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Student Guide


Student Guide:

Being a Diver

Here are a few things we want you to know about being a diver as you transition from student to active certified diver.

New Divers Guide to Safe Diving

From Divers Alert Network


Whether you’re a newly certified diver or still in training, it’s never too early to commit to being a safe and responsible diver. Perhaps you’ve practiced — and surely you know about — the “giant stride” method of entering the water from a stable platform, such as a dock or large boat. As you continue to take “giant strides” in your mastery of diving, consider this guide your “stable platform” — an introduction to key concepts and an ongoing resource to hone your skills.


The underwater world is unlike anything you’ve ever encountered. It’s vast and exciting and full of colorful creatures and spectacular scenery. But there’s a lot to learn before embarking on any adventure; it’s our pleasure to guide you through your adventures in diving.

New Diver Guide

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Diver Protection Insurance

During the Open Water Diver course, we learn how to minimize our risk while scuba diving and how to plan and conduct scuba dives within safe limits, making scuba diving one of the safest sports in which you can participate. Unfortunately, despite all our best efforts, accidents can still happen. Diver protection insurance offers piece of mind that you are financially covered should you require medical care or evacuation during a dive vacation.


Often, health insurance programs will not cover the types of treatment required for diving injuries, but diver protection insurance fills those gaps. We consider diver protection insurance as essential as our mask and fins. The best part is that it's inexpensive coverage. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and great benefits, making it one of the best values in diving.

We recommend diver protection insurance offered by Divers Alert Network (DAN) or DiveAssure.

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Travel Insurance

Travel insurance gives travelers coverage for unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness—or in rare cases, even an act of terrorism or the financial default of a travel supplier. If an illness, accident, or other covered unforeseen circumstance forces a traveler to cancel or interrupt their plans, they can face two potentially significant major financial losses—money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments, and medical expenses that in many instances may not be covered by health insurance. Sickness and injury, adverse weather, and job loss are the usual types of unexpected events.

We recommend travel insurance offered by Divers Alert Network (DAN) or DiveAssure.

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Divers Alert Network

Who is DAN? DAN is the Divers Alert Network. DAN is divers helping divers. DAN is a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization that provides emergency medical advice and assistance for underwater diving injuries, and underwrites a wide range of research, education, and training programs that promote safe diving. DAN is supported by more than 200,000 fellow divers and a further 60,000 international divers supporting DAN Europe, DAN Japan, DAN Southeast Asia Pacific, and DAN Southern Africa.

DAN started in 1980 in association with Duke University Medical Center, initiating the 24-Hour Diving Emergency Hotline for dive accidents and providing emergency assistance and evacuation. It was quickly followed by a 9 to 5 information service and an award-winning magazine, Alert Diver, devoted to your safety as a scuba diver.

DAN was the first to initiate insurance for the specialized recompression or other medical or evacuation services required in the event of a dive accident. DAN has trained medical staff on call to assist you in the event of a dive emergency. DAN initiated the use of emergency oxygen first aid programs and is the largest distributor of emergency oxygen equipment for the treatment of dive injuries.

DAN remains focused on service to the community of recreational divers. They provide the most accurate, up-to-date, and unbiased information to the diving public, especially on diving safety. Examine and see for yourself the wide range of services DAN offers every day for you, the diver.

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Tipping Your Dive Crew

Most dive boat crew don't earn a regular wage. If they do, it is very small indeed. It is customary to tip crew members while on a dive boat, if you are satisfied with their services. An amount of 15-20% of the cost of diving is suggested. For example, you did a 2-tank boat dive for a cost of $100, the suggested tip amount would be $15 to $20 and should be given to the lead dive master or boat captain who will share it with the boat crew. It is always good to have cash on hand for this purpose.


Some dive boats will have a tip jar on-board and the tips will be shared among the crew. Local tipping customs vary. It is also customary to personally recognize a dive boat crew member who went above and beyond to make your experience outstanding.


Many of our customers also ask us about tipping our instructors and dive masters while in training. While it is not expected, it will certainly be appreciated.

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Dive Equipment Ownership

Diving with your own scuba diving gear is more comfortable and more rewarding than renting. We are often asked by our students what scuba gear they should consider purchasing after the course in addition to Mask, Snorkel, Fins, Booties and Gear Bag.

Here is a list of what we consider essential to safe and comfortable recreational diving:

  • Neoprene Mask Strap (Slap Strap)

  • Wetsuit/Exposure Protection

  • Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)

  • Whistle or DiveAlert Signaling Device

  • Dive Computer

  • Underwater Slate, Pencil, and Eraser

  • Dive Tool or Knife

  • One or two Dive Lights

  • Underwater Signaling Device

  • Mask and Fin Holder

  • Regulator with Alternate Air Source and SPG

  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

And to remember those great dives, you might also want:

  • An underwater camera

  • Some fish and critter ID slates

Traveling with your own scuba diving gear is not difficult. Tanks and weights are generally provided by the dive operator at your destination, so there is no worry of traveling with those items. Stop by Scuba Frisco and we will be happy to explain and show you how to make traveling with your own scuba diving gear as easy as possible. And if you really want to know the ins and outs of scuba gear and how to care for it, consider taking our PADI Equipment Specialist course.

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Dive Training Magazine

This is a great diving educational resource that we love! Free printed copies of the magazine are normally available at Scuba Frisco. Please ask us for your personal copy. You can also visit to view the online version. This resource has great articles that will help you be a better, safer diver, as well as introduce you to some amazing diving destinations both in the United States and abroad. There’s a lot of great diving much closer than you think.

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Handy Apps

Here's our list of recommended apps for your dive life. Get them on Google Play or Apple App Store.

PADI – Carry digital certification cards on your mobile device.

DiveMate (Scuba Dive Log) – Quickly and easily log your diving experiences. Transfers dive data directly from your dive computer minimizing the amount of information you need to fill out. Sync your dive log with other devices and store your logbook in the cloud on services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Also, it works offline if you are in an area without a connection.

Dive Training Magazine - The online companion to Dive Training Magazine. Read full issues and find other great information about dive gear, travel destinations, marine life, improving dive skills, and more.

Windfinder – Worldwide forecasts for wind, waves, tides, and weather helps you better plan your scuba diving adventures.

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Where Will Diving Take You?

Now that you are a certified diver, it’s time to explore the possibilities of what you can do as a diver. That’s what the PADI Adventure Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver courses are all about. You don’t have to be “advanced”, as this course is designed to advance your knowledge and skills.


Learn about things like underwater photography, diving at night, making deeper dives, finding lost objects, improving underwater navigation, and buoyancy skills. This course is custom tailored based on what you want to learn about in diving.

Have a particular interest? Then check out all the specialty courses now open to you.

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Diver Insurance
Travel Insurance
Gear Ownership
Dive Training Magazine
Handy Apps
Where Will You Go
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