For aspiring divers looking to get started, an open-water certification can seem like the end goal, but as anyone that already has their certification card can attest, it’s really only the beginning. An open-water certification indicates mastery of the basic skills required to stay safe underwater, but if you really want to thrive — and enjoy diving to its fullest — it takes experience and a range of new skills, customized to your interests and the places you want to dive.
“It’s important to continue your education as a diver for several reasons,” says Karl Shreeves, PADI’s technical-development executive. “it answers the question many newly certified divers have: ‘Now what?’ Second, every course you take expands your skill set and your experience, opening doors to new diving opportunities. Third, it’s a great way to connect with other divers.” For all these reasons and more, PADI offers a vast lineup of continuing-education courses that provide experience and training for just about any diving activity you can imagine. Both distinctive specialties, such as Wreck Diver, or Mine Diver, and core specialties like Night Diver and Underwater Navigator, just to name a few, keep you current with your diving — and they’re a whole of a lot of fun. “PADI instructors can offer two categories of specialty courses,” Shreeves says. “Standard PADI specialties have wide applications — these are core classes like Deep Diver or Digital Underwater photographer — while PADI Distinctive Specialties are created by an individual instructor, and approved by PADI, to teach a specialized skill or to highlight a unique experience in a destination.”
Are you taking your diving to the next level? See what’s available from this list of great courses below, and then check out what you need from the shop - and you'll be good to go!