Frequently Asked Questions

Before calling or e-mailing us with a question you may have, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions first, chances are you’ll find the answer to your question right here! If not, please give us a call, shoot us an e-mail or swing by the shop, as our friendly shop and dive team members are always happy to answer any question you may have!


Are there any medical conditions that will restrict me from diving?

If you currently suffer from Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy or are pregnant, that may preclude you from diving. In these cases a diving doctor can make the assessment if you are fit to participate in Scuba Diving.

Can I try diving before I book into a course?

Absolutely! The Dive Shack offers Discover Scuba or Try Dives as a way to see if diving is for you.


Have a group of friends that want to try out diving? We can do big group try dives as well exclusive ones. Use a Discover Scuba program as your next office bonding session.

Check out more information about our Discover Scuba Program

How fit do I need to be to do an Open Water Course?

Providing you are a generally healthy active person, your fitness level should be fine. Only a doctor can provide you with a correct determination of your health. Many people of all ages and fitness levels have learnt to dive – they choose to dive in conditions that suit their own skills and ability. You will be required to fill our honestly a form outlining your current medical conditions. Your instructor or store member will then determine if you require a full diving medical by a diving doctor.

During a dive, you burn calories as you would do during aerobics. The amount of calories you burn will depend on your level of fitness, the temperature of the water, and any prevailing currents. Scuba Diving is a fun and enjoyable form of exercise.

Please note – Your instructor reserves the right to withdraw you from a course and refer you to a diving doctor if they deem you unfit for diving at anytime during the course.

How long in advance do I have to book a course?

Once you have successfully completed a dive medical you are eligible to undertake a scuba diving course with us. It is advisable to book in at least a month prior to the course or contact us and find out if there are any vacancies earlier. You can commence your Open Water Diver Course PADI eLearning at anytime once we have signed you up. You must have finished the on-line component prior to commencing the pool training.

How long is an open water course?

The Open Water Course is usually conducted over two consecutive weekends. However we can be flexible to adapt to busy schedules.

How many people will be on the course?

We aim to have a maximum of 6 students per instructor to enhance individual attention. In the event of a group of friends that wish to do the course together, we can extend the number to a maximum of 8 students per instructor with assistance of a PADI Dive Master or Teaching Assistant.

If you’d prefer to do the course by your self or with a friend or partner only, we can tailor a package to suit your needs. Speak to our staff members for our current price on a one-on-one or other personalised course of your choice.

How old do I have to be to learn to dive?

The minimum age for participation in an Open Water Diver Course is 12 years of age. It is strongly encouraged that participants of this age do the course with a parent or guardian. The participant will receive, upon successful completion of the course, a Junior Open Water Certification. This allows the card holder to dive to a maximum restricted depth accompanied by a certified adult.

Courses with students of 12 years of age are restricted to a maximum of 4 people in a course. Talk to our friendly staff if you have a pre-teen that would like to join in on a course.

How will I know what areas are safe to dive as a beginner?

There are literally hundreds of diving sites throughout South Australia. Our website has ample dive locations in every region. The information provided shows what sites are suitable for beginners though to advanced levels. Our professional staff will also be able to advise you of sites that will suit your particular level and experience.

I am an odd size and shape. Will your equipment fit me?

The Dive Shack has a large range of Wet Suits and Diving Equipment that should fit most people. Prior to doing your course, it is advisable to try on our equipment. If we do not have any that fits you, we will endeavor to acquire some that will fit best.

I am interested in a course, what now?

You can book the course by giving The Dive Shack a call on (08) 8371 5822 or sending an enquiry to Once you have determined the dates and structure of your course and paid a deposit, you will receive your student materials. Don’t forget that you must have a diving medical prior to commencing your course. The Dive Shack is happy to arrange a diving medical test at our dive centre or at a location of your choice.

You can commence your PADI eLearning at any time. This must be completed prior to commencing the pool sessions.

Please note – Students must supply their own mask, snorkel, fins and boots for the course as these items are considered personal equipment and will ensure comfort, safety and enjoyment throughout and following the course.

We are able to assist you with your selection from our large range of Masks, Snorkel, Fins and Wetsuit boots and fit you out with scuba equipment for use during your Open Water Course. Ask about our Open Water Student special packages for all your equipment requirements.

I am not good at swimming, is this going to be a problem?

You don’t have to be a super fish to scuba dive. During your Open Water Course you will be required to swim for 200 meters (any style) without the use of aids and without any time limits! You will also be required to float/tread water for a minimum of 10 minutes unassisted.

We will teach you to use scuba equipment so that you are comfortable and confident as a diver – you may never need to swim on the surface whilst wearing scuba equipment; however we will teach you how!

I am scared of Sharks, will I see them?

Every Summer, the great white shark is greatly publicised throughout the media. The fact is that as more and more people enter the water over this busy period, sharks are being spotted along our coast. It is renowned that Australia has white pointer sharks in our oceans, however it is extremely unlikely that you will come across one, nevertheless there are preventative measures that we take in the event that we do stumble across a great white shark.

I haven’t dived for a while and want to go diving overseas, what should I do?

If you haven’t dived for a while it is strongly recommended that you participate in a Refresher Course. One of The Dive Shack’s professional dive team members will take you through essential diving theory and practice including 2 Open Water Dives.

I want to continue to dive following the course but don’t know any other divers, where do I go?

The Dive Shack provides regular opportunities for everyone to dive on our charters or regular diving weekends away. Our professional dive team members are always diving socially, and would love newly trained students to dive with them and introduce them to other safe divers.

The Dive Shack also has a number of independent Scuba Diving Clubs that are always willing to provide regular diving opportunities to new members.

Is scuba diving safe?

Absolutely! The Dive Shack’s highly professional dive team members will teach you how to be a safe diver and how to understand the rules and physics of diving. Of course there are many factors that can make conditions unsafe, however we will advise you during your Open Water Diving Course how to select diving locations that are safe, comfortable and enjoyable.

Why do I need to do a dive medical?

Australian Standards 4005.1 determines that any person participating in a scuba diving course in Australia must have a current diving medical if they currently have a condition that deems them as at risk for scuba diving.  Prior to booking in with your local doctor, make sure you ask if they are able to conduct Scuba Diving Medicals in compliance with AS 4005.1. A list of diving doctors can be found by visiting and finding a diving doctor in your area.

The Hyperbaric Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are also able to conduct a dive medical. They can be contacted during business hours on (08) 8222 5116.

What does SCUBA mean?

SCUBA broken down simply means Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus!

What equipment do I need to do an Open Water Course?

You will be required to provide your own mask, snorkel, fins and wet suit boots. The Dive Shack is able to assist you with your selection from our extensive range of masks, snorkels, fins and booties. The remainder of Scuba Equipment will be supplied as part of your course by The Dive Shack.

What if I start an Open Water Course and decide that diving is not for me?

If you decide that Scuba Diving is not for you, you will receive a reimbursement for the remainder of the course. You must notify the intent of withdrawal to the Instructor prior to commencement of the following session. A withdrawal midway through a session will preclude a reimbursement for that day. (We still have to pay your Instructor wages).

What if the weather changes and we are not able to dive during the course?

Unfortunately we are unable to control the weather. We will advise you if the weather is too severe to conduct certain aspects of your course. If this occurs the course will be rescheduled to another date in order to complete it. This will not incur any other expense to you for a metropolitan dive course.

What preventative measures do you have to avoid Sharks?

For your comfort and enhanced safety, all our dive professionals wear Shark Shields which work with electronic pulses to create an electronic field. When you become a scuba diver and invest in your own personal scuba diving equipment, we recommend that you also invest in a Shark Shield.

Where do we do the course?

Most of our training is done at our facility, The Dive Shack, 46 Richmond Road, Keswick. For your comfort, safety and enjoyment we ustilise a heated swimming pool for your pool training.

Theory is conducted at The Dive Shack and pool sessions are conducted at The Adelaide Aquatic Centre. We have a purpose built class room and have access to several of pools for your training. Please contact us to find out dates that we will conduct courses

In the event of conducting courses in regional areas, appropriate facilities will be chosen.

Where do I get the equipment?

The Dive Shack’s friendly shop and dive team memebers are happy to assist you with your equipment investment and hire needs. Our equipment is tried, tested and proven to be safe and durable. They are able to make sure you make the correct selection.