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Rochester’s Friendliest Dive Shop

Frequently Asked Questions

General Scuba Diving Questions

Is Scuba Diving dangerous?
An interesting article on scuba risks is found here:

Sharks! Barracudas! Sea Snakes! Oh my!

From 1990-99, there were 38 shark attacks on divers…. worldwide.  From 2000-2009, the number was 34.  (Source).  About twenty percent of those attacks were fatal.

The broader shark attack numbers that just on divers are also amazingly rare.  There were 79 confirmed shark attacks on humans, worldwide, in 2010 and 63 attacks in 2009.  There were only 6 fatalities from shark attack in 2010 — sharks do not hunt humans and in the rare cases where they bite, then most often then move on.

The yearly average number of deaths from 2001-10 from shark attacks are 4.3 per year. (Source). The chance of a shark attack while scuba diving is almost nil.

You stand a much better chance of dying from food poisoning or choking by eating dinner at a 5 star restaurant.  So let’s talk about things that are truly more risky than getting attacked by sharks.

The National Safety Council has compiled various statistics regarding causes of death in the United States — remember this is just the United States and not worldwide.  The latest date I could find stats for was 2000, and here is your source.

Recall that 6 people died from shark attacks last year, worldwide.

In 2000, the following were the number of deaths just in the U.S.:

  • Animal rider or occupant of animal-drawn vehicle = 97
  • Fall involving bed, chair, other furniture = 650
  • Fall on and from stairs and steps = 1,307
  • Fall on and from ladder or scaffolding = 412
  • Fall on same level (no stairs) from slipping, tripping and stumbling = 565
  • Bitten or struck by dog = 26
  • Bitten or struck by other mammals = 65
  • Drowning and submersion while in or falling into bath-tub = 341
  • Drowning and submersion while in or falling into swimming-pool = 567
  • Drowning and submersion while in or falling into natural water = 1,135
  • Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed = 327
  • Inhalation and ingestion of food causing obstruction of respiratory tract = 744
  • Inhalation and ingestion of other objects causing obstruction of respiratory tract = 3,187
  • Ignition or melting of nightwear = 9
  • Ignition or melting of other clothing and apparel = 116
  • Contact with hot tap-water = 55
  • Exposure to excessive natural cold = 742
  • Lightning = 50

Yes, if you do not sleep naked every night, you run a better chance of dying than being killed by a shark.  And if you got on a ladder to clean the roof of your house or to take the angel off the Christmas tree — you are running a hell of a bigger risk of dying than scuba diving in a shark-infested area of the world.

What do all those causes of death have in common, as compared to dying by shark attack?  They don’t make for a good Steven Spielberg movie with a very snappy soundtrack.

What is the minimum age for scuba diving?
A diver has to be 10 years old to start scuba diving. However, being a scuba diver requires a diver to learn to follow the rules. Each person is different in their ability to follow the rules and be comfortable underwater. We suggest waiting until the child is at least 12 years old.

With that said, learning to dive with your child can be a rewarding and fun experience. If you are in a class with your child, we ask the parent refrain from helping the child as your child will need to be able to independently perform the required skills in order to achieve certification.

What are the health and fitness requirements to dive?
You have to be in reasonable health in order to dive. For your safety, the dive industry has published a medical history form which is required to be completed before you dive. If you answer 'yes' to any of the medical questions, you are required to seek a Physician's approval in order to dive.

Required Documents:


What is included in the Open Water Diver Class?
The Open Water Diver class tuition includes online training materials, as many pool training dives to make you feel comfortable underwater, four open water certification dives, internationally recognized certification card, rental of the scuba gear that you may need during class including regulators, gauges, dive computer, wetsuit, hood & gloves (if needed).  

Also included is your mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit boots, and gear bag. Those items are yours to enjoy after the class and do not need to be purchased separately. If you would like a different gear than what is included, you may apply the value of the gear towards the purchase of other gear from our shop.

So, you include my personal gear such as mask, fins, & snorkel in the Open Water Diver class tuition?
Yes. We try to live up to our tagline - "Rochester's Friendliest Dive Shop.' We don't like surprises and we bet you don't either. Rather than advertising a low price and then requiring you to purchase additional items and pay extra for certification dives, we include everything you need in your course tuition.

I'm the only one who wants to learn to dive. Do I have wait for a class to fill-up before I can start?
Absolutely not. Unlike other shops, we don't charge for 'executive' or 'private' classes. We like to keep classes small because we believe that students learn better in a smaller group. 

What happens if I need more time in training than the average person?
The Open Water Diver class is about you becoming comfortable in the water and we know that people learn at different rates. Some people will take longer than others to be comfortable, so we do not charge extra if you need more time in the pool than other people.

Why do you use e-Learning rather than classroom sessions?
The online training materials are designed so that you can learn the academics at your own pace when it is convenient for you. You complete the academics online or via an app and we review the material and answer any questions you may have during the pool sessions.

Do I have to be a strong swimmer?
Being able to handle yourself in the water comfortably is important, but you do not need to be a strong swimmer in order to dive.

I have a medical condition. Can I still dive?
If you have a medical condition, you will need to have a physician approve you to dive. You will need to complete a simple medical history form for your doctor to sign and return to us. Download the medical form.

Are there any age restrictions for children or seniors?

The minimum age is 10 and there is no upper age limit. For children under 10, there is the Scuba Rangers – a way cool kids club.
Click here for more information.

Are the academics online or is it printed material and will my certification be recognized internationally?

All of SSI courses are available in both printed and digital format. With digital you can easily access the program on your PC, tablet or smartphone, anytime, anywhere in both, iOS or Android. At RU4Scuba, we have found that most people enjoy the interactive nature of smartphone apps.

Your Scuba Schools International and PADI certifications are recognized internationally.

I just became Certfied. What's next?
Congratulations on beginning your diving career! This is the most frequently asked question. In our opinion, to be a complete diver, your goal should be to become a Master Diver. The Master Diver rating is one of the most elite ratings in diving today. Divers that have completed this level have combined the knowledge, skills and experience to truly call themselves Master Divers. To earn the certification for Master Diver, you must complete 4 specialty courses, Diver Stress & Rescue and have done a total of 50 dives.

So, what's next? Dive. Dive some more. Take a specialty class in an area that interests you. Dive. Dive. Dive.

What is the most popular Specialty Class?
By far, the most popular specialty class is Enriched Air Nitrox. Have you ever dreamed of having longer no-decompression limits to take pictures or explore a wreck? Did you ever want to be safer while diving concerning the potential risk of decompression sickness?

"Nitrox for free" is a slogan in a lot of resorts. This means that you do not have to pay a surcharge for Nitrox, but all diving operators will want to see a valid Nitrox certificate before you can dive.

In your Nitrox program you will learn all the necessary rules for planning dives with Nitrox and using Nitrox in a safe way. The program contains optional dives and therefore it is a perfect "Winter Specialty" before your diving holiday starts. This will allow you to go diving immediately and enjoy the advantages of diving with Nitrox.

How long do I have to complete my class?
Scuba School International training standards allow for a one year completion time. If you need more time to complete your class, you will need to retake the sections of the class which you have completed more than a year ago. There may be additional charges for this.

Can I do my open water dives while on vacation?
Yes. We have a universal referral form which will be accepted by most dive shops regardless of which training organization they use.

What qualifications do your instructors and staff hold?
The co-owners, Jim and Don, have over 40 years of diving experience and over 30 years of teaching experience. Combined, Don and Jim have over 10,000 dives.

Jim holds the highest instructor rank, Instructor Training, and is also a Master Instructor with over 1,000 certifications.

Staff members average five years of experience with hundreds of dives under each of their belts.


Do I need my own equipment?

No, it is possible to rent the major equipment, like regulators and BC’s. But, the safest way for anyone to dive is in their own personally fitted, high quality, total diving system.

Where can I go diving?

The world is full of amazing diving destinations! Whether it’s the oceans or lakes, the underwater world offers endless and unique experiences.

We typically dive at least once a week locally and offer regional and exotic dive trips.

Trips and Travel

Do you offer dive vacation packages?
Yes. We always plan a February Caribbean trip timed to coincide with the school's Presidents Week vacation. That time period is one of the most expensive times to travel. By utilizing group travel rates, we are usually able to provide a trip with significant savings as compared to booking something individually.

We also plan a major dive adventure roughly every other year. For example, in June/July 2019, we are travelling to the Philippines for an 11 night trip of a lifetime.

Being a member of a scuba-industry dive travel associate allows us to pass along special discounts even when individuals book trips with us.

Scuba Gear

Shouldn't I just buy dive gear online to save money?
We dive what we sell and for many items we allow you to try out the items you may be interested in purchasing before you purchase them. After all, how do you know that a pair of fins or a mask will work for you unless you try it in the water first? Please contact us for details.

A note about pricing. The entire SCUBA industry is governed by "MAP" policies. That means that we can only advertise items for sale on our websites for certain minimum price which are set by the manufacturers. Be wary of any website offering items below MAP pricing. Those websites are probably not authorized dealers and they are selling "gray market" gear. Your manufacturer's warranty may not be valid if you purchase your gear from the gray market. 

At RU4Scuba, you will usually find better pricing in the shop than what is listed on our online shop due to the MAP requirements. We believe that our local, loyal divers should be the customers who get a fair deal rather than a stranger on the web. 

Can I try out equipment before I purchase it?
The usual answer is yes. We dive what we sell and for many items we allow you to try out the items you may be interested in purchasing before you purchase them. After all, how do you know that a pair of fins or a mask will work for you unless you try it in the water first? Please contact us for details.

Can I rent equipment rather than purchase it?
Yes, but... Scuba diving is all about being comfortable underwater. Rental gear may change over time and have different features than you are used to. When you own your own equipment, you know how that gear has been treated, you know it will fit properly, and will be comfortable in it underwater.

Do you provide equipment service and repair.

We are authorized service technicians for most brands of scuba gear including ScubaPro, Oceanic, Dacor, Aqualung, Mares, and US Divers.

We carry the full line of Mares products and are one of a handful of Mares Lab Repair Centers. Learn more about Mares gear by downloading the Mares Buyer's Guide.

Do you offer a layaway program?
Yes. We offer a layaway program for scuba equipment as well as an interest-free payment program for travel.

We offer flexible classes, dives, and pool sessions designed to fit around your schedule. 
  • Our hours vary by season. Please contact us for the current shop opening times.
  • 585-370-0768
    7049 Lake Ave
    Williamson, NY 14589