Scubaland Open Water Class

2-3 December at Scubaland, 9-10 December at Spring Lake (Meadows Center for Water and the Environment)

Welcome to Scubaland’s Open Water Scuba Class!  It’s important that you read this and that I know that you’ve received it.  Please respond to the text message I sent and let me know that you’ve read this. 

My name is Michael Johnson. I am a Master Scuba Diver Trainer who is teaching this class. If you have questions or concerns before the class starts Saturday (December 2nd), reach out any time.  My contact info is below.  The Scubaland staff is also available to help you before, during, and after class.

The information below pertains to those who are completing the Knowledge Development in the classroom.  If you have completed the eLearning program, please let me know and I will let you know what adjustments to make to the information below.

Class Start Time:
Your Open Water class will begin promptly at 8am Saturday morning at the Scubaland Adventures store (1001 W Anderson Lane).  Please arrive at least 5-10 minutes early so we can complete the necessary paperwork and take your photograph which will appear on your certification card. The times for the other days are listed below.  Bring your open water crew pack (including the textbook, the white folder, etc.). Feel free to bring food or non-alcoholic drinks with you.

Prior to this weekend, you will need to complete the following before class:

• Fill out the white folder you received when signing up for class (in ink, please)

• If you are under 18 years of age, you and your parent or guardian must sign the folder

• On the medical questionnaire, if you answer “yes" to questions 3, 5 or 10 on the Medical Release, OR to any of the questions on page 2 of the Medical Release, please read and agree to the statement on the form by signing and dating it AND take all three pages of the form (Participant Questionnaire and the Physician’s Evaluation Form) to your physician for a medical evaluation.  This is for your safety, so please answer honestly. If you answer “no” to all the questions on the first page, you do not need a doctor’s clearance.  The medical form is available at on the Scubaland forms area in the “General” column.

• Complete the Knowledge Reviews at the end of each chapter of the Open Water Diver manual.  Please note these get turned in to me at the end of the chapter, so if you want copies, please get them ahead of time.

• Although it’s not required, I would encourage you to watch the PADI Open Water Diver DVD prior to class. It’s very informative and it will help you get familiar with the things you’ll be learning about in the classroom and in the water.  These may be available for checkout at Scubaland, or you can find it on YouTube with Chinese subtitles.

Remember to bring the following to class:

Crew pack 

Swimsuit and towel

T-shirt or rash guard (highly recommended!)

If you have not purchased your snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, booties and surface marker buoy), please stop by Scubaland BEFORE SATURDAY to purchase them.  Allow at least 30-40 minutes for this purchase so the staff can assist you in making sure you get the proper fit.  

If you are 10 or 11 years old, you and your parent or guardian must read Youth Diving Responsibility and sign youth diving form.  If this applies to you, please let me know.

Here is our training schedule (Note that times are approximate and the times on the check-out weekend are subject to change).  Please do not schedule yourself too tightly!

Name Start Date Start Time End Time Location
Knowledge Development 1 2 December 8:00 AM 12:00 PM Classroom
Confined Water 1 2 December 1:00 PM 8:00 PM Pool
Confined Water 2 3 December 8:00 AM 12:00PM Pool
Knowledge Development 2 3 December 1:00 PM 5:00PM Classroom
Open Water 1 9 December 11:00 AM 2:00 PM Spring Lake in San Marcos
Open Water 2 10 December 11:00 AM 2:00 PM Spring Lake in San Marcos

The first Confined Water dive will very likely run later than the time listed.  It's going to be a long day with a lot of learning.  The second Confined Water dive may start earlier if we're not able to get through everything we need on the previous evening. There's a Swim School class in the pool at 1:00 so we have to be out of the water by noon-ish to get our gear cleaned up and out of their way.

Note that the Open Water checkout dives will be at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. The water is a constant 22°C/72°F every day of the year. The dives will be no deeper than 20 feet if we get even that deep. This means you’ll likely be wearing a wetsuit, preferably 3mm or 5mm, but the shop may give you 7mm if that’s all they have.  Get there early on Wednesday to get the right suit for your personal comfort level.  On that, I’ll probably be in a "shorty" for all our dives, but I’m fairly warm natured and don’t mind a little cold water for a bit.

We will discuss logistics for the weekend during our classroom sessions.

I look forward to seeing you Saturday at Scubaland!

Spring Lake Gear Wash Procedure

To help protect our waters from potential threats, please take 25 minutes to prepare your equipment for your trip to Spring Lake. This will prevent the introduction of potentially harmful invasive species to Spring Lake. By washing at home you will save time and avoid donning wet gear on your dive day. This simple procedure will not only extend the life of costly equipment but help protect the aquatic habitats we enjoy.

Underwater housings, dry suits, cylinders, manifolds, regulators, and any other specialty equipment that cannot or should not be submerged in a vinegar solution should be cleaned to manufacturer’s specifications with an appropriate cleanser, thoroughly rinsed, and dried prior to use in Spring Lake. Gear that has been used exclusively in Spring Lake, a chlorinated pool, or a saltwater environmentdoes not require decontamination prior to access at this time.

  1. Visually inspect all equipment for plant, animal, or foreign material of any kind. Remember to check pockets, folds, and tread of shoes and booties.
  2. Create a solution of 20% vinegar and 80% water in a sizable container.
  3. Submerge gear in vinegar solution for 20 minutes. Use a weight belt to hold down buoyant gear. Be sure to get solution inside your BCD by opening dump valves while submerged in the solution.
  4. After soaking your gear for 20 minutes, remove gear from solution and rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  5. Hang gear and allow it to fully air dry.

We depend on ALL DIVERS to follow these protocols to ensure the health of the Spring Lake aquatic system and the longevity of SCUBA diving activities in this delicate environment. Failure to follow these protocols may result in damage to the environment and the termination of all recreational diving instruction by outside entities in Spring Lake.

Also, the entry fee for Spring Lake is $40 each day. You have to fill out an online waiver before you come. You'll need either Training Area Adult or Training Area Minor. Minors are under 18 years old in this case.

Equalization Help


Skills Circuit


Zoop Novo Guide

Contact Info

Michael Johnson

PADI MSDT #515082


Master Scuba Diver Trainer