How to Start Scuba Diving?

How to Start Scuba Diving?

So you've decided to learn scuba diving? Congratulations! It's one of the best decisions you'll ever make! How do you start scuba diving? Finding your options and deciding on the right path can be confusing. We'd make the process easier by putting all the relevant information in one place for you!


Do you want to get certified?

Led by a professional and experienced instructor at our PADI 5-star dive center on Koh Tao, this is the perfect way to start scuba diving if you don't feel you want or need a full license. If you are looking for a trial session, you can try diving on Koh Tao with a PADI Discover Scuba Diving program, which allows you to experience the underwater world in one day. The Discover program is an excellent option if you want to avoid spending holiday time in a classroom or if you won’t have the opportunity to dive again anytime soon. However, if you plan for more diving holidays, Koh Tao is the best place to get your PADI Open Water Diver license. So you are in the right place!

Are you medically fit to learn to scuba dive?

medical form for scuba diving

While most people have no issues, some medical conditions can prevent you from learning to dive. Koh Tao has a surprisingly great medical network for such a small remote island. However, there are not any specific dive physicians based here, so it pays to get any potential issues checked in advance. To participate in any PADI diving courses on Koh Tao, you must fill in a medical form. If you have any 'Yes' responses, you'll need to consult a physician before starting your course. Don't panic, though. A positive answer doesn't necessarily mean you can't dive, just that you'll need to get checked out a bit more thoroughly to ensure that your Thailand diving holiday is safe and hassle-free.

Can you swim?

scuba divers trainees, swimming in open sea

You do not need to be a strong swimmer, and swimming lessons are available on Koh Tao should you need extra training before starting your diving course with us. The PADI Open Water Diver course requires that participants can float/tread water for 10 minutes, unaided by any floatation devices. You also need to have some basic swimming skills and be able to complete a 200-meter swim or 300-meter snorkel.


Choosing the right course

Most new divers go for the PADI Open Water Diver course, the most popular diving course in Koh Tao, Thailand, and the world! Depending on where you learn, the course structure will vary slightly. In Thailand, diving packages for certification courses typically run over 2-4 days. Here on Koh Tao, PADI Open Water courses with Coral Grand Divers run over four days in total, consisting of orientation at around 16:00 on day 1, followed by two full days and one half-day on the final morning to complete your certification dives.


There are different learning ways, and you can take time out of your holiday for classroom sessions. With PADI eLearning, you can complete the theory side of your course in advance so that all you need to do on arrival is the fun bit – the water sessions! It is possible to complete your shallow water skills training sessions at home and your four certification dives on Koh Tao, saving even more holiday time. Let us know if you'd like any further information on these options. However, bear in mind that to get the most out of your course and the caliber of training at our Koh Tao dive school, we recommend taking the time to complete the course in full with one of our diving instructors, if possible.

Choosing a dive school

Happy divers on Coral Grand Divers boat

Home to some of the best diving in Thailand, Koh Tao is a famous location to get your PADI Open Water license, and you'll find no better option for Koh Tao dive courses than our PADI 5-star dive school. With excellent value diving packages, an idyllic location, heaps of experience, and incredibly high standards when it comes to all components of your training, there are so many reasons why you should get certified with Coral Grand Divers. Plus, thanks to the all-year-round diving season on Koh Tao, we can accommodate you anytime. So get in touch today to book your course and get scuba certified in Koh Tao!


Family considerations – age and depth restrictions

Learning to dive on Koh Tao is a fantastic family-friendly experience - there's nothing like exploring the underwater world together to develop and strengthen bonds with your loved ones. You must be aware of the differences between junior and adult certifications for your family-based diving activities. Coral Grand Divers is located in north Sairee beach, where you can find fantastic family-friendly beachfront accommodation options for your Koh Tao dive package.


The minimum age for getting scuba certified is 10, but for Junior Open Water Divers aged 10 and 11, the maximum depth limit is 12 meters, as opposed to 18 meters with the full license. Divers aged 12 to 14 will still receive a Junior Open Water Diver card but can already go to 18 meters under the direct supervision of their PADI Instructor. The general depth limit for the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is 30 meters; however, for junior divers aged 12 to 14, this is reduced to 21 meters. Ten and 11-year-olds cannot take the Advanced Open Water Diver course due to the 12-meter depth restriction, but they can still get involved and complete the Adventure Diver certification.

diver with school of fishes in Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao scuba diving is some of the best in the world as most of the corals and fish are in the shallows, which is perfect for children's dive courses, so don't let any depth limits put you off. Once a junior diver reaches the age of 15, the standard limitations apply, and there is no need for additional training – although you can request an updated card online through the PADI website if you wish.

Scuba diving equipment

diver showing a dive computer at Coral Grand Divers school in Koh Tao, Thailand

You don't have to have your own set of scuba diving equipment to learn to dive on Koh Tao, as equipment hire is included in the cost of our dive packages. Koh Tao scuba diving courses tend to vary in the specific inclusions from dive center to dive center. At Coral Grand Divers, we guarantee you'll have everything you need, including using a dive computer throughout your course.


If you like diving, it is a good idea to start investing in your gear, though, and while it may not be feasible to travel home with a complete set of scuba diving equipment, you can begin to build up your collection with smaller items first. A good quality mask and snorkel should be your priority, followed by a diving computer and a set of fins. Our team of knowledgeable instructors at our PADI 5-star dive center is happy to advise you and help with your scuba shopping, don't be afraid to ask for assistance.


We hope this gives you all the information you need as you begin your journey into the beautiful world of scuba diving! Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or would like to book.

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