PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Exploration, Excitement, Experiences... That’s what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about. You don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed to "advance" your diving, so you can start immediately after earning your PADI Open Water Diver certification.

The Advanced Open Water Course works differently.

The advanced course is conducted very differently than the open water course. To obtain the PADI Advanced Open Water Certification each diver must complete 5 "adventure dives" under the supervision of a PADI Instructor. Each adventure dive will have specific focus and/or mission. Think of each dive as its own mini course. These dives do not need to be completed all at once. Divers can do them in a weekend or spread out over a summer, it's entirely up to the diver. Divers will have each adventure dive documented by their instructor and once the diver has completed 5 adventure dives from 5 different topics, they will be issued a PADI Advanced Open Water certification. Adventure dives are taught on an ongoing bases, year round. There is some flexibility on which dives the student may choose, but each student must complete the two "core" dives, Deep Diving (60ft or more) and Underwater Navigator.  There is no classroom session, no exams, however, students must complete the corresponding chapter from the PADI Advanced Open Water manual or eLearning plus the "Thinking Like a Diver" section. Each chapter has it's own focus/mission that corresponds to one or the 5 dives. Academics are reviewed in an extended briefing prior to each dive.


PADI Advanced Open Water Courses Summer 2024


Advanced Open Water Consists of 5 dives over 2 or more days. Two dives must be the deep and navigation adventure dives with 3 elective dives.

Adventure dives are offered throughout the summer on an ongoing basis at various location on various dates. Once you have completed 5 dives under the supervision of a PADI instructor, (including deep and navigation) you will earn your PADI advanced open water!


AOW Course Sample Itinerary: 

Dive 1: Peak Performance Buoyancy

Dive 2: Underwater Naturalist -  or  -  Altitude Diver

Dive 3  Night Dive

Dive 4  Deep Dive

Dive 5: Underwater Navigator



Tuition $299


Add $183 for PADI Advanced Open Water eLearning

Add a set of discounted rental gear for $120

Next opportunity July 19-20: 2024 in Lake Tahoe. (Fri/Sat).

Sign Up for Advanced Open Water Course


Get credit! Each Adventure Dive may credit toward the first dive of the corresponding Specialty Diver Course. If you’ve already taken a specialty diver course, ask your instructor if you’ve earned credit for an Adventure Dive.

What are Advanced Open Water Prerequisites?

  • An Open Water Diver certification from any recognized international certification agency
  • Minimum age: 15 (12 for PADI's Junior Advanced Open Water Diver)

What do I need?

  • Snorkeling gear suitable for scuba diving. (Regulator, tank, weights, BCD, are available to rent)
  • Compass (Available to rent)
  • Dive knife or cutting tool and signaling device (SMB).

What Will I Learn?

You’ll plan your learning path with your instructor by choosing from a long list of Adventure Dives. There are two required dives – Deep (> 60ft) and Underwater Navigation – and three elective dives, for a total of five dives over two days. Elective dives are usually three of the following: Peak Performance Bouyancy, Night, Underwater Naturalist, Boat, Drysuit, and Enriched Air Nitrox.

During the Deep Adventure Dive, you learn how to plan dives to deal with the physiological effects and challenges of deeper scuba diving. The Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive refines your compass navigation skills and helps you better navigate using kick-cycles, visual landmarks and time.

You may be able to get college credit for the Advanced Open Water Diver course.

Sign Up for Advanced Open Water

What's next?

Once you've become an Advanced Open Water Diver, your education is just beginning.  Why not take on a new challenge with one of these Scuba Specialty Certifications?