Course & Diving FAQs

DIVING Frequently Asked Questions - 

Who Are My Instructors & What Qualifications do my Instructors Hold?
Your diving Instructors at PDC are all qualified and insured PADI Professionals with experience in diving conditions for Oban. With over 30 years training and over 10’000 divers certified at Puffin – you are in good hands!

  1. All our instructors have current professional membership with PADI 
  2. All our Instructors are certified with First Aid at Work & specific Oxygen first aid for diving
  3. Our Instructors are drysuit trained specifically to teach in UK waters
  4. With 1 to 1 in water tuition as standard - we take diving safety seriously! 

What is PADI?
PADI is the world’s leading scuba diver training organisation.

With more than 6,600 PADI Dive Centres and Resorts, and 128,000 individual PADI Professionals who have issued more than 28 million certifications around the world, you’ll find PADI diver courses and scuba diving services nearly everywhere.

The PADI System of diver education is based on progressive training that introduces skills, safety-related information and local environmental knowledge to student divers in stages. PADI courses are student-cantered and provide maximum practise and realistic application.

How long does it take to earn a scuba diving certification?

Try a diving session in as little as 1.5hrs! Hooked? Our Open Water course is usually 3.5 days to complete with the option to do more diving for free the day after!

How old do you have to be to learn to scuba dive?

We provided Bubblemaker mini dives for children aged 8 and up. To certify as a Junior Open Water dive you must be aged 10. We have special diving equipment, mini rigs and dry suits for children.

How deep do you dive?

Beginner sessions are at a maximum depth of 6mtrs (20ft). Open Water divers are certified to a depth of 18mtrs (60ft). Advanced Open water training takes you to 30mtrs! Our commercial and deep training speciality courses take experienced divers beyond these recreational depths. These depths are the maximums! We take you - the diver - only to depths you are comfortable in and happy with! As all our training is 1 to 1 in the water we can dive in your comfort zone. 

Do you need to know how to swim to scuba dive? 

You need basic swimming skills and the ability to comfortably maintain yourself in the water. Your PADI Instructor will ask you to:

  • Swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards wearing mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. There is no time limit, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
  • Float and tread water for 10 minutes, using any method(s) you want.

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

What is the Difference between Drysuit and Wetsuit diving? 

When wetsuit diving a layer of water fills between you and the neoprene. This water is trapped and your body heats this layer of water up, depending on the thickness of the water divers can be comfortable in temperatures between 14 degrees Celsius (57F) and above. Thermal extras include wetsuit boots, hoods and gloves.

A drysuit encloses the diver in a sealed suit. Thermal under-layers are worn underneath the drysuit for extra warmth. As the drysuit contains air not water the body can stay warmer for longer. This bubble of air is noticeable by the diver and training is required to master a new control of buoyancy not experienced when wetsuit diving. 

All of Puffin Dive Centre courses are taught using a drysuit - with custom made suits fitting our youngest divers our training automatically includes this additional skill and allows for post course diving activities truly worldwide.   

Do I need to be Drysuit certified to Dive with you? 

If you are a certified diver with wetsuit diving experience only yes, you would need to "cross-over" to drysuit diving before renting drysuits from us. If you bring your own equipment (and your own wetsuit) you are welcome to dive using that gear. The summer temperature is approximately 12-14 degrees C - ok for a couple of dives but very cold when boat diving. The drysuit course is one day and certifies you to diving in cold water with a drysuit - once you complete this course you can continue to further your diving education onto Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver or Divemaster