How to Choose Your Scuba Instructor
1. Which Certification Agency Trained My Instructor?
All HydroSports Instructors and staff are certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, PADI, the largest diver certification organization in the world. PADI training materials, designed by educational professionals, are presented in small steps. Students watch, hear, read, discuss and perform skills and must demonstrate proficiency at each step before moving to the next set of skills.
Some staff members hold membership in the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and actively participate in scientific diving at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Many are Emergency First Response first aid instructors; others are Divers Alert Network Instructors. Several of our staff have earned specialized credential as Instructors or Divemasters from the Handicapped Scuba Association which prepares us to serve individuals with physical and cognitive challenges.
2. How long has HydroSports been training divers?
HydroSports was incorporated in 1994 and has issued over 3000 PADI certifications. The store opened June 30, 1997 and received recognition as a PADI 5 Star Dive Center February 4, 1999. In 2003 HydroSports became one of only two PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centers in Oregon. HydroSports is committed to providing service that exceeds our customers expectations. Our training team has over 85 combined years of experience training divers in Pacific Northwest waters.
3. What Certification Will I Receive?
Your first certification will be the PADI Open Water Diver or PADI Junior Open Water Diver. You certification card enables you to obtain a tank filled with compressed air anywhere in the world. You will be ready to dive on your own in conditions similar to or better than those in which you trained.
4. How Small Will My Class Be?
Classes are limited to 8. Small classes mean more time to learn and personal attention.
5. How Many Instructors and Staff Teach the Class?
Your PADI classes will be lead by PADI Course Director Mark Fischer supported by Instructor Development Course Staff Instructors Kristen Seabury, Jay Olsen, Ryan Thornton, Stewart Tanner, Matt Jenkins, Master Scuba Diver Trainers Jeff Trembly, Carol and Gregg Cline, Open Water Scuba Instructors Kelly Schiedler, Noel Mak and Dick Holihan and many active Divemasters and Divemaster candidates. HydroSports staff knows how to help divers reach their individual diving goals and dreams. Our in-water student to staff ratio is never more than 4:1 ensuring lots of supervision and assistance if needed.
6. What Student Materials Are Included?
Your Student Pack contains the PADI Open Water Diver Manual, Open Water DVD (loaned), PADI Dive Computer Guide, Student Record File, Dive Log and SAFE Diver decal.
7. How many hours of Pool Time Are Included?
The PADI Open Water Diver course includes five confined water dive modules. HydroSports week night classes include FIVE trips to the pool (not three) to insure you are prepared for your open water dives. Our weekend classes include two extended pool sessions during which all five modules are conducted. Our student divers participate in ten to twelve hours of pool training providing lots of practice and acclimation to the new sensations of weightlessness and the skills and equipment you are learning to use.
HydroSports teaches scuba at Willamette University as part of the Exercise Science Department. This allows us to train in the finest swimming pool in Salem at the Sparks Athletic Center. The Sparks pool is a competition size pool, 12 feet deep, vastly cleaner and better maintained than most pools. When we are using the pool we are the ONLY people at the pool. We do not have to contend with the screams of dozens of children jumping off diving boards, playing water polo and swimming through our training area.
We arrive at the pool by 7:30 PM and we are usually leaving the pool at 10:00 PM. HydroSports transports your equipment to and from the pool. HydroSports student divers do not have to carry dive gear to the pool and wet dive gear back to the dive shop after the pool session.
8. If I Miss A Class, What Happens?
With lots of staff, we’ll help you make up the missed skills during the next pool session. If we know in advance, we can accelerate your progress with 1:1 teaching. An extra pool rental cost and instructor fee may be necessary if a private make up class is needed.
9. What Does My Class Fee Include? Books, Videos, Insurance and Dive Gear?
Your class fee includes instruction, pool rental and most rental equipment necessary to complete your Open Water class. Your scuba-quality mask, fins, snorkel, and gloves are included in the class fee. In addition, your class fee includes DAN student diver accident insurance that starts on the first night of class.
10. Do I Have to Provide Any Equipment?
No! Diving is a visual and equipment intensive sport. To insure proper vision (and hygiene) students select their own SCUBA-quality mask, fins, snorkel, and gloves from a wide range of choices at HydroSports. These four items become your personal equipment. All additional dive gear is provided. We guarantee satisfaction with your purchase. HydroSports sells high quality equipment at very competitive prices. Corrective lenses are available for many masks. Many of us choose to dive while wearing contact lenses.
11. What Else Do I Need to Pay For?
Food during our Open Water weekend dives.
12. Where Will the Open Water Dives Take Place?
We choose local and regional sites that make diving easy; little or no current, easy access to the water, convenient air fills and lots to see. Your instructor will discuss options during your orientation meeting.
13. What Will I See Underwater?
Plenty! Giant Plumose Anemone, Pile Perch, Quillback Rockfish, Sea Bass, Dungeness, Red Rock, Decorator and Kelp crabs, Black-eyed Gobi, Midshipmen, Lewis Moon Snails, Ling Cod, nudibranch, Giant Sun stars and if we’re lucky, Giant Pacific Octopus, and our local sea horse called a Bay Pipe Fish. We can also see flounder, fish eating anemone, clams, oysters, scallops, and wolf eel. We have lots of books to review before and after we dive to help identify the myriad of life we’ll see.
14. What do I do after I’m certified?
Come diving with HydroSports at Octopus Hole, Sund Rock, Mike’s Wall or Jorstad Wall! Sign up for an Advanced Open Water class and we’ll introduce you to Night, Navigation and Deep diving plus two specialty dives of your choosing, perhaps Underwater Photography, Boat diving, Underwater Naturalist, Wreck diving, Multi-level diving, or other PADI specialty options. We’ll discuss PADI continuing education during the Open Water class. Join us on a dive trip to The Sea of Cortez in Mexico, The Cayman Islands, Truk Lagoon, Palau, or regional destinations like Vancouver Island, British Columbia where we routinely have 50 to 100 feet of visibility.
Join us for local dives aboard Pacific Adventure and explore dive sites that cannot be reached from shore.
Attend monthly meetings and dives organized by the HydroSports Dive Society, our dive club.
15. What other classes do my instructors teach?
As a PADI Course Director (one of only three in Oregon), Mark teaches all PADI programs including the Instructor Development Course. Stewart teaches technical diving and rebreather diving. Kristen, Jay, Matt, Carol, Gregg, Ryan, Steve and Jeff teach numerous PADI courses; Discover Scuba, Discover Scuba Diving, Skin Diver, Discover Snorkeling, Scuba Tune-Up, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Advanced Plus, Rescue, Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster, and Assistant Instructor.
We also teach many PADI Specialty courses, Night, Deep, Navigation, Boat, Wreck, Altitude, Drift, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Dry Suit, Multi-level, Underwater Photo and Naturalist. Matt and Jeff teach Underwater Hunter. We all teach Emergency First Response (First aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator). Most of us teach the DAN Oxygen Provider, Advanced O2, and numerous other DAN classes.
16. Why should you be selective about your instructor and staff?
Your safety, comfort and enjoyment of your scuba experience is our first concern. HydroSports invests in warmer, more flexible wetsuits, Atomic Aquatics regulators, Zeagle weight integrated buoyancy compensating vests and Oceanic computers for your comfort during Open Water training.
PADI training is performance based. This means you must master the academic topics and water skills in each module before continuing to the next module. We won’t move you forward until you have met each requirement. Because of our small class size, low student to staff ratio, attention to detail and commitment to your safety and enjoyment of the underwater world we love, you’ll have everything you need to safely and comfortably learn to dive.
HydroSports training team has an outstanding safety record. Scuba diving can be a strenuous activity and does involve risk. By helping you learn to anticipate, prevent, respond to or solve problems you might encounter while diving, your HydroSports team helps you insure your future dive safety and comfort.