Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I learn how to dive?

A. There are many reasons to learn how to dive. Diving lets you:

Escape to a different world. Scuba takes you to a different world with new colors, shapes, textures and creatures – a world where the roles you play – husband, wife, mother, father, friend – take on a new dimension. Become a scuba diver and escape to a peaceful place to renew your energy and excite your senses.

Explore new places. Scuba diving frees you to explore the underwater world – from historic shipwrecks and pristine reefs to the mysteries of your local quarry. Become a scuba diver and explore what you’ve been missing.

Experience a connection with nature; a feeling of freedom, and a transformation. Diving connects you with nature. It immerses you in new sensations and experiences. It transforms your perception of life forever. Become a diver and transform yourself.

Q. How much does it cost to learn how to dive?

A. Compared with getting started in other popular adventure sports and outdoor activities learning to dive isn’t expensive.
For example, you can expect to pay about the same as you would for:

  • a full day of surfing lessons
  • a weekend of rock climbing lessons
  • a weekend of kayaking lessons
  • a weekend of fly-fishing lessons
  • about three hours of private golf lessons
  • about three hours of private water skiing lessons
  • one amazing night out at the pub!

Learning to dive is a great value when you consider that your Prime Scuba Instructors are highly trained and experienced professionals. They teach programs designed by the finest dive training organizations in the world. Invest in scuba diving lessons and learn something you’ll enjoy the rest of your life. Diving starts transforming your life from the first day with new experiences you can share with family and friends. It's something you can do almost anywhere there is water.

Q. What equipment do I need to learn how to dive?

A. Choosing and using your gear is part of the fun of diving. Our trained staff will help you find the right equipment. Each piece of equipment performs a different function so that collectively, it adapts you to the underwater world.  As a minimum, you want your own mask, fins, booties and snorkel when you start diving in the Open Water Course. These have a personal fit, and our trained staff will help you choose ones that have the fit and features best suited to you. You may also want to add a diving tool, light and underwater slate. Even though we supply the rest of the equipment used in the course such as the SCUBA unit, exposure suit, etc, it is highly recommended that you invest in your own equipment for the course because:

  • you’re more comfortable learning to dive using gear chosen
  • you’re more comfortable using gear fitted for you
  • divers who own their own gear dive more
  • having your own gear is part of the fun of diving

What kind of gear you will need depends on the conditions where you are going to dive and the type of diving you are planning to do: Tropical, Temperate, Cold, Technical, Handicapped and/or Public Safety.

Q. How Do I Know What the Best Gear Is?

A. Easy. There is no best gear. But, there is the best gear for you. Scuba equipment comes in a wonderful variety that accommodates a broad range of needs, interests and sizes. At Prime Scuba, we offer the best brands available. Our professional staff is trained to help you find gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget. These professionals can get you set with the right stuff, plus they provide service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.

Q. Where Can I Dive Once I Become Certified?

A. The short answer is, you can dive practically anywhere there’s water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs.

Your experience level, site accessibility, conditions and your interests determine where you can dive. For example, if you’ve just finished Open Water Diver course at Prime Scuba, you probably won’t be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. Don’t limit your thinking to the warm clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think, and more unusual than you can imagine.

Your dive site can be anything from a special pool built just for divers like one found in Brussels, Belgium, a special diver training area like Dutch Springs Quarry, or more typicially, natural sites. This includes our own Delaware River, Lake Minnewaska, Lake George and the Thousand Islands to Belize’s Great Blue Hole, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or Japan’s Yonaguni Monument. It may be a manmade reservoir or a fossil-filled river. The NY - NJ coast offers some of the best wreck diving in the world. It’s not all about great visibility because what you see is more important than how far you see. The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the training and experience appropriate for diving there, and that you have a dive buddy to go with you. Our professionals at Prime Scuba can help you organize great local diving or a dive vacation. They have worldwide diving experiences from such places as the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Atlantic & Pacific oceans, and South Pacific islands. This is in addition to our numerous trips to Florida. Visit us today to get started. We can always find you a dive buddy, and we usually have someone diving every day from spring through fall. If you get drysuit certified, you can extend your diving season year round.

Q. What's involved with learning how to SCUBA dive?

A. Scuba training involves 3 different phases. they are:

1. Knowledge Development – This develops your familiarity with basic principles and procedures. You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best gear and what to consider when planning dives. You complete Knowledge Development on your own. You briefly review what you studied in each section with your instructor and take a short quiz to be sure you’re getting it. At the end of the course, you take an exam that makes sure you’ve got all the key concepts and ideas down. The Knowledge Development portion can be done at home, or anywhere you want according to your own schedule.

2. Confined Water Dives – This is what it’s all about – diving. You develop basic scuba skills in a pool or in a body of water with pool-like conditions. Here you’ll learn everything from setting up your gear to how to easily get water out of your mask without surfacing. You’ll also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air – just in case. Plus, you may play some games, make new friends and have a great time.
You will start with the simplest skill first, and then move on to others, with each building upon the previous. Over the course of your confined water training, you attain the skills you need to dive in open water.

3. Open Water Dives – After your confined water dives, you and the new friends you’ve made continue learning during a minimum of one snorkel dive and four open scuba dives with your Prime Scuba Instructor at a dive site. This is where you have fun putting it all together and fully experience the underwater adventure – at the beginner level, of course. You may make these dives near where you live or at a more exotic destination on holiday.

Q. What's required for me to learn SCUBA Diving?

A. If you have an appetite for excitement and adventure, odds are you can become an avid SCUBA Diver.

You'll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

Minimum Age: 10 years. Students younger than 15 who successfully complete the course qualify for a Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to a regular Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15.

Physical: For safety, all students complete a brief questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, you sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, as a safety precaution your physician must assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms that you’re fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course.

Waterskills: Before completing the Open Water Course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskill comfort by having you swim 200 to 220 metres/yards. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want. You will also float and tread water for 10 minutes and swim 50 feet underwater again using any methods that you want. If you have any problems with these skills, your instructor will work with you as needed.

About Physical Challenges: Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Since we teach courses designed by the Handicapped Scuba Association, we specialize in teaching people with disabilities. Talk to your Prime Scuba Instructor for more information.

Learning Materials : You’ll need to purchase and use your student training kit during both the Open Water Diver course, and for your review and reference after the course. It contains everything you need for the Knowledge Development portion of your course, as well as a Dive Log in which you can record all your water training activities and your open water adventures.

What's to Fear?

Scuba diving gives you a unique way to face your challenges and transform your life in new ways. Becoming a diver can give you confidence that spills over into the way you face life every day. It’s normal to have questions whenever you begin an activity like diving. Your dive professionals at Prime Scuba can provide you with answers, and below you’ll find the answers to many questions people commonly have.

Q. My ears hurt when I go to bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling.
Will that keep me from becoming a scuba diver?

A. No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how.

Q. Does a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking preclude someone from diving?

A. Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function, heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person’s individual risk. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate.

Q. What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with diving?

A. Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.

Q. What about sharks and other dangerous marine animals:

A. When you’re lucky, you get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spearfishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy. The same holds true for other "dangerous" marine animals. It's an honor to see these animals, and rather than fearing them, you should enjoy them. Your instructors at Prime Scuba have been in diving in waters alongside of many of these animals, and never had any problems.

Q. How deep do you go?

A. "Deep" is a relative thing, and no one has to go deep to enjoy diving. With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 130 feet. Open Water Divers stay shallower than 60 feet. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 40 feet where the water’s warmer and the colors are brighter.