Your Questions, Answered
What if I am nervous about learning to SCUBA dive?
We understand! You have thousands of years of human biology and survival instinct telling you that you don’t belong under the water. It takes a little time and patience with yourself to get comfortable with equipment and confident in your newfound underwater super powers. That is what we are here for - to help you with the journey. The best thing you can do is relax and try and be patient with yourself as you learn new things and face new challenges. We have certified hundreds of divers and they all started right where you are. Adventures await you!
What's with all the different SCUBA certification agencies?
There are 4 primary sport dive agencies: SDI, SSI, PADI and NAUI. All 4 make up the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) which sets industry standards they all adhere to for classes, certification levels and requirements. This means that until you get to the very highest levels of professional and/or technical training, everything is similar. An Open Water certification or a Deep certification from all 4 agencies is going to have very similar material and the same limitations such as a 60’ maximum depth for Open Water and 130’ for Deep. This uniformity also means that any dive shop or resort, regardless of which agency they are affiliated with, will accept and recognize certifications from any of the other agencies for dive boats, guided dives and continuing education. If you are trying to get a SDI Master Diver certification, specialty certifications from other agencies count towards it and vice versa.
So which SCUBA certification agency is the best?
Our team have all done training at one time or another with all 4 agencies and can teach with at least 2 of them. We have good friends and respected colleagues with all 4 agencies and the truth is that they all have some good things going for them. The quality of your training has as much to do with who you train with as it does with which agency is printed on the certification card. Do your homework and pick an instructor you like and trust. We have chosen to be affiliated with SDI & TDI for a few key reasons. Keep going to find out what those reasons are...
Why did Paragon Dive Adventures choose to be affiliated with an SDI & TDI Dive Center?
SDI & TDI provide instructors with more flexibility for class logistics and skills. We find this to be liberating so we can customize the curriculum order based on the specific needs of a student. If someone gets stuck on a skill and can’t get it, we like to be able to move on and grow confidence with something else and then come back to it.
SDI is the sport agency born out of TDI, the original technical diving agency. Because their roots are in technical diving, some of the standards and programs are elevated emphasizing more experience which is so vital in developing great divers. The TDI connection also makes for a more organic and natural step from sport to technical diving that we love. Everyone can be a technical diver! Dive better. Do more.
SDI was created by and is run by divers! Because of this, SDI has been an innovator within the industry. They were the first agency to teach dive computers over tables in Open Water courses, adopted Nitrox from TDI long before others did and have a superior Advanced Diver program that values practical dive experience in addition to courses.
SDI & TDI work hard to keep material and certification costs affordable for Dive Centers which we can then pass on to the student. As we try and be competitive within the local dive market while simultaneously running much smaller classes, this is important. They even gives you a digital copy of all you certs for free in addition to the hard copy card!
What is the difference between sport diving and technical diving?
All diving is decompression diving meaning that your body must decompress or offload excess nitrogen stored in your body during the dive. The difference is that with sport diving we stay within depth and time limits so that there is no decompression obligation that would require decompression stops. This is the SDI side of instruction. Technical diving goes beyond sport diving limits in regards to depth and/or time so that decompression stops are planned as a part of the dive. Technical diving also includes entering confined environments such as wrecks or caves, using additional gasses such as helium and high O2 as well as using semi-closed and closed circuit rebreathers. This is the TDI side of instruction. Both are recreational diving meaning we are there for fun and not working like commercial divers or emergency response divers.
How do I know what trip is right for me?
Take a look at the trip details page. We will make sure to spell out all requirements for the trip. Typically our technical trips require technical certifications and our recreational trips are available to all. If you still have questions please don't hesitate to reach out we are here to help!
I represent a shop or dive club can you help us?
YES YES YES! We love working with dive shops, clubs, and other groups. Contact us directly at for details and information about wholesale pricing! Let us do the heavy lifting and take all the trip planning risks. If we don't have it on our calendar we can make it happen.
Do I need travel insurance & dive insurance?