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Course Outline

To gear up, put on your exposure suit, weights, mask, and fins.


Distribute your weights evenly for comfort. Your instructor will help you with this. Your weight belt has to remain free and clear of your scuba unit.

  • Wear your belt so that it is a “right-hand release.” To do this, hold the buckle in your left hand and the free end in your right hand, step over the belt, bend forward, lay the belt across the small of your back, and clasp the buckle.
  • If you have an integrated weight system, ensure it is secure and easy to pull free.

Exposure Suit

When selecting an exposure suit, wear the same one you will be using in open water if possible.

  • This familiarizes you with your weighting and buoyancy characteristics.
    • This will also make buoyancy easier to master as you are wearing consistent exposure protection.
    • It will also help you to understand the different weighting requirements between fresh water and salt water.
  • Wetsuits should fit snugly, and dry suits should fit comfortably. It may feel restrictive to put your suit on and wear it on land; but once you are in the water, you will feel more comfortable.


Prepare a brand-new mask by vigorously rubbing a small quantity of non-gel toothpaste on the inside of the mask lens. Before every dive:

  • Defog your mask with a commercial defog liquid or rub saliva on the inside of the lens and...
  • Rinse the mask out and...
  • Adjust the strap for a comfortable fit.


Fins can have either open heels or closed heels.

  • Adjust open-heel fin straps to comfortably fit over your booties. Always check for damage to the straps and replace them if needed.
  • Closed-heel fins must fit well. If they are a little on the loose side, use fin guards so that they don’t slip off when you are kicking or entering the water.
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