If Des Moines’ winter chill has you longing for warmer waters, you may be considering a family trip to a tropical locale. While there you may want to take the fam on an under-sea-adventure. If you’re looking to get your kids scuba certified or even just a little more comfortable using a snorkel before the trip, several Des Moines -area scuba diving shops offer scuba classes and certification.
Consider These Things before Enrolling Your Child in a Scuba Class
Children must be at least 10 to earn junior open water certification—but age alone doesn’t mean your child is scuba-ready. Two things instructors say they look for are maturity and motivation. If you’re not sure if your child is ready, contact a reputable scuba instructor, have a conversation with them and let them meet your child before enrolling.
Kids should be comfortable in the water and should be required to take a swimming test to demonstrate they can handle the rigors of participating in a scuba diving class.
Scuba diving lessons aren’t limited to hands-on instruction. Your child will be expected to participate in classroom instruction, too, with chapters to read and tests to take.
Children should be in good physical health to learn to dive.
Des Moines Scuba Shops
2704 Shoreview Circle • Des Moines, IA 50320 • (515) 657-7821
Dynamite Divers is an on-line scuba training facility. Once you’ve completed your home study you move on to the classroom and pool portion of the class. Their minimum age requirement is 18 or 10 with written parental consent. Students between the ages of 10 and 14 may obtain an SDI Junior Open Water Scuba Diver Certification, if the following conditions are met: junior students train and dive under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or active dive professional. When an SDI Junior Open Water Diver reaches the age of 15, they can upgrade to an SDI Open Water SCUBA Diver certification.
9289 Swanson Boulevard • Des Moines, IA 50325 • (515) 777-2751
Children ages 10 and older can participate in the group SCUBA classes offered by Matt Leyden’s Dive Shop. Classes last seven weeks and are offered at the Urbandale Public Pool, North High School and the Altoona Campus. They also offer semi-private and E-learning classes upon request. In addition, the Dive Shop offers Snorkeling Classes that have no minimum age requirement. Students must be comfortable in the water. This is a great activity for kids to do with their parents, grandparents, or friends.
1525 S. Monroe Avenue • Mason City IA 50401 • (641) 512-6645
Based in Mason City, North Iowa SCUBA offers classes in the Des Moines area at the Waukee YMCA. Kids ages 10 and up can participate in the classes after signing a Youth Responsibility Release Form. Check their website for a class schedule.
Has your child earned their Scuba certification in Des Moines? Share your experience in the Comments below.