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Beyond Land Adventures


Open Water

Ever looked out into the water and wondered what it would be like to explore its unending beauty? You’re not alone! The Earth’s surface is about 71% water and is filled with incredible plants and animals. In the Open Water class, you will learn how to safely explore the undersea world through a combination of knowledge development, skill development in a pool, and finally skill refinement in the ocean.

We offer a number of options for learning how to SCUBA dive ranging from group class training to private training. The goal of the Open Water program is mastery learning. Every person comes to the Open Water class with varying skill sets and experience with water. We have helped students overcome fear of the water or what lives in the water. We want to help you create a plan that will allow you to feel confident and comfortable starting your underwater adventure.

What do you do in the Open Water course?

The Open Water class consists of three main components: knowledge development, confined water training, and ocean dives.

Knowledge Development

During the Knowledge Development segment of the class, we will work through the physics, physiology, and history of diving. We will also explain the methods we use to safely plan and execute recreational dives.

To prepare for the course, students complete a digital learning program. The digital course is a great option for busy individuals who wish to complete their knowledge development at their own convenience. Using a tablet, laptop, phone, or combination of the three, students learn the basic information that will become the foundation of their diving knowledge. Once they have successfully completed the digital learning course, students will take a quiz to review the information they learned.

Confined Water

The Confined Water or pool sessions are the core of the Open Water class. During this time, divers will learn the core 24 dive skills, ranging from basic skills, such as clearing your mask, to emergency preparedness skills.

Ocean Dives

The Ocean Dives are where we test students' skills and begin our journey of exploration! During four ocean dives, student divers will practice their dive skills and explore the beautiful waters of Southern California.


Monday or Tuesday (varies by week) 6:00PM - 8:00PM Orientation
Saturday 8:30AM - 5:30PM Knowledge Development and Confined Water
Sunday 7:30AM - 5:30PM Confined Water
Saturday 6:30AM - 3:30PM Ocean Session 1
​Sunday 6:30AM - 3:30PM ​Ocean Session 2

None of these fit your schedule? Take a look at our Private training options!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take the Open Water class with Beyond Land Adventures?
Great question! We pride ourselves on producing excellent divers who are trained to explore the underwater world. We have the highest quality rental gear and only hire excellent dive professionals. We commit ourselves to small class sizes to maintain a good relationship between instructors and students. We are instructor owned and operated, so our focus is and always will be on diver education. Learn more about our Dive Professionals!

How good of a swimmer do I have to be to participate in SCUBA diving?
Most divers are not competing with Michael Phelps, but diving does require basic swimming skills and comfort in the water. All divers must complete a 200 yard swim and a 10 minute tread / float.

I really want to become a diver, but I have some fears about the water; what can I do to work through my fears?
First of all, congratulations on deciding to face your fears! That is an incredibly challenging thing to do and one of the most amazing things to watch for us as your instructors. We have helped many new divers work through their personal challenges. We recommend considering the private Open Water class. In a one-on-one environment, the instructor can focus all of his or her attention on working through your dive skills to ensure mastery learning.

Is SCUBA Diving dangerous?
SCUBA Diving does have inherent risks. We spend many hours covering how to dive recreationally to teach you how to dive in the safe manner that thousands of divers, all over the world, use every year.

What about sharks?
We have many native sharks in San Diego, but they're probably not the ones you're thinking of. The sharks we most commonly encounter are small, bottom-feeder sharks that are terrified of us. As a diver, you will learn how much of a challenge it is to find sharks underwater.

Is the water much colder in the winter?
This is a pretty common misconception, but water temperature varies much less drastically than land temperatures in the San Diego area. While there are fluctuations and the winter is usually a little colder, we wear 7mm thick wetsuits to keep us comfortable year-round.

I have a particular health condition that I am concerned about. Can I SCUBA dive?
There are many conditions that may be affected by SCUBA diving and the best course of action is to check with your physician. If you would like to check whether you are medically fit to dive, have your physician complete this form.

I have some gear that I think I can use for the course. How do I figure out what works?
The best thing you can do is bring it to our store and let our dive professionals look at the gear. We can give you a better idea of what gear will help you succeed in the program and what will not. We do require that we are able to inspect all gear to be used in our Open Water courses prior to the first day of the course for the safety of all participants.

Why do you suggest students purchase their own mask, snorkel, fins, gloves and boots?
Safety and comfort. A diver's mask is her or his window to the underwater world, but the window does not work well when there is water inside it. A well fitting mask is essential to being able to dive safely and the best way to find one is to be professionally fitted for a mask by one of our dive professionals. Additionally, good gear allows divers with differing sensitivities to cold, differing body types, and differing swimming abilities to all dive comfortably and enjoy the underwater world. We do our best to help our students find the right gear and offer 10% off all personal gear purchased for the course!

Do the weekends have to be back-to-back?
Our group courses run over two consecutive weekends, but we do have private training options that can be scheduled much more flexiibly.

I was certified before, but I do not feel confident going diving. What course is right for me?
First of all, great job on recognizing that dive skills are perishable and making sure you are ready to dive before heading into the water! Many things happen in life that take us out of the water, so when we are ready to head back, we want to make sure our skills are up to date. The general recommendation is that divers complete a refresher course after 6 months of inactivity. If it has been more than 5 years since your last dive, we recommend you take the Open Water course again so you can be brought up to date on some of the changes to diving.

I started the course, but did not complete my training. Do I need to start over?
Divers may not have longer than a year gap in their training, so if it has been more than a year, you will have to start the course from the beginning. If it has been less than a year, simply bring us a referral form from your previous instructor and we can guide you on the next steps to getting certified!

How old do you have to be get certified?
8 year olds may participate in the Bubblemaker program
10 year olds may participate in the Junior Open Water program
12 year olds may participate in the standard Open Water course with some considerations
15 year olds may participate in the standard Open Water program

There are no waivers for age. All participants must be the minimum age for the program they are in on the first day of the program.


Our prices are competitive, but we are definitely not the "cheap" option. We believe in producing exceptional divers and we pay our dive professionals well to retain the best instructors in the city. When it comes to learning to breathe underwater, we are all about quality instruction! Here's a breakdown of the costs of getting certified:

Tuition: $299
Student Materials: $145 (SSI Open Water Digital Learning Course)
Open Water Student Rental Package*: $139.90 (BCD, Wetsuit, Hood, Regulator, Dive Computer, Tanks, and Weights for all four days of the class)
Personal Gear* (mask, snorkel, fins, gloves, and booties): $199 - $500 depending on gear chosen. We carry a variety of options to meet every diver's goals and budget. You also receive 10% discount off personal gear when purchased with the class

Beyond Land Adventures