Getting outside your comfort zone and pushing your limits is a regular part of scuba diving. This is why most scuba divers are looking for new excitements and experiences regularly. If you want to take the next step in your scuba adventure, it is time that you get your Advanced Open Water (AOW) Diver Certificate.
You might have learned all the basics in Open Water but now you should level up. Continuing to more advanced levels of certification isn’t a necessity but it is an amazing possibility. If you are indecisive about getting your AOW, here are a few reasons that might help you make the decision.
1. Improve Your Skills
AOW course will help you expand your scuba diving skills. You will gain more experience and try out various specialties under the watchful eye of your instructor. Learning new skills can bring you much joy and new challenges will give you some excitement.
Through the course, you will develop capabilities that will allow you to have fun with scuba diving in different ways. Having an instructor by your side will ensure that you’re doing everything in the right way. Along the way, you can ask the instructor anything that presents a challenge to you.
Besides improving your technique and learning new skills, you will also learn how to overcome the physiological challenges that can come with deeper scuba diving. Use this as a chance to refine your night dives, compass navigation skills, navigation with visual landmarks and time, and much more.
2. Dive in Different Environments
A reason that will probably drive you towards the AOW course is the extended depth you can go to. Each certification comes with depth limits and this is your chance to extend yours.
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate has a depth limit set to 100 feet or 30 meters. This is some improvement after the Open Water Depth which is 60 feet or 18 meters.
At least once you must have felt curiosity that evokes the question “What could I find if I go deeper?” Almost every diver has this growing desire to explore the depths as deep as they can.
Going beyond the water’s surface and truly exploring the deep underwater world is an inexplicably thrilling experience. Get acquainted with different environments as each level of depth carries something new and exciting.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to look for underwater ruins or you want to see what wildlife exists in the deeper levels. In any case, the AOW certificate will provide you with those opportunities.
3. Build Your Confidence
Every beginning comes with hesitations, doubts, and fear. However, when you surpass that, the feeling of accomplishment is what you are left with. Getting your AOW will have a positive mental impact on you as it will help you build your confidence in your diving skills.
You’ll be aware that you gained more practical knowledge and that you are more experienced. This will boost your confidence during diving. That confidence is very important because being confident in your skills will help you eliminate fear and make better decisions.
Additionally, you’ll gain an overall boost of confidence as you achieved something new. After you get your certificate, you’ll know that this is your accomplishment and that you enabled yourself to go into new adventures. Use this as a chance to prove yourself that you have the willpower to work on your skills.
4. Give Yourself More Options
During your trips and dives, you can meet many people and make some friends along the way. Diving adventures are much more fun when you have someone to share them with.
Think about the situation in which you meet new divers with AOW but you can’t keep up because you haven’t reached that level. Staying behind while everyone goes off won’t be the best feeling. In such situations, you will realize how much you are missing out.
Don’t limit your choices. Instead, provide yourself with more options.
Once you get your AOW certificate you’ll have more options to choose from. Scuba diving can take you to some majestic scenery if you allow it to. With AOW you’ll be able to explore more and share your experiences with other AOW divers.
What You Should Know About Advanced Open Water Course
The course builds on the knowledge that you have already acquired with Open Water Course. The PADI AOW only lasts two days so you don’t have to worry about not having the time to do it.
What you can expect are two mandatory courses and you’ll get to choose three advanced open water adventure dives.
The mandatory courses are:
- Deep “Adventure” Dive – Proving the ability to complete simple tasks underwater at a depth of 100 feet or 30 meters.
- Navigation “Adventure” Dive – Learning how to use a compass and natural navigation to navigate underwater.
The three adventure dives you get to choose should be adapted to your interests and preferences. That is your chance to work on skills that will help you with the adventures you plan to have. The adventure dives can include:
- Underwater Naturalist
- Underwater Navigator
- Underwater Videography
- AWARE-Fish Identification
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Peak Performance Buoyancy
- Underwater Photography
- Multilevel and Dive Computer
- Side Mount
- Dive Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) – underwater scooter
- Search and Recovery
The aim of these courses is to help you improve your capabilities in the situations you might find yourself in the future. Think of the type of diving trips you’ll like to have and choose your adventure dives accordingly.
With the above-mentioned reasons for getting AOW and new skills that AOW can provide you with, all your doubts should be cleared. Be open to new adventures and don’t limit your diving experiences. There is so much in the deep waters that waits to be explored and you don’t want to miss out on that chance.