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Need to be a strong swimmer for PADI Open Water?

Travel Forums Asia Need to be a strong swimmer for PADI Open Water?

1. Posted by relf (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

Hey all,

I REALLY want to try scuba diving, and I'm looking into the Open Water PADI course in Koh Tao next month (May)....Just wondering how good a swimmer one needs to be to do this course...

I am am alright swimmer, but I am unable to tread water (stay afloat) without flippers. I'm in good shape- I'm just not a great swimmer!


2. Posted by DoA (Budding Member 84 posts) 8y

I haven't done the open water but have dived before and I am a strong swimmer.

I would recommend you try snorkelling & some smaller dives beforehand. I presume you don't wanna waste your money on the full chicken vindaloo when you couldn't handle the chicken madras .... so to speak...

3. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 8y

Official PADI requirements are that you have to swim 200 metres or 300 metres (in mask, fins and snorkel). You will also have to float and tread water for 10 minutes, but you can leave the fins on.
I wouldn't be too worried about the test, I'm not the world's greatest swimmer and now I even have my Advanced diving certificate ;). Thailand's great for diving, enjoy!

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

I don't think it should cause any issues as all the tests were with flippers on. There's some cool little tests though, like the swapping out of the air supply with your buddy. It's been too long since I dived!!

5. Posted by XplorRgirl (Inactive 44 posts) 8y

Good thread, this was useful to me too. I'm planning to do mine as well; done loads of snorkeling, can tread water and swim the distance unaided, but know NO proper strokes, kinda got my own froggy-breast stroke combo thing going on
Thanks for posting this!
Explorer Girl

6. Posted by roskelld (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

I've recently done my Open Water PADI and I'm no swimmer. I can stay afloat (remember it's easier in salt water) and I can kick about enough to get me around.
The diving course was easy, and very very enjoyable.

I found it easy to move underwater, much easier than on the surface.

Get to the sea, have a wade out, the main thing with diving is confidence (not over confidence though!!!)