3-day scuba certification in NYC

July 29, 2009 3:30:29 PM PDT
To become a certified scuba diver, you usually have to block out a few weeks for classes and training. Now, you can do it in just days, without leaving New York City. All it takes is three full days in the new course, offered at the Reebok Sports Club on the Upper West Side. And you can book your diving vacation the very next week.

In much the same way as the early scuba equipment designed by Jacques Cousteau has become smaller and more streamlined, so have the courses to teach new divers.

In just three days, you go from the classroom to the pool to becoming a certified diver.

Safety starts with a thorough explanation of the equipment, beginning with the regulator. You place your lips around it and bite down, then breathe in and out normally. Never hold your breath.

Next, you need to locate the emergency regulator for a buddy out of air. And of course, there's the gauge to check your own air.

Finally, you'll learn how to inflate and deflate your vest, to sink to the bottom.

Next, it's time for the confined water portion of the course, where you take everything you've learned and use it in the pool.

You'll jump in and attached your vest, and then you practice clearing your mask of water.

"The hardest thing was the communication between (the instructor) and us understanding how to communicate to signify if we are okay underwater," student Kwame Jones said.

"Planet Earth should be called planet Water, actually, since 70 percent of it is comprised of water," student Lauren Noble said. "So there's a lot opportunity to go diving."

The classes can be taken over a weekend, or you can construct the three days to fit your schedule.

The class costs $499 for members and $599 for non-members. For more information, visit mpsportsclub.com/clubs/reebok-sports and click on "Club Happenings."

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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