Koh Tao, Thailand is the perfect place to gain your underwater license! The waters are calm and clear… There’s an abundance of tropical sea life… The warm and friendly atmosphere is amazing for making new friends and learning a new skill at the same time… You won’t want to leave this tropical divers’ paradise!
About New Way Diving Open Water Diver Course
When it comes to Open Water Courses, you may have heard many initials; PADI, SSI, RAID, BSAC. So what’s the difference? Apart from a few slight difference with the academic approach (learning videos and classroom teaching), there is no real difference between the Open Water Courses that are offered by these different bodies. At the end of the day, you will qualify with a certificate that is world-recognised and be able to dive up to 18 metres.
Why did New Way Diving choose SSI?
“At New Way Diving, we chose to teach the SSI method as we believe that the delivery of the course theory is much more fluid than with other certifying bodies. They have an app called ‘MySSI App’ which records your experience and learning journey and keeps things light and fresh. It means that you can learn in and out of the classroom at your own pace. The instructors also have more flexibility on tailoring the course to your needs. Basically the SSI teaching strategy fits perfectly with the proud slogan of our dive school “Dive Your Way”.
Day-to-Day Schedule: New Way Open Water Course (3.5 Days)
- Day 1: 4pm – 6pm – Course Orientation & Video
- Day 2: 8am – 10.30am – Theory Session 1
- Day 2: 11.45am – 5pm – Shallow Water Skills & Dive 1 (max 12m)
- Day 3: 8am – 10.30am – Theory Session 2
- Day 3: 11.45am – 5pm – Shallow Water Skills & Dive 2 (max 12m)
- Day 4: 6am – 10.30am – Dive 3 and 4 (max 18m)
Day 1: Course Orientation – 4-6pm
- New Way Diving includes free pick-up from the pier upon arrival since taxis here can be expensive.
- Simply let us know by email which ferry company you’ll be arriving with, what time and where from, and we will send our taxi to collect you from the appropriate pier and bring you to us so we can say hello, and help you get to your accommodation.
- On your first day, we will meet at the dive shop at 4pm to complete the required paperwork, receive an orientation, meet your instructor and watch the SSI Open Water Diver videos.
Day 2: Theory Session One – 8-10.30am
- We will meet at 8am to review the core information that was covered in the videos.
- Your Instructor will inform you of the key course theory, including Scuba Diving Equipment and its safe operation, dive planning, emergency scenarios, the effects of pressure on a diver, scuba diving safe practices and more.
- There will be a short quiz session to see if this knowledge has been retained.
Day 2: Shallow Water Skills & Dive 1 (Max 12m) – 11:45am – 5pm
- Unlike many of the Dive Schools on Koh Tao, New Way believe in doing as much training as possible in the environment in which we are preparing for. For that reason, on the afternoon of Day 2, you will head out to the sea to conduct your first skill training session!
- The boat will head to one of the many beautiful bays of Koh Tao, where we will prepare our equipment, enter the water, and swim to the beach!
- Once at the beach (and in water shallow enough to stand up in) your instructor will demonstrate a number of the basic scuba diving skills, and then have you repeat the skills. You will already start to see the wonderful Koh Tao Marine Life and whet your appetite for going deeper!
- If there is enough time and air once the skills have been completed, and if everyone is feeling comfortable, your instructor will take you for a short dive to experience more of this.
- We will then return to the boat, where we can enjoy some lovely sunshine, beautiful scenery, and refresh ourselves with complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit, as well as rehydrate ourselves with a plentiful supply of cold water.
- While we are relaxing on board, the captain will move the boat to the second diving location, where your instructor will enter the water with you after an informative briefing about the dive site, the environment, signals and safety procedures.
- You will then enjoy a stunning dive at one of Koh Tao’s many dive sites to a maximum of 12m depth. There are no skills to perform on this dive, and the idea is simply to allow you to enjoy the sights and enjoy the weightless freedom that Scuba Diving offers.
Day 3: Theory Session 2 – 8-11am
- On day 3 we meet at 8am to review the remainder of the course theory, as well as complete a short multiple choice exam (don’t worry, the course is designed for 10-year-olds!).
- The instructor will also give a debriefing of the day prior, how the skills were performed, and what will take place this afternoon.
Day 3: Shallow Water Skills & Dive 1 (max 12m) – 11:45am – 5pm
- Very similar to the previous day, we shall head to a lovely bay around Koh Tao, and head into the shallow water.
- This time the location for the skills will be deeper, in water too deep to stand up in, unless there are some shallow rehearsals to be repeated before.
- Once again your instructor will perform each skill in turn, and then have you repeat them. If there is enough time and air left, then this will again be followed by a dive.
- We will likewise then have a surface interval on the boat, which will be followed by an additional dive at a new location. During this dive, your instructor will ask you to repeat certain skills that have been rehearsed over the previous 2 days to assure us that you remember how to do them.
Day 4″ Dive 3 & 4 (max 18m) – 6am-10.30am
- During these final dives, you can expect to see even more of Koh Tao’s Marine Life than on some of the previous dives. This is due to 3 main reasons…
- Firstly, your buoyancy and diving skills will have improved by now, which improves divers’ confidence, making divers more relaxed, which in turn means that you spend a lot more time looking around and enjoying what the environment has to offer.
- Secondly, these deeper dive sites are often further from land, meaning that many fish congregate there for breeding and food purposes. This, in turn, attracts larger predators, such as Barracuda’s, Trevally and Big Groupers.
- Thirdly, New Way dive first! We are often the first dive school at most of the Dive Sites around Koh Tao, which means that we often dive before the marine life has been scared away. With over 100 Dive Shops in operation in Koh Tao, this makes a BIG difference.
- On this final day, we head out to two of Koh Tao’s deeper, more challenging dive sites, such as Chumphon Pinnacles, Southwest Pinnacles, Shark Island, Green Rock, and Sail Rock. We are one of the few dive schools on Koh Tao that visit Sail Rock every single day, which is the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand!
- With this final day complete, you will be certified as an SSI Open Water Scuba Diver! This is your license to dive around the world to a depth of 18 metres.
- You can then continue diving with us if you like, and receive each of your fun dives for 800 THB, or if you didn’t make it to Sail Rock, you may join us at a discounted rate of 2,600 THB.
Accommodation in Koh Tao
The course price does not include accommodation.
If you would like to book either of these accommodation options, simply send us a message requesting this and we will organise everything for you. Or, if you’d like to book your own accommodation on Koh Tao, that’s no problem.
Am I Fit to Dive?
Diving requires only basic fitness. If you have any concerns, please send us a message and we shall answer any medical related questions you may have. You must be able to float for 10 minutes and swim 200 metres OR snorkel 300 metres in order to take the course.