Your passport to the underwater world begins with the SSI open water scuba certification. By completing this course, Ocean First students are instilled with the knowledge and skills necessary to be safe, responsible, and confident divers. The course consists of online learning, classroom workshops, pool training, and four open water dives. Once certified, students will be ready to safely explore the underwater world and can expand their understanding and confidence in the water through continuing education courses.

Ocean First limits our classes to six students with a student-to-instructor ratio of 4:1- both are well below industry limits- to ensure a more personalized experience and to reinforce the importance of a fun, informative, and safe scuba environment that focuses on diver education and skill development.

With Boulder County’s only heated indoor dive pool, digital classrooms, and an expansive showroom, Ocean First is one of Colorado’s premier aquatic learning environments. Students enjoy practicing their swim and scuba skills in the comfort of our 89ºF pool that has both a four foot training area and 12’ deep well. Find out more information about our facility here.

Getting Started

Your first step is in-store orientation, which lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. Orientations allow new customers to see the facility, meet our friendly staff and discuss specifics of the open water course, including equipment requirements, costs, and timeframe for completion. This will also give you the opportunity to review our group classes or schedule a private. We kindly ask that you call ahead to schedule an orientation so we can ensure a retail specialist will be available to meet with you.


After your orientation, you will be given a log-in to access your online training materials. Please make sure you complete all of your online training BEFORE your first day of class to ensure that you get the most value from the classroom and pool training. You will also need to fill out the required medical release, which can be found here.

We require all students bring a mask, snorkel, fins, bathing suit, and towel each night for class. Most open water students purchase our Snorkeling System, which includes a mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, and mesh bag, before the first night of class. The cost of this system can then be applied towards purchasing the rest of your Total Diving System whenever you’re ready to upgrade!

Each day of the open water course includes a short classroom workshop reviewing dive theory and then the majority of the time in the pool practicing scuba skills. We encourage students to continue practicing even after their pool training ends and offer unlimited complimentary practice nights until students have completed their checkout dives.

Your final step is completing four open water checkout dives. We offer a number of local, domestic, and international dive trips every month, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Please visit Open Water Training for more information on your checkout dives. If you’ve already scheduled a trip, we are happy to provide a Universal Referral, which will allow you to complete your checkout dives while on your vacation.

Once these steps are complete, you will officially be a SSI Open Water Scuba Diver! While this is an amazing accomplishment, it’s also just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you want to learn about sea turtles, night diving or how to respond in an emergency, there is always room to grow. Our Continuing Education classes help you build confidence and knowledge while opening new and exciting doors.

Start for Free

The online SSI Open Water Diver course is FREE! You can complete the online training with no additional obligation. When you’re ready, you can then sign up for classroom and pool training at Ocean First.

CLICK HERE to start your SSI Open Water Diver training today and make sure to choose Ocean First as your dive center.

CONTACT US to schedule your classroom and pool training.

Classroom & Pool Sessions

The open water course consists of approximately seven hours of classroom and 11 hours of pool training. Each day builds on the previous and we combine reviewing old skills with introducing new ones each time. There is a written exam the final day of class, but we do invite you to bring a non-certified friend to the pool portion to experience scuba diving absolutely free!

Monday and Tuesday Class
Our Monday/Tuesday class generally starts on the first Monday of the month and runs for three consecutive weeks, from 6pm-9pm every Monday and Tuesday. See our calendar for specific dates and times.

Friday Saturday and Sunday Class
Our Friday/Saturday/Sunday class generally starts on the first and third Friday of every month and runs for two consecutive weeks, from 6pm-9pm on Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday and Sunday. See our calendar for specific dates and times.

Private Class
If our regularly scheduled classes don’t work with your schedule, we offer private classes. The Private Class is a great option for those who prefer one-on-one instruction, have a demanding work schedule, or significant time constraints. Contact us today to schedule your private class.