Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an age limit for learn to dive courses?
International standards from PADI require the following:
Junior Open Water Diver: 10* years old by the start of the course
Open Water Diver: 15 years old
Please note: Special requirements apply for divers aged 10 and 11 years old. Please contact us for further information if you have children aged 10 or 11 wishing to participate in any dive courses.
I have never dived before, where do I start?
You have two options, try it first, or enroll on a course:
If you are not sure if you would like it and want to try scuba diving without completing a course, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience is perfect for you.
If you want to become a diver you need to enroll on a course. Your best option is to enroll in a PADI Open Water Diver course. PADI is the most widely recognized and respected diving certification in the world. Within a few days, you can be enjoying the Koh Tao underwater world. You are able to start right away by enrolling in the new PADI e-Learning Program.
Do I have to have a medical examination?
Generally most students do NOT need to have a physical examination, but every student needs to complete the PADI medical questionnaire.
Providing you can truthfully answer ‘No’ to all the questions on this form, there is no need for a medical examination. You are of course most welcome to have a medical examination for your own peace of mind, if you wish to do so.
Please note that there are however, some CONTRA-INDICATIONS for scuba diving. If you have ever suffered from any of the following conditions, you are unlikely to pass the medical examination:
DIABETES REQUIRING INSULIN
Or if you are currently PREGNANT
What happens if I fail my medical?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in PADI diver training. However, you are welcome to come snorkeling with us (providing your physician did not advise against snorkeling too!)
Do I have to be able to swim?
Yes, you will be required to complete do a swim test - 200m without stopping. There is no time limit and you may swim in any style. You will also be required to tread water for 10 minutes without touching the side or bottom of the pool. These skills are usually done in the swimming pool on the second day of your dive course.
I wear glasses/contact lenses - what are my options?
You may wear gas permeable contact lenses or use a prescription mask. Lenses are available in strengths -1.5 to -8 in 0.5 steps. It is not possible to wear your own glasses and a mask at the same time.
How long does it take to learn to dive?
Most operators offer a minimum 3 and 1/2 day course. There are 5 pool sessions, 5 theory sessions and 4 training dives. The training dives must be over a minimum of 2 days.
How many people on a course?
PADI sets maximum numbers for all its dive courses, however at Coral Grand Divers we have smaller groups for customer enjoyment and increased individual attention.
Private courses are also available on request. Please contact us for details
How deep do we go?
As Open Water Divers you will be allowed to dive to 18 metres (60ft). We usually try to give you the opportunity to experience a depth of 18 metres on one dive during the course. The majority of you training will be in 10m (33ft) or less.
My ears hurt when I dive to the bottom of a pool, is this going to be a problem?
Believe it or not, pain in your ears when you dive to the bottom of a swimming pool is quite normal. However it is due to the fact that you have not been trained how to avoid this problem. During your dive course you will learn simple techniques of how to equalise the pressure in your ears. This will prevent any pain! (The same applies if you suffer discomfort in airplanes.)
What is a referral?
A referral can be done if you have completed your pool and theory dive training at another PADI dive shop, such as your local dive shop. Once you come to Thailand you can then finish your training dives with us. This is a great option if you don't want to spend two days of your holiday with pool and classroom training.
Similarly, if you enroll on our e-learning program on-line, you will complete some or all of your academic training (knowledge development) on-line, then come and complete the rest of your training at any of or dive centres.
What happens if I don't like it?
The first day of the course is usually a three hour orientation and video session. We will get you into the pool or confined water on the second day. This will usually help you decide whether you like scuba diving. If you decide not to continue, you will be charged pro rata, for each of the modules you participated in. Cancellation policies vary between booking agents, please ask about individual operators' cancellation policies when making your reservation.
What are the rules about diving and flying/going to altitude?
Please note there are regulations about flying or going to altitude after diving. Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours. For multiple dives you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 18 hours.
Coral Grand Divers recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. Currently there are no guidelines regarding diving after flying. Altitude is 300m/1000ft above sea level.
Do I need to bring my certification card and log book?
At a minimum you will need your certification card. Dive Supervisors like to see log books so then can more efficiently assess your experience. If you have lost your card please contact the issuing agency.
What equipment is included?
This varies from company to company. All companies provide tanks and weights for divers in the price. Some companies include all dive gear, others will charge per item. Please ask at the time of booking what is included. Even if the dive gear is included in the price, many divers will still bring their own equipment. If you usually have trouble getting equipment to fit, please let us know at the time of booking.
Do I need a dive medical?
All divers are asked to complete a medical questionnaire on board. As long as the answers to all questions are NO then a medical is not required. If they answer YES to any question, a further medical may be required. You will also be asked to fill out a general disclaimer - differs from company to company.
Are the dives guided by a Divemaster?
Yes, as a rule ALL dives are guided by our experienced Divemasters or Instructors. If you wish do dive without a guide, your experience will be assessed by the Divemaster or Tour Leader. You will only be allowed to dive without a guide (but with at least one buddy) if the Divemaster or Tour Leader have assessed you as able to do so safely.
Can I hire an underwater camera?
On nearly all vessels, cameras are for hire and require only very basic knowledge. Video hire is not available due to the expensive hardware. However a photographer will be glad to capture your day underwater and sell you photographs/cd's (Day Trips only, not liveaboard).
- Open Water - 18 metres
- Advanced Open Water - 30 metres
- Divers with Deep Specialty - 40 metres
A DIN fitting is generally used in Europe, in particular Germany and would require an adapter to be able to use here in Thailand. We have limited quantity of DIN adapters, so if you do not have your own, please advise us when making your reservation that you require a DIN adapter.
I am certified by a non PADI organisation, will my certification be recognised in Thailand?
In most cases YES, but please contact us to ensure you won't be disappointed on arrival if you are not sure. Let us know your certifying agency, PADI certification level and approximate number of dives.
- PADI Adventure Diver
- PADI Specialty diver (several to choose from)
- PADI Advanced
- PADI Master Scuba Diver
- PADI Rescue Course
- PADI Divemaster (first professional course)
- PADI Assistant Instructor
- PADI Instructor
What will the weather on Koh Tao be like?
This is probably the question we are asked most! As you can appreciate we will not try and predict the weather any more then a couple of days away. We suggest you consult the following weather page KohSamui.org
Here you will find the general Thailand weather conditions for the year, including temperature and rainfall Koh Tao, as well as weekly and daily weather forecasts. You can make your decision based on the same information we have. Please bear in mind if the airfares are on 'special' and it seems like a good deal - there is usually a reason. (It may be the Wet Season!)
Do you offer dive/accommodation packages?
To offer maximum flexibility, we aren't currently offering dive packages but will be glad to book your dive accommodation, dive trips and even non-diving tours.
Do I need special insurance when diving?
Some Companies do require you take diving special insurance while with others it is not compulsory. We strongly recommend you have travel insurance which covers you for cancellation of trip due to illness, poor weather, travel delays, lost luggage and legal costs.
Travel insurance may not cover diving accidents and treatment/evacuation. We recommend getting separate insurance like that offered by DAN. (Divers Alert Network):