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 course helps build confidence and expand your scuba skills through different types of diving called "Adventure Dives". You get a taste of different specialties while gaining experience under the supervision of your PADI Instructor or Divemaster. You log dives and develop capabilities as you find new ways to safely have fun scuba diving.

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. 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 exam, and no video, however, students must complete the corresponding chapter from the PADI Advanced Open Water manual or eLearning. 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 2022

Monterey, January 15th-16th ,

Monterey, February 19th-20th

Folsom Lake, March 19th-20th

Location TBD, April 23rd-24th

Location TBD, May 21th-20th

Meeks Bay. Lake Tahoe, July 9th & 10th 2022,


Sample Monterey AOW Course Itinerary: (Subject to change.)

Dive 1: Peak Performance Buoyancy (Folsom Lake some day before your Monterey dates; many dates available. We can accommodate your schedule)

Dive 2: Underwater Naturalist: 2pm Saturday, San Carlos Beach , Monterey.

Dive 3 Night Dive: Sunset Saturday, Coast Guard Pier, Monterey.

Dive 4 Deep Dive: 12 noon Sunday, Metridium Fields, Monterey.

Dive 5: Underwater Navigator: 2:30pm Sunday, San Carlos Beach, Monterey.

There may be a boat option Sunday afternoon for additional fee.


Meeks Bay. Lake Tahoe, July 9th & 10th 2022,


Sample Tahoe AOW Course Itinerary (Subject to change.)

Dive 1: Saturday: Altitude Dive

Dive 2: Saturday: Peak Performance Buoyancy Dive

Dive 3: Sunday: Deep Dive

Dive 4: Sunday: Underwater Navigator  Dive

Dive 5: Option 1:  Night Dive in Lake Tahoe or Option 2: Day dive in Folsom on another date.




Tuition $259


Add $183 for PADI Advanced Open Water eLearning


Add $107 for PADI Advanced Open Water Crew Pack

Add a set of discounted rental gear for $89 (Normally $120)

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?

  • A book, or you can take the PADI Online Advanced Open Water Academics.
  • Snorkeling gear suitable for scuba diving. (Regulator, tank, weights, BCD, are available to rent)
  • Compass (Available to rent)
  • Dive knife or cutting tool

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?