Scuba Training/Certification

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Topic: Scuba Training/Certification

General Discussion September 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Scuba Training/Certification

Can anyone recommend somewhere in the area to get beginner Scuba training/certification? Preferably in DC and/or metro accessible.

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Thank you for the suggestion of Blue Planet. I did do a google search, but since there are a good number of options in the area, I was hoping someone could suggest one that they had personal experience with.

I did my class work online then did all of my dives in HI when I was traveling. If you are doing the cert before a trip, this could be a good option. It will give you training dives that are nicer than dives in the area.


I looked into this last year.  I intended to take the online class and pool work at a location in chevy chase.  I heard DC only has 1 place in Manassas, a quarry filled with brown murky water with an old bus at the bottom, to do open dives.  My plan was to do my course work in DC and save my open water dives for a resort vacation in the islands.  

The National Diving Center on Wisconsin Ave is great! They have a local pool where they do the confined water trainings and then plan a couple of trips a year to either Virginia Beach or someplace more exotic.
Most places around here will offer you classroom and pool sessions locally and then host a weekend trip someplace close-ish. You can also always get a referral mid-way through, so you can do your final open water training sessions anywhere in the world you’d like.  

I’m a PADI dive instructor and have high regard for The Dive Shop in Fairfax VA. Yes – a slog to get there – but they have 30+ years and a really professional staff.  Definitely do your classroom & pool locally,  then your 4 final open water “test” dives on vacation somewhere tropical.  While some people do enjoy diving in the quarry on a regular basis – it is pretty misrable – cold & murky.  Also, it is completely different from what you will experience in a tropical setting – full wetsuit in fresh water requires very different weight.   But diving is about the coolest thing in the world – so definitely do it!

Also – if you are planning a vacation to a tropical/diving location and not sure if you really want to do the whole certification thing, you can also do a “resort course” once you’re there.  An excellent way to test the waters.  And many dive-centered locations also offer very good training so you could do the whole thing there.

Can’t say enough good stuff about Blue Planet! Did the online course work, 3 evening pool work sessions, and quarry dives with them. They are also happy to give you a referral for your certification dives if you have a trip on which you’d rather do them.

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