should be inspected or serviced annually.  Air cylinders must be visually inspected every year, and hydrostatically tested every 5 years.  Additionally, tank valves may not be properly functioning and purchasing a new one may be necessary.  These are costs which need to be considered when purchasing used items.

Instead, we encourage you to visit us and let us know what you need.  Our professional staff will work with you to select items that will suit you.  Perhaps we may have something in our used inventory that will be perfect for you.

Remember - you may be purchasing LIFE support equipment from an unknown source.  Is it worth the risk?