Drysuit Certification in British Columbia

Drysuit certification in British Columbia

Do you need drysuit certification for diving in British Columbia?

At Cooldives, we frequently get asked whether you can use a wetsuit in British Columbia or if you need a dry suit.

While some people do dive year round in a 7mm wetsuit, most divers who like to dive here on a regular basis get their drysuit certification.

British Columbia dive stores will not rent you a drysuit unless you can prove your drysuit training.

And like other scuba diving lessons, it is best to learn to dive in British Columbia because the extra training you receive here will prepare you for diving anywhere!

While I trained for my Advanced Diver certification in a drysuit, I never received my actual drysuit license for some unknown reason?

So it has been on my to-do list for a long time, but with my busy schedule I could never find the time to take a certification course, which typically costs $200-$250.

But on July 2, I took the plunge with the Cooldives preferred dive instructor, divemaster and dive buddy, who offers private dive lessons and certification, and escorted scuba safaris here in Vancouver.

Click to learn about drysuit certification and other private dive lessons here in Vancouver or on the Sunshine Coast.

Click for reasons to always dive in a drysuit.

Private lessons for Drysuit Certification in British Columbia

Rowand Reef Scuba shop on Granville Island

This way of earning my scuba certification was great! Mark worked around my schedule, helped organize all my gear, and drove me to/from Whitecliff Park where we did our dives, and then returned my rental gear for me.

The best thing about private dive lessons is the one-on-one personalized attention – well worth the few extra bucks it cost to get certified through a private dive instructor.

Mark and I met at Rowands Reef Scuba Shop on Vancouver’s popular Granville Island (right near the Granville Island Brewery – hmmm?)

They had a great selection of dive equipment for sale, were very friendly and knowledgeable about the dive gear and the local dive conditions, and had top quality rental gear.

When I dove dry before, I used a neoprene drysuit, but after discussing the options, we decided on a Whites Fusion Tech, dual layer dry core drysuit for the drysuit certification.

And what a great choice that was. The ‘shell’ type drysuit is one of the options discussed on our drysuit page. While it doesn't provide any insulation, it was very comfortable, easy to use, and flexible in terms of using here for diving in British Columbia or other locations around the world.

Although I didn’t have proper undergarments, I dressed in layers as advised my Mark and was completely comfortable while diving – and dry!

Great drysuit and I plan to purchase one very soon. Thank you Jean Michel (Rowands Reef Scuba owner) for recommending this to me.

Whitecliffe Park is located about 15 minutes away from Vancouver and is a very scenic, popular dive spot.

ling cod at Whytecliffe park - photo by Lee NewmanOnce we got our gear set up, Mark and I reviewed the drysuit certification training material that he sent me earlier, and he ensured I had a good understanding of the information. We then discussed the pending dive and the training exercises we were going to do once in the water.

Then we geared up and went down to the entry point. After the pre-dive safety check, in we went. It was low tide but the conditions outside were beautiful and the Whites Fusion tech drysuit felt great.

We went down to around 30 feet, and once Mark could tell I was comfortable with the suit and my buoyancy, we went through the drysuit course exercises with Mark showing and repeating the drills, and then my turn.

Once I got the sign of approval from Mark, we spent the rest of the time exploring the area and enjoying the dive.

After a snack and surface interval, we changed tanks and had our second training dive.

The tide was starting to come in so we had a few currents to deal with, but after ensuring the rest of the course requirements were complete, we again explored the area, seeing loads of starfish of all sizes, plumose anemone, some rock fish and ling cod, sea slugs, and more.

But the seal that was watching us prepare for our first dive never did come to say hello.

And then that was it. Running low on air, completely comfortable with the drysuit and different buoyancy, it was time to end the dives.

We packed up and went back to Rowands Reef where Jean Michel was there to finalize the paperwork for us, and now I just need to wait for my PADI drysuit certification card to arrive in the mail.

Thanks again to Mark and Jean Michel from Rowands Reef.

To book your drysuit certification course (or Open Water, Advanced or Enriched air) through our preferred dive instructors or through a local dive shop, complete the following form with your contact information...

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ling cod at Whytecliffe park - photo by Lee Newman