Try dives are a fantastic way to discover whether diving is the right sport for you. Its a great way to explore the underwater world with the direct supervision of an instructor and removes all the practical and theoretical lessons necessary when aiming for certification. Try dives are a half day to one day experience and are a great option for visitors who are pressed for time and can't commit to the Open water course. You will learn some basic guidelines and safety exercises and enjoy a guided underwater tour of the waters surrounding Koh Tao to a maximum depth of 12 meters.
Most who try scuba diving on Koh Tao love it. Some even go as far as to say that it is the best thing they have done on their trip or even in their lives. A testament to this is the fact that many of the professionals here on Koh Tao started off by doing try dives and fell in love. If you don’t believe us just ask them.
Although you do learn a little about looking after yourself most of the work is done by the instructor, including assembling, disassembling and washing your equipment however If you would like to get more involved most will be more than happy to show you how to do certain things yourself under their guidance.
You will be happy to know that even though you are not going so deep you will be greeted by an abundance of marine life upon your descent. Most marine species prefer shallower depths as they depend on sunlight for energy. Your instructor will have briefed you on how to interact with the underwater environment prior to the dive and so you can just kick back and forth and relax.
For more details about beginner courses such as languages, group sizes and optional extras click here
Next Step – open water course
PADI or the Professional Association of Dive Instructor is the most well-known scuba diving training agency on the planet, to such an extent that people often ask to do the “PADI” course when referring to any scuba diving course. Founded in 1966 they have more than forty years’ experience serving scuba divers and have over six thousand dive shops locate around the globe.
PADI run all types of courses, from kid’s courses conducted in a swimming pool to beginner, advanced, rescue and master right through to scuba instructor level and beyond. PADI has a few instructor development centres about the Island and some dive centres are recognised PADI 5 star resorts and offer only PADI courses while others offer certification through various other agencies.
As a member of the WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council), PADI recognises certifications from other training agencies such as SSI, BSAC, CMAS and NAUI amongst others. The above agencies are represented on Koh Tao but not all agencies are so it is a good idea to check before arriving if you hold a certification from another. Certification equivalent tables are displayed on some agencies websites if you are in doubt.
All PADI materials come in a range of languages. Though paper manuals are still common most centres are going down the digital route and offering online manuals for keeping and a “library” copy of the paper manual while doing the course. PADI also offers e-learning, this allows you to complete the academic sessions of the course including exams online before coming and doing the practical “water work” when you get here. For more information about online training please contact kohtao.asia.
PADI is a patron of the “Project Aware Foundation” environmental organisation and puts a lot of time and effort into creating awareness about the harm being done to the oceans through climate change, over fishing and shark finning. They also support marine conservation projects such as reef and beach clean ups. PADI are also long term associates of the National Geographic Society and offer marine conservation courses in conjunction with both them and the Project Aware Foundation.
The PADI website offers information on all available PADI courses. It has a shop locator, an online scuba community forum, dive holiday package deals and equipment sales. If you go as far as professional level you then get further access to the site offering the ability to conduct diver certification checks and access to training materials and updates. Wherever you decide to dive in the world there is always sure to be a PADI dive centre or PADI professional close by.
SSI - Scuba Schools International holds the title for the fastest growing scuba diving training agency in the world. They have gone from strength to strength on Koh Tao over the past few years with a majority of shops now running SSI courses alongside PADI courses from beginner right through to instructor level and beyond. Furthermore many well respected dive shops on Koh Tao now offer only SSI courses.